Construction and Application of Korean-English-Japanese Multilingual Teaching Aid System Based on Knowledge Map

Construction and Application of Korean-English-Japanese Multilingual Teaching Aid System Based on Knowledge Map

Li Zhe (Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China), Cheng Meng (Zhejiang University Ningbo Institute of Technology, Ningbo, China), Maesako Takanori (Osaka University, Suita, Japan) and Li Juan (Huaqiao University, Xiamen, China)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2018100101


This article describes the design and application of a computer-based system for simultaneously teaching Korean, English and Japanese languages in a classroom setting using knowledge visualization techniques to show the relationships between vocabularies, grammars and meanings. The system consists of a knowledge database of Korean, English, and Japanese which is then uploaded into the teaching module. Visualizations of this information in the form of knowledge maps based upon generally accepted rules of knowledge map can then be displayed and contrasted using the system interface to enter user queries. The system is then tested in a blended classroom of native Korean speakers. Data on student learning experiences are then gathered by means of a questionnaire and analyzed in order to assess the overall success of knowledge acquisition in this setting. Our findings show that this system evokes a personal initiative in the learning process, facilitates communication between teachers and learners, and supports the rapid acquisition of multilingual knowledge.
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As the trend continues toward increasing global integration of economics, finance, trade, and communications, the mastery of foreign languages has become a necessary survival skill (Bayyurt, 2015; MacKenzie, 2014; Mauranen & Ranta, 2009; Sewell, 2013). Dramatic changes in the scope and nature of international business and social interactions have brought about an increasing need for multicultural understanding and effective foreign language teaching (Hirona, 2016; Yasuteru, 2014). For today’s “global citizen,” sole knowledge of one’s native language, or the tacit acceptance of English as a lingua franca (ELF), is not always sufficient (Mauranen & Ranta, 2009). For this reason, there is growing pressure on providers of foreign language education to become increasingly multicultural and multilingual. Moreover, the structures required to retrieve linguistic data stored on computer-based learning systems are increasingly cross-lingual.

The fact remains that most “brick and mortar” language learning environments continue to employ traditional teaching methods which focus on a single foreign language only. As a result, the subject matter is relatively isolated from real world, multicultural realities can therefore present only a fragmented view of the larger linguistic picture (Ayako, 2016). The purpose of a multilingual and multimedia approach to learning, as opposed to a traditional bilingual approach which usually relies solely on textbooks for content, is to expand the learning context to a more interactive and integrated environment in which cross-linguistic information is dynamically and visually represented in the form of knowledge maps. In this way, learners can apply tools for association and comparison that aid in the rapid acquisition of vocabulary, grammar, and semantic knowledge, as well as a deeper understanding of the cultural and linguistic traditions that underlie these differences (Li, Takanori, & Zhang, 2016).

In March of 2017, this study designed a questionnaire to survey students who had actively engaged in learning three or more foreign languages. Results showed that approximately 80% of respondents had encountered difficulties in their efforts to learn multiple languages simultaneously. Common problems included an overdependence on transliteration between the target languages and one’s native language, as well as confusion relating to parts of speech, grammar, and sentence structures across languages. In addition, over 90% of respondents reported what they perceived to be lacking in effective learning resources, personalized assistance, and meaningful cross-lingual interactions with other learners. The survey also revealed how a learner’s so-called monolingual mindset, which serves as an anchor for his or her personal cultural traditions and worldview, can hinder their ability to learn foreign languages. In this regard, a multilingual learning approach can be advantageous in that it lessens the impact of emotional or intellectual barriers that may exist between the individual and “the other.”

In recent years, in order to improve the efficiency of teaching and learning assistance, the various research in foreign language education has begun to extensively adopt information technology. For instance, Ikeda, Numata, Kaneko, and Machida (2009) designed a multi-language text input support system for beginner language learners. The Mandarin learning aid system is designed to support the Chinese learning of ethnic minority students in China (Peng, Li, Wang, & Zhou, 2011). Sakoda, Konishi, Sasaki, Suga, and Hosoi (2016) exploited the International Corpus of Japanese as a Second Language to conduct a survey on multilingual learning. In addition, Noda and Go (2016), Kitagawa, Otani, Lin, and Ishida (2015), and Fukushima and Yoshino (2015), and Culbertson, Shen, Andersen, and Jung (2017) focused on the application of information technology in multilingual learning practice.

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