This study began from the premise that Korean literature education is necessary in Korean language education for learners to better understand Korean culture and expand their learning ability. Accordingly, this study aimed to establish a standard for selecting Korean literary works for learners and used the standard to select relevant literary works. Positing that “vocabulary” is one of the many difficulties foreign learners face when learning to appreciate Korean literary works, this study conducted a corpus analysis of the difficulty of certain literary works with focus on the amount, difficulty, and frequency of vocabulary in the work.
Considering that the ultimate goal of learning a foreign language is to understand and express oneself like a native speaker, this paper set the Korean literary work that appears in the curriculum for native speakers in Korean schools as the external standard for selecting the works for Korean language education. As for the internal standard, this study used the “burden of learning” that learners experience from learning vocabulary and the “usage” of vocabulary, which is used to measure relatively how well the vocabulary learners acquire from literary works are used. This study selected six works based on the standards and extracted general nouns from the works to analyze the amount of new vocabulary and the difficulty of the works, by comparing them with the “basic -intermediate-advanced” list of vocabulary from the International Standard Curriculum of Korean Language.
There are many other factors aside vocabulary that make literary works difficult for learners. While this study confirmed the burden of learning the learners experience only by using a list of vocabulary for data analysis, more effective research would be possible in the future with the establishment of a vocabulary archive with additional metadata.