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A study on Korean college English learners’ proficiency of differentiating synonyms.

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2020, 21(1), pp.32-42
  • DOI : 10.18095/meeso.2020.21.1.32
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Received : December 14, 2019
  • Accepted : February 10, 2020
  • Published : February 28, 2020

Kim Yukyoung 1 Jeon, Jihyun 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study explores Korean college English learners’ ability to differentiate synonyms according to semantic and structural differences, assuming that the difference between Korean and English vocabulary may affect their ability to choose appropriate synonyms. This study uses a quantitative design as the main research methodology. One hundred five Korean college students participated and were classified into three groups according to their English proficiency which was determined by a TOEIC test. Thirty-two synonyms were selected for test items and three groups were asked to choose a proper synonym in a given context. Collected data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and a t-test. The results of the study show that participants of this study have a better ability to choose proper synonyms regarding semantic differences, implying that the participants of this study do not have enough grammatical knowledge in noticing structural differences. The results of this study also show that the high level English proficiency group recognized semantic and structural differences while both the intermediate level and the low level English proficiency groups could not differentiate synonyms according to semantic and structural differences. Directions for further studies and pedagogical implications are suggested.

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