Applying cognitive grammar to student-led Korean language workshops in a North American university

Open Access
Benner, Grace
Area of Honors:
Applied Linguistics
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Susan Strauss, Thesis Supervisor
  • Sharon Childs, Honors Advisor
  • Korean
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Language Pedagogy
  • Grammar Instruction
  • Korean Grammar
This study documents the discovery processes of two Korean language students during their participation in a series of student-led Korean language workshop series founded on principles of cognitive linguistic (CL) approaches to Korean grammar instruction. Using the students’ verbal contributions to workshop discussions and activities as indicators of their learning processes, I examine how the students negotiate meaning and identify patterns within authentic discourse data to form understandings of Korean particular elements of Korean grammar: locative particles (-에 and -에서; -ey and -eyse), topic/subject markers (-은/는 and -이/가; un/nun and -i/ka), evidentials (-군, -네, and -더라; -kwun, -ney and -tela), and completives (V+ -아/어 버리다 and V+ -고 말다; V+ a/e pelita and V+ ko malta). Importantly, the students discover that grammar is a highly meaningful and creative system and that understanding Korean grammar requires recognizing it as a system unique from concepts found in other languages, especially English. The data also support the value of creating graphic representations of the conceptual elements of grammatical forms to guide student learning. Ultimately, the narrative, dialogue, and analysis presented here echo the need for language students everywhere to be recognized as capable and deserving participants in meaningful use of their target languages and call specifically for further research and curriculum development involving cognitive linguistics-based approaches to the thorough instruction of L2 grammar in general and Korean grammar in particular.