Teach English in Xujing Zhen - Shanghai Shi

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Problems for Learners in South KoreaThe Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is responsible for teaching foreign languages to more than 100,000 members of the united states State Department along with other branches of the government and military. Of the 67 languages taught at the FSI, the Korean language has been identified as one of the five hardest languages for a native english speaker to learn. If Korean is such a hard language for english speakers to learn, it follows that english is just as difficult for Korean speakers to learn. The reasons for the difficulties are, in part, due to the differences in the ways the languages are structured and how they sound, along with the new popularity of ?borrowed? english words, called Konglish, that can cause confusion to learners when they are confronted with the actual english word. The differences in the make-up of the Korean and english languages present formidable problems for beginners. The structure of a basic english sentence is Subject-Verb-Object, while the structure of a basic Korean sentence is Subject-Object-Verb. This basic, yet important, difference is one of the main problems for beginners. The next problem is the phonetic difference between the two languages. The alphabet for the Korean language, Hangul, has been called ?the perfect alphabet? due to it being nearly perfect phonetically. There are several rules where letters change sounds, but compared to english the number is few. In the Hangul alphabet, consonants have to be followed by vowels. If a consonant is the last sound in a syllable, the sound can change. Numerous Hangul consonants turn into a ?T? sound if they are the last syllable in a word. For example, the ?-ch? sound cannot be used to end a word in Korean. Because of this, when faced with a word such as ?match?, many Koreans will add a vowel sound to the end, so the word becomes ?matchee.? There are also several sounds in the english language that don't have a similar sound in Korean, such as the short ?i? sound, ?f?, and ?v?. To accommodate the lack of a similar sound, different Korean sounds are used. The short ?i? becomes a long ?e?, ?f? becomes ?p?, and ?v? becomes ?b?. These easy fixes become habits that are very hard to change as the students progress. Many english words have also been integrated into the Korean language. While this may seem a good way to learn and use english, these words, known as Konglish, also have a negative impact on learners. The negative impact comes because, as detailed above, the sounds of the two languages don't match. To fix this, the english words have been put into Hangul script so the pronunciation is changed. ?Computer? becomes ?com-pue-tuh,? and ?coffee? becomes ?cup-pee.? This integration of words makes it even more difficult to teach the proper sounds such as an ?r? at the end of a word or an ?f? sound. Some words are even changed more than just having sounds substituted. ?Soda? is ?Sigh-duh? (cider) and ?motorcycle? is ?ah-to-bah-ee? (autobike). Language learners will often use the Konglish word in english conversation, not knowing that the word is actually not an english word. This confusion doesn't start and end with the learners, but also the language teachers, who may be unable to identify the differences between the Konglish and english. Konglish words are not considered Korean words, but are used so much in media and conversation that they have a big impact on how the Korean people view the english language. While most native english speakers will never have to learn any of the five most difficult languages to learn, native Korean speakers don't have this "luxury" with english. It is a mandatory subject from 3rd grade through high school, and more and more classes at the university level are being taught in english or using english textbooks. It also remains important in many people's professional careers. The problems presented by the structural and phonetic differences between the two languages, along with confusion caused by the existence of Konglish words, are just two of the hurdles that must be cleared on the way to english fluency.