This paper examines the L1 (Korean) influence on L2 (more correctly English as a Foreign Language, EFL), focusing, among many others, on the issue of how the lexical/conceptual incongruity affects the (mis)usage of English as a foreign language. Suk and Lee (2001) report that the middle school English textbooks in Korea contain a number of poor or awkward expressions due to L1 (Korean) influence on L2 (English). Basically, this study is a rapplication of Suk and Lee (2001) with different subjects. In this study, we extend their investigation to college level English learners in Korea and reach the same conclusion as theirs. In other words, we conclude, through our rapplication of their test questions and methodology, that most of the misusage in EFL by the Korean learners that we have examined is caused by conceptual incongruity between the two languages. In this investigation, we first performed composition test, using the same test sentences as those in Suk and Lee (2001), on the subjects comprised of 66 college students, most of whom are 2nd and 3rd year college students majoring in English. We then performed binary choice test on the same subjects, using the same sentences as the ones for the composition test. On the free composition test, subjects showed almost the same misusage pattern as the textbook writers of the middle school English textbooks reported in Suk and Lee (2001). On the binary choice test, however, quite a large percentage of the subjects choose right, or preferred expressions. This is somewhat different from what they found in their original investigation of English textbooks that are used in middle schools. We interpret this test result in a way that college level learners of English do know which are preferred expressions, while they still do not exercise this knowledge.
2. Data and Result