Learning English as a second language in South Korea: Perceptions of 2nd year college and university students and their English speaking instructors

| January 28, 2010
Title
Learning English as a second language in South Korea: Perceptions of 2nd year college and university students and their English speaking instructors.

Author
John G. Thornton
University of Southern Queensland
Abstract
This study aims to canvass views about foreign language learning from second year South Korean university students of English and native English instructors. Their beliefs are considered in juxtaposition with the principles of Second Language Acquisition theory (SLA) and within the broader context of South Korea in general. Hence, the significance of this study is educational and cross-cultural. It attempts (a) to describe and investigate perceptions of EFL instruction at the collegiate and university levels in S. Korea with 2nd year students and their instructors, (b) to identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of their approach to second language acquisition and explore how closely the student and teacher perceptions align with SLA theory, and (c) to explore the conditions in the S. Korean context that may have led to these beliefs.
This project applies a quantitative survey method, complemented with qualitative interviews, to a cross-section of 2nd year students from a two-year junior college, a private university, and a national university in Busan, South Korea. The raw survey data has been comparatively analyzed through mean, standard deviation, and T-test results, whereas the interviews have provided information that has been organized in support of developing themes.
The results showed that, generally, the students from all three types of education facilities shared similar perceptions toward second language acquisition. Likewise, the instructor s results were also consistent. However, there were significant differences between the instructors and students upon specific survey items and with their responses in juxtaposition with recent SLA findings.
Based on the findings of this project, this study will extend the data in the field of second language research in South Korea, as it has implications that directly encroach upon what and how instructors teach and in what ways students learn.
[private]

Download PDF

[/private]

Category: Thesis