Introduction Section 1 Reading 1: (The Myth of Tangun)This chapter contains a modern version of the Korean foundation myth - the story of Tangun. The story is fascinating and, put in the modern context, raises important questions of Korean identity. Reading 2: / (The Story of Shim Chong / Hungbu-jon) This chapter contains two traditional Korean tales rendered in modern versions. Although traditional, the stories have obvious relevance to the present day. Reading 3: (Statistics about Ch'usok) The reading in this chapter is a newspaper article presenting a number of statistics related to the Korean "thanksgiving" holiday Ch'usok. Through the statistics, we get a glimpse of Korean customs and culture that surround this special holiday. Reading 4: 7 ' ' (The Craze for "Yonsama" - back after seven years) This chapter looks at the popularity of Korean star Bae Yong Joon in Japan. The article raises the broader question of the growing popularity of Korean popular culture particularly in East Asia - a phenomenon known as "Hallyu" ("The Korean Wave"). Reading 5: (The Distance between Britain and Korea) This reading looks at connections that Britain holds with Korea. Although not well known, these connections are important and raise the question of cultural connections between Korea and other countries. Reading 6: (The Globalization of Korean Food) This reading looks at the potential for Korean food to become popular street food in Europe in the same way as the Turkish kebab. Section 2 Reading 7: (The wife woken from a coma whose age is five years old) In this chapter, we look at a newspaper article reporting the story of a Korean woman who awoke from four years in a coma. Although sad, the story is filled with the love that the family feels for each other. Reading 8: (Gangnam mthers) The reading in this chapter looks at the lives of Korean mothers in the wealthy Seoul district of Gangnam. The article focuses on how the mothers manage their children's education. Reading 9: (America's view of the Dokdo dispute) The article in this chapter discusses how America views the territorial dispute between Korea and neighboring Japan over the island known in Korea as Dokdo. The reading provides a new perspective on this long-running dispute. Reading 10: A day in the life of a "soybean paste woman" This article analyzes humor and satire appearing on the Internet regarding what is known literally as the "soybean paste woman". This is a satirical expression used by some Koreans to criticize a certain type of self-centered young woman. Reading 11: (Hangul: Shining brighter in the information age In this chapter, we look at an article that considers the successful way that the Korean script Hangul has been adapted to the information era. Reading 12: (The Era of Multiculturalism) The article in this chapter discusses the recent move towards multiculturalism in South Korean society fuelled by a rise of overseas residents. Through this reading, we appreciate what it means to be multicultural in Korean society. Section 3 Reading 13: (South Korean and North Korean Vocabulary) In this chapter, we look at linguistic differences between the language spoken in South Korea and that spoken in North Korea, concentrating on the area of vocabulary. Learners are asked to question the extent to which these differences are the result of divergent language policies and wider political differences. Reading 14: (Please take care of my mom) This chapter features an extract from the novel Please take care of my mom by Shin Kyung-sook. Reading 15: (Briquette road) This chapter features an extract from the novel Briquette road by Lee Cheol-Hwan. Reading 16: (A Modern Interpretation of the Idea of Loyalty and Filial Piety) In this chapter, we examine the script of a speech given by President Kim Dae-Jung at a luncheon for the nation's Confucian leaders on March 18, 1999. The speech discusses the meaning of the notion of filial piety in the modern age. Reading 17: (How the Korean economy exactly resembles the American economy) This chapter looks at a column written by the Korean UK-based economist Ha-Joon Chang in which he makes some striking and thought-provoking comparisons between the Korean economy and that of the USA. Reading 18: (Our Twisted Hero) This chapter features an extract from the novel Our Twisted Hero by Yi Munyol. Glossary Grammatical Index General Index
Jaehoon Yeon is Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK. Jieun Kiaer is Lecturer in Korean Language and Linguistics at the University of Oxford, UK. Lucien Brown is Assistant Professor of Korean Linguistics at the University of Oregon, USA.