Korean people believe that English proficiency is one of the most important factors in achieving professional success, and because of this they spend a great deal of time and money to master English. Along with this frenzy over English, a discourse on the “English brain” has recently emerged. Many Koreans believe that to achieve linguistic excellence, one has to train a particular brain region—the so-called English brain. This discourse was formulated and became popularly authoritative as certain information on relevant brain research was transferred across scientific, popular, and commercial sectors. Neuroscientific research, particularly studies of bilingualism, provided interesting information for the media and companies. This information was used to promote novel commercial devices and educational programs specifically designed for learning English. The media transformed the results of such research into a more popular discourse about the English brain. Interactions among neuroscientific research, commercial strategies, and the media made the English brain a reality.
Do Koreans Have an “English Brain”? A Case Study in the Commercialization of Neuroscience
Hawon Chang, Sungook Hong; Do Koreans Have an “English Brain”? A Case Study in the Commercialization of Neuroscience. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2012; 6 (3): 303–319. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-1731097
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