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Style Shift in Korean Pedagogical Discourse

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2007, 15(2), pp.1-29
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Kim Kyu-hyun 1 Kyung-Hee Suh 2

1경희대학교
2한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In Korean pedagogical discourse involving young learners, boundaries in pedagogical activities are signaled by the teacher’s style shift that utilizes a range of sentence-ending suffixes that index different degrees of formality and politeness. The shift from the use of the informal polite form -(e)yo to the use of the informal non-polite form -a/e in teacher's talk is contextually motivated by the need to address contingencies associated with a range of classroom management tasks of dealing with individual students, e.g., matters related to disciplining, advising, encouraging, etc. The shift to the formal style characterized by the formal polite forms -(su)pnita/-(su)pnikka takes place in the context where the teacher highlights his/her instructional focus, explicates subject-related knowledge, and/or marks a boundary in pedagogical activities. In young learners' talk in class, the formal style is used when they make a report or presentation related to group activities or produce a response whose upshot draws upon the textbook content, often in the context of reciprocating the formality indexed by the teacher's subject-related questions. Young learners' use of the formal style tends to be limited to a single-shot response, which constrains the extent to which they can sustain participation in subject-related classroom activities. The findings suggest that young learners could benefit from being allowed to use the informal style more freely in dealing with at least some 'formal' aspects of the way subject knowledge is organized in class.

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