TEFL Warrenton North Carolina

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Problems for learners in South Korea In South Korea, some learners are exposed to english as early as Kindergarten. Students are obligated to attend english class at public school, as often as twice a week. Some parents go as far as paying monthly fees for their children to attend private institutions, which begin as soon as school has ended and run well into the evening. The benefit of learning english at private institutions, Hagwons, is that the classes are taught by native speakers. Therefore, they are likely to be more successful in terms of identifying problems with grammar and helping with pronunciation. This is something native Korean teachers may not be able to do as well. There are also Hagwons especially catered to adults, which suggests that they see the benefit of learning english. There are many differences between english and Korean, in terms of phonetics and sentence structure. From my own experience, I have realised that South Koreans find it difficult to pronounce certain sounds. For instance, the ‘r' and ‘l' sounds in words, they may say ‘I want to pray' instead of ‘I want to play'. It was only after I recently began learning the Korean written script, Hangul, that I noticed that there is a single letter for the sounds ‘l' and ‘r'. This explains mistakes made when learners pronounce words with these letters. Korean learners also find it difficult to pronounce the sound ‘th' as in ‘thirteen', which becomes ‘sirteen'. Another common mistake a Korean learner is likely to make with pronunciation is with the ‘v' sound as it is not used in Korean. Therefore, ‘very good' is often pronounced as ‘bery good'. There is a US military base located in the country's capital, Seoul. This has allowed South Koreans to become exposed to a different culture as well food, adopting many of these english words. However, the pronunciation of some of these words has been slightly changed to accommodate the Korean written script. For example ‘cheeseburger' is pronounced ‘cheejiboga, as there is no ‘z' sound in Korean. The ‘f' sound also does not exist in the Korean language and is substituted by the sound ‘p', for example ‘fork' is pronounced ‘pork'. Furthermore, there are many obstacles South Koreans face when learning english grammar. The Korean language has a Subject-Object-Verb word order. They would structure their sentences like this for example ‘I home went' instead of ‘I went home'. The pronoun is usually omitted, so sentences tend to consist of just the object and verb. Therefore, Korean learners may have trouble adjusting to the Subject-Verb-Object order of the english language. Another problem faced by many learners in South Korea is that they tend to think that they will not need to use english in the future. The learners that are the most proficient will have lived or studied in an english speaking country. However, with a supportive teacher and commitment from the student to practice, learners in South Korea may overcome these issues. english teachers in Korea should make sure that grammar is continuously reviewed. They should also do drill exercises, as often as possible, so that student's have the opportunity to practice their pronunciation. References: http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/langdiff/korean.htm http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/eng6365-flattery.htm http://asian-efl-journal.com/pta_april06_TJO.pdf