This WebQuest project is devised for students who are native speakers of English learning beginner's level Korean in a college class. This project develops a clear concept about the Korean sound system and students' ability to create simple Korean sentences upon the completion of the tasks. Students will also learn the logic of writing Hangeul (Korean alphabet) and try Hangeul writing to complete the tasks.




There are two main tasks in this project.

1. First task is practicing Korean sounds. We will try to write our name and our family members' names in Korean after reading and reseraching the Korean sound system. In order to complete the assignment, you need to learn the Korean sound system and identify the differences of Korean sounds from those of English. Any given two natural languages (human language, not the artificial language that is) in the world have some kind of similarities and some kind of differences in their sound systems. We will identify what those similarities are in the case of English and Korean through completing this task.

2. The second task is practicing short sentences in Korean. Korean language has a distinctive word order compared to many Indo-European languages such as English. We will read relevant material and try to compose three simple Korean setences according to the Korean word order structure. The sentences we aim to translate in Korean are below:

(1) People walk fast.
(2) Minho eats apples.
(3) My grandmother has a dog.



You may want to start this project by reading the resources first. Read the overview material and then move to the Korean sound system articles. Make some notes if necessary while reading and try identifying what we don't have in English that Korean has in its sound system. Also try to find the sounds that only English has and Korean doesn't. Make brief notes summarizing your findings about these two sound systems.

Try to be familiar with the Hangeul writing system while reading the articles. Hangeul is introduced in different places in your reading list in detail. Recognizing Hangeul is important since your assignment will be eventually submitted in Korean! However, do not worry about memorizing all the Hangeul letters at this point. You will need to simply recognize and transfer English sounds into Korean sounds. Write the names in English and translate each into Korean to complete task 1.

Here are the letters of the Hangeul system and their names.

After writing your name and your family members' names in Korean, move to the next batch of reading about Korean grammar. Observe and compare the differences between English and Korean word order and try writing the three given sentences from the second task. These three sentences should be written in Korean! Write the sentences in English and translate each into Korean to complete task 2.




1. Brief overview of the history of the Korean language

***About Korean sounds***

2. Overview of Korean language in a linguistic view
3. Detailed information by Encyclopedia of Korean language
4. Comprehensive information on Korean language and Hangeul

***About Korean grammar***

5. Brief overview of Korean word order
6. Hints on Korean grammar
7. Korean grammar lessons
8. Korean dictionaries



The name-phonemes translation task will be graded by the level of student's systematic display of the two sound systems. The names' translation should demonstrate student's understanding of the given resources. If there is any mistakes in writing Hangeul, student s will get a partial score. (Total score: 10)
The Korean sentence making task focuses on assessing student's ability of making logical Korean sentences following the given information. Students with any markers/particles mistakes will receive a partial score. (Total score: 10)



Learning Korean is not an easy task for most English speakers considering the structures of English and Korean hardly have any linguistic commonalities in them. Considering this as a huge obstacle in learning Korean, your effort in the tasks is worth making when you really want to be fluent in Korean.
While you keep this experience as a milestone in your Korean language study, you can also think about a couple of further questions related to the topic.

    1. What English sounds will be impossible to transfer into Korean?
    2. How Korean sentences will connect to each other?




Copyright by Jaemin Roh
Boston University
June 2005