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Reclaiming Jung-Suh : investigating Korean parents' choice of an early childhood program Yu, Hye Won 2014

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RECLAIMING JUNG-SUH: INVESTIGATING KOREAN PARENTS’ CHOICE OF AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM by  Hye Won Yu A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Educational Studies)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Vancouver)  August 2014 © Hye Won Yu, 2014 ii  Abstract  The purpose of my study is to investigate Korean parents’ rationale behind their choice of sending their children to a preschool program that hosts mainly Korean children and instructs the curriculum in English. This qualitative case study involved in-depth interviews with six mothers and examined their cultural, social and educational reasons for sending their children to one particular school, which for many involved long drives from their homes on a daily basis. The research questions that guide the study include: 1) What considerations influence parents’ decisions to enrol their children in a Korean-Canadian preschool?  2) How do the parents view this space/place in regard to preserving Korean culture, language and identity?  3) How do the parents’ concerns and decisions embody (if at all) Korean-Canadian immigrant experiences of living between cultures?  Study findings illustrate the mothers’ desire to maintain their children’s Korean identity and language and prepare their children with English language skills needed for elementary school. The main motive behind these desires is to ensure that teachers and peers in the Kindergarten classroom do not overlook their children. The mothers also expressed their desire that the program support their children’s Korean identity and language by maintaining Jung-Suh, a particular way of living and being as Korean. These mothers expressed a belief that maintaining Jung-Suh would keep their children’s Korean identity alive and encourage their children to preserve their Korean language which would allow their children to sustain intergeneration relationships and deepen their cultural connection.  The mothers’ experiences highlight courage and agency as well as a sense of vulnerability that they encounter as immigrants to Canada. I frame their experiences within iii  colonial theory, reproduced through the practice of mainstream Eurocentric schooling. I conclude with my own decolonizing learning as part of this research.             iv  Preface This study was done under the supervision of Dr. Hartej Gill and Dr. Karen Meyer. The data were collected by me and the data analyses as well as the discussion of the findings are my original work. None of my thesis has been submitted for any publications or submissions. The research was approved by the University of British Columbia’s Research Ethics Board under the research title Stories behind the Korean-Canadian Parents’ Educational Choices with the Ethics certificate number H13-01665.    v  Table of Contents  Abstract ................................................................................................................................ ii Preface ................................................................................................................................. iv Table of Contents .................................................................................................................v Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ vii Dedication ......................................................................................................................... viii Chapter 1: Introduction.......................................................................................................1 1.1 Researcher reflection ........................................................................................................1 1.2 Historical background ......................................................................................................9 1.3 Koreans in Canada (historical context) ..........................................................................10 1.4 Koreans in Canada (background context) ......................................................................12 1.5 Overview of the thesis ....................................................................................................13 Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework and Literature Review ..........................................15 2.1 Theoretical framework………………………………………………………………...15     2.1.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................15 2.1.2 Imperialism .........................................................................................................16 2.1.3 Colonialism .........................................................................................................17 2.1.4 Mimicry ..............................................................................................................19 2.1.5 Jung-Suh as ontology ..........................................................................................24 2.2 Literature review……………………………………………………………………....25   2.2.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................25 2.2.2 Meaning of education to the Korean settler parents ...........................................26 2.2.3 Parenting experiences of Korean settler parents in North America ....................28 Chapter 3: Methodology ....................................................................................................32 3.1 Study context – overview of site ....................................................................................32 3.2 Methodology and process of data collection ..................................................................34 3.3 Recruitment ....................................................................................................................35 3.4 Participant interviews .....................................................................................................37 3.5 Participants’ backgrounds ..............................................................................................38 vi  3.6 Data analysis ..................................................................................................................41 3.7 Researcher’s positionality and study limitations ............................................................45 Chapter 4: Findings ...........................................................................................................47 4.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................47 4.2 Preserving Jung-Suh as a means of gaining comfort and recognition ...........................50 4.3 How is Jung-Suh obtained and preserved? ....................................................................53 4.4 Jung-Suh: a sense of belonging and a shared understanding as Korean ........................55 4.5 Speaking Korean – not forgetting the root .....................................................................58 4.6 Fear of not speaking English ..........................................................................................63 4.7 English and confidence –survival strategy for children to confront the dominant culture ..............................................................................................................................................66 Chapter 5: Discussion ........................................................................................................68 5.1 Jung-Suh: recognition and the mothers’ desire to create a sense of belonging ..............68 5.2 Avoiding the fear of being Othered ................................................................................70 5.3 Fear of losing oneself in the process of becoming the dominant Other .........................72 5.4 In-between space: a space for decolonizing practice .....................................................76 5.5 Implications ....................................................................................................................78 5.6 Concluding reflection .....................................................................................................80 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................85     vii  Acknowledgements I send my enduring gratefulness to the faculty, for being incredible listeners of the stories that I have shared and for allowing me to experience a gift of having wonderful teachers and mentors in life.  I owe particular thanks to Dr. Karen Meyer for her inspiration and insights that made my work so much more meaningful and valuable, and Dr. Hartej Gill for giving me endless support in every imaginable way throughout my academic journey as well as for her dedication and commitment that she has shown to my work.  I offer my gratitude to the staff members, children and the families of the EL preschool for allowing me to gain such invaluable learnings and insights. I deeply thank my family and friends, who supported me during the times of happiness and despair that I have experienced throughout my academic journey. I share my most earnest thanks to my dearest husband, Hyun Woo Choi, for encouraging me to begin this academic journey and for wholeheartedly cheering my journey that I could never have completed on my own.     viii   내가 제일 사랑하는 나의 주님께 감사와 영광을 돌립니다.  To my Lord Jesus.   1  Chapter 1: Introduction   1.1 Researcher reflection  My journey began with my visit several years ago of the Vancouver Archives.  Finding my way to the Archives was like finding my way through a maze. I walked down the long, old streets of Kitsilano that were strange and unfamiliar to me. Walking in the pouring rain, without an umbrella, I complained to myself that this wasn’t how I expected to start my day. After turning right and left several times, I finally found a green sign written with white paint: ‘City of Vancouver Archives’. A white arrow kindly guided me to keep right.  “How on earth are people supposed to find this place? Isn’t this supposed to be a City Archives that everyone can easily access?” I murmured to myself as I constantly checked my brand new black leather tote given to me by my parents as a graduation gift. I covered my bag with my right arm to protect it from the endless rain.  Leaving behind the disheartening rain, I walked into a room with respected silence. A familiar scent of paper welcomed me, a stranger here soaked in rain. I saw a few square and circular wooden tables scattered throughout the room. My eyes quickly located a young woman sitting at the back of the room, looking at some documents through a microfiche.  “Are you looking for something?” I quickly turned my eyes and saw her standing behind a desk. The woman’s words broke my silence. “Yes, I am here to look for some pictures and documents regarding Korean immigrants and child care centres.” As I searched for the right words in English, I sensed how slow and formal I sounded, as though I were writing.  2  “Ok, well then, have you been to the Archives before?” The receptionist looked a little startled, perhaps by my accented, slow English, but quickly and kindly asked me about my past experiences of coming to the Archives.  Trying to act as if English was my first language I replied “No, this is my first time.”  “Well then, we’ll get you started with a visitor’s card for the Archives and get you to sign in first.” The receptionist handed me a form with questions written in black on a white piece of paper for me to fill out. It took me only a minute to complete the form. But it took several days afterward to make sense of all the paper work and complicated procedures required of me even before I started my search at the Archives. At the desk, I handed the black and white form to the receptionist. With a blue ball-point pen I had printed “Rachel Yu,” a Canadian name I have subscribed for myself over the past decade. Memories rushed into my thoughts. . .  I walked into a room with white walls. Small high-school chairs configured one big square, making an empty space in the middle.  “Hy..hy…hy..e..won..yoo?” a man with blue eyes and freshly shaved golden hair struggled to read my name.  “Uh…um…my name is Hyewon,” I pronounced my name with a perfect Korean accent, purposely smiling at the strange man. Irritated and surprised by the fact that this man couldn’t pronounce my name properly, I pledged myself to teach this foreigner how to speak my name correctly.  3  “All right hi-won, do you have an English name?” As if he didn’t hear my correct pronunciation, the man, the foreigner, proclaimed my Korean name in a wrong fashion again.  “Uh…no…no English name.” I glanced at my brother sitting beside me and hoped he could tell this man that I have never thought about having an English name.  “Well, if you don’t have one, how about Rachel? When you first walked into the class you reminded me of the name, Rachel.” The man spoke out a name that I had never heard, even from those Hollywood movies that I had been watching to learn English.  “Lae…rae..Rachel?” I repeated the name as I struggle to pronounce the ‘r’ sound that is absent from the Korean language.  “Yeah, R,A,C,H,E,L, Rachel!” This time the man kindly spelled out my new name. A new name that later became an intimate part of my daily life––as I lived on the Aboriginal land called “Canada.”  In merely minutes, my thorough determination to teach this foreigner my Korean name had long gone out the window of that classroom. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I learned that saying from a Korean teacher when I was young.  “Oh, ok” I agreed, thinking that I would use this English name only while I was in this classroom. I obeyed his request 4  to use this foreign name. Back then, I never imagined that Rachel would become my entire Canadian identity. I never knew that Rachel would slowly erase my Korean self – a part of me that is undeniable. The Archives receptionist led me to a computer table in the middle of the room and explained how to search for documents and photographs stored in the Archives. I quickly searched and found a few government documents on child care centre regulations and policies. I took a stubby, little pencil out of a nearby neatly organized box. On a white piece of paper I copied down the call number of several documents and handed the paper to the receptionist.  It wasn’t the receptionist who brought the stacks of old, dusty documents to me. A short Asian man wearing black pants and a blue, short-sleeve shirt walked towards me balancing them carefully in order not to drop a single document. A little startled, I quickly scanned the Asian man from top to bottom: black hair and dark eyes…. A stream of awkward thoughts started to dominate my mind.  I thought to myself, “Huh…an Asian man working at the City Archives, interesting…” I was confused and pleasantly surprised to see an Asian working at such an ‘important’ place. While living in Canada for the past decade as an Asian immigrant, I monitored where other immigrants worked or what they did for a living as a habitual part of my daily life.  “He must have been born in Canada or he must be really smart.” In my head, I started to produce lists of reasons as to why he was chosen to work at this special place that seemed like a forbidden place where no immigrants would ever be allowed.  “Did you want these documents?” The Asian man spoke with a noticeable and familiar Chinese accent.  5  “Yes! Thank you!” Struck by his thick accent I continued to wonder how this man was accepted into this special place.  “A Chinese immigrant,” I thought to myself. The man’s thick accent and the fact that there are many Chinese immigrants in Vancouver were enough evidence for me to assume that he must be an immigrant from China.  “Is he really smart?” Does he have a degree in library science or something?” A second stream of questions surged into my thoughts. After a few seconds of engaging in wild speculation, I stopped imagining who this man might be and started to direct questions to myself. “Why did I think that? Why does it matter to me that he is an Asian immigrant who works at the Archives?” What systemic presences have I come to normalize? Like a slide show, the images of immigrants working at a mall, offices, bathrooms, cleaning and sweeping the facilities as janitors passed by my thoughts. Then I paused at a scene of me and my brother sitting in our living room couch listening to our father explain his wish to see us become part of mainstream society in Canada. Since then, I’ve wondered everyday what it might look like to become a part of mainstream society and if mainstream society really exists. Once again, I left my thoughts unfinished.  Snapping out of my meandering imagination, I realized that the Chinese man was already gone and I continued my search as if nothing had interrupted my work.  “Child care centre,” “daycare,” “children,” “Korean,” “immigrants.” I typed in key words hoping to find any pieces of history that would give me a glimpse of the past. After reviewing thousands of Asian immigrants’ images, I accepted that there simply weren’t any traces of Koreans in the Archives. It was later that I encountered the possible reasons for the 6  absence of Korean immigrants in the Archives. Due to the Japanese colonization of Korea, no one could immigrate or flee to other countries, and if anyone did they had to prepare themselves for death. Even if Koreans escaped to Canada, no one would have accepted them because of the Canadian immigration policy that blocked Asian immigrants from migrating to Canada. It was a law enacted in 1947.   I carefully and slowly went through the documents wrapped, labeled, and neatly organized into yellow portfolio files. I looked through hundreds of electronic copies of photographs related to all my key words. As time passed I became more desperate to find anything that might be useful for my research, an image that might shine a glimpse of light into a dark, unclaimed space that I came to explore. My eyes, fixed onto the computer screen scrolled down each page hoping to find any images of children and teachers at child care-like settings.   I encountered multiple scenes of the past, portraitures of little girls with long curly hair and braids, and pictures of women sitting in front of houses shyly looking away from the camera. As my search prolonged, my excitement of going through those still images soon disappeared, “just up to the next page…one more.” I moved my eyes and the computer mouse, encouraging myself that there would be the picture that I desperately wanted on the next page. A few minutes passed by and my admirable efforts seemed useless. If it had been one more minute or even one more page, I might have stopped and left the Archives blaming my failure on the rain. Right at that moment, I halted. There it was. After a long page filled with old images of Vancouver, projecting the lives of people doomed in a word called the ‘past’, was a black and white photo the size of my palm, with a scene as familiar as it was strange.  7  Two Caucasian women in their 20s or 30s stood to the left and right sides of a wooden jungle gym. Both were dressed in black, two-piece suites composed of a skirt completely covering their knees and long blazers slightly covering their hips. The women’s black pumps with short and thick heels completed a conservative and professional look. After closely examining the women I moved my eyes to see the children busy climbing on the wooden jungle gym. Despite the women’s dark uniforms, the children were dressed in bright and white colors. Like dark fences or boundaries to keep children safe, the women stood firmly in their black shoes, their eyes fixed on the children as if they were charged with a high mission to ensure the children’s safety. My eyes fixated on these women who watched the children happily climbing up and down on the jungle gym. It was a strange feeling, a strange feeling to see such a scene that reminded me of my everyday work with children. “But this is a black and white photo, this mustn’t be current,” I thought to myself. Then I clicked the picture, wanting to know the details of it, and there I saw four numbers. It was a picture from 1947, Vancouver.  This old picture of children and the educators, during what seems to be an outside playtime, struck me with the same feeling I have encountered in my everyday practice with young children. Reflecting back on my work with children as a Korean-Canadian early childhood educator I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about moments when I have supervised children during outside time – moments when I was also fixated on keeping children safe and sometimes missed opportunities to engage with them. Even though more than sixty years have passed from the time that the photo was taken, nothing much has changed when I reflect on the current early childhood practices with young children.  8  Just like the scene of two educators supervising young children climbing the jungle gym back in 1947, there appears to be few differences in early childhood practices today in regards to how we interact with children, especially during outside time but at times during inside time as well. I carefully observed the picture from 1947 again and began questioning why there is such little or no difference in how we engage with children today. I thought that if someone, even myself during my work with children, took time to question and think about teacher engagement with children, I may have found the scene from 1947 different and somewhat peculiar from the current early childhood perspective and practice.  My visit to the Archives also raised questions regarding Korean immigrants’ experiences and lives in Canada. Why wasn’t I able to find anything about Korean immigrants? Even though Koreans have a short history of living in Canada, I was shocked that no one had investigated their time and effort to record anything about Koreans in Canada in the past decades.  As I reflect on my experiences of going to the Archives and finding no records of Koreans existing in the Archives, I came to believe that if I didn’t take up this inquiry into the micro experiences of the Korean settlers in Canada, the stories of their lives would never be heard. This is why I began to inquire about my study context, a Korean owned preschool. I felt that the Korean immigrant families’ experiences, intentions, and stories behind sending their children to a child care centre in Canada needed to be heard in the academy. I felt that these experiences would just become invisible moments for Korean families where their possible struggles would never be explored.   With this sense of responsibility I begin the stories of the Korean immigrants. I start my journey into this project: to know, to understand and to narrate the experiences, intentions 9  and the reasons behind the Korean immigrant parents’ particular decision to send their children to a Korean owned, English speaking preschool program.    1.2 Historical background:   The year 1910 is a painful year for Koreans in Korea and around the world. It was the year that the Koreans lost their sovereignty and rights as a nation. For the next 35 years, Koreans experienced the torture of strangers taking away their rights, properties, resources, language, culture and most of all, their identity and pride as a nation. During those times of domination from Japan, Koreans slowly lost their names, values, and the rich history and culture that they had worked hard to preserve and cherish for the past five thousand years (Shon, 2002).        For Koreans, colonialism is not just a mere idea that is distant or invisible. Rather, it is a time that has become an inseparable part of their identity as a nation and an inscribed history that marks their birth. Sixty-eight years have passed since liberation was proclaimed from those notorious years that left many unhealed scars. Although many years have passed, Koreans still encounter and are immersed with the remainders from the colonial years. Physical domination may have been removed, but the colonizing practices and their reproductions are still prevalent in Korean culture and identity (e.g., social norms, systems, values, and ways of living). As Cannella and Viruru (2004) state, “…there are many legacies, both visible and intangible, territorial and human, that remain” (p. 13). Colonialism is an 10  integral part of what Koreans live through in their daily lives. As a counter-hegemonic voice my study will be informed by post-colonial theory.     1.3 Koreans in Canada (historical context):  The history of Korean immigrants in Canada has been rapidly evolving in the last sixty years.  Compared with other Asian immigrants, such as Japanese and Chinese immigrants with long immigration histories in Canada, the history of Korean immigrants in Canada is relatively short due mainly to the Japanese colonization of Korea until 1945. Shortly after their independence from Japanese colonization Koreans also went through a painful history of the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.  During these times, Koreans experienced nation-wide economic difficulties and focused intensely on recovering from the aftermath of the war. As a result, most Koreans were unable to immigrate to other countries. Those who were able to immigrate did so mainly to participate in the labour force as a miners, nurses, or sugarcane farmers in Germany, and United States of America, and in particular Hawaii (Yoon, 2005).    The relationship between Korea and Canada was first established through the Canadian missionaries arriving in Korea in 1888 (Yoon, 2005, p. 210). Shortly after the first missionaries’ arrival, many Canadian missionaries, sponsored by various organizations such as University of Toronto-YMCA, came to Korea to provide necessary supports to Koreans who were in despair from the long years of domination by Japan and the Korean War. The Canadian missionaries in Korea “built schools, hospitals, and other social service institutions as part of their mission” and allowed Koreans to receive further education and medical 11  services (p. 211). According to Yoon, some of the Koreans who received their education in the Christian schools had opportunities to study in Canada through missionary scholarships and some of the students’ permanent settlement in Canada “laid a foundation for the Korean immigrant community” in Canada (p. 211).  Since the 1960’s, the population of Korean immigrants and visiting students to Canada has been growing rapidly. According to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Canada’s (2013) Overview of Korea-Canada Bilateral Relations document:  There is a dynamic people-to-people exchange between Canada and Korea, with approximately 230,000 Canadians of Korean descent in Canada, 20,000 Korean students studying in Canada, and 5,000 Canadian English teachers in Korea. Travel and tourism between the two nations is also significant. Over 110,000 Canadians visit Korea and about 150,000 Koreans visit Canada each year. (para. 9)  Despite the increase in the number of Korean immigrants in Canada, there is a lack of literature that explicitly discusses first generation Korean-Canadian immigrants’ experiences of raising their children in Canada. Furthermore, many of these studies about Korean-Canadian immigrants do not consider the Korean immigrant parents’ perceptions and intentions behind the educational choices they make for their children, particularly during their children’s pre-primary school years.  As an attempt to bridge this gap, my study examines the intentions or considerations behind first generation Korean immigrant parents’ decision to enrol their children in a Korean-Canadian preschool that is instructed in English.  Through my study, I also explore 12  how the parents’ considerations reflect their own experiences of living between two cultures as Korean-Canadian immigrant.     1.4 Koreans in Canada (background context): Living in Canada as a Korean-Canadian early childhood educator, I have had many opportunities to work with children and their families from various cultural backgrounds.  As the immigrant population grows in Canada, I have witnessed expansions of ethnic communities dispersed in many different areas in the Greater Vancouver region and an increasing need for child care centres that are sensitive to the cultural needs of these communities.  In order to support the newcomer children and their families with the difficulties they experience from cultural differences and communication barriers, there are a growing number of child care centres that serve specific ethnic communities with educators who provide culturally sensitive care, particularly in relation to language.  This developing phenomenon is also prevalent in the case of the Korean-Canadian immigrant community. Weekly Korean immigrant newspapers, published in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, regularly advertise child care centres owned by Korean immigrants and highlight their dynamic programs with a range of experiences to enhance the academic knowledge and learning of Korean children.  In my current research, I am particularly interested in investigating the experiences and intentions of parents who enrol their children in a child care centre that mainly serves 13  Korean children. In this work, I explore the parents’ cultural, social and educational reasons behind their decision navigating their understanding through the following questions:   i) What considerations have influenced parents’ decisions to enrol their children in a Korean-Canadian preschool?  ii) How do parents view this educative space/place in regard to preserving Korean culture, language and identity?  iii) How do parents’ concerns and decisions embody (if at all) Korean-Canadian immigrant experiences of living between cultures?   1.5 Overview of the thesis:  This thesis is composed of five chapters. The first chapter began with my own narrative of visiting the city archive, which provoked me to reflect on my Korean settler identity in Canada and how my English name has contributed to my identity in Canada. This introductory chapter also presented a brief historical background of the immigration history of Koreans in Canada and highlighted the gap in the current literature that discusses the Korean immigrant parents’ experiences and intentions behind their choices of sending their children to a child care centre in Canada.  Chapter Two is divided into two parts. The first part lays out the theoretical framework of the study. Here, I discuss the concepts of identity and culture within the context of post-colonial theory, which guides the overall study, particularly the analysis of the study and its implications. The second part of Chapter Two presents a literature review of 14  studies that examine the meaning of education to the Korean settler parents and further explores the Korean settler parents’ experiences of parenting as they raise their children through North American educational system.  Chapter Three elaborates the methods I used to conduct the study as well as the interview questions that were the basis of the interviews with participants. Chapter Four interprets the findings of the study, which presents six themes that emerged from the data analyses. Throughout Chapter Five, I discuss the six themes from the framework of post-colonial theory. Finally, Chapter Five elaborates on the main conclusions from the study.    15  Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework and Literature Review  2.1 Theoretical framework   2.1.1 Introduction As I began the research, I thought about many theories and literatures I could examine to understand the case of my research context and the findings from my research. I chose to study post-colonial theory in order not to eliminate the history of domination and colonization that Koreans went through for thirty-six years, beginning in 1910. Even though the current practices of colonialism may not be as apparent as when people were physically dominated by the colonizers, the systemic governing practices of hegemony still persists in our present days (Cannella & Viruru, 2004). Korean-Canadian parents’ experiences of raising their children through the dominant North American school system may also reflect the continuous practices of dominance and control of those in power. It is for these reasons that I specifically chose to engage with post-colonial ideas, which allow me to consider how Koreans in Canada may be actively resisting the colonizing practices of the dominant culture.  The theoretical framework for my research is informed by the works of Cannella and Viruru (2004), two early childhood theorists who draw on the works of Young (2001), Said (1978) and Nandy (1993). I also draw on the works of Bhabha (1994), and Hall (1992).  Cannella and Viruru provide a clear overview of how colonizing practices and dominance permeate in many aspects of the colonizers’ society.   16  Bhabha’s account on mimicry is an important idea that strongly resonates with my research participants’ experiences of sending their children to the EL1 preschool. Bhabha’s idea on mimicry is especially useful in understanding why the mothers made efforts to prepare their children to speak English before Kindergarten entry in order to decrease the chances of teachers and peers ignoring and not recognizing their children in the classroom. Hall’s discussion on identity is helpful in understanding how one’s cultural identity is influenced by the national narrative. Hall’s ideas are particularly valuable in my discussion of how the interviewed mothers hoped to preserve their children’s identity through a strong national narrative that I reclaim in this research as Jung-Suh, which can be understood as a particular way of living and being as Korean.    2.1.2 Imperialism  Imperialism has multiple meanings and multiple histories, but is most often ‘characterized by an exercise of power, either through direct conquest or (latterly) through political and economic influence that effectively amounts to a similar form of domination.’ (Young as cited in Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 15) A nation’s economy is used as a great source of control to sustain its domination over another nation or a country. The dominating colonial practices are maintained as the colonizing countries grow stronger in their economic power and are thus able to achieve greater strength in their hold on the nation (Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 15). Apart from its totalizing dominance, the economy is just one example of domination.  The ways in which                                                           1 I used a pseudonym for the preschool’s name in order to maintain confidentiality.  17  the colonizer controls the colonized subjects are similar; however, the practices take place in much more covert ways. Due to the significant decrease and perceived absence of physical domination many may argue that colonial practices no longer exist. Nevertheless, it is evident from many postcolonial theorists’ works that colonial practices and their execution of power are very prevalent today. For instance, Young insists that: The entire world now operates within the economic system primarily developed and controlled by the west, and it is the continued dominance of the west, in terms of political, economic, military and cultural power, that gives this history a continuing significance. Political liberation did not bring economic liberation – and without economic liberation, there can be no political liberation. (as cited in Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 19) Young’s statement clearly demonstrates how colonizing practices are continued through various means such as economic power and its ever-growing capacity. Although Young’s emphasis is on how the dominant countries of the colonizer extend their power and domination through different means, below I problematize the notion of the colonizer and how it is used in the context of post-colonial theory.    2.1.3 Colonialism  In regard to locating what I attempt to consider as colonizer in my study, I refer to Cannella and Viruru’s (2004) discussion of Edward Said’s examination of orientalism.  According to Said, the notion of East and West was constructed within colonialism, which 18  presents the perceptions of the colonizer or West, such as British and French, and how the colonizer perceives the colonized subjects or East (as cited in Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 21). Based on Said’s remarks on the West, Enlightenment thinking2 barricaded an unsurpassable wall between those of the West and East. Since then, the East with its people and culture, have been regarded as “…the ‘other,’ as those who are not as intelligent, powerful, or advanced as those in the West” (Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 21). The effects of colonialism, particularly this hierarchical representation of the West and the East, still permeates and governs dominant ways of thinking and being in the present day. Cannella and Viruru (2004) argue that dominant thoughts of the West are perpetuated through universalized knowledge that is based on the Western understanding (Enlightenment thinking), deceiving its continued colonizing practices by removing physical domination and by enforcing a particular understanding about who is categorized as developed and under-developed (p. 21). With reference to the above discussion, I further argue that the notions of Orientalism and Occidentalism are still prevalent in both the East and West. As Said discusses, with particular reference to Eastern cultures and countries, there is a particular fantasy about the people and the culture of the West as something that is superior to that of the East (as cited in Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 21).  This strong, imperious image of the West continues to influence and dominate those of the Eastern descent, who involuntarily and unknowingly became part of a colonial process, to fantasize about or desire to become like the people of the West.                                                             2 Enlightenment thinking values logical and rational reasoning, which bases its information and knowledge on science and technology.  19  In my study, I aim to further engage with the concept of colonialism, as a “dominant way of thinking, being” (Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 22) that requires those colonized to conform to the system that they enact. Colonialism is interpreted as having worn many masks, as changing style and strategy as needed. The first kind of colonialism, Nandy (1993) argues, is the more straightforward, aimed at the physical conquest of territory. The second is the less direct and focuses on colonizing people’s minds, selves, and cultures. This more insidious form is troubling because it was pioneered by so-called rationalists, who believed in advancing thought in backward lands, liberals who hoped to save the world, and modernists who believed they were bringing order and civilization to places that both lacked and needed enlightened civilization. (Cannella & Viruru, 2004, p. 65) This mentality to rescue those colonized is still prevalent among the colonizer’s conception of the colonized. As evident from the above assertion, the colonizing agenda by the colonizer is not only enacted in the actual occupied spaces but also within the bodies of the alienated subjects.   2.1.4 Mimicry  Culture and identity are two ideas that are critical in post-colonial theory, particularly in the context of North America where many immigrant populations from various countries come to settle and come to refer to these places as their “new home.” In my research, the 20  notion of culture and identity, especially how they are discussed and understood in post-colonial theory, are also significant as I attempt to explore how immigrants’ identities and cultures are constructed through the “process of ambivalence” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 66). According to Bhabha’s account on the notion of ambivalence, colonized subjects desire to become more like the dominant, yet at the same time they face the reality that they are never able to become the same as the dominant. Bhabha’s notion of ambivalence, the idea “almost the same, but not quite” (p. 86) will be the core concept that will guide the analysis of my study.  In the chapter, “Of Mimicry and Man,” Bhabha (1994) discusses how colonial subjects express their feelings of ambivalence through mimicry of the dominant culture.  This concept of mimicry represents the ambivalent feelings that the colonized subjects often experience; it is the desire of the colonized subjects’ to become like the dominant or the “recognizable Other” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 86). Mimicry represents a colonized subject’s incomplete state and inability to fully become the same due to the “excess or slippage produced by the ambivalence of mimicry (almost the same, but not quite)” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 86). It could be perceived that mimicry is the colonizer’s way of infusing an idea and or fantasy that the colonized subjects too can become like the colonizer. The colonizer may have succeeded in reconstructing the colonized subjects to be immersed into the dominant, colonial culture; nevertheless, the colonized subjects’ partialness caused by their cultural difference threatens and “…disrupts its authority” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 88). In other words, partialness of mimicry only represents parts of the dominant power and hegemony, and at the same time highlights its difference and thus challenges the colonizing authority and its supremacy (Bhabha, 1994, p. 88). This is what Bhabha refers as the ambivalence of mimicry 21  that is “almost the same but not quite” (p. 86).  As Bhabha (1994) insists, the desire of the colonial subjects to mimic or to become analogous to the dominant society is mixed with the differences that they own and those imposed on them, whether it is their culture or beliefs, and creates a new identity that does not mirror the dominant nor completely alienates itself from the dominant (p. 89).  If Bhabha (1994) has approached the experiences of the colonial subjects from an affective dimension that is related to the formation of identity, Stuart Hall (1992) closely examines the experiences of the colonial subjects in relation to its transforming identities based on the cultural context that the subjects are located in.    In his work, The question of cultural identity, Hall (1992) discusses three different categories of identity: “the Enlightenment subject, sociological subject and post-modern subject” (p. 275). Hall (1992) notes that the enlightenment subject is the most self-centred, individualistic model of an identity which an individual (subject) is born with and maintains throughout one’s life, without being much influenced by the surrounding environment (1992, p. 275). On the other hand, the sociological subject and its identity is very much influenced and formed through one’s interaction with the society in which one lives. The notion of sociological subject and its identity grounds on the idea of symbolic interactionism3, which through an on-going interaction “between the self and society” the subject’s identity is continuously negotiated (Hall, 1992, p. 276). Through this on-going interaction between the sociological subject and the society in which the subject moves, the subject connects the internal with the external social and cultural world (p. 276). According to Hall, through the                                                           3 A notion that identity is constructed through one’s interaction with roles, norms and expectations that the society or the world that he/she lives in present (Hall, 1992, p. 276). 22  process of interaction, the sociological subject embodies the cultural and societal values and essences of the society as its own. This process  helps to align our subjective feelings with the objective places we occupy in the social and cultural world. Identity thus stitches (or, to use a current medical metaphor, ‘sutures’) the subject into the structure. It stabilizes both subjects and the cultural worlds they inhabit, making both reciprocally more unified and predictable. (p. 276).  In spite of the subject’s alignment with its cultural sphere, the subject’s identity constantly changes due to a “structural and institutional change” (Hall, 1992, p. 277). As a result, the subject’s identity becomes shattered and incoherent and thus “…more open-ended, variable and problematic” (p. 277).  In the context of the sociological subject and its on-going interaction with its inhabited society, it becomes impossible for the subject to have a coherent, fixed identity. Rather, the subject’s identity is very fluid and is ever changing and context dependent (p. 277).  Hall refers to this fluid, transforming subject as the post-modern subject.  Furthermore, Hall claims that one’s coherent, undivided “identity is a fantasy” that one has come to construct and believe (p. 277).  Based on Hall’s argument, identity as fluid and transformative, constantly struggles to locate itself based on the social and cultural context in which one lives.  Hall further analyzes the modern subject in view of its cultural identities (p. 291). He specifically considers the modern subject’s national identity as “…one of the principal sources of cultural identity” which we are born into and come to believe as an inseparable part of our identities (p. 291). He questions if national identities are truly stable, consistent and unified representations (p. 292). In fact, Hall regards national identity as an “imagined 23  community” (p. 293). As Anderson argues, difference between national identities and their presentations differ based on how each nation has imagined their own community (as cited in Hall, 1992, p. 293). The imagined nation conveys a national narrative in which the story never changes and is carried out in the name of tradition that is “often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented” (p. 294). Hall insists that many nations attempt to preserve their national narratives through the means of creating a myth about a birth of a nation and through the emphasis on the notion of nation and its people’s originality or purity (pp. 294-295). Hall presumes these efforts as an attempt to regain the nations’ past dignities, to filter out people of their origin, to become a competitive nation among other nations (p. 295).  According to Hall the birth of cultural identity and its desire to perpetuate its national grand narrative derives from the practices of “… a national culture as an ‘imagined community’: memories from the past; the desire to live together; the perpetuation of the heritage” (p. 296). These practices become impetus (driving force) to sustaining and unifying the national narrative or the single cultural identity as a nation (p. 296). One might ask: what holds these motivations to maintain unity and a coherent national narrative? Hall claims that the concept of race plays a significant role in perpetuating unity throughout a national identity and that in the cultural context of race, it is used as a vehicle to construct a cultural identity that generally uses an “…unspecified set of differences in physical characteristics- skin colour, hair texture, physical and bodily features etc. – as symbolic markers in order to differentiate one group socially from another” (p. 298). These practices allow nations to resist the fact that “modern nations are all cultural hybrids” (p. 297) and enable them to maintain their will to preserve and stabilize their national identities.  24  National identity is “formed and transformed within and in relation to representation” (p. 292). As Anderson insists, national identity is constructed through how a nation imagines and represents its own community/society (as cited in Hall, 1992, p. 293). Furthermore, Hall’s ideas allow me to engage in the concepts of identity and national culture as discourses that are used as a means of generating meanings that control our ways of being (actions that we take) and the ways in which we view ourselves and our identities relationally. Building on both Hall and Anderson’s works, Jung-Suh can be seen as a case of an imagined national identity or narrative that strongly speaks about what it means to live and be Korean. For Koreans, this national identity or narrative of Jung-Suh has become a solid and distinctive understanding about the nation. In my research, the participants saw Jung-Suh as a way to reclaim and to preserve their children’s Korean identity. Throughout my study, the concept of Jung-Suh will be used as an imagined national narrative which represents a particular image of a Korean identity.    2.1.5 Jung-Suh as ontology Jung-Suh, is a Korean word that can be understood as particular ways of living, being and understanding as Korean. In my study, I attempt to employ Jung-Suh as ontology, which is “one’s view of reality and being” (Mack, 2010, p. 5). According to Bryman, “social phenomena and their meanings are continually being accomplished by social actors. It implies that social phenomena and categories are not only produced through social interaction but that they are in a constant state of revision” (as cited in Grix, 2002, p. 177). Apart from its dictionary definition as “emotion, feeling, (formal) sentiment” (N.A., 2014), 25  Jung-Suh also represents what it means to live as Korean – as someone who carries the distinctive characteristics and understanding as Korean. Given that Jung-Suh is a socially constructed reality (as all reality), considering Jung-Suh as ontology in my study opens up multiple ways to interpret how the research participants understand Jung-Suh, and what they hope to achieve through their fierce efforts to maintain Jung-Suh within their children’s lives. Using Jung-Suh as ontology, I further investigate specific ideas presented in my study. In the realm of colonialism discussed throughout this chapter, I argue that Jung-Suh is a medium that allows Koreans to counter colonialism and reclaim and sustain their language, cultural identity as well as their particular ways of being. Also in light of Bhabha’s notion of mimicry, Jung-Suh is a reality or something they possess, which they are unable to discard or ignore. This in fact limits their (Koreans) desire and capacity to become like the dominant.    2.2 Literature review   2.2.1 Introduction  In conducting the literature review, my initial attempt was to find studies that specifically examined and discussed parental intentions behind the educational choices they make for their children. Throughout my search for this literature, I came to discover that there is a significant lack of research in this specific area. In spite of the limited literature I intended to engage with, I felt that it was also necessary to look at the literature that is available which discusses how Korean parents understand education and their approaches 26  and involvement in their children’s education in the North American context. With this intention, I focus the following literature review on discussing Korean parents’ understanding and involvement in their children’s education.    2.2.2 Meaning of education to the Korean settler parents From my interviews with the mothers’ at the EL preschool, I came to discover their great interest in their children’s academic experiences and how much thought they put into making their children’s academic experiences as optimal as possible. Throughout the interviews, I came to discover that the reasons behind the mothers’ great interest in their children’s academic experiences are generated from their hopes for their children to have positive schooling experiences and to make sure that their children are not unseen by the teachers and their peers in the classroom.  Despite the mothers’ on-going efforts to best support their children’s educational experiences, the mothers often faced struggles due to their limited English and unfamiliarity with the Canadian education system. The mothers’ experiences allowed me to further examine literature that discuss how Korean parents in North America understand and perceive the meaning of education and their involvement in their children’s educational experiences.  Performing well in academic work is generally valued among parents. Koreans, whether living in or out of Korea, are widely considered to be highly involved in their children’s academic performances. Their valuing of education mainly originates from the 27  belief that there is an intimate connection between academic achievements and success in life (Lee, 2003, p. 169; Sorenson as cited in Kim, 2002, p. 530; Yang & McMullen, 2003, p. 9). Also Korean parents4 tend to consider that they are fully responsible for their children’s lives and the choices that their children make (Kim, 2005, p. 349).   Korean parents’ great interest towards their children’s education begins during their children’s early childhood years and continues throughout their children’s entire academic journey. Living as a settler in a foreign land, Korean parents’ anxiousness to support their children to make the ‘right’ choices elevates. The parents’ anxiousness or eagerness to have their children become part of the mainstream society exemplifies Bhabha’s (1994) idea of mimicry. The general belief is that having their children as part of the mainstream in the dominant society allows their children to further disguise their differences and enables them to present themselves as “civilized” contributing citizens to the wider society. Korean parents’ wishful hopes to see their children involved in the dominant society may give both their children and themselves a feeling that they were finally successful and accepted into the dominant with their differences hidden behind their societal success. This can be interpreted as another form of mimicry where the colonial subjects camouflage themselves with what they have observed from the dominant society and they deny the repressed identities that they have received through colonization (Bhabha, 1994, p. 89).                                                              4 My intention in this literature review is not to essentialize Korean parents or to homogenize how they parent or engage with their child’s educational system. I write this section from an insider Korean perspective rooted in the literature in this area all the while recognizing the diversity that exists between Korean parents whose identity individually and collectively is ever evolving. I also acknowledge that there are multiple ways of parenting that Korean parents use to guide and support their children. 28  2.2.3 Parenting experiences of Korean settler parents in North America. Kwon, Suh, Bang, Jung and Moon (2010) argue that often Korean settler parents’ involvement in their children’s education and their educational values are misunderstood and misperceived by the children’s school teachers (p. 497). Kwon et al. (2010) argue that the main cause for the teachers’ misconception of the Korean parents and their educational values are due to the “’model minority’ stereotype” (Yeh et al., as cited in Kwon et al., 2010, p. 498) about Asian Americans.  This discourse limits the teachers’ understanding about Korean parents and their educational values and beliefs. Kwon et al. note that many Korean parents express difficulties and hardships in building meaningful relationships with their children’s teachers due to their limited English (p. 500). As a result, Korean parents’ conversations with their children’s teachers end up being perfunctory that mainly discuss their children’s academic performance. This misleads the teachers to consider that the Korean parents are mostly interested in their children’s academic achievements rather than other aspects of their children’s school experiences (p. 500). The teachers’ misconceptions of Korean parents not only reside with regard to the parents’ educational beliefs but also with regard to their parenting skills. Often despite the efforts and energy that the Korean parents put into their children’s education, teachers may believe that Korean parents have little to no interest in their children’s education since the parents did not demonstrate responses that the teachers expected (p. 501). This emphasis is also made in Millar’s (2011) study that discusses how many educators are uninformed and unaware of the educational and cultural context of young international students and their families (p. 16).  Apart from the reasons I discussed above, regarding the Korean parents’ struggle to be involved in their children’s education, Sohn and Wang (2006) argue that another reason 29  for their struggle is due to a strong influence of Confucianism which highly encourages one to respect teachers’ authority and knowledge (p. 125). According to Sohn and Wang (2006) this belief is pervasive in the East Asian countries and “thus, parents are inclined to delegate the education of their children entirely to the teacher” (p. 125) in order to show their respect towards the teachers rather than actively sharing their ideas and thoughts with the teachers (p. 129).  This kind of delegation to authority in a Eurocentric system of schooling is highly problematic from a post-colonial perspective.  In spite of the parents’ efforts to respect teachers’ authority and knowledge, that respect is often not reciprocated by the teachers to the parents and often the issue of discrimination acts as another barrier that barricades the parents from building and maintaining positive relationships with their children’s teachers (Sohn & Wang, 2006, p. 129).   Although many of the reviewed studies above discuss language barrier, parents’ unawareness of the American school system and a lack of support that enlarges the cultural gap as the most critical factors that mark the Korean settler parents’ experiences with their children’s educational experiences, Nah (1993) brings another perspective on this issue. According to Nah, the Korean settler parents, apart from the discussed reasons above, feel anxious about their children’s education as they witness their “inability to help the children with school work or to provide guidance regarding higher education” (p. 294). This further elevates the parents’ anxiety and eventually leads them to see themselves as failing parents (p. 294).  In addition, Nah argues that issues of child rearing and the difficulties that the Korean parents’ experiences were commonly shared collectively among Korean families in Korea (p. 293). Korean parents experience difficulties in child rearing, particularly due to the fact that 30  in Korea working parents would usually ask their parents or close relatives to care for their children (p. 294). Upon their settlement in the new land, having no grandparents or close relatives nearby, their only choice is to send their children to a child care centre (p. 294). Nah states that “leaving a young, crying child in the hands of stranger is a new experience for Korean immigrants” (p. 294) and this experience brings more guilt and helplessness among those parents.  In spite of all the concerns and struggles that Korean settler parents undergo, parents’ concerns for their children still continue when children adapt to a new environment and a new culture. Korean settler parents become concerned about “…their children losing their ethnic identity and traditional values” (Nah, 1993, p. 294). They often fear and “they overreact to American influence and become afraid that their family ties may sever or weaken as a result of children’s Americanization” (p. 294). Nah’s account demonstrates the Korean settler parents’ desire to preserve their children’s Korean identity.  The literature above attempts to demonstrate that Korean parents’ experience in their child’s educational experience is complex; it is not just a matter of the Korean settler parents’ limited understanding of English language or of the new culture, but it is a result of many different factors that shape particular parenting experiences among Korean settlers in Canada. Based on my review of the literature, it is also evident that there is a clear lack of academic resources in the areas of Korean settler parents’ experiences of parenting during their children’s early childhood years. This study will attempt to address this gap.    31  Chapter 3: Methodology   3.1 Study context- overview of site  The EL preschool program is located in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia, where a high population of Korean-Canadian settlers live. The child care centre mostly serves second-generation Korean-Canadian children (with the exception of a few children born in Korea and one family from another Asian country) and use English as the main language of instruction. The educators at the centre, including the owner, are also Korean-Canadian settlers, except for one educator who is European. The centre provides care for thirteen to fifteen children; daily numbers vary due to children’s absences. The program follows a schedule that begins with greeting the children, free play time, large group meeting time, art activity, snack time, literacy and math activity, and outside time or free play time.  Although the preschool program is instructed in English, the program offers various experiences and events which celebrate Korean culture. For example, a Korean dance teacher would come to the program to teach Korean traditional dance to the children. Moreover, the program offers optional Korean classes, where children learn to read, write and speak in Korean with the Korean educators of the preschool. During the interviews, many of the participants shared how impressed they were with how fast their children learned to read and write Korean through these Korean classes and how they were grateful that these classes were offered at the preschool. During my introductory meeting with the preschool director, the director shared that the Korean educators in the program use Korean with the children who do not speak or understand English. In these cases, the educators spoke in Korean to 32  communicate important messages, such as notifying the child about the next routine. The educators would gradually decrease their use of Korean. Before I found the EL preschool, I had searched the Korean-Canadian community yellow pages and contacted the listed child care programs. From this exploration, I discovered that most of the programs were run by Korean owners. I discovered that the programs mostly served children and families from diverse backgrounds with only few Korean children enrolled in the program. None of these centres used Korean as a language of instruction since most of the educators in the program were non-Koreans. Throughout my initial requests for the study site, I either received no replies from the programs or my proposal was turned down due to the child care program’s specific circumstance. I also looked for other Korean child care centres by asking a few of my acquaintances who are Korean and are raising their children in Greater Vancouver. One of my acquaintances informed me about the EL preschool being a popular program among a group of Korean-Canadian mothers within her community. With the address that I obtained from the EL preschool website, I decided to visit the centre in person. Luckily I was able to speak to the director of the program and obtain the director’s approval to conduct research at the site. Unlike other Korean owned child care programs that I have previously contacted, the EL preschool program mostly served Korean children and had Korean educators working with the children but they did not instruct their curriculum in Korean. In fact, they used English as the language of instruction. This philosophy was an unusual paradox – one that I felt merited further investigation. I chose this study context since it allowed me to have access to engage with Korean-Canadian settler parents to explore their intentions behind enrolling their children at the child 33  care centre setting that has other Korean-Canadian children and teachers, but teaches the curriculum in English. Specifically, my research explores the parents’ cultural, social and educational reasons behind their decisions to enrol their children in this program.    3.2 Methodology and process of data collection  I used a qualitative, case study methodology, which involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with six participants. I chose case study as my research methodology since the child care program selected for my study serves specific populations and a specific phenomenon – Korean children and parents who are either permanent residents or citizens of Canada. The program is delivered in English, which is not the main language that the majority of the children and their families in the program speak at home. Based on my research of several Korean-owned early childhood education programs located in the Lower Mainland area, my study context and setting were significantly different than other programs that I had contacted prior to conducting this research. By using case study methodology, I was able to “illustrate a unique case, a case that has unusual interest in and of itself and needs to be described and detailed” (Creswell, 2013, p. 98). The uniqueness of the program, which mainly serves Korean children but delivers their program in English, was one of the main reasons that prompted me to research Korean parents’ intentions behind enrolling their children in this program. By using case study methodology I was able to closely examine the “current, real-life” (Creswell, 2013, p. 98) context in which my study resides.  Informed by Yin (2003), case study methodology was the appropriate approach for conducting this study since my study intends to address how and why the Korean-Canadian 34  parents decided to send their children to the EL preschool. The purpose of the study and the context of my study closely matched Yin’s description of case study, which is a “preferred strategy when ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events, and when the focus is on a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context” (p. 1). The close exploration of my study context allowed me to gain new insights and understandings about the intentions behind Korean-Canadian parents’ choices of sending their children to this particular program.  Furthermore, through case study methodology, I was able to collect data directly from participants who currently have their children enrolled in the program (Creswell, 2013, p. 98). I selected semi-structured interviews that would allow me to attain in-depth understanding about each of the participants’ responses to my research questions. Semi-structured interviews was an important data collection tool in this study that provided spaces for me, as a researcher, to learn about intentions, reasons, and stories behind individual participant’s choices to enrol their children in the EL preschool program. This method also provided a space for participants’ own voices to be heard in their own language since the interviews were conducted in Korean.   3.3 Recruitment Initially, I posted an invitation letter on the EL preschool’s bulletin board in order to invite the children’s parents to participate in the study. On the invitation letter, I included a summary of the study, a detailed overview of the study procedures, participation information and notification of confidentiality. I constructed consent forms for the study available in an 35  envelope on the bulletin board next to the invitation letter. I also provided my research supervisors’ contact information for further inquiries and questions. Parents who decided to voluntarily participate in the study returned their signed consent forms to a box (a blue box which was placed beside the bulletin board) within a two week period. At the end of that period, six parents have signed to participate in the study.  All documents were translated in Korean and as requested by the preschool’s director, I posted a brief introduction of myself, written in Korean, for the families to read before they read about the study. Once I obtained the consent forms from the six parents, I arranged an individual interview time with the participants that best accommodated their schedules. During the individual interview, time was set aside to go over the study and answer questions from the participant regarding the study. I also informed the participants about their rights as research participants. I conducted the individual interviews as a semi-structured interview with the six interview questions that are created to guide the interviews.  All interviews took place in Korean. The individual, one-on-one, interview session lasted approximately one hour in length (approximately five to ten minutes were spent explaining the study and answering questions from the participants, and 45 to 50 minutes were spent on the interview itself). I contacted each of the participants by phone at the number that the participants provided on the consent forms. Upon the completion of the interview, I contacted the participants to share their interview transcript with them as a form of member check to ensure the accuracy of the collected data. During the phone contact with the participants as part of the member check process, I asked participants if they would like to receive a copy of my completed thesis by 36  email. Several of the participants were interested in receiving the completed work and I obtained their email addresses to follow through by sharing the final copy with them.  All of the individual interviews were held in the art studio space of the child care centre to ensure that the confidentiality of the ideas and thoughts shared during the interviews. The participants had an option of having their interview conducted in Korean or English. All of the interviews were carried out in Korean as decided by each participant. All of the individual interviews were audio recorded. Throughout the interviews, I took researcher notes of some of the key ideas that were emphasized by the participants during the interviews.  This latter process assisted with my data analysis.   3.4 Participant interviews I interviewed six first-generation Korean-Canadian mothers who came to Canada and had obtained permanent residency status5. The participants either came to Canada because they married Korean-Canadian husbands or they were married in Korea and came to Canada in order to obtain permanent residency status with their husbands. All of the participants preferred communicating in Korean rather than English, which may indicate that they felt more comfortable using the Korean language rather than the English language.                                                           5 The participants only disclosed their status in Canada during their personal introductions which took place at the beginning of the interview. As they shared about their status in Canada, the participants briefly described how they came to Canada. For example, one of the participants said that she has obtained her permanent residency through her husband after their marriage. I did not discuss other aspects of their identity, such as class. 37  I conducted all of the interviews in a conversational manner, following through the guiding questions provided to the participants in a written format translated into Korean, as presented below: i) How did you hear about the EL Children’s preschool?  ii) How did you come to decide to enrol your child/children in this program?  iii) What are some of the benefits/outcomes that you are hoping to achieve for your child/children through this program?  iv) How does this program, its pedagogical values, curriculum, and instruction style, comply with your hope/vision for your child/children’s cultural, social and educational learning?  v) How do you feel that the program’s unique characteristics of serving Korean-Canadian immigrant children and instructing the program in English will support your child/children’s learning?  vi) What have been your experiences of living between cultures, as a Korean-Canadian, and how have your experiences influenced your decision to enrol your child/children in this program?    3.5 Participants’ backgrounds  As I have briefly noted above, all of the interviewed mothers identified themselves as Korean immigrants6 who have begun their lives in Canada as adults. MJ has three children and two of her children are enrolled in the EL preschool. She immigrated to Canada with her husband and her oldest daughter about eight years ago. She is one of the interviewed participants who lives a distance from the school and despite the long commute that she does                                                           6 As I have done in the previous chapters, I completely acknowledge the interviewed Korean mothers’ settler identity on this Aboriginal land in Canada. Nevertheless, I use the word immigrants to refer to the interviewed mothers as this was the word they used to identify their status in Canada. 38  on a daily basis. MJ is grateful for the program and its ability to provide a comforting space for her children by sharing the same Jung-Suh.  SJ is a mother who has experienced struggles when she sent her oldest daughter to a “Canadian” child care centre, and where her daughter was overlooked by the educators and at times was picked-on by her peers due to her limited English. This experience allowed SJ to see the benefits of EL preschool in regard to the program sharing the same Jung-Suh, while also teaching students English.   SY immigrated to Canada with her husband seven years ago, a year after their wedding. SY places great importance in having her son in the place where he would be recognized by the teachers and their peers without experiencing difficulty in communication or with social exclusion from his peers.  HJ obtained her permanent residency through her husband who is a second generation Korean-Canadian. HJ thought that having Korean teachers in the classroom would reduce the chances of her son getting confused with the new environment and the program. Throughout the interview HJ emphasized the importance of acquiring and maintaining Korean language and felt that this would support her son to preserve his Korean identity.  SH came to Canada with her family to obtain permanent residency, then she met her husband, who is also Korean-Canadian. They were married in Canada. SH senses that her son was able to obtain stability as he had opportunities to interact with his peers who share the same Jung-Suh.  SE is one of the educators at the EL preschool and she also has her daughter enrolled in the program. SE has studied early childhood education both in Korea and Canada. During 39  the days when she was volunteering at a “Canadian” child care centre, she observed a Korean child struggling to adjust to the program due to his limited English skills. SE shared that she was able to help him a little bit by translating the teachers’ instructions; nevertheless, the boy missed many opportunities and experiences as he wasn’t able to communicate his needs and thoughts with the teachers. From this experience, SE decided that she would work at a place where she could support Korean children experiencing difficulties in adjusting to the Canadian environment due to cultural and language challenges. The EL preschool was a great place for her to provide such support to Korean children as she was able to use both English and Korean according to each and every child’s individual needs. Her experiences at the EL preschool changed her educational philosophy of having children only speak Korean before they enter Kindergarten. SE’s thoughts changed as she came to hear about children who took extensive amount of time efforts to make adjustment to adjust to their Kindergarten classroom since they could only speak Korean. Over the years, she has come to realize the importance of children feeling confident and transitioning more comfortably into the environment where English is the dominant language of instruction.  I began the interviews by asking the participants why they send their children to the EL preschool program. Throughout the interviews I asked additional questions in order to support the participants to express further thoughts on the questions to which they were responding (or to further hear about their stories). Some of the participants expressed some difficulty in responding to the given interview questions as they did not feel that the questions were relevant to their experiences. In such cases, I asked the participants not to focus on the given questions, but to just share their overall observation of the program and their intentions for sending their children to the program. In general, the participants ended 40  up sharing their complex narratives which included some of their intentions and experiences of: sending their children to this particular child care centre, their reasons for sending their younger children to this child care centre, and how they would recommend the program to others parents.    3.6 Data analysis   Data collected from this study, include researcher notes, research site documents, participant profiles and interview responses. All data are first organized based on the collection date and under each participant’s name. I then transcribed the data by listening repeatedly to the audio-recorded interviews.  This was followed by a process in which I read and re-read all the data in order to familiarize myself with everything that the parents shared.   I analyzed the data according to Creswell’s (2013) spiral strategy, which allowed me to access data “in analytic circles rather than using a fixed linear approach” to categorize and interpret the data (p. 182). Initially, I analyzed the data by listening and re-listening to the audio-recorded interviews.  As I carefully listened to the audio-recorded interviews, I identified that there were words that were repeatedly used and expressed by the participants throughout all of the interviews. With those particular words in mind, I began to further analyze the data by reading and re-reading the transcriptions. During the readings, I paid particular attentions to the recurring words presented throughout the transcribed data to further examine if the words were used with similar meanings and contexts that each of the participants used or if the words conveyed different meanings in each of the participants’ ideas. After a series of extensive reviewing of both audio recorded and transcribed data, I 41  gained a general sense of emerging themes from the data. With this general sense of the emerging themes, I highlighted the recurring words in the transcripts and made notes on each of the contexts and meanings that the words conveyed in each instance that was used by the individual participants during their interviews. With these repeated words, I grouped codes that convey common meanings and extracted six themes from the data.   As suggested by Creswell (2013), I did not use codes generated from a literature or from a particular theoretical framework, but remained open to the themes that emerged throughout my engagement with the data (p. 185). The codes that I extracted from the data included ideas that I expected to discover through the research, based on the initial notes and responses I briefly noted during the interviews, during the audio-listenings and those during the many re-readings of transcripts. The many interesting themes that emerged from the interviews reflect important understandings of the participants’ intentions and choices of sending their children to a Korean-Canadian child care centre.  Throughout the process of extracting themes, I referenced my research notes that I wrote in my notebook in Korean. Once the themes were identified, I categorized the transcripts into different themes initially in Korean, especially as Jung-Suh was an important aspect of my study findings. As I categorized the data into various themes, I made notes that further elaborated my analysis of each theme. I used both English and Korean to express my thoughts and understandings in my research notes and during the analysis process.  Through a contrasting and comparing of the categorized themes, I further analyzed the data and the different experiences that the participants shared (Ornek, 2008, p. 6). It must be noted that I transcribed all of the recorded data verbatim and in the language that the 42  participants used throughout the interview, Korean. I transcribed the data in Korean in consideration of Gonzalez y Gonzalez and Lincoln’s (2006) suggestions that in the process of translating data that is collected in another language (the language that the participants and or researcher use usually other than English), there might be difficulties in translating the data word by word since “literal equivalency in wording often conveys meanings that are not parallel across languages and cultures” (para. 8). According to Finnegan and Matveev, (as cited in Gonzalez y Gonzalez & Lincoln, 2006), this is also because some words carry particular meanings based on a specific cultural context that other cultures may not carry (para. 8). Therefore, Finnegan and Matveev assert that “without intimate knowledge of a target culture, the lack of conceptual or functional equivalencies may elude a researcher” (para. 8). As a bi-lingual Korean researcher, fluent both in Korean and English, with my status as an insider to the community (as well as outsider in other ways) I felt that it was crucial to analyze the data in Korean “in order to maintain the original language and continuity in each narrative made by the participants” (para. 10). As accentuated by Gonzalez y Gonzalez and Lincoln (2006), it is important for researchers to have a cultural understanding of the backgrounds of their participants to have deeper and enhanced understanding of the particular context from which participants’ thoughts originate as a fuller meaning of the participants sharings (para. 15).  We should be searching not only for data of interest around the phenomenon we came to study, but also for places, specific sites, and examples of exchange, of cultural practices in conflict, of contradiction between old and new, or dissatisfaction with the ‘leakage’ between cultures, of resistance to the alteration or withering away of traditional cultural practices. (para. 16)  43  As asserted by Gonzalez y Gonzalez and Lincoln above, I truly believe that the collected data from the participants reveal various experiences that the participants live through with their identity as Korean-Canadian. By transcribing and analyzing the data in the original language of the collected data, it also served the “purpose of keeping the richness of the data in its original language” (Gonzalez y Gonzalez & Lincoln, 2006, para. 24). My overall data analysis process ascribes to the arguments presented by Gonzalez y Gonzalez and Lincoln (2006) that  Given the importance that context has during the unfolding of the data, and how language plays an important role in the context, then data probably should be analyzed in the language in which it was collected. Consequently, making the results accessible in the multiple languages, will give readers the option of the original language of the data along with the ‘presentation’ language. (Gonzalez y Gonzalez & Lincoln, 2006, para. 34)  It is for the reasons above, that I transcribed and analyzed the collected data in Korean, which allowed me to further maintain the essence of the meanings that the participants shared during the interviews.  The transcriptions were shared with participants in Korean during the research and the full study will be provided to those participants who requested a copy soon after the final completion of my research.       44  3.7 Researcher’s positionality and study limitations   My background, as a 27-year-old, middle class, female Korean-Canadian immigrant, working towards obtaining a Masters degree in education, affects my recording and interpretation of the data. In analyzing the data, my background as Korean as well as my experiences of attending Canadian secondary education influenced my interpretation of the mothers’ complex reasons and intentions in sending their children to the EL preschool. As all of the interviewed participants were mothers, the study does not project the fathers’ perspectives and intentions behind sending their children to the preschool and how they may understand their experiences of raising children in Canada.  Furthermore since this research is a case study, my study findings, particularly the interviewed mothers’ views and their experiences, cannot be representative of other Korean-Canadian immigrants. In this way I acknowledge that the ideas shared by the participants in this study do not represent other Korean-Canadians due to differences in their social and cultural contexts such as socio-economic status, educational achievement and number of years that they have lived in Canada. In order to address this limitation, I explicitly state in my writing that my study narrates a phenomenon that takes place in a particular context. Throughout the study, every attempt was made to maintain an ethical position as the researcher of this study including during the translation process of this work.  Throughout the process of translating the transcripts from the interviews, the meanings of the Korean words may not have been fully translated into English. Also, since English is an additional language for me as a researcher, some translations may have been 45  different than that by a dominant English speaker.  Since translation can never be fully accurate across languages and cultures (Gonzalez y Gonzalez & Lincoln, 2006) it must be acknowledged that the translation in my study as in all studies are always partial understandings of participants’ experiences.    46  Chapter 4: Findings   4.1 Introduction For the very first time, since I graduated from my preschool back when I was in Korea, I noticed myself being at a place full with Korean children playing and interacting with vibrant noises. Children spoke English to each other with apparent Korean accent. The moment that I walked into the program, one of the children in the classroom ran up to me and with a curious look and asked my name and who I was. I responded back to her with my English name and told her that I was here to meet with her teachers and to look around the classroom. With sparkling eyes and excited voice, she guided me through each and every cubby in the program and explained who each cubby belonged to. As she described the owners of each cubby, she told me if the child’s name was a Korean name or an English name. She enthusiastically informed me whether each child used their Korean name or English name in the program and if it was the same back in their homes or not. Her restless effort to inform me of all of the children’s Korean and English names brought back my memories of receiving an English name during my first day of English language school and the surge of indescribable emotions that I encountered when I confronted how I really felt about my English name, Rachel. The little girl’s introduction of all the children’s Korean and English names seem to reflect the unique setting of the preschool, which hosts two cultures that the program and the parents hope to maintain.  As I have discussed in the previous chapter, I have decided to present themes that emerged from the data in Korean followed by English translation in parenthesis. This is to 47  counter the hegemony of English in research and due to the reason that all of the derived themes were based on the Korean words that the participants used to express their thoughts and ideas. As a way to honour the participants’ words and meanings that they wished to share and to eliminate possibilities of losing the essence of the true meanings that the words carry through the process of translation, I purposefully chose to keep the themes in the original Korean language. The decision to maintain the words in Korean synchronize with Gonzalez y Gonzalez and Lincoln’s (2006) emphasis on “keeping the richness of the data” (para. 11) which will allow readers to have more complete understanding of the data’s authentic meanings.  Throughout my interviews, I met with six mothers who have either one or two of their children enrolled in the program. At the beginning of the interviews, the mothers did not feel that they had much to say in response to the interview questions which were translated into Korean to support their understanding.  Nevertheless, as they shared their stories about how they came to hear about the EL preschool they freely expressed their thoughts and understandings of the program and what they hoped to achieve by sending their children to the preschool without hesitation. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot during my time interviewing the mothers and listening to their experiences of sending their children to the preschool, their comparison of their children’s experiences of going in a different school before they came to EL preschool. Most of all, I was thrilled to hear about the word 정서, Jung-Suh, a word that I have not thought about for many years, that was actively used by the participants throughout the interviews.   48  정서 (Jung-Suh) is a word that was most used by all of the participants during the interviews. After I identified the extensive use of this word among the participants (from all the interviews) I looked up the definition of the word in the Korean-English dictionary to see the translated meaning in English (or how the word could be translated into English). According to the Korean-English dictionary정서 (Jung-Suh) is translated as “emotion, feeling, (formal) sentiment” (N.A., 2014), which mainly highlights the affective element of the meaning that the word carries. Upon looking at the translated meaning of Jung-Suh, my initial response was that the translated definition only partly reflects meanings that Jung-Suh denotes and does not clearly mirror how it is used in Korean language and culture. Interestingly, the multiple meanings that Jung-Suh suggests are not present in the Korean language dictionary either, as it only discusses Jung-Suh7 as a set of emotions that an individual experiences or a setting that brings a particular emotion to an individual. For Koreans, or at least for the participants who were involved in the study, 정서 (Jung-Suh) is one of the main reasons for sending their children to the EL preschool program. For the interviewed mothers, the sharing of the same Jung-Suh by the preschool program and the preschool educators meant that their children would feel much more comfortable with the environment and feel recognized by their educators and peers in the program.  In order to illustrate how Jung-Suh is used and understood by the interviewed mothers, I propose Jung-Suh as an ontology, as a reality that connotes a particular way of                                                           7 In Korean it was defined as the following: “사람의 마음에 일어나는 여러가지 감정. 또는 감정을 불러일으키는 기분이나 분위기” (N.A., 2014).   49  being (and living) as Korean. The participants considered that Jung-Suh could be maintained if their children were exposed to an environment where there were other Koreans who held the same principles and values as they did. In reference to Jonathan Grix’s (2002) definition of ontology he highlights it as a “…social and political reality that is thought to exist” (p. 177), I argue that Jung-Suh can be considered as a particular way of living and being as Korean as articulated by the participants of my study. In this chapter, I attempt to further uncover how the participants understood Jung-Suh and the multiple meanings that Jung-Suh seems to carry based on my analysis of the data. This chapter will also highlight many of the other finding from my study.   4.2 Preserving Jung-Suh as a means of gaining comfort and recognition According to the mothers of this study, their first and foremost concern was that they wanted their children not to be overlooked by the educators and their peers in the classroom. This was particularly important for the mothers as well as for most of the children; early childhood care programs are the first place where the children begin their social and group life. Given that the children are experiencing being away from their families for the first time, the mothers believed that it was critical for their children to feel comfortable and emotionally stable in the new environment. All of the interviewed mothers remarked on the importance of their children being in a comfortable environment as the following indicates:  SY: 어릴때는 좀 정서적으로 이해받고, 애가 좀 편안하게 지냈으면 했거든요. 근데 아무래도 한국 선생님들…한국 선생님이 계시면 좀 그런 부분에 대해서 더 이렇게 케어 해주실 수 있지 않을까 싶었구. 50  [I wanted my child and his emotions to be acknowledged and understood by the teachers. I wanted my child to spend his time at the preschool within an environment that he feels comfortable. Therefore, I thought that a Korean teacher would be able to better support and care for my child as they share the same Jung-Suh]. HJ:네, 저는 그게 좋았어요. 왜냐면 갑자기 영어하는데 보내면은 적응 못할까봐. 저 아는 친구 애가 갑자기 Canadian preschool 갔다가 너무 한달동안 너무 막 울고 질려서 지금까지도 못가고 있거든요.  [Yes, I liked the fact that most of the teachers are Korean because I thought that if I send my child to a Canadian, English-based program, he would have a difficult time adjusting to the program. My friend’s child was sent to a Canadian preschool and for the entire month the child cried and was terrified and then he/she is not able to go to school until now].  SJ: 저는 이렇게 한국 그 선생님이셨던게 제일 마음에 들었던거 같기는 해요. 왜냐면 저희 아이가 영어야 배우고 이제 여기서 영어를 쓰는거는 저는 되게 좋았는데 아무래도 한국적인 그 정서가 조금 있는게 어, 이렇게 얘는 캐네디언은 아니기 때문에 아무래도 조금 선생님이 한국사람은 이렇게 좀 눈빛만 봐도 통할 수 있는게 있잖아요. 그래서 외국 선생님도 계시지만 얘가 한국 그런 동양인이 이렇게 같이 있음으로써 편안함을 느낄 수 있고.  [Having Korean teachers was most appealing to me because I believed that my daughter would eventually learn to speak English and I liked the fact that they instruct their program in English. Nevertheless, I appreciated that the program still carried Jung-Suh which allowed the teachers to better understand my child’s state even though she is not able to articulate it verbally. Therefore I thought that having a Korean or an Asian teacher in the program would benefit my child’s experience in the program].  SE: 한국선생님이 조금 어린아이들 한테는 조금 필요한거 같아요. 특히 이 유치원을 처음 가는 아이들. [I think young Korean children need a Korean teacher, especially those who attend an early child care program for the very first time]. MJ: 사실은 저희 아이들은 처음에 다 한국말을 먼저 습득하는 환경이기 때문에. 한국 책만 보고. 그러니까 처음에 A를 그냥 서양 Montessori를 보냈어요. 한달? 너무 힘들어 했어요. 그러니까 아이가 느끼기는 너무 충격 요소가 많은거에요. 51  말 뿐만 아니라 사람들 그리고 대하는거 그런거에서 너무 상처를 받더라구요. 그래서 저는 이제 영어도 중요하지만, 언어도 중요하지만 편안하게 시작하는게 정서적으로.   [Because all three of my children are in an environment where they first learn to speak Korean and only read Korean story books, I sent A (her daughter, now enrolled in EL preschool) to a Canadian Montessori preschool for about a month with the hope that she would learn to speak English. However, A had such a hard time during her time in that preschool that she found the setting and even the way that the educators interacted with her very confusing and unfamiliar. This is how I came to see the importance of starting one’s group life in an environment where one can feel comfortable and familiar with the environment].   In the case of MJ, she has three children with the oldest daughter attending secondary school and the rest of her children are enrolled at the EL preschool, Annie’s (MJ’s daughter) difficult experience of going to a Canadian Montessori school due to her limited English language and the confusion in encountering a new culture impacted MJ’s decision to send Annie to a preschool where the program shares the same Jung-Suh as Annie. MJ believed that by sending Annie to such a program, she would be able to feel a greater sense of comfort that she requires for a successful transition to a new environment.  In SY’s case, she claims that she could have sent her child to a Canadian preschool just like other children that she knows, nevertheless, she specifically chose to send her child to the EL program because she believes that when the child is nurtured in the environment that shares the same Jung-Suh, the stability achieved through Jung-Suh will stay with the child throughout his/her life.  SY: 어 주변에 친구들 보면은 그냥 캐네디언 프리스쿨 다니는 무리도 많죠. 그러니까 물론 어떻게 보면 처음에 킨더를 갈때는 더 적응이 빠를 수도 있을거 같애요. 비단 영어를 쓰는것 뿐만 아니라 아이들이 어떤 다른 이렇게 52  자기와 다른 피부샐깔 사람들을 이렇게 접하는데 더 쉽게 적응을 할 수 있겠지만. 음…그리고 어떤 그건 말로 표현할 수는 없지만 정서적으로 이렇게 느꼇던 안정감과 뭐 그런 편한했던거는 그냥 기본으로 가는 거라고 생각 하거든요. 표현은 되지 않아고 아이 무의식 속에라도. 예, 그게 중요한거 같아요.  [I see that many of my friends send their children to a Canadian preschool. I understand that sending my child to a Canadian preschool would help him to better adjust to his Kindergarten experience. Not just in the sense that those Canadian preschools use English but children would have opportunities to interact with people from diverse racial backgrounds, nevertheless, (and it isn’t something that I can articulate verbally) being in an environment where my child feels comfortable and shares the same Jung-Suh will stay with my child all throughout his life, whether he is aware or unaware of the benefits that he took from it].   Engaging with SY’s account, it is evident that she clearly sees benefits of sending her child to a Canadian  child care program, nevertheless, she values sending her child to a program that share the same Jung-Suh as she believes that her child will obtain much comfort being in such environment.  To all of the interviewed mothers, Jung-Suh was key in bringing comfort and familiarity to the children as the program shares the same Jung-Suh as children and their families.    4.3 How is Jung-Suh obtained and preserved? It is evident from above interviews that the mothers considered Jung-Suh as an important aspect that needed to be in place for their children’s first group experience. Some 53  of the mothers came to appreciate the EL program as they had directly and indirectly experienced how children experience challenges when they are enrolled at a child care program where the teachers do not share the same Jung-Suh as the child. If Jung-Suh is extremely important for the mothers, how did they envision obtaining and preserving Jung-Suh for their children by sending them to the EL program?   All of the interviewed mothers believed that Jung-Suh can be obtained by exposing children to an environment that shares the same Jung-Suh and through their interactions with other Koreans who share the same Jung-Suh, whether it is the educators or other children even if they use English to communicate with each other.  In SH’s case, she suspected that her child gained a deal of comfort and sense of stability as he was exposed to other Korean children who shared the same Jung-Suh. In the interview, SH agreed that even if the children and the educators did not communicate in Korean, just the fact that they share the same Jung-Suh allowed her child to feel comfortable being in the environment.  SH:  뭐 여기서 한국말을 하는건 아니어도 그리고 정서적으로 이렇게 되게 안정이 된거 같아요. 한국 친구들 사이에 있으니까.   [Even though the program is not instructed in Korean, he (referring to her son) seems to have obtained much stability and comfort because he was around other Korean children].  In SY’s case, she knew that there were many Korean children in the program; however, she thought that it was beneficial for her child to be with other Korean children. She felt that having many Korean peers would allow her son to feel a sense of belonging as he began to identify with some of the same cultural understandings as his peers.  54  SY: 그담에 쟤가 [referring to her son] 들어올 그 당시에 한국친구들이 많은건 알고 있었어요, 그런데 저는 그게 좋을수도 있다고 생각 했거든요. 예 그러니까 우선은, 아이가 좀 어떤 자기와 비슷한 그런 동질감에 대해서 안정을 느끼고, 그런게 장점이라고 생각을 했어요.   [At the time when I enrolled my son in the program, I knew that there were many Korean children in the program, but I thought that it was beneficial to have many Korean children. I believed that having a peer who shares similar values and Jung-Suh would allow my child to feel comfortable being in the program].   4.4 Jung-Suh: a sense of belonging and a shared understanding as Korean MJ: 아, 저희들도 사실 영어를 사용하는 처음에 배울때 보면은 어, 같은 이렇게 얘기 해도 되나? 같은 유색 인종끼리, 제 3국 사람끼리 영어로 사용하는건 좀 편안 하잖아요. 그 다음엔 이제 익숙해지면 ELSA 에서도 그렇거든요. ELSA라는 영어 프로그램 이제 받는데. 다 제 3국 사람들인데 이제 거기서는 이제 말이 통하는데 완벽히 여기 캐네디언 백인들 하고는 조금 긴장하죠. 아이들도 그렇지 않을까 그런생각이 들어요. 그게 여러가지 요소가 복합적으로 묶여지는게. 예.  [Um…when we, as adults, first come to learn English we come to experience that speaking English with other people of colour is much more comfortable than speaking English with other White-Canadians. This was evident when I was taking the ELSA (English Language Services for Adults) program8. When I was around people from Third World countries I was able to communicate without much difficulty. Nevertheless, I tend to get nervous when I try to speak English with White-Canadians. I thought that my children might experience the same nervousness if and when they tried to communicate in English with White-Canadians].  MJ:어, program의 성격이요? 100퍼센트 만족할 수 는 없지만. 똑같다고 할 수 는 없지만. 어느정도 아까 말씀드린 그 부분들 부합해서. 네, 정서적인게 제일 크다고 생각해서. 아이의 편안함. 공감해 줄 수 있는 선생님들. 그게 좀 많이 차이가 나는거 같아요. 서양 preschool하고.                                                            8 A basic English training program that is offered to new adult settlers in Canada. The program is funded by the government and is delivered free to the students (ELSA Net, 2010). 55  [Um…the characteristics of the EL program? Well, I can’t say that I am hundred percent satisfied with the program and I cannot say that it complies with what I would like to see completely, but the fact that they instruct in English, which prepares children for Kindergarten entry, and that they share the same Jung-Suh are the most critical qualities that are aligned with what I was looking for. Compared to other Canadian preschools, I feel that the EL preschool program’s advantages are being in a place where my child feels comfortable and having educators who can recognize my child’s various needs because they share the same Jung-Suh].  SY:EL 다니면서 어떤 그러니까 자신과 같은 비슷한 친구들 선생님을 보면서 그런 마음을 정체성을 좀 갖고 안정감을 갖고  [As my child attended the EL preschool, I found that he was able to obtain a sense of belonging and comfort since he was able to spend time and interact with teachers and peers who share the same Jung-Suh]. SJ: 그런데 여기 유치원을 다니면서 이제 영어. 친구들 하고 이제 선생님 하고는 공통적으로 이제 영어를 쓰고. 선생님이 무언가를 가르쳐 주시고 할때는 물론 영어를 쓰지만 다 또 친구들이 한국 친구들이었고 그렇게 좀 노는 정서도 비슷했던거 같아요. 그래서 이렇게 뭐 급할때는 자기네들끼리 한국말도 나왔을 거고 이렇게 한국 친구들 하고 놀았기 때문에 얘네가 한국어나 이런거에 대해서 또 관심을 이렇게 딱 끊지는 않고 약간 이렇게 어, 한국말 뭐 한국 TV보는거 이런거에 대해서 더 좋아했었던거 같아요. 근데 선생님들은 외국 선생님, 아니 그러니까 외국선생님으로써도 계셨지만 이렇게 전체적인 문화는 한국 문화가 있었으니까.  [As she (SJ’s daughter) went to this preschool, she interacted with both her teachers and her peers in English, however, the fact that her peers are Korean allowed her to have a shared Jung- Suh in their play. I assume that when they, the children at EL preschool, cannot articulate things in English, they speak in Korean to each other and because they have a shared playing culture they are able to maintain their interest in using Korean. I think this has triggered my child to prefer watching Korean TV. Even though the teachers communicate in English with the children, having the overall atmosphere that is very much embedded in Korean culture allowed my child to gain a strong sense of stability and belonging].   It is evident from SY and SJ’s statements that whether the children communicated in Korean or English to each other, the mothers thought that because the overall atmosphere of the program inhabited Korean culture and Jung-Suh, the children felt a stronger sense of 56  belonging to the program as well as to each other. Furthermore, these mothers believed that this feeling of belonging would enable the children to carry on their Korean identity and understanding of Jung-Suh throughout their lives.  HW:그럼 어머님 한테도 어쨋든 소통이, 물론 어머님 당연히 영어를 하시지만, 이제 아무래도 한국 선생님들이 계신계 어머님 소통하시기에도.   [I understand that you also speak English, however, I assume that it would have been easier for you to communicate with teachers who speak Korean].  SJ: 네 맞아요. 음, 편했었고 어, 한국의 이런 서로 이제 한국 분이시기 때문에 이렇게 좀 정서적으로 더 통할 수 있으니까 제가 뭐 아이 상담할때도 그렇고, 상담하거나 이럴때도 그렇고 좀 더 편했던거 같아요.  [Yes, for sure.  Because the educators are also Korean, I felt much more connected knowing that they shared the same Jung-Suh. It was much more comfortable when I discussed various issues about my child with the teachers].  SH: 그리고 다니면서 점점 좋더라구요. 다니면서 엄마들도 다 이렇게 그냥 옜날에 노스밴에서 잠깐 다녔던 캐네디언 프리스쿨이 있었는데 거기는 이제 일주일에 두번갔어요. 두시간. 두번 갔는데 거기는 딱 수업 끝나면은 다들 그냥 엄마들끼리 친한지 제가 몰랐던 거일 수도 있는데 그냥 그렇게 선생님들 하고도 별로 얘기하는 사람이 없어요 그냥그냥 땡큐하고 다 가버렸는데 여기는 선생님들 하고도 되게 뭐 한국 정서가 그래서 그런지 모르겠지만 엄마들 하고도 그렇고 뭐 어디 소풍을 가더라도 엄마들이 뭐를 싸오고 애들을 내 자식 뿐만이 아니라 딴 자식들도 다 막 신경써주고 그게 좋았던거 같아요.  [Previous to this program, I sent my son to a Canadian preschool in North Vancouver for two days a week for two hours. I may not have noticed that the mothers, excluding myself, were close to each other, but I found that the mothers were busy picking their children up at the end of the program. I also noticed that the mothers did not seem to talk to the teachers as much. They just left the school with their children as they say “thank you” to the educators. But here, I am not sure if it’s because the educators share the same Jung-Suh as I do, I feel that the mothers not only look for their own children but they actually look after and care for each other’s children and I appreciate that].  57  In both, SJ and SH’s cases, having Korean teachers and meeting with other Korean-Canadian mothers through the program have positively impacted their experience of sending their children to the EL preschool. Knowing that the teachers and other children’s mothers share the same Jung-Suh, both SJ and SH felt much more comfortable and attained a stronger sense of belonging to the group. Apart from SJ and SH, few of the interviewed mothers also expressed that it was easier for them to access and communicate with the educators since they shared the same Jung-Suh and language with the educators. This allowed the mothers to freely share and discuss questions and concerns that they had regarding their children’s experiences in the program.    4.5 Speaking Korean- not forgetting the roots   “If you are Korean, you should be able to speak Korean fluently.” This is an idea that all of the interviewed mothers expressed throughout the interviews. To all of the interviewed mothers, language and culture were inseparable mediums that allowed their children to maintain their Korean identity. Apart from the interviewed mothers’ repeated emphasis on the importance of exposing children in an environment, which shares the same Jung-Suh as a Korean, mothers believed that one’s ability to speak Korean legitimizes one’s identity as Korean. Although the mothers had a shared understanding in seeing the importance of speaking Korean in order to preserve one’s Korean identity, their rationales behind this understanding were different from each other’s.  SH: 한국말을 그만큼 잘 한다는 거는, 한국 그 정서랑 문화도 많이 이렇게 애가 갖고 있다는거 같아요. 그래서 말이 되게 중요한거 같아요.   58  [I think that when a child is able to speak Korean fluently, that indicates that the child fully holds Jung-Suh and culture as a Korean, therefore, I think language is the key in maintaining one’s cultural identity]. SH: 네, 한국분인데 한국분인지 몰랐어요. 저는 이제 멕시칸 같은 스패니쉬 하는 사람이 저희집에 뭐 일하러 왔었는데 한국분 하고 같이 온거에요. 근데 그래도 한국 사람 있으니까 저도 마음이 편하고, 영어를, 한국말 되게 못하시더라구요. 되게 못하는 데도 저한테 막 한국말로 하려고 그러시는데 그런게 되게 좀 좋아 보이고. 승환이가 그분은 좀 몇살때 왔고 (referring to the worker at her house) 뭐 이런건 모르지만 승환이도 좀 어릴때 부터 이렇게 한국말도 좀 하고 이렇게 완전 바나나가 되지 않았으면 좋겠어요.  [I had two workers who came to my house to fix things, one worker seemed like a Mexican and another worker was a Korean. Even though the Korean worker did not speak Korean fluently, I felt comfortable just having a Korean worker. Despite his/her lack of Korean, I appreciated his/her effort to communicate with me in Korean. I am not sure when he/she came to Canada, but looking at this worker I realized that I wanted my son to speak Korean fluently even at this young age and I wish that he will never become a complete Banana9].    SH firmly believed that if her child was able to speak and maintain speaking Korean fluently, her child would also be able to retain his Korean identity and Jung-Suh as Korean. She seemed anxious that her child might not come to possess any of the cultural qualities as Korean, except his physical appearance.  HJ: 글쎄요, 저는 제가 한국에서 자라서 그러는지 한국 사람이면 한국말을 해야 된다고 생각하고. 저희 애기 아빠가 한국 사람인데 한국말이 서툴잖아요. 그러니까 본인이 너무 이제 애가 한국말 너무 잘했으면 좋겠다고 생각을 해요. 그러니까 자기가 한국 사람인데 잘 100 프로 잘 안돼니까 답답해 하거든요. 근데 저도 그게 그냥 당연하다고 그냥 생각하니까요.                                                            9 An informal term that refers to Asians who do not speak their native language and are unaware of their ethnic culture.  59  [I am not sure if it’s because I was raised in Korea, but I think that if you are Korean you should be able to speak Korean. Even though my husband is Korean, he cannot speak Korean fluently and he really wishes that our son would speak Korean fluently because my husband feels uncomfortable with his inability to speak Korean fluently and I completely agree with my husband that a Korean should be able to speak Korean well].  HJ:그러니까 언어가 중요한거 같아요. 한국 사람인데 한국말 못하고 영어만 하고 그러면은 자기가 한국 사람이라는 생각 덜 하게 되지 않나요?  [I think language is crucial in identifying and maintaining one’s identity. If you are a Korean who cannot speak Korean fluently and you can only speak English, would you still consider yourself a Korean?]  SJ:어, 제, 저희 남편이 더더욱이나 한국말을 잊어버리지 않기를 네, 되게 이제 원하고 있어요근데 이제 저희 할아버지 이제 애들 할아버지 들도, 뭐 외할아버지 있고 뭐 친할아버지고 계시지만, 아, 얘네가 이러다가 영어써서 우리랑 대화가 끊기면 어떡하나 뭐 이런걱정 되게 많이 하기고. 이제 저희 그러니까 아이 아빠, 그러니까 아버님도 (SJ’s father-in-law) 저희 아이 아빠한테 이렇게 한국인의 정서나 이런거를 계속적으로 좀 이렇게 어, 잊어버리지 않겠금 되게 노력을 하신거 같아요. 그래서 저희 작은 고모는 더 어렸을때 와서 초등학교때 와서 사실은 거의 영어만 중학교 떄는 영어만 쓰다가 어, 그거를 되게 혼내시면서 까지 한국말을 다 잊어버리지 않게 가르치셨는데 지금 커서 보니까 한국 사람인데 이게 한국말을 하지 않으면 에, 사실 그렇게 해서 아무리 영어를 잘 한다고 한들 그게 되게 좋아보이지는 않더라구요. 예, 그래서 한국사람이기 때문에 한국인이 한국말은 제대로 할 줄 알아야 되고.  [My husband, especially, wants our children not to lose their ability to speak Korean and both of our parents are concerned that if the children only speak English they won’t be able to interact with them anymore. My father-in-law invested a lot of time and effort to teach and support my husband to maintain Jung-Suh and his cultural identity as a Korean. In the case of my sister-in-law, my father-in-law scolded her for only speaking English during her high school years and encouraged her to speak in Korean. No matter how well they speak in English, it looks bad when I see Koreans who cannot speak Korean fluently. If you are Korean, you should be able to speak Korean fluently].  60  Interestingly, HJ and SJ’s firm belief that their children should speak Korean fluently in order to maintain their Korean identity were very much influenced by their husbands’ experiences of living in Canada as Korean. Both HJ and SJ’s husbands received most of their education in Canada and experienced struggles in keeping their Korean language. Specifically in HJ’s case, her husband’s struggle to learn and speak Korean seemed like an experience could also happen to her son. Because her husband felt such frustration with his inability to speak Korean fluently, he wished that his children would learn to speak Korean well. SJ and her husband are destined to teach and support their children not to lose their Korean identity and language. SJ appreciated her father-in-law’s efforts to preserve her husband’s Korean identity and Jung-Suh and expressed that she disapproved Koreans who are unable to speak Korean fluently.  SY: 그러니까 뭐라고 해야되지, 왜 요즘 오디션 프로그램 많아서 그쪽, 그쪽 아이들도 많이 오디션을 오는데 그러니까 제가 눈여겨 보게 되는거는 어떤 정체성이 있고 없고가 이렇게 잘은 모르지만 보이는거 같아요. 종민이가 한국 사람으로써 정체성도 갖었으면 하고 내가 뿌리가 어디인지 그러니까, 그러니까 저도 이민생활 해보니까 어떤 자기의 뿌리를 잘 알고 있는게 중요한거 같애요. 내가 어디 나라에서 왔는가. 그래서 그런거를 잘 알았으면 좋겠고 또 이렇게 또 그러면서도 자기의 정체성을 가지고 있으면서도 이런 사회에 잘 융합될 수 있는 그런 아이가 됬으면 좋겠는데, 이제 여기 보내…엘 프리스쿨 다니면서 어떤 그러니까 자신과 같은 비슷한 친구들, 선생님들 보면서 그런 마음을 정체성을 좀 갖고 안정감을 갖고  [I am not sure how to express this, but I watch many Korean audition for programs lately and I noticed that people from all over the world came to the audition and I could usually tell whether they, the audition participants, have strong identity about themselves and their cultures or not. I want my son to maintain his Korean identity and know about his cultural roots. Based on my immigrant experiences I feel that 61  having a deep understanding about one’s own cultural root is very important. I would like my son to be able to blend into Canadian society with his Korean identity. I am hopeful that sending my son to this preschool will allow him to obtain his Korean identity as he interacts with the teachers and peers who are similar to him]. SY: 예, 그냥 뭐지 저는 물론 어릴때 온 것도 아니고. 이제 우리 아이는 그렇게 자라줬으면 하는것. 그러니까 제가 아직은 당연히 그런 어떤 한국에 그런 모르겠어요 우리나라 문화에 그런 좋은점과, 부모입장 에서는 여기서에 좋은 점을 바탕으로 이렇게 또 거기에 잘 얹어져서 또 캐네디언으로 잘 성장하길 바라는 마음이겠죠. 그러니까 그 뿌리를 안다는게 왜 한국사람에 장점도 많잖아요 그러니까 그런것과 그리구 그거는 제가 비단 이민을 와서 그런게 아니라 여기가 워낙 이민을 많이 오는 나라니까 다른 사람들을 보면서도 많이 느껴요. 음…예 그러니까 다른 민족들도 자기 어떤 그런거를 고수를 하면서 살아가고 있잖아요. 어떻게 보면 좀 극단적인 케이스도 있고 하지만 그런걸 보면서 캐나다는 좀 모자이크 같은 나라라는 생각이 들더라구요. 특성은 갖고 있지만 그걸 이렇게 맞춰 가지고 살아가는 나라라는 느낌을 많이 받았어요. 그러니까 내꺼를 다 잃어버릴 필요없이…  [I just wish that my child will come to embrace his cultural identity and roots as a Korean. I hope that he will come to have positive aspects in Korean culture as well as in Canadian culture. I think it’s important that my child know his roots as a Korean since there are many great qualities of the Korean culture. My belief is not solely what I came to value but it was influenced a lot by seeing how other immigrants live in Canada. I find that people from different countries adhere to preserving their own culture and roots. At times, I find that there are some extreme cases of those practices; however, I think that Canada is a mosaic country where the uniqueness that each of the cultures brings is sewed in patchworks. So there is no need for one to lose one’s culture].  HW: 음…좀 지킬 수 있는  [So you can preserve your own culture]  SY: 예, 그러니까 예, 그러면서도 이렇게 융화되서 살아갈 수 있는 나라라는 생각이 들더라구요.  [Yes, and at the same time you can live in harmony].   62  Reading through SY’s story, I was drawn to her remark that based on her own immigrant life she came to see the importance of knowing and keeping one’s cultural roots. It was for this reason that she hopes that her son will know his cultural roots as a Korean by attending the EL preschool where he is exposed to the shared cultural understanding or Jung-Suh. SY hopes that her son would sustain his Korean identity but still make a successful life in Canada.   4.6 Fear of not speaking English  Throughout my interviews with the mothers, I listened to many stories that provoked such pain in my heart. It was the stories of struggles that the mothers and their children went through during their time in different “Canadian” child care programs. Previous to sending their children to the EL preschool, both SJ and MJ had experiences of sending their children to a Canadian preschool. For SJ, it was her oldest daughter who greatly suffered from her negative experiences of going to a “Canadian” child care program. SJ shared that her oldest daughter faced barriers and suffered from lack of recognition from the educators and the children due to her limited English skills. SJ felt that at times, her daughter was misunderstood by the educators and the children in the program because she was unable to communicate her needs and understandings clearly.  SJ: 아무리 외국 유치원이고 외국 선생님이 아 얘는 동양아이기 때문에 이해를 한다고 해도 얘가 의사소통이 다 안돼는거에 대해서는 약간 좀 문화가 다르다 보니까 이해를 못했던 부분도 있었던거 같아요. 근데 그거를 네살 짜리가 63  견디기에는 조금 좀 벅찼던거 같아요. 모르고 제가 관심없이 보냈으면 보냈겠지만 막 그렇게 되서 서운함도 있을 수 있고. 그리고 여기에 문화도 굉장히 좋지만 또 굉장히 냉정할때는 냉정하잖아요. 그래서 그런 것들이 아이한테 조금 대화도 안 통하는 상태에서 냉정하게 선생님이 뭐 이렇게 좀 대했거나 뭐 이랬을 때는 더 상처가 되지 않았을까 조금 그런것들이 좀 그런것들이. 큰애에 대해서 좀 약간 그런것들이 있었기 때문에 여기에 대한 장점들이 더 많이 보였던거 같아요.  [Even though I understand that there can be challenges for educators when teaching children from different cultural backgrounds and even if the teacher recognizes the fact that my child carries a different cultural understanding as Asian, I still believe that there were many times of misunderstandings that were caused by difficulties in communication. I think this may have been too much for a four year old to handle. If I continued to send my daughter, despite knowing what she was experiencing at school, I could not have had her in the child care centre because I know that Canadian culture can be taken as cold and ignorant. I thought that my daughter would be hurt by the educators’ approach toward her which can be seen as insensitive to her needs. This experience allowed me to see the EL preschool setting as much more ideal for my child].   SJ specifically referred to the Canadian culture as cold. She felt that her oldest daughter was not fully acknowledged by the educators because she was Asian. In thinking about her daughter’s experience in the Canadian child care program, SJ presumed that the educators’ inattentive treatment had left hurtful feelings and memories for her daughter. It is for this reason that BR saw the EL child care settings as positive and ideal for her youngest daughter.   MJ: 사실은 저희 아이들은 처음에 다 한국말을 먼저 습득하는 환경이기 때문에. 한국 책만 보고. 그러니까 처음에 A 를 그냥 서양 Montessori를 보냈어요. 한달? 너무 힘들어 했어요. 그러니까 아이가 느끼기는 너무 충격 요소가 많은거에요. 말 뿐만 아니라 사람들 그리고 대하는거 그런거에서 너무 상처를 받더라구요. 64  그래서 저는 이제 영어도 중요하지만, 언어도 중요하지만 편안하게 시작하는게 정서적으로.  [Because all three of my children are in an environment where they first learn to speak Korean and only read Korean story books, I sent A (her daughter, now enrolled in EL preschool) to a Canadian Montessori preschool for about a month with the hope that she would learn to speak English. However, A had such a hard time during her time in that preschool that she found the setting and even the way that the educators interacted with her very confusing and unfamiliar. This is how I came to see the importance of starting one’s group life in an environment where one can feel comfortable and familiar with the environment].   During the month when her daughter attended a Canadian Montessori program, MJ witnessed the hardship that her daughter went through. From MJ’s perspective there were too many aspects that may have been confusing to her daughter due to the cultural differences and the unfamiliar setting of the program. According to MJ, her daughter suffered due to her limited English language skills and because of the ways in which the educators interacted with her. MJ felt all of these experiences only left hurtful feelings for her daughter. MJ felt that it was far more critical for her daughter to begin her first group experience in a setting where she would feel comfortable and in a place where she could be recognized by those who share the same Jung-Suh as her daughter.   Reading through SJ and MJ’s stories, it is now clear that the main reasons for their unfavourable experiences were due to the lack of recognition by the educators who failed to support children with their limited English language abilities and who made little efforts to understand or encourage children’s cultural backgrounds.     65  4.7 English as a survival strategy for children to confront the dominant culture   As I spoke with the participants and discussed their intentions behind sending their children to the EL preschool, the mothers shared their concerns about their children losing their confidence when and if they were expected to speak English upon their kindergarten entry. This is one of the main reasons why the mothers found the EL preschool setting ideal since the majority of both children and the educators shared the same Jung-Suh even though the program was delivered in English in order to prepare children to be able to communicate their basic needs with their Kindergarten educators and peers.  SH: 그리고 쟤가 영어도 또 하나도 못하고, 한국말만 잘 하잖아요. 그래서 너무 이렇게 어…캐네디언 영어 하는데로 가면 얘가 자신감이 떨어지거나 이럴까봐 그리고 또 여기서 영어를 하신다고 그러더라구요.   [I sent my child to this preschool not just because my son does not speak English but because if I send him to a Canadian preschool he will lose his confidence].  SH: 그리고 혹시 쟤가 어…못하는 영어일수록 갔을때 너무 자신감이 떨어지고 사람들 만나는게 재미 없어지고 유치원 가기 싫어지고 그럴까봐. 한번도 유치원 가기 싫다는 얘기를 안해요. 너무 재미있어 하니까.   [I was afraid that when and if he loses his confidence he wouldn’t’ want to go back to the preschool. Ever since I sent my son to this preschool, he never told me that he does not want to come here. He enjoys coming here so much].  SE: 근데 아무래도 여기에서 영어를 중점으로 두는 그런데서 아이들이 환경을 하다가 그래도 킨더에 가면은 영어가 아주 유창하지는 않지만 그래도 유치원이라는 곳에서 영어를 해왔었기 때문에 가서 조금 잘 하지 않을까. 자신있게 하지 않을까. 좀 주눅은 안들었으면 좋겠어요.  66  [I expect that because the children have been using English in the program, they will be able to speak English with much confidence when they enter Kindergarten. I just hope that they won’t feel intimidated].  SE: 사실은 영어가 걱정이 아니라 제가 느낀거는 자신감이 걱정이더라구요. 예, 처음에는 그냥 아, 나도 영어는 걱정안해 어차피 애들 다 초등학교 들어가면 다 할텐데 막 이렇게 하는데, 영어가 문제가 아니라 자신감이 없어지니까는 저는 아, 저것도 근데 생각해 볼 문제다 좀 그런생각이 들었어요.  [I am not concerned so much about the children’s ability to speak English. Rather I am concerned about children losing their confidence. Before, I just thought that the children would eventually learn to speak English when they entered Kindergarten, however, the problem is that children lose their confidence when they are unable to participate in the classroom due to their limited English. Once I came to realize this possible problem, I thought that this is something that we definitely need to consider].   Engaging with SH and SE’ thoughts on why they felt that children’s English needs to be ready before their kindergarten entry, it is clear that their concern wasn’t much about the level of English skills that their children were able to use. In fact, they wanted their children to speak a fair amount of English so they wouldn’t lose their confidence due to their inability to communicate with their kindergarten teacher and their classroom peers. Both SH and SE believed that losing confidence would lead children to avoid interacting with others and thus take away their socializing opportunities. From their perspectives, they had a responsibility to make sure that their children were equipped with the dominant language so they wouldn’t become unrecognized, silent children who stayed in back corner of the classroom alone.    67  Chapter 5: Discussion   In this chapter I discuss the significance of the findings from the study with reference to the literature that supports enhanced understandings of the insights gained through this study. I revisit the initial research questions that became a basis of my research for the interviews I conducted with the six mothers from the EL preschool program.    5.1 Jung-Suh: recognition and the mothers’ desire to create a sense of belonging  Achieving and maintaining a sense of belonging is a critical component in an individual’s life and in the development of one’s identity. Knowing where one belongs provides much comfort and security. Achieving a sense of belonging for immigrants is also a critical process that individuals continuously negotiate throughout their immigrant lives. According to Yuval-Davis, Kannabiran and Vieten (2006), “belonging is about emotional attachment, about feeling ‘at home’ and – as Michael Ignatieff (2001) points out – about feeling ‘safe’” (p. 2).  This conception of belonging loudly resonates with how the participants in my study understood or came to believe in the importance of the concept of belonging.  The mothers at the EL program spoke at length about having their children in a place that shared the same Jung-Suh as them, which offers their children a sense of belonging, and supports their children’s emotional stability, security and comfort. These mothers also placed much consideration and effort to assure that their children would be recognized, understood and 68  feel secure in the preschool.  Of the multiple meanings that Jung-Suh carries, I argue that Jung-Suh serves as an avenue that allows the mothers to create a sense of belonging for their children. This sense of belonging that the mothers’ desire is not solely a matter of constructing a community. Rather, the mothers have clear intentions and goals to maintain their children’s Korean identity through their sharing of Jung-Suh.  Stuart Hall (1992) argues that cultural identity is constructed through and with the will to actualize “an ‘imagined community’: memories from the past; the desire to live together; the perpetuation of the heritage” (p. 296).  It is evident that these components are very much present in the mothers’ attempt to maintain their children’s Korean identity through Jung-Suh. The mothers state that there is a particular way of living and being as Korean, through an ontology of Jung-Suh. All the mothers learned about the existence of Jung-Suh through their time in Korea, and they were motivated to perpetuate this particular way of living and being as Korean in their children in Canada. Their desire to maintain Jung-Suh for their children along with hearing the stories of their Korean friends about the struggles of their children have gone through during their time in “Canadian” child care programs has provoked great fear about their own children not being recognized by the educators and other children in the school.  Furthermore, direct and indirect contact with “Canadian” early childhood educators10, led the mothers to assume that “Canadian” educators had a lack of understanding of Asian culture, specifically Korean in this case.  The mothers further speculated that “Canadian”                                                           10 I am using the term Canadian in the way that my participants used this descriptor. My intention is not to essentialize Canadian early childhood educators. Rather, I use the term to represent the specific experiences that my participants shared about the educators that the participants or their friends had encountered. The use of Canadian does not imply that all Canadian educators would not understand or recognize their children.  69  educators would not be able to recognize the needs of their children or provide appropriate support for those needs. The feelings of mistrust in “Canadian” early childhood educators’ abilities to understand their children’s particular cultural way of being Korean prompted the mothers to seek Asian or Korean educators who understood their Jung-Suh. One might also speculate that this mistrust in the dominant society could also be a legacy of their colonial past. As is evident through the mothers’ sharing of their intentions behind sending their children to the EL preschool, their children’s sense of belonging and the assurance of their children being recognized by the educators and peers were critical. The mothers thought that sending their children to a preschool that shared the same Jung-Suh would allow their children to gain a sense of belonging since the educators would be more sensitive to the cultural and language needs of their children.    5.2 Avoiding the fear of being Othered As discussed in the last chapter, the fear of their children not being recognized by a Canadian educator was prevalent among the participants. This fear influenced the mothers to teach their children to speak English, which they anticipated would be supported by sending their children to the EL preschool. The mothers spoke about the importance of having their children communicate their ideas and needs fluently with their teachers and peers upon their entry into Kindergarten. The mothers’ efforts to teach their children to speak English before their Kindergarten entry strongly reflected their desire for their children to be recognized and acknowledged within the dominant culture when they entered the public school system. The 70  Mothers believed (rightly or wrongly) that their children would not receive much attention from their educators and peers if their English was limited.  In line with Bhabha’s (1994) account on mimicry, the mothers’ desire for their children to be recognized by the dominant Other, in this case the children’s kindergarten teacher and their peers who speak English fluently, can be considered as an inclination to become “a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite” (p. 86). According to Bhabha (1994), this continued practice of mimicry “is like camouflage, not a harmonization of repression of difference, but a form of resemblance, that differs from or defends presence by displaying it in part, metonymically” (p. 90). By equipping the children with the ability to speak, understand and write English, the mothers wanted their children to be able to mimic what they internalized socially and historically as being a requirement of the public education school system which reproduces the dominant/hegemonic culture.  I argue that the mothers’ efforts to teach their children English were a survival strategy for their children in confronting the dominant culture. Mimicry, which in this case means speaking English and enacting (at least partially) the dominant culture, allows the children to conceal their repressed identity and enables children to avoid being pointed out as different and therefore survive more adeptly (despite the loss) in their new environment.  The mothers’ fear of their children not being recognized by their Kindergarten teachers and peers in the classroom (due to their limited English skills) can be further analyzed according to Sara Ahmed’s (2003) discussion about fear. According to Ahmed (2003), “fear responds to that which is approaching, as the not quite here, but getting closer” 71  (p. 387); in other words, people feel fearful when they sense a forthcoming of an object or an event that may evoke distress and anxiety in them. Among the mothers, this was the children’s Kindergarten entry and the pressure of preparing children to be ready for Kindergarten with English so that their children would not experience difficulties in getting their messages across to their teachers and peers.  The mothers’ attempt to provide this survival strategy for their children was an active response to social exclusion and as a way to counter the colonialism of the past and the present.   5.3 Fear of losing oneself in the process of becoming the dominant Other   Within the mothers’ attempt to find a child care environment that hosts the same Jung-Suh, the mothers also spoke of supporting their children in preserving their Korean language and identity. According to Wong Filmore (1991),  When parents are unable to talk to their children, they cannot easily convey to them their values, beliefs, understandings, or wisdom about how to cope with their experiences. They cannot teach them about the meaning of work, or about personal responsibility, or what it means to be a moral or ethical person in a world with too many choices and too few guide-posts to follow. What is lost are the bits of advice, the consejos parents should be able to offer children in their everyday interactions with them. (p. 343) Although Wong Filmore does not fully articulate the connection between language, culture, identity and ontology in this citation, the interconnection of these is very significant for this 72  study. The mothers in this study were greatly concerned that they would lose their language, cultural and ontological connection with their children. They strongly felt that it was only through Jung-Suh that it could be maintained. In fact, this concern was also expressed by the grandparents of the children as is evident in the conversation below.  SE: 그 아이도 보면은 너무 영어가 완전 영어 유창하고 태어나고 그랬지만 한국말 너무 잘 하는 거에요. 근데 저는 그게 되게 좋아보였어요. 부모가 정말 잘 가르쳤구나 좀 그런생각 들더라구요. 그래서 영어도 물론 중요하지만 이제 일단은 부모랑 communication 이 되고 둘째는 본인한테 그런 어떤 advantage가 되는 거잖아요. 나중에 언어를 그렇게 많이 할 수 있다는거는. 한국에 가서도 job 을 구할 수 있고. 좀 본인 한테도 좋은거 같아요. 모두한테 좋은거 같아요. 할머니 할아버지가 진짜 원하시기도 하고.  [(Referring to SE’s church friend who was born in Canada) When I see her, her English is fluent and even though she was born here, her Korean is very fluent as well. When I see her fluent in Korean, it seems wonderful to me. I came to believe that her parents taught her really well. I know that English is important, but speaking Korean is important because first, J (her daughter) will be able to communicate with us, and secondly it will be an advantage for her. It will be an asset that she can speak many languages. When J eventually looks for a job, she can seek for a job in Korean or here in Vancouver because she can speak both languages, so I think it’s good for her as well. It is actually good for everyone because her grandparents really wish that she won’t lose her Korean.] HW:한국말 못하면 막 할머니 한테 “hello”하고 막.  [If she doesn’t speak Korean, she might say “hello” (in English) to her grandmother.]  SE: (영어) 단어 공부하고 계신단 말이에요 요즘에. 말 못하면 못 통화 할까봐. 가끔 J이가 말도 안돼는 소리로 뭐 Marco (one of the children in the program who is Taiwanese) 만났어요 뭐 그러면은 할머니는 Marco라는 단어를 못 알아 들으시니까 본인이 못 알아 들었다고 생각 하시면서, 너 벌써부터 그렇게 영어 하면 어떡하니 막 그러시면서 걱정하세요. 근데 그게 사실 이름이지 영어가 아니거든요. 그래서 좀 그런거를 생각하면은 한국말 잘 했으면 좋겠죠.  [(Referring to J’s grandparents) They have been studying English because they are afraid that if they don’t understand English, they won’t be able to talk to J on the 73  phone. Sometimes when J says things like “I met Marco at school today,” my mother worries thinking that she did not understand J because she is speaking in English. My mother says, “I am worried that J is communicating in English already.” But she does not realize that Marco is a name. So, when I think about moments like that, I wish that J will speak Korean fluently.]   SE’ story clearly shows that children’s acquisition of Korean is not a concern that only the parents own. It is often the entire family’s concern that involves critical issues, such as sustaining the intergenerational connections between grandparent and grandchild.  As Wong Filmore (1991) strongly insists, a child losing their home language is more than just losing a tie or connection between the child and the family (p. 343). Children losing their home language may mean the family, both the parents and the grandparents, may lose an important tool in sharing their culture and their values with their children (Wong Filmore, 1991, p. 343).   This fear of losing a connection and intimate relationship with their children was further elaborated as one mother says, “Koreans should be able to speak Korean fluently.” This firm statement of belief, expressed by all the mothers, reflects how they view the intimate and inseparable connection between language, culture, and identity – language reflects values, morals and culture of the place or region that the language is used (Wong Filmore, 1991).  Building on and extending Wong Filmore’s work, I argue that losing Korean also means losing Jung-Suh one’s entire way of being Korean. Wong Filmore emphasizes how losing one’s home language may bring a disconnection of the parent-child relationship and may restrain the sharing of values and principles that the parents or family members wish to pass on to their children. I argue that for the participants, losing Korean meant much more 74  than just losing a connection with their child or losing their language, culture and identity. Losing language meant that their children would lose Jung-Suh which implies that their children would lose what it meant to be a Korean, their whole way of being Korean. Wong Filmore insists that “the consequences of losing a primary language are far reaching, and it does affect the social, emotional, cognitive, and educational development of language-minority children, as well as the integrity of their families and the society they live in” (p. 342). Although Wong Filmore highlights the importance of language and how a language embodies morals, values and culture, this study suggests that losing one’s language means more than simply losing a communication tool between the parent-child (and between family members). Rather, the study highlights that the effects of losing one’s home language goes far beyond one’s developmental domains. HJ’s experience with her son clearly demonstrates how keeping the language means more than simply keeping a connection with her child.  HJ: 그냥 제가 말로 물어보면은 아 제가 막 무슨 얘기 할때, 아! 한국 국기가 나왔어요. 이게 한국 국기인데 이거 승준이는 한국 사람이야 이거 한국 국기 이렇게 생겼어 그랬더니 “아, 나는 Canadian 사람이야” 그러는 거에요. Canada 사니까 Canadian 사람이래 그래서 너는 한국말 하고 엄마 아빠가 옛날에 한국에서 왔기 때문에 한국 사람이야 그랬더니 안 받아들이더라구요 벌써. 근데 그냥 엄마가 무슨말 하는지는 알아 듣는거 같기는 한데 자기 그냥 처음 생각에는 Canada 사람이라고 생각을 하고 있었나 봐요. 그래서 가르쳐 줘야 될 거 같아요.  [When I was asking him something during our conversation about…ah! We saw a Korean flag and I taught my son that this is the Korean flag and you are a Korean. Then my son said “Ah, I am Canadian because I live in Canada. I am Canadian”. So I told him that because you speak Korean and because mom and dad came from Korea, you are Korean but my son did not accept that he is Korean as well. I think he understood what I meant but he seemed to believe that he is Canadian. I think I need to teach him that he is Korean.] 75  HJ: 그러니까 아까 말씀드린것 처럼 저는 그런거 같아요. 애가 한국말, 자기가 한국 사람이라는걸 확실히 알고 한국말 좀 더, 저는 영어보다 한국말 더 잘했으면 좋겠거든요.  [So, like I said before I want my child to speak Korean and to certainly know that he is Korean. I wish that my son will speak Korean better than English.]  As evident from HJ’s conversation with her son, I argue that culture, identity and language are inseparable entities that make up one’s ontology. Thus, I suggest that instead of looking at the mothers’ concern of their children losing Korean as just a concern of losing their connection with their children; it is important to acknowledge that it also involves their children losing their entire way of being Korean or their Jung-Suh ontology. Although the mothers in this study were not articulate Jung-Suh as an ontology, I sense from their responses that they actually understood this term as an ontology (in their own way) and knew the depth of the lose that their children would experience.     5.4 In-between space: a space for decolonizing practice  The mothers anticipated that the day care program would further encourage the children to maintain their Korean identity and their home language. According to Pacini-Ketchabaw, Bernhard and Freire (2001), there is “an assimilative pressure” toward abolishing a home language (p. 119).  The mothers’ efforts to keep the Korean language, culture and identity alive is their way of resisting this pressure to assimilate. In some sense, these efforts ensure a decolonizing space, which allows both the mother and the child to re-cognize their identity is not marked by their difference or otherness, but is rather a place 76  where their authenticity is valued. At EL preschool, children’s vulnerability would be highlighted less than in a “Canadian” child care program. And further that their difference would not be perceived as vulnerability, but as a representation of their unique and rich culture.  A mother’s attempt to hide vulnerability strongly resonates with Sefa Dei and Asgharzadeh’s (2001) idea that “power and discourse are not possessed entirely by the colonizer.  Quite the contrary, the colonized also has the power to question, challenge, and subsequently subvert the oppressive structures of power and privilege” (p. 300).  The fierce efforts that the mothers put into countering colonial forces in the dominant society and sustaining their children’s Korean identity in order to ensure that their children would be recognized by the teachers and their peers demonstrates their agency in subverting oppressive structures of the dominant power.  Sefa Dei and Asgharzadeh (2001) further argue that “there is a site of/ in tradition, orality, visual representation, material and intangible culture, and aboriginality that is empowering to colonized and marginalized groups” (p. 301). Thus, I argue that the mothers resisted allowing their children to go through the process of assimilation by the dominant culture. By exposing children to a distinctive Korean Jung-Suh, the mothers believed that the Jung-Suh would deeply impact the children’s ontology so that the Korean identity, language, and culture would become an intricate and inseparable part of their way of being in the world.  The mothers saw the EL program as both a place to equip their children with the necessary tools for their Kindergarten entry as well as a place to actively resist the possibility of their children losing Korean identity, language and culture. The mothers were fearful of their children losing their Korean identity and language, which would cause fragmentation, 77  disconnection and a gap between themselves and their children. Within this in-between space of the preschool, the mothers constantly and continuously experienced moments of relief and contemplation. They may have felt fortunate to have found such a space where they could obtain and negotiate what they felt were the most significant needs of their children.    5.5 Implications Given that all my data for this research were transcribed and analyzed in Korean, the Korean-Canadian reader may have a better understanding of the study context and the ideas that I attempted to address throughout my work (Gonzalez y Gonzalez & Lincoln, 2006, para. 25). In this manner, I hope this study will contribute to the Korean-Canadian community by highlighting some of the voices and research that reflects the lives of Korean-Canadian parents and their experiences as they make choices for their children for early childhood education programs.  While engaging with the six participants and reading through the transcribed stories of the mothers, I could imagine the difficulties they experienced through their indirect and direct experiences of sending their children to a Canadian child care program. Their care for their children and their courage and agency was remarkable. The study also highlights the importance of providing culturally sensitive and responsive care within early childhood education.  Furthermore, the study points to the notion of care within early childhood education. When I reflect on the stories of children not being recognized and acknowledged by the 78  educators in the program, questions come to mind. Questions such as, what does it mean to care for others who are different from the dominant culture?  When I reflect on the struggles that the children experienced, I see contradictions in early childhood education, which emphasizes caring relationships as core to all practice. From the many conversations I have had with practicing early childhood educators, I sometimes think that the word ‘care’ is often understood as making sure of a child’s basic needs, such as feeding and toileting are met.  Some childhood educators may deem it unnatural or inappropriate to attend to a child who is having difficulty in adjusting to a program due to their language skills or the cultural differences that they may encounter in the program. Nevertheless, if we consider “care as an ethic” (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005, p. 91) how would it change educators’ practices with young children? According to Dahlberg and Moss (2005), “the care ethic, so applied, would foreground attentiveness, responsibility, competence and responsiveness to the Other” (p. 92). The notion of care as engaging in an ethical practice would provoke educators to offer much more sensitive and responsive practices, which consider each individual child’s condition and context. Furthermore it would support educators in providing sensitive and responsive care to those children who are unfamiliar with the environment and who speak limited English.  Despite the thorough discussion that Dahlberg and Moss present on the notion of ethical care, the findings of this study provoke both practicing and in-preparation early childhood educators to re-consider the ethics of care and what it means to responsively and attentively care for children in their work.  It is important in this study to emphasize that our understandings of ethics of care need to move beyond a Eurocentric approach to this concept to a more decolonizing approach that takes into consideration Jung-Suh as the teachers in the 79  EL preschool did or knew to do.  With reference to my study’s findings, I would like to re-question what it means to really provide a responsive, attentive practice to the marginalized other. Would practicing an ethics of care towards the other take the others’ ontological and epistemological stances into consideration? If the educators at the “Canadian” child care centre engaged in the kind of ethical practice presented by Dahlberg and Moss, would they have provided appropriate care and response to those Korean children who were struggling with their limited English? Would they have known about how to support and encourage student with regard to Jung-Suh ontology? In the narrative below I attempt to extend this discussion further by juxtaposing two opposite observations that I made from my interviews and the recent observation of my practicum student who I visited to supervise her work at a local “Canadian” child care centre.    5.6 Concluding reflection  During her practicum, I observed the student-teacher, hoping that the she would notice that the Asian boy had been standing in front of the table watching four other children ‘baking’ plastic pancakes for the last ten minutes. I said to myself, “Can you just look up and look at this child? How can you not know that there is this child waiting endlessly for his turn?” I was desperate for my student to say, “Oh, do you want to have a turn? Would you like to make a pancake at this table?”  But the words that I wanted to hear never came. She engaged with all other children at the table, especially those two who sat right next to her.  She never attempted to look straight ahead and notice the little boy. I was amazed by the boy’s enduring patience. His head tilted down towards the ground, and firmly standing on 80  his two feet he did not move or fidget as if he has become a statue. The only move he made was when he watched the children on the pancake-making table with an envious eye. Others may say that he is quietly waiting for his turn, but in my eyes I saw he was loudly projecting that he would like to participate in the activity along with his peers.  As the minutes passed by, I began to debate within myself whether I should tap on my student-teacher’s shoulder and say that there is this child waiting for his turn to come, or should I hope that she will soon recognize his presence. A few more minutes passed; my hopes that she would finally notice the boy were crushed to the ground. The little boy was still standing in front of the table watching other children playfully talking to each other as they make their own plastic pancakes. When my frustration reached a high point, I saw one of the educators in the room walk towards the boy and said “Tae-Hoon,”11 his Korean name. “It’s almost time for snack, so let’s go wash your hands.” With the teacher’s kind reminder what the next routine will be, the little boy followed the educator without resistance.  This was one of saddest moments of my teacher observation encounters because the boy appeared to be invisible to my student teacher and because that moment reminded me of my own experiences of feeling invisible (my English teacher discarding my Korean identity by giving me an English name, as if my Korean name never existed). The little boy’s hopeful watch was turned away by educators who did not recognize his wish to be with his peers. Although there is much emphasis on the importance of giving each child attentive care that is responsive to the child’s individual needs in early childhood education, when it comes to serving people from diverse culture, many educators rush to categorize them into the different labels of ethnicity and nationality, language and non-language learners, etc.                                                            11 I used a pseudonym for the child’s name in order to maintain confidentiality. 81  Notion of ethics of care must be practiced not just at the level of child care practices but in regard to the way we attempt to generalize and simplify our understanding of the various cultures that educators encounter in the name of multiculturalism. Educators need to see beyond the simplistic, single way of understanding and celebrating the culture and consider the multiplicity that each person brings to the society. We must rethink and reimagine what it means to respect the other that is unknown, what it means to decolonize the educational space by including other ways of knowing and being in the world such as through Jung-Suh.  In the event shared above of my student-teaching observation, I wonder if the educators are able to genuinely provide sensitive care to the child in question if they do not also practice an ethics of care that acknowledges the little Korean boy’s Jung-Suh. The participants of my study saw the EL program as a place that was able to offer and respect their Jung-Suh. The participants valued that opportunity to nurture their children within that atmosphere. In this manner, it is important that we look at the concept of ethics of care from a decolonizing approach where it would respect and honour the many diverse ontologies and epistemologies that children and families bring into the early childhood programs.  I began this study with much curiosity about why the mothers continuously emphasized the word Jung-Suh. Although they did not seem to even realize that they were using this word throughout their interviews, it became evident during the research that Jung-Suh was the foremost idea and reason that the mothers decided to enroll their children at the EL preschool. Now as I come to the end of my research and in thinking back on this concept of Jung-Suh, I wonder what exactly each of the mothers meant by the term Jung-Suh and if their ideas of Jung-Suh meant the same thing to them here in Canada as they would have had 82  been in Korea. The participants of this study helped me to understand that there are multiple meanings that Koreans have about the concept Jung-Suh. During my research, I attempted to find scholarship about Jung-Suh, but it was difficult to find any academic discussions on Jung-Suh in English. However, what became apparent is that one’s understanding and use of Jung-Suh may vary based on one’s generation, class, gender and the general context in which one lives. Furthermore, Koreans in the present day may understand and use Jung-Suh differently from those in the past due to temporal and contextual differences. All of my participants lived in Canada and their status in Canada was very different from their status in Korea. Their understanding of Jung-Suh may have been different from those in Korea as they think about what it means to live as Koreans in Canada and how they can maintain some form of a Korean identity within their children. It is quite possible that the kind of Jung-Suh that the participants of my study wished to maintain may be completely different from the Jung-Suh that Koreans in Korea may wish to preserve within their next generation. Although this study did not offer an absolute definition of Jung-Suh (and I would argue that perhaps a single definition does not exist given the diverse realities of Koreans) or what it means to live and be Korean, the study has highlighted the importance of reclaiming Jung-Suh and the importance of looking into one’s own ontology and epistemology and how these closely impact how one makes educational choices for one’s children.   As I uncovered the meanings behind the mothers’ intentions of sending their children to the EL preschool, I came to understand that the mothers were actively taking on the role of decolonizing educational practices. As they fiercely resisted the dominant colonial educational system, they were reclaiming Jung-Suh. They were loudly voicing that there were other ways of educating their children in ways that were different from the dominant 83  culture. They found a way where they did not have to stand at a crossroad where they had to choose either watching their children being assimilated into the dominant society or completely being ‘othered’ by that society. Listening to, re-visiting and reflecting on the stories that the mothers shared with me, I came to understand the importance of reclaiming marginalized ontologies and epistemologies as well as the agency and courage of the mothers who knowingly and unknowingly engaged in decolonizing practices against the dominant hegemony of Western society. Their active involvement in decolonizing practices is significant as emphasized by Sefa Dei and Asgharzadeh’s (2001) when they state that those who are colonized also have the power to resist against the dominant system (p. 300). With this learning from the teachings of my participants and the many scholars who have gone before me, I leave my journey through this study inspired with the hope that many other researchers will also be able to open up a decolonizing space by reclaiming and supporting their participants to reclaim their own ontologies and epistemologies as I along with my participants have attempted to do through Jung-Suh.    84  Bibliography Ahmed, S. (2003). The politics of fear in the making of worlds. International Journal of  Qualitative Studies in Education, 16(3), 377-398. DOI: 10.1080/0951839032000086745 Bhabha, H.K. (1994). Of mimicry and man: The ambivalence of colonial discourse. In H.K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (pp. 85-92). London and New York: Routledge. Cannella, G.S., & Viruru, R. (2004). Childhood and Postcolonization: Power, education, and contemporary practice. London and New York: Routledge. Creswell, J.W. (2013). 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