Struggles for Korean Learners of English<br />A Presentation by Cat<br />
To Quantify It or Adverb It<br />Placement and conjugation of negation<br />Infinitives<br />Auxiliaries – “have” and “be”<br />
Quantifier versus Adverb<br />“Many, many happy.”<br />“Many, many delicious.”<br /> Ignoring the fact that the understood topic and verb are missing from the sentence, let’s look at the fact that the word used to describe these states of being is not correct. Many Korean speakers of English seem to struggle with differentiating between the quantifier many and the adverb very.<br />
Quantifier<br />Ensuring your students know what a quantifier is and what it modifies can help clear up any misunderstanding that student may or may not have.<br />Quantifiers only modify nouns. Examples of this are much, many, fewer, and less.<br />as we have seen in the Decapo article much and less are for non-count nouns and many and fewer are for plural count nouns<br />
Adverb<br />The biggest problem seems to be confusing the quantifier much for the adverb very. By explaining that the word very is used to describe adjectives can further help deter native speakers of Korean from making this mistake.<br /> Interestingly, in Korean, part of the problem arises from the word 참. It means “very” but it also means “really” and “much”. For example, in Korean one would say something like, “The students really are many.” which means, “There are very many students.”<br />
Negation<br /> The first question an English teacher for native speakers of Korean needs to ask themselves is are the students placing the negation in the incorrect place because they have yet to develop the rule for negation in English or do they know the rule for negation and are merely dealing with native language transfer?<br />A sample sentence from a native speaker of Korean:<br />“Sorry I not talk to you very much tonight.”<br />
Why would it be native language transfer?<br /> In Korean the way to negate a verb is by placing the negation before the verb. The negation is something to the effect of “not”. For example, one would say something to the effect of, “I not talk.” which is why, I feel, if the student is an advanced speaker of English any problems with negation could be due to native language transfer.<br />
Correction?<br /> The only real way to correct this is to go over negation in English. Correct forms of the sentences (as far as negation goes) would be something like:<br />“Sorry I did not talk to you very much tonight.”<br /> The biggest thing is if a student(s) is struggling with the negation to ensure that not only they are understanding it, but are gaining confidence in it. If the course is focused on conversation for example ensure they are getting positive feedback for correct usage as well as inciting the negation form for various types of sentences.<br />
Infinitives<br />“Korean culture is eat food no speak.”<br /> When first looking at this sentence the real question is what’s wrong? The fact that infinitives are not used. In the Korean language the infinitive form “to go”, for example, 가다 (kada), is never used in speech nor is it used in writing. The verb must be conjugated with either a formal, humble, or honorific suffix or the “-da” must be dropped for informal. The infinitive is only used as a dictionary form (unlike Japanese whose dictionary form is used for conversational speech between peers of equal status). Basically, in Korean the sentence would be something to the effect of, “In Korean culture we eat, we not speak.”<br />
Correcting Infinitives<br /> I think the best thing to do is iterate to students that despite the fact that 가다 (kada) isn’t used in Korean, in English it would be like using the infinitive form of 가다. Perhaps by writing a sentence in Korea on the board with an English sentence below it like this:<br /> Then what can be done for the students is to emphasize that 먹(meok) “eat” should be looked at as its dictionary form, 먹다 (meokda) and the to not do should be looked at in its infinitive as well: 않다 (antta).<br />**한국 문화는 먹은뿐, 이야기하지 않습니다.<br />Korean culture is to eat food, not to speak.<br />(**Rough Korean)<br />
Missing Auxiliary?<br />“Many people come here.”<br />For all intents and purposes this sentence seems correct; however, the situation is this:<br />Many people have gathered at a concert hall for a Big Bang concert. One of the band members says, “Many people come here.”<br />If he is just talking about the concert hall in general then his statement is correct; however, if he is commenting on how many people have come then he should say:<br />“Many people have come here (today).”<br />
Correcting auxiliaries<br />The biggest problem seems to be the difference between past tense and past participle.<br />The key part here as with any other form of teaching the difference between past/present tenses and the past/present participles is the idea of time.<br />Walking students through time sequences and expressing the “cultural emotion” behind the usages could help correct this. Often time showing an emotional/psychological reason behind something allows the students to better apply it in everyday life.<br />
Auxiliary “be”, too?<br />“She happy.”<br />In Korean adjectives are conjugated just like verbs and already hold the idea of “to be happy”. This is a case where the native language transfers to the L2. The correct form would actually be “She is happy.” Going over Korean adjective and explaining that the translation is “to be happy” may help curb this. Other ways of going about it are to ensure that the auxiliary “to be”, in essence, expresses of states of existence or being.<br />
CREDIT<br />Example sentences courtesy Korean friends in Korea<br />Cho. Lee. Schulz. Sohn. Sohn. “Integrated Korean.” 2000. University of Hawai’i Press.<br />Kim, Inseon. “Korean Language and Culture.” 2011. Yonsei University.<br />Korean Language Institute<br />
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