Increased use of Korean when speaking in 3rd grade

As shown in Table 6.1, when Toni and Julie were in 1st grade, they both spoke more in English than in Korean (41% in English vs. 12% in Korean for Toni; 32% in English vs. 13% in Korean for Julie). Conversely, their 3rd-grade language use revealed that they spoke more in Korean than in English (51% in Korean vs. 9% in English for Toni; 49% in Korean vs. 8% in English for Julie). Both Toni and Julie still engaged in word-level translanguaging when they were in 3rd grade, but the frequency of inserting English words when they spoke in Korean decreased (from 46% to 38% for Toni; from 53% to 41% for Julie). The frequency of their sentence-level switching (from Korean to English and vice versa) was also less observed in their 3rd-grade classroom (from 91 to 30 times for Toni; from 87 to 26 times for Julie). In other words, there was an increased use of Korean and a decrease in their use of English when they were in 3rd grade compared to when they were in 1st grade.

Development of vocabulary knowledge in Korean

The focal students’ increased vocabulary knowledge in Korean appeared to play a role in their increased use of Korean as 3rd-graders. Comparison of Julie’s language use in Figure 6.1 (as a lst-grader) and Figure 6.2 (as a 3rd-grader) display that when Julie was a lst-grader, she translanguaged into English as she did not know the equivalent words in Korean, but by 3rd grade, she had acquired knowledge of the same words and uttered them in Korean. As shown in Figure 6.1, Julie (lst-grader) translanguaged into English for the words “story” and “remember” (turn 2) when she responded to the question about the book that the class read. When she was asked how to say the translanguaged words in Korean, she stated that she did not remember the word “story” in Korean and did not know the corresponding word for “remember” in Korean. The example indicates that Julie translanguaged into English for unknown words to complete her response, which functioned as a communicative purpose. (English translations are provided within the brackets. Translanguaged words are underlined in the English translation.)

1. T: -g;») <>lf-& ^<4^. <4^41 «*)?

[How did Yoon write her name in English?]

2. Julie: >-} ZL story remember si] A.

[I remember the story.]

Figure 6.1 Julie’s (Ist-grade) employment of English for uncertain Korean words.

On the other hand, Julie’s 3rd-grade language use in Figure 6.2 demonstrated that she had acquired the two Korean words (“story” and “remember”) that she did not know in 1st grade. Julie’s answer to Mrs. Joen’s question included the Korean words for “story” and “remember” (the bold and italicized Korean word; turn 2). Despite evidence of her vocabulary gain, Julie translanguaged the word “story” into English in her Korean subsequent statement (turn 3). That is, Julie spoke the English word after saying it in Korean by employing her vocabulary knowledge from English. In the interview, Julie stated that (translated into Korean) “I think I spoke it English because I know the word in English as well.” Julie’s 3rd-grade language use example displays not only her Korean vocabulary gain but also her flexible use of dual lexicon through translanguaging as a bilingual speaker’s communicative strategy.

1. Mrs. Jeon: 4-e) *1YHM ££ M]-§- Y?} «H

[Who wants to tell the story of the book that we read in class last week? Julie, can

you try?]

2. Julie: o]...ZL «I Z/^qi^T] ^o]-ja..

[Umm... I think I remember the story of the book.]

3. Julie: erfl z] storyTfltflS. c}fe-7]

[But I might not remember the whole story correctly.]

Figure 6.2 Julie’s (3rd-grade) demonstration of Korean vocabulary gain and flexible use of dual lexicons.

Comparing Toni’s language use in Figure 6.3 (in 1st grade) and Figure 6.4 (in 3rd grade) also shows evidence of his vocabulary gain in Korean. In Figure 6.3, Toni as a lst-grader responded to the teacher’s question by translanguaging the words “favorite part” (turn 2). When

1. T: vilfl £al] o]f.o] 1$ uts.7] zl^ifl?

[Do you all remember the part when the classmates created the name jar for


2. Toni: q], fl7] i]| favorite part °i| ft.

[Yes, that was my favorite part.]

Figure 6.3 Toni’s (Ist-grade) translanguaging for unknown Korean words.

Toni was asked how to say the words in Korean, he stated that he knew how to say “like” but did not know the word “favorite” in Korean. Similar to the previous example by Julie, Toni (as a Ist-grader) also translanguaged into English for unknown words to complete his response, which performed as a communicative purpose.

Analysis of Toni’s 3rd-grade language use in Figure 6.4 demonstrated that he had acquired the word (“favorite”) in Korean. Toni’s response to Julie’s question included the Korean word (the bold and italicized Korean word; turn 2) for “favorite” (turn 2). Yet, Toni later incorporated the word “favorite” in English in his Korean utterance (turn 4). It seemed that Toni spoke the word in English instinctively (turn 4) as he responded to Julie’s praise (turn 3). In the interview, Toni explained that he sometimes used English because speaking in English is natural behavior as a bilingual, stating “I used English because sometimes I naturally spoke in English without knowing or realizing because I speak both Korean and English when talking to other bilinguals.” Like the previous example by Julie, Toni’s 3rd-grade language use example indicates that he had developed his Korean vocabulary knowledge but drew from his dual lexicon (bilingual vocabulary) to communicate with his bilingual audience.

1. Julie: Y?! °1^1

[Who wants to do this game?]

2. Toni: 4 tM. °17] dpi №

[1 will do it. That is my favorite game.]

3. Julie: Wt}.

[You are so good at this.]

4. Toni: 4] 7} vJ?Jx]?t|] favorite o]e}ai.!

[I told you that it was my favorite!]

Figure 6.4 Toni’s (3rd-grade) demonstration of Korean vocabulary gain and flexible use of dual lexicon.

Figure 6.5 shows a similar pattern when comparing the two students’ language use between 1st and 3rd grades. In Figure 6.5, Julie translanguaged into English for the words “shy” and “nervous” (turn 2) when responding to the question (turn 1). When she was asked how to say the words in Korean, she described the characteristics of being shy and nervous by using the English words (“face red” and “heartbeat” for the word “shy” and “worry” for the word “nervous”) but stated that she did not know the corresponding

1. T:

[How did you feel when you went to the school for the first time?]

2. Julie: *1 «152 *|-e- “fl Sj°l shy SjfiL nervous SH-fi..

[When 1 went to the school for the first time, I was very shy and nervous.]

3. T: Shy «1 nervous o]^7]] fl*l?

[How can you describe being shy and nervous in Korean?]

4. Julie: Shy face red nervous heart beat s)| Jl s]| tf“] worry’¿1 °I *H

Korean -g-sl-S-.

[Being shy is when someone’s face becomes red, and if you feel nervous, your heart is beatfing] because you worry a lot. I do not know them in Korean.]

Figure 6.5 Julie’s (Ist-grade) translanguaging to sustain communication.

words in Korean (turn 4). Julie’s response in turn 4 indicates that she was able to explain the definitions of the unknown Korean words using English. In other words, Julie employed the vocabulary knowledge from English for the unknown Korean words to complete her response.

On the other hand, Julie’s 3rd-grade language use in Figure 6.6 demonstrated that she had acquired the Korean words that she had not known in first grade. Julie’s answer to Mrs. Joen’s question included the Korean words for “shy” and “nervous” (the bold and italicized Korean words; turn 2). However, although Julie demonstrated her vocabulary gain in Korean, she still incorporated the English word “nervous” in her Korean discourse (turn 4). Close analysis revealed that she uttered the word in Korean first and then translanguaged to repeat the word

1. Julie: ofleafo) -^TZe/ijA] ¿]7)- *z|]^ol£..

[Erevan’s ears became red because he was shy. And he felt nervous and anxious.]

2. Julie: Slcpa =r«HM “^41 nervous SiH-S-

[Erevan was nervous nervous (repeated the word); he was afraid of making

mistakes when he solved the mathematics problem.]

Figure 6.6 Julie’s (3rd-grade) employment of translanguaging to emphasize.

in English. In the interview, Julie explained that she repeated the word in English to emphasize its meaning in her response. Julie stated, “I said the word ‘nervous’ again in English because I wanted to emphasize how much Erevan (the character in the book) was nervous.” A similar translanguaging incidence was appeared in her other Korean discourse and discussed in the prior chapter (see Figure 5.2 in Chapter 5). In the earlier example, Julie translanguaged into English when she wanted to highlight her opinion. Her translanguaging in this example also was to emphasize her intended meaning by repeating the word in English. Julie’s translanguaging is similar to the concept of bilingual re-voicing (Gort & Sembiante, 2015).

Another comparison of Toni’s language use in Figure 6.7 (in 1st grade) and Figure 6.8 (in 3rd grade) also displays evidence of Toni’s vocabulary growth in Korean. In Figure 6.7, Toni as a Ist-grader did not seem to know the Korean word “tE [Ttuet; meaning]” when he was asked its meaning in Korean (turn 2). Yet, after the teacher provided the example from the book to show how the word is used (turn 3), Toni understood the meaning of the word and successfully answered to the teacher’s question in Korean. Nevertheless, he still uttered the word (“meaning”) in English when he provided his answer in Korean (turn 4).

1. T: uWlfe MV u|t-fl •&<4?

[Do you all know the meanings in your names?]

2. Toni: V?ZM1 341.8.?

[“Ttuet" (meaning)? What is that?]

3. T: »1)3->4... °)>2| V°l ^<45. shining wisdom.

v-Mf-g. ^z] <£m S!<4?

[For example, the meaning in Yoon’s name in the book was shining wisdom. It is in English. Do you all know about yours?]

4. Toni: °1 '4 °l meaning, vf 51 °17I tVl, ?! 'MlM A A meaning

[Oh, the meaning in my name. My mom told me that the meaning is strong and tough.]

Figure 6.7 Toni’s (ist-grade) translanguaging to provide the answer to the question.

On the other hand, Toni’s 3rd-grade responses in Figure 6.8 exhibit that he said the word “meaning” in Korean (the bold and italicized Korean word; turn 2) in responding to Mrs. Joen’s question (turn 2). When Mrs. Joen asked the class whether they knew the Korean word “officialdom” (turn 1), Toni answered her question by using the word “meaning” in Korean. However, similar to what Julie did in the previous example, Toni also spoke the acquired Korean word (“meaning”) in English later (turn 4). It appeared that Toni spoke the word “meaning” in English instinctively as he was thinking about the meaning of the English word for “officialdom” (turn 4). During the interview, Toni explained, “I was thinking about the meaning of the word (officialdom) in English, so I think I said the word (‘meaning’) in English automatically.” His response indicates that Toni presented his bilingual identity by intuitively using English since he knew the word in both languages. That is, Toni as a bilingual speaker was able to move across the languages flexibly by selecting his dual lexicon from his bilingual resources.

1. Mrs. Joen: <4é°l 3*1?

[The book says “byeoseul" (officialdom), do you know the meaning of the word?]

2. Toni: 3£... ^3?3*]...? <4 ÜL3 3*13^^71.2..

[Byeoseul...what is the meaning of it? Oh, it is.... To become rich and get prize.]

3. Mrs. Joen: ¿2$*]. fe-è *)3> ?]■& sfl.

[Right. It indicates getting a higher status in the position.]

4. Toni: -Ec]] H] ■=? sg 0)5. a]-y°l □. meaning °] 3®flA?

[But, does the meaning change if I translated the word in English?]

Figure 6.8 Toni’s (3rd-grade) flexible use of dual lexicons through trans-languaging.

Development of Korean honorifics

A comparison of Toni and Julie’s oral language use between 1st and 3rd grade showed that their use of honorífics (a formal and humble form of speaking) has been firmly established. It is important to note that using honorifics is required practice in the Korean language when speaking to elders as a way of expressing politeness, courtesy, or respect when addressing or referring to them (Brown, 2011; Lee, 2005). Since young Korean children seldom use it with their parents in the home setting to express intimacy, school is the primary setting where young Korean children learn how to use it properly with the teacher.

When Toni and Julie were in 1st grade, Julie was the student who did not use honorífics to communicate with me (her lst-grade teacher). On the other hand, analysis of the students’ oral language use in 3rd grade showed that Julie used honorifics appropriately when responding to Mrs. Joen. In addition, Julie also appropriately used honorifics during the interviews with me, and when she met other Korean teachers in the school building.

For Toni’s case, although he was more likely to use Korean honorifics to address me in his lst-grade class, he did not always use them appropriately. There are different levels of Korean honorifics depending on the level of politeness. For instance, to make honorifics, Korean speakers not only have to add a suffix to the end of verbs but also switch the verbs to suppletive forms to connote being humble. In 1st grade, Toni often correctly added suffixes to the end of verbs but rarely used the polite form of verbs. However, his 3rd-grade speech displayed that he used honorifics appropriately and correctly with Mrs. Joen in his 3rd-grade classroom and with me during the interviews. Overall, it was revealed that both Toni and Julie used Korean honorifics appropriately throughout their 3rd-grade language use data when they talked to their teacher (Mrs. Joen) and to me during the interview.

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