Teaching Emotional Vocabulary

Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Future of Teaching and Education

Year: 2023



Teaching Emotional Vocabulary

Setare Noori




Emotions, or the subjective “feelings” we have in response to external stimuli, are instinctive sensations that come with being human. Emotions are abstract and ambiguous objects that tend to change instantaneously and have multiple meanings. The most basic ways to express emotions are facial expressions, physiological reactions, and behaviors, but these are not enough to capture the full range of human emotions, so linguistic expression is also an essential tool (Son Seonjoo2012). Each language has a vocabulary to express emotions. Human instinctive emotions are similar across cultures, but there are also individual differences and social and cultural differences (Lee Jungmok 2008). Within a particular socio-cultural context, each language has different words to express emotions, and the weight and proportion of emotions conveyed by these words are inevitably different. The importance of this difference in emotional weight can be seen in everyday situations such as interpersonal relationships with others and the expression of personal psychological states and emotions.
In second language education, it is difficult to achieve active communication if emotional vocabulary, which is an instinctive human sense and an essential element of communication, is not properly learned. According to the results of a survey conducted by Park Soohyun (2014), 68% of Korean language learners for academic purposes reported that they felt uncomfortable because they did not have the vocabulary and expressions to express their emotions. Compared to other languages, Korean has a high number of words and expressions that convey emotions and should be included in the learning vocabulary. But why do Korean learners have difficulty expressing emotions? One reason is that they don’t understand the meaning of abstract emotional vocabulary. One study that categorized educational emotional vocabulary from adjectival parts of speech to semantic items is Lee Sookjin(2018). According to Lee Sookji (2018: 480), “When emotional adjectives are categorized and presented to Korean learners as semantic items, learners can clearly understand the meaning of these words and expand their vocabulary to related words.”
Emotional vocabulary, which is an important factor in second language vocabulary learning, has a relatively high frequency of adjectival parts of speech because it expresses states, and it has the characteristic that it is difficult to schematize its underlying meaning compared to other parts of speech” (Lee Jungmok 2008:4). Therefore, this study aims to examine how the educational emotional adjectives proposed by Lee Sookjin (2018) are reflected in the teaching format by limiting the scope of the study to adjectives among the emotional vocabulary and expressions that express human instinctive senses in Korean language education.

keywords: Emotional Vocabulary, Korean Language Education, Second Language, Emotion