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Learner Language in Korean Classrooms: Implications for teaching


2. IL is only used when learner expresses meaning ... 2. Interlanguage system is revealed when learner tries to express meaning ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Learner Language in Korean Classrooms: Implications for teaching

Learner Language in Korean Classrooms
Implications for teaching
  • Elaine Tarone
  • University of Minnesota
  • Am. Assoc of Teachers of Korean
  • 2004

Learner Language A Brief Personal History
  • 1968, Edinburgh University - Scotland - Diploma
    in Applied Linguistics. On faculty Larry
    Selinker, S.P. Corder, Alan Davies. Fellow
    student H.G. Widdowson
  • Times Contrastive Analysis (Robt Lado, Charles
    Fries) ALL learning difficulties
    of ALL second-language learners are caused by
    native language transfer
  • Revolution lets study learners language!
  • 1. Error Analysis Do errors LOOK like theyre
    all caused by native language transfer, or
    something else?
  • 2. Language Acquisition Device do adult
    second-language learners have a built-in
    syllabus similar to that of children acquiring
    their first language? (Corder)
  • For first time in history (that we know), people
    interested in teaching second language stopped
    talking about what TEACHERS do, and began to look
    systematically at what second-language LEARNERS
    do, and know, and think about the learning
    enterprise. SLA research was born.

Different Views of Learner Language
  • S.P. Corder Transitional competence. Learner
    has a built-in syllabus that he follows no
    matter what the teachers syllabus is. Input
    does not equal intake.
  • Larry Selinker Adult second-language learners do
    not have the same language acquisition device
    children do. We know this because

second-language learning is so difficult for
adults (cf Selinker 1972)
  • While every young child acquires a native
    languages perfectly, and without instruction,
  • adults never acquire a second language
    perfectly, and seem to need instruction.
  • The result of early child acquisition is a
    perfect native language the result of adult SLA
    is always an interlanguage.

Interlanguage is defined by Selinker (1972) as
  • The unique linguistic system evidenced when an
    adult second-language learner attempts to USE the
    language to express meanings.
  • This linguistic system is created from
    generalizations made by the learner. It is not
    just the native language rules and not just the
    target language rules. Learner generates and
    tests hypotheses.
  • A fossilized system never develops to point of
    identity with the target language. Selinker felt
    this was because of cognitive loss, with age, of
    the language acquisition device.

Hallmarks of the Interlanguage Claim
  • Applies to adults, not children.
  • Characteristics derive in part from the native
    language, in part from the target language
    (overgeneralization of target language rules), in
    part from instruction, and in part from
    strategies (communication strategies and learning
  • Learner makes interlingual identifications
    (hypotheses about what is the same and what is
    different across languages)
  • Fossilization is central and inevitable, for

What is the target of interlanguage development?
  • The learners target is not necessarily native
    speaker competence in the target language.
  • Interlanguage doesnt always develop linearly it
    could be influenced by more than one target.
  • The target of learning is selected by the
    learner. The target might be the learners model
    of Indian English, or of Hong Kong English.
  • Whatever the learners target, the interlanguage
    hypothesis suggests that the adult learner will
    not achieve it because the LAD is gone.

English (L1)-Korean(L2) interlanguage?
  • Lets consider some features of interlanguage in
  • 1. IL is formed by learner generalizations that
    come from many sources
  • 2. IL is only used when learner expresses meaning
  • 3. Learners need form-focused feedback when they
    use IL
  • 4. IL fossilizes

Examples of English-Korean IL
  • Hye-Sook Give Korean examples (?!)
  • Papers at this conference
  • Jin Hong Kim, on Korean learner corpora
  • K. Seon Jeon, on L2 lexical learning
  • Helen Kim, on processing transfer and strategies
  • Yoo Sang Rhee, on speech acts produced by Korean
  • Jeonyi Lee, conversation patterns of learners of

Data for this presentation
  • Journals of two American learners of Korean at a
    large Midwest University (ER and TF), who wrote
    down their reflections about their learning of
    Korean, in journals addressed to their teacher,
    Jihyeon Jeon (1995, 1996)
  • Id like to identify (w/Hye-Sooks help) some
    features of Korean-English interlanguage that
    these learners refer to in their journals, and
  • consider, with you, what classroom teachers can
    learn from these learners reflections.

1. The learner creates his or her own IL rules
and generalizations. IL is a separate linguistic
system not the native language system and not
the target language system.
  • These generalizations are created by the learner,
    sometimes but not always based on native language
    rules. Adults do not transfer ALL their old
    grammar and pronunciation patterns into their new
  • Adults do not immediately produce the EXACT
    grammar or pronunciation of the new language,
    sounding exactly the way native speakers do.
    Their learner rules may be over-generalized parts
    of Korean rules theyve learned.
  • Adults combine elements of their native language,
    elements of the new language, and other elements
    when they try to speak the new language.

TF on interlanguage generalizations (Jihyeon
Jeon, 1995, 1996)
TF on Korean word structure (part 1)
TF on Korean word structure (part 2)
Korean/English interlanguage Native language
  • Errors in phonology due to native language
    transfer (Jeon, p.c.)
  • 1. pronouncing the consonant sounds (e.g. ka
    (with a little aspiration), kka (without
    aspiration), kha (with more aspiration), etc.)
  • 2. pronouncing vowel sounds (particularly, vowel
  • 3. having appropriate rhythm in the language.
    Korean sounds flatter than English because
    every syllable in a sentence is more or less
    equally stressed, whereas English sounds rhythmic
    because some syllables are more stressed than
    others. Americans try to use English rhythm
    patterns in Korean.

Korean/English Interlanguage Native language
  • Syntactic errors due to native language transfer
    (Jeon, p.c.)
  • 1. Not using subject markers and object markers
    (which clarify meaning in a Korean sentence)
  • 2. Supplying sentence parts that are not required
    in context. Since Korean language is based on
    high-context culture, whenever they are
    understood from the context, the subject and the
    object of the sentence are omitted. On the other
    hand, the subject and object are required
    sentence parts in an English sentence. And thus,
    English speakers often use the subject and the
    object even though they are not required in
    context for Korean.

TF on pronouncing Korean vowels sliding between
two Korean sounds (not English transfer)
TF on separating sounds from meaning in Korean
TF on length in vowels and consonants
Implications for Teaching
  • Expect learners to draw on multiple sources for
    their generalizations and rules English, Korean,
    instructional rules, personal perceptions and
    preferences, strategies.
  • Expect learners rule systems to change over time
    according to their own internal syllabus. Be
    patient input does not equal intake.
  • Teach inductively give students examples of
    Korean target structures and ask them to create
    generalizations then show them the correct rule.
  • Have interested students keep journals for you to
    read, so you can understand their perspective,
    and the generalizations they are making about

2. Interlanguage system is revealed when learner
tries to express meaning
  • We only see the the language the learner has
    really internalized (IL) when he tries to express
    an original meaning in the new language.
  • We do not see this when she is repeating
    something after the teacher, or copying what is
    on the board, or reciting memorized sequences.
    Such activities do not draw on the interlanguage
  • Can such activities help the interlanguage
    develop? These learners dont think so

ER on copying from the board
  • Im finding that we have to do a lot of copying
    from the board in this class. I dont really like
    it, because it takes a lot of time. Last week
    Li had us practice a little reading selection.
    However, she gave us the reading selection by
    writing it on the board first, and then we had to
    copy it down. So, is that legitimate reading?

ER on copying grammar rules
  • The teacher simply stops talking, turns her
    back to us, and starts writing grammar rules on
    the board. Were expected to copy it all down,
    and to learn it that way. She will, then, when
    most of us are finished writing, orally talk
    through it again, and that is when shell go
    through examples to illustrate what were
    learning. Usually, the best part of the lesson is
    the time spent on examples.

TF on value of meaningful use of Korean
Implications for teaching
  • If your goal is to have students who can USE
    Korean to transmit meaning, then give them
    opportunities in the classroom to practice using
    the Korean they know to transmit real meaning
    (e.g., to tell you or one another something new,
    give and follow directions, etc. using Korean).
  • They can do this with you, in front of class, or
    in pairs with each other.

3. Students need form-focused feedback (Doughty
Williams 1998)
  • Learner notices and responds to implicit and
    explicit negative feedback provided when errors
    are made in the course of communicating meaning.
  • When the learner does this, many researchers
    claim that acquisition results. Thus, feedback
    (correction) in the midst of communicative
    activity is extremely important.

ER on need for feedback
  • I got my tape back from Park. She only corrected
    one sentence of mine for pronunciation. However,
    I didnt clearly understand what my mistake was.
    Sometimes I cant hear the correct differences
    between words and sounds.
  • Ive never received any feedback regarding my
    writing. The quizzes, too, often seem random. I
    never quite know what they are testing.

Implications for Teaching
  • Find ways to correct student performance WHILE
    they are using Korean to communicate
  • provide explicit correction
  • recast errors ask students to recast each
  • correct student writing and ask for rewrites
  • correct students pronunciation make them
    practice (have them tape sentences with pauses
    between the sentences, listen to the tapes, and
    provide correct pronunciations in the pauses)

4. Interlanguage is fossilized
  • Adults always stop developing their new language
    before they reach their goal (whatever that is).
  • Their grammar and pronunciation and vocabulary
    always sound foreign to speakers of the target

TF on pronouncing Korean vowel (pt 2)
Implications for Teaching
  • Model native behavior in Korean use but be
    strategic in what you correct.
  • Correct first for intelligibility, not 100
    nativeness, in learners Korean language use
  • Encourage students when you see progress

Summary Teaching Suggestions consistent with
research on learner language
  1. Teach inductively give students examples of
    target structures, invite them to make
    generalizations, then tell them the correct rule.
  2. Give students opportunities to practice using the
    Korean they know to transmit real meaning e.g.
    to tell you or one another something new, using
  3. Expect errors to come from several sources
    learners reliance on English, their
    overgeneralizations of Korean rules theyve
    learned, and strategies they use.
  4. Find ways to correct student performance in
    speech and writing, ideally their performance
    transmitting MEANING in Korean.

We need studies on English-Korean interlanguage
  • What is the built-in syllabus of Korean L2? What
    are the stages of its acquisition?
  • What is the role of native language transfer in
    shaping a Korean IL?
  • What sorts of overgeneralizations of Korean rules
    do learners of Korean make?
  • What is the role of meaningful use of Korean IL
    in SLA? Can IL develop from memorization and
    copying tasks?
  • Does negative feedback in the midst of
    communicative activity have an impact on the
    development of Korean L2? Can students provide
    this feedback effectively to each other?
  • Are there learners of Korean L2 whose ILs do not

  • Doughty, C., Williams, J. (Eds.). (1998). Focus
    on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition.
    Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
  • Jihyeon Jeon (1996). Instructed L2 acquisition
    and learners motivation, English Teaching,
    51(1), p. 59-81.
  • Jihyeon Jeon Park (1995). Adult learners
    motivation in learning a non-cognate foreign
    language, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota.
  • Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. IRAL
  • Tarone, E. (1994). Interlanguage. In R. Asher
    S. Simpson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and
    Linguistics (Vol. 4, pp. 1715-1719). Oxford
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