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A Study on High-Level Essay Writing Questions in TOPIK

Kim Sun Ok 1

1아주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether high-level(level 6)essay-writing questions in Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) have beenpresented appropriately so as to enable foreign test-takers to display their Koreanwriting ability properly, and to provide some suggestions on how those questionsneed to be changed. To accomplish this purpose, all the essay-writing questionswere collected from the 33 TOPIK tests, from the 2nd in 1998 to the 35thin2014, and analyzed from the perspectives of their topics and formats. The resultsare that high-level TOPIK essay-writing questions showed a strong tendency totake as their topics Korean sociocultural structures and phenomena, or currentissues in Korea, and that they frequently employed guided writing formats byproviding preset ideas or/and contexts for test-takers to write in a guided way;such tendencies were analyzed to shed a negative influence on test-takers displayingtheir writing ability and creativity, because those topics and preset ideas or contextsprovided do not allow them to express their own opinions or positions freely. It is suggested that TOPIK essay-writing questions should be changed to dealwith objective and general topics which enable test-takers to write freely andlogically in Korean based on their experience, because TOPIK is not a test tocheck whether they have enough background knowledge about the Korean societyand culture, but a test to assess their Korean proficiency.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.