This article reports on differences and similarities between Japanese and Korean learners of German at a summer course of the University of Hamburg. A survey was conducted with the intention of gaining insights into the profiles, motivation, and difficulties which Japanese and Koreans possess when learning German and language-learning strategies.
A questionnaire was administered to 15 Japanese students and 14 Korean students who participated in the summer course held at the University of Hamburg in August 2008.
Some of the major findings are:
1. Most of the Korean students started to learn German during high school and are now majoring in German, whereas all of the Japanese students began to learn German in college.
2. The Japanese students tend to have more difficulties in leaning German vocabulary than the Korean students do.
3. The Korean students tend to adopt strategies for learning vocabulary such as memorization in sentences, repeating utterances they have heard, and reading text out loud.
4. The Japanese students tend to have strong doubts about whether they can really master German even if they continue making efforts.