The present study aims to find out how English teachers perceive World Englishes and the implications in Korean ELT, addressing four research questions: 1) what attitudes do Korean secondary school English teachers have toward World Englishes? 2) do their backgrounds affect their attitudes toward World Englishes? 3) what are their perceptions of different grammatical features of World Englishes in terms of understanding in intercultural communication? and 4) how their attitudes affect their perceptions?
A survey questionnaire was completed by participants of 110 secondary English teachers in Korea: 68 in-service and 42 pre-service teachers. Results of the study indicate that 1) the secondary school English teachers have rather positive attitudes toward World Englishes, 2) the teachers’ familiarity positively affect their attitudes toward different varieties of English, 3) the teachers’ perceptions of different grammatical features of World Englishes are somewhat positive, and 4) the teachers’ attitudes toward non-Standard English seem to be somewhat concerned with their perceptions of the different grammatical features. The teachers’ positive attitudes toward and perceptions of World Englishes suggest that non-Standard English can be accepted in international communication without causing much difficulty of understanding and also NNS English teachers may no longer be considered as inferior to NS English teachers. The findings also indicate that Korean ELT professionals should give their students opportunities to become familiar with World Englishes, so that they can prepare to be a successful intercultural speaker who is well aware of the differences among the varieties and who respects the differences.