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Problems for learners in South KoreaKorean esl students are presented with a number of stumbling blocks in acquiring the English language. While many challenges exist, some of the major challenges include differences in pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Pronunciation proves dramatically different from English for a number of reasons and therefore makes learning difficult for korean esl students. First, korean is a syllable timed language whereas English is a stress timed language. korean esl students have difficulty stressing particular words and tend to sound rather flat throughout their speech. Second, there are certain vowels which do not exist in the korean language. For instance /?/ is usually substituted with /o/. Unstressed English vowels such as /?/ also prove difficult for korean esl students. Lastly, differences in consonants make pronunciation difficult for korean esl students. Some consonants that exist in English do not exist in korean like /f, v, ?, ð/. students have a difficult time differentiating between /l/ and /r/ when pronouncing and when listening. Pairs of voiced and unvoiced like /f/ and /v/; /p/ and /b/; /?/ and /ð/ also prove difficult to differentiate. Grammar remains a difficult area of study for ESL korean students. Honorifics, articles, and verb tenses each present their own problems to korean esl students. Verb tenses can be difficult for students because korean is an agglutinative language meaning that tense, mood, and social implications are added to the end of each verb. In English, however, the entire verb often changes based on the same criteria. Articles often prove problematic for korean esl students since the korean language uses none. Knowing which articles to use and when not to use an article, therefore, can be a difficult learning block for koreans. Finally, honorifics (ex: Your Honor, Doctor Smith) exist in English but are rare in comparison to the korean language. students often have a difficult time finding a suitable replacement for the korean honorific when communicating in English. This is due, in part, to the difference between korean and English culture. korean esl students often have a difficult time learning English due to the cultural differences between korean and many english speaking countries. Typically in English it is acceptable and appropriate to use ?I? and focus the situation on oneself. In korea, however, the group (ex: family, society) are of the upmost importance. Therefore, when discussing the instructor, a korean student might say, ?Our teacher?? (even if the student is not talking to someone who is in the same class) when an English student would likely say, ?My teacher??. The Koran language has a stringent Subject-Object-Verb word order, while English typically has a Subject-Verb-Object word order. This change, in and of itself, is relatively easy to make for korean esl students. The trouble lies in the nuances and changes that the English language makes. students will tend to write flat and rather boring if they only apply the Subject-Verb-Object in their speaking and writing. Since koreans typically deemphasize personal reference, the sentence may only contain a verb. Therefore, knowing when to add a noun can prove difficult for some korean esl students. Finally, students can have a hard time learning English in the classroom if the teacher does not fully understand the cultural norms in korea. For example, it is respectful toward elders and teachers to avoid eye contact. Also, volunteering may seem bold and a form of showing off and therefore discouraged. Learning English as a secondary language can prove difficult for many, and perhaps more difficult for certain individuals. korean students learning English have to overcome a number of barriers to acquire the English language fully. Adapting pronunciation and adding new sounds to the korean language proves challenging for many. Changing grammatical structure is another source of frustration for students. Finally, the sheer differences in culture including emphasis on the family and society and de-emphasis on self have major implications on the ability of korean esl students to learn English. In order to succeed teaching in a korean ESL setting, a good teacher will take this knowledge and plan the course accordingly. Bibliography Cho, Byung-Eun. November 2004. http://www.brookes.ac.uk/. 5 September 2011 . Shoebottom, Paul. A Guide to Learning English. January 2011. 5 September 2011 .