One of the reasons that Korean is so difficult for non-Koreans is that non-Koreans do not have the Korean cultural background information that Koreans do. A non-Korean might know just as much Korean vocabulary as a Korean fourth-grader, but the Korean forth-grader would probably have higher reading comprehension because he or she would have cultural background information the non-Korean does not have. For example, the non-Korean may know that "Chusok" is a Korean holiday, but the Korean forth-grader would know about the food, the games, and the rituals that occur on the holiday because he or she would have already experienced them. Therefore, if the non-Korean and the Korean forth-grader were reading a story about "Chusok," or even a story that refers to a Chusok ritual, the forth-grader would probably have higher reading comprehension than the non-Korean.
Koreans understand the concept of "cultural literacy" because they teach a subject in school called 일반상식(一般常識), which I usually translate as "general knowledge." Anyway, today I decided to search on the word, 일반상식, to see it there might possibly be a Korean Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. I found a couple of sites that are kind of interesting, but they are incomplete, kind of rough, and not really what I was hoping for; nevertheless, I am glad I found them.
How would you score on these tests?
By the way, you would know the answer to the first question on Test 3 if you had paid attention to my blog entry here.