Journal of Universal Language
Sejong University Language Research Institue

Korean Interpretations of Western Business Meetings: The Language of Cultural Differences

Jee-won Hahn1
1Kyung Hee University

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


As language education focuses on a variety of units associated with interaction as well as linguistics, it now covers a wide range of skills from grammatical and linguistic to interactional and social competence. This is reflected in the diverse situations and compartment specified in English-teaching activities. This study focuses on business meetings to examine and evaluate how Korean students perceive Western style business meetings. To understand the learner’s perception of business meetings, this study employs an analytical framework (Hymes 1974) to take into consideration components accompanied in speech activities. In terms of methodology, questionnaires are drawn up to involve components of business meetings based on Hymes’ speaking model. In this study, eleven components are investigated such as settings, ends, act sequences, and key. In many instances, social hierarchy is present in Koreans’ consciousness with regards to business communication indicating they are influenced by different cultural values. This study has implications for teaching business communication in English to show cultural interpretation of Western style meetings. Findings of the study provide social and cultural features associated with speaking in the business context. It seems necessary for language instructors to help learners they must be aware of differences between cultures and how that would affect how it is being taught or learned. In addition these features are always changing and that must also be taken into consideration.

Keywords: ethnography of speaking; business communication; meeting event; second language learning; culture



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