The aim of this study is to grope for the direction of the content and
structure of the learning material for ‘language treatment’ which will be
used as an ‘education’ and ‘treatment’ for the children of multi-cultural
families with language disorder. Language treatment for children of
multi-cultural families will be a part of more systematic and effective
Korean language education considering correction of language disorder
as well as language development which is different from language
treatment for normal children. The result will be fluent Korean
language and improvement of learning ability.
Language disorder of the children of multi-cultural families comes
from a defect in the course of a linguistic development. The language
environment in the childhood which causes lack of spoken language
contact due to the mothers without fluent Korean leads to the basic
problem with pronunciation, accent and vocabularies of Korean
language. The learning material for language treatment has to consider
and recover the lack of experience of spoken language.
Spoken language needs the training of pronunciation and accent as
well as suprasegmental features such as strength, tone quality, rhythm,
length. It is important to find the point place of articulation in the
pronunciation training. Besides, it would not be possible for children to
express their feelings until they recognize the strength adjustment from
whispers to shout, the change the tone quality from husky, rough to a
nasal, the length control of vowels and accent such as high or low
tone. It aims at fluency in Korean language to learn the strength of
words and paragraphs or to learn various patterns of rhythm in the
sentences. The process of language treatment of phonology above
mentioned is followed by that of lexicology which focuses on
understanding the relationship between words and sounds and learning
the meaning. This needs a balanced approach connecting repeated
sentences with expected pictures. It is important for the balanced
approach to make learning materials to connect the sense of sight with
that of hearing such as looking for the same sound of one's first name
by watching a picture, words having the same sound at the end or
words sounding funny and looking unusual etc.
The next step is the language treatment of semantics associated
with elementary level of Korean language reading. It is to learn
categorized vocabularies and related words based on the similarity or
common function of things, for example, pencil and paper, toothpaste
and toothbrush, spoon and chopsticks, book and note, go and come,
here and there, inside and outside, up and down.
The language treatment of pragmatics is the next. Pragmatics is the
functional side of language understanding or expressing the language
according to the context. It is categorized as a high level of language
treatment by teaching children how to use words properly considering
the purpose and context and how to understand other people's
intention. As I mentioned above, the language treatments based on
phonology, lexicology, semantics and pragmatics lead to the study of
speaking and hearing in the elementary Korean language. Therefore it
will be desirable to make a material for the language treatment
containing contexts which are connected to a fairy tale, a traditional
tale or a folk tale and further to the expressions used in the elementary
The contents of the material for language treatment should be
decided on the initiative of children. It doesn't mean that the speech
therapist has to play a passive role. We are just cautious of the
situation putting the relationship between the speech therapist and
children to that of question-answer or order-obey.
If children play an active role, most of them easily achieve sensitivity
to various feelings and ability to express it. It makes generalization
more easily and facilitates their role as communicators.
Looking at a child's initial language learning stage, one may realize
the communication between the child and his mother who brings up
him influences a lot on the language skill. A child is satisfied with his
mother playing with him and reading a book for him regardless of the
level of the mothers' fluency in Korean language.
It is preferable for a mother to be with the child in the language
treatment for him. In this case, the mother plays a counter actor, ie.,
to response, tell or listen to the child rather than just an observer
beside him. As children of language disorder normally don't understand
that the teller and the listener take turns talking, it is essential to make
a material for the language treatment containing the counter actor.
The ultimate purpose of language treatment is a perfect
communication. For doing this, it is necessary to make teaching
contents and strategy of the subject combination by using a real thing,
picture, poster to fully understand the subject expressed with a word
or sometimes by connecting culture, a fairy tale, mathematics, science,
music and art with the subject to understand the concept. We have to
find something academic leading to consistency or connecting with the
contents of the material in order to make the material with the
It would not be easy to practice Korean language education in
parallel with language treatment against the children of language
disorder. The longer the period of disorder, the deeper the disorder
itself and of course the longer the treatment needed. To establish the
advanced multi-cultural society, we have to provide the social minority
with the customized service.
There is a story of 'invitation for a meal between a fox and a crane'
fables. It points out of the necessity of the customized service
considering not only materials of the meal but also the container.
Children of the international marriage families will be the main
engine of the next generation of Korean society. Their problem will
become Korean society's problem and their disorder will directly lead
to the barrier preventing from the progress of Korean society. How
deeply we can consider the children of international marriage with a
language disorder in order to treat them is closely related to the depth
of our lives.