Use of Common Verb Phrases in Describing Everyday Activities by Advanced Korean-speaking Learners of English

  • Received : 20070400
  • Accepted : 20070600
  • Published : 2007.06.30

Abstract

As an attempt to investigate the use of common verbs by a small group of Korean college students at the advanced level, the present study describes the students' speech production data collected from picture description tasks. The primary focus of the data description was how the students used high-frequency verbs in describing everyday activities. Out of total 442 units, 149 verbs were erroneously used. All erroneous utterances were classified into four categories according to their characteristics. The most prominent error type was overgeneralization due to incomplete knowledge of lexical items. Results showed that verbs used in everyday life were not easy even for the advanced level students. Although in some cases, L1 influence was discerned, the students' problems are more fundamental. In particular, the data revealed lack of knowledge of collocational possibilities and restrictions, and confusion about semantic boundaries between verbs which have similar semantic areas. The findings suggest that teaching at the advanced level should take contrastive approaches intralingually as well as interlingually to the high-frequency verbs.