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A Comparative Analysis of the Development of Internet-Based Tools Supporting Korean Language Learning in Latin America and South Korea

Renato Ferreira Leitao Azevedo, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

The study of languages with the support of Internet-based tools is gaining prominence and encouragement because these concepts can enhance and streamline the process of teaching and learning languages. In recent years, according to Lee (2003) much effort has been spent in exploring the theoretical and pedagogical benefits of using Computers in Language Teaching and Learning. Wimberley (2007) says that new features, including voice recognition capability, greatly expanded computer memory for storing digitized speech samples, speedier processing capacity for real-time applications, and the option of multimedia can be now exploited supporting language learning, for example as a Second Language Learning (L2). Korean Language has a strong phonetics conception and structure and its own phonological system and orthography. Thus, visual and auditory resources provided by Internet-Based Tools can be a sound alternative to overcome physical distance between Latin America and South Korea, supporting the creation of students and teachers networks, sharing native pronunciations, culture and influences in general, as part of a true learning process. Very often schools in Latin America lack the appropriate materials and equipped laboratories for teaching some languages. This study aims at mapping and analyzing digital resources on websites offering tools to support teachers and students in the development of learning activities involving issues related to Korean language studies. The scope is, therefore, to conduct a research on the Internet aimed at finding multimedia resources that could help teachers and students to explore Korean language and compare the various tools and options offered. As Jung (1999) says, computer is a powerful tool for the delivery of drill-and-practice activities, allowing students to have more (and richer) opportunities for practice and increase vocabulary ability and listening comprehension. Accordingly, the comparative analysis that is the object of this study took into consideration the languages offered on teaching Korean language, the platform, the usability of the resources, the tools options offered and their contextualization. The aim is also to compare the current state of the art in South Korea and other countries, for teaching and learning Korean language based on the Internet, with the options that had been already developed in Latin America. In that sense, this study had mapped and analyzed more than 50 websites. As a result, the present research confirms the hypothesis that the majority of simulations or animations developed in foreign languages, accessible in Latin American, are available in English, few in Spanish and insufficient in Portuguese. The importance of this study, therefore, can be justified also in the pioneering spirit that can provide for a future development of a platform to support teaching and learning of Korean language in Portuguese and also in Spanish. This proposed research was based on the deductive method, as an exploratory research, employing both qualitative and quantitative analyses, demanding the employment of the following set of techniques: a) secondary research (literature review), b) direct measurement (survey development), and c) observation (exam and comparison of Korean language courses offered over the Internet, their virtual environment and supporting tools).

Key-words: Korean Language, Collaborative Environments, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), Educational Technology, Internet-Based Learning, Teaching and Learning Process, Korean Language on the Internet, Second Language (L2).

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