The Analysis of Communicative Competence in Korean Textbooks: Intercultural Competence Approach

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Language teachers utilize various resources to help students develop linguistic and Intercultural competence (ICC). However, textbooks are still the primary source for learning and teaching foreign languages. Despite the importance of textbooks in developing ICC, few studies are conducted on this topic, especially in less commonly taught languages such as Korean. This paper adopted ICC model of Deardorff (2006) and Gu and Zhao (2021) and applied three dimensions of ICC, “Attitude (attitude toward different cultures),” “Knowledge (linguistic and cultural knowledge),” and “Skill (ability to apply skills)” to examine the popular Korean textbooks in the United States. This study also includes personal interview data of Korean language learners from various backgrounds and how they understand and utilize the cultural components in the textbooks. The analysis shows that all the information in the culture sections is related to the topics of each lesson, mainly in the “Knowledge” dimension (a simple explanation of Korea and Korean culture). The interview data revealed that the culture sections in their Korean textbook are good resources for general knowledge. However, learners indicated that textbooks should have more activities based on “Skill” dimensions, such as expressing identity (race and ethnicity), choosing proper speech levels, and using correct honorific forms. This study also shares findings on the differences between Korean heritage and Korean as a foreign language learners in their understanding of Korean speech levels and honorific usage.



Intercultural competence, Korean languages


Kang, Hana. "The Analysis of Communicative Competence in Korean Textbooks: Intercultural Competence Approach." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 7 (August 2023), p. 1.