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Learning English Through Korean Culture

Learning English Through Korean Culture
Ko, Eunjeong
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Laura Eunae Park
As the number of foreign residents in Korea continues to increase every year, our nation is gradually becoming a multicultural society. Particularly, the ratio of females from Asian countries outside of Korea through international marriage is the second largest population following that of the labor force (Korean Statistical Information Service, 2011). In order to help these women settle and adjust to their new environment, various government organizations (both central and local) as well as institutions affiliated with universities offer a variety of educational programs for them. Furthermore, since they are not merely temporary residents, they are considered as Korean citizens who have the potential of making a contribution toward Korean society in the future (Kim, 2009); as such, many of these women agree that learning English (in addition to Korean) is an important goal to achieve and thus desire to have an opportunity to develop their English language skills. Therefore, it is important to create a customized English language course for this particular group of foreign women who are married to Korean men. This textbook has been developed based on the current situation of the increase of wives of Korean husbands from other Asian countries. The target students are foreign wives of Korean men from other Asian countries. It is also important to note that they have all lived in Korea for more than five years and thus have acquired a relatively high level of Korean language competency, which is one of the reasons why they are able to start thinking of learning a new language other than Korean itself. Furthermore, they also desire to create personal goals for themselves by building their confidence in learning English, and constructing an individual identity for themselves as global citizens in the 21st century. More importantly, however, many of these women wish to learn English for the sake of their children, who will not only grow up with multi-cultural identities, but will also have to study in the Korean academic context, which places a strong emphasis on English language learning. Therefore, developing English language skills is an important goal for the target students of this textbook. Although the target students now have a fairly good understanding of the Korean culture, using Korean culture as the main theme of this textbook seemed to be an effective way of reinforcing their cultural knowledge; furthermore, an opportunity to use familiar topics would increase the students’ confidence and motivation in learning English. Unlike most Koreans who study English for instrumental purposes (i.e. taking standardized tests such as the TOEIC and the TOEFL, getting into a university, finding a job, etc.), the target students simply wish to participate in their children’s education more actively. They believe that learning English can be one of the ways in which they can steadily help and monitor their children’s education. The class consists of ten students who are foreign housewives of Korean men living in a city near Seoul. The city’s community center offers various continuing education programs for the residents. The target group consists of students from various Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Cambodia. Most of the students are in their early thirties and they have all lived in Korea for more than five years. Furthermore, it is assumed that the students have been learning English in Korea for about a year with the same group members and their overall English proficiency level is intermediate-low. According to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines, intermediate-low level students are successfully able to manage communicative tasks when the tasks are within a familiar context to them. Although they have limitations in vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and inaccurate responses requiring repetition and rephrasing, they are generally understood within predictable topics.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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