‘Because Korean is cool’ Adolescent learners’ vision, motivation, and the study of the Korean language

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Abstract

Despite Australia being a multicultural and multilingual country, the number of school leavers who have learnt a foreign language is extremely low. Previous research has pointed to the lack of understanding of what a language represents for its speaker and learners as the main reason for the failure of previous language policies. To address this issue, this study focuses on Australian middle and high school students of Korean as a foreign language in order to understand the variety of perceptions that learners have of their future language self. Forty-four students took part in an online Q methodology sorting task and the analysis reveals the presence of three main points of view related to the future language self. The first point of view is related to the enjoyment of Korean popular culture. The second point of view is characterised by the desire to learn more foreign languages. The third point of view is characterised by the vision of becoming a fluent speaker of Korean and to potentially study in Korea in the future. Discussion of these three points of view highlights the importance of the role of the teacher in shaping the motivation of young learners, and of instruction activities able to make use of student’s imaginations in order to build and sustain long-term motivation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)37-74
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Korean Language Education
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

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