Cultural /learning and linguistic characteristics of Korean students in the United States: Perceptions of professors and students

Kyung Soon Lee, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to identify American college professors' perceptions of the cultural/learning and linguistic characteristics of Korean college students in the United States. Another aim of this study was to identify Korean college students' perceptions of their cultural/learning and linguistic characteristics in the United States. The participants in this study consisted of 2 groups: 25 professors and 19 Korean college students from the same undergraduate liberal arts college in New Jersey. To determine the participants' perceptions, the data were gathered by means of a questionnaire and subsequent interviews. Analysis of the data provided that the participating professors and students agreed on almost all categories (difference of Korean and the United States educational systems, critical thinking, class participation, lack of understanding about ownership of knowledge, difficulties with English syntax, and preference for speaking Korean to other Korean classmates) except for the heavy alcohol consumption, eye contact, and differentiating variations in word choices which showed significant differences in their perceptions. The findings of this study clearly showed a close link between cultural differences and students' learning abilities. It also points out the importance of including multicultural education in the curriculum design, even at the college level. These findings are in agreement with studies conducted by Oak (2003), Regan (1998), Robinson (2003), and Suh (1999). These authorities have clearly shown the intimate link between culture, learning, and language, and how, at times, one can easily understand or misunderstand because of these differences.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Language arts|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Lee, Kyung Soon, "Cultural /learning and linguistic characteristics of Korean students in the United States: Perceptions of professors and students" (2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3134440.