This study explores the structural effects of family background factors such as parents'
socioeconomic status, parents' cultural capital and family social capital and socio-psychological factors
such as students' learning attitude toward English and their educational and occupational aspiration on
their English academic achievement and its improvement. This study analyzed 6,908 Korean middle
school students using representative data from the 2005-2007 Korean Educational Longitudinal
Study(KELS), employing a latent growth model analysis.
The result shows that the parents' socioeconomic characteristics(education, occupation, and income)
have a significant direct effect on their own cultural capital, family social capital, students' learning
attitude toward English, their aspiration, and their English academic achievement. Parents'
socioeconomic status has an indirect effect on students's English academic achievement by way of
family social capital, students' learning attitude, and their aspiration. Family social capital has indirect
effects on students' aspiration and students' initial English achievement, and a direct effect on the
further improvement of English achievement although it has no significant direct effect on students'
initial English achievement. Socio-psychological factors has a significant effect on English
achievement. Students' aspiration has positive direct effects on students' initial English achievement
and its further improvement. However, students' learning attitude and aspiration do not mediate the
effect of parents' cultural capital(participation in cultural activities and language competencies) on
students' English achievement. Furthermore, parents' cultural capital has a negative effect on students'
initial English achievement. Further research is requested to examine the variables and indicators of
cultural capital relevant to the educational and social context of Korean society.