The Relationship between English Language Education Policies and Economic Growth in Asia

Hillman, Shannon
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015]
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This study sets out to calculate the financial returns of English Language Education Policies to a national economy within Asia, with a secondary goal of ascertaining whether this return is being collected by all participating countries equally. Using Thomas Green’s theory of the Educational System (1997) as a framework for exploring how education systems function in society, this study looks to education, development, and reproduction theories before turning to the history of English in Asia to gain geographical context. Using a pragmatic epistemology, I employ quantitative methodology and use data in the form of government curricula and English language syllabi from 19 countries around Asia-Pacific. These represent a country’s national English Education policies and were scored based on contemporary English as a Foreign Language practices, as recommended by scholarly literature. Using the Instrumental Variable process, this constructed data pairs with an economic variable and historical data which serves as the instrumental variable. These three variables are processed through the Two Stage Least Squares regression sequence provided by SPSS. The results of the statistical analysis show that an increase of one standard deviation in the language variable results in a .618 rise in the standardized beta of the 2014 economic variable. This increase is compared with the economic data of the sample countries in hopes of identifying differences in potential financial impacts between countries, and whether results have some validity when contextualized into Asia’s education and economic hierarchy. Green’s theory then attempts to discover whether there is a systemic inequality between education systems that would encourage such an economic disparity. Reproduction Theory then attempts to evaluate how this inequality is present in institutional practices across the region. Overall, I found English Language Education Policies have a significant return that would be considered large and small to different countries, based on their economic indicator. Furthermore, through using Green’s theories and Reproduction Theory, there are institutional practices present in elite countries that limit the working class’ abilities to access these increases to their economy via English Language Education Policies.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
EFL, Policy Analysis, Economic Growth
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Education, Interdisciplinary
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