Teaching ‘Casual’ and/or ‘Impolite’ Language through Multimedia: The Case of Non-Honorific Panmal Speech Styles in Korean

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This article reports on the design, implementation and evaluation of an activity used to teach non-honorific speech styles through multimedia to a class of intermediate learners at a university in Europe. Although much emphasis has been placed in Korean language learning and teaching on the importance of honorific styles, my article reveals that this at times has come at the expense of ignoring the other side of the coin: non-honorific language. Indeed, Korean language teaching materials delay the teaching of nonhonorific
language to intermediate level and then only deal with them in a
perfunctory way. This is unfortunate as the pragmatics of non-honorific styles can be complex and learners frequently encounter these styles outside of class, even when their Korean level is rudimentary. I argue that this lack of emphasis on non-honorific language is not limited to Korean but represents a common tendency within language pedagogy to avoid language that is considered ‘casual’ or ‘impolite’. With traditional teaching materials doing a poor job at representing these facets of language use, the solution I put forward is the use of multimedia activities. These activities are designed specifically to raise consciousness of the pragmatic factors influencing the use of non-honorific styles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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