Nowadays, the importance of English cannot be stressed. Korean students struggle daily to improve their English skills. Can this be said about Korean? Surprisingly, one leadership group offers Korean language classes to non-Korean speakers and promotes Korean culture to the world. The Sookmyung Times met Park Songyeon, head of Sookmyung Korean Language Education Volunteers, to learn more about the group and its activities.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today. Would you please introduce 'Sookmyung Korean Language Education Volunteers' to our readers?
'Sookmyung Korean Language Education Volunteers' is a Sookmyung leadership group that was founded in 2005. Every Saturday, members of the group offer free 2-hour Korean language classes to non-Korean speakers. Today, the group runs classes for about 50 language learners each week. The classes are divided into language ability levels. We open 3 classes that are taught in English and 3 courses taught in Korean. After a 6-month training session, group members are introduced to a course where they are the teacher. Besides language teaching, the group hosts cultural events like rice cake making and traditional games classes. Along with our own group activities, members often volunteer at the Language Institute of Language Education. There members get opportunities to work with non-native Koreans from various countries that build both their Korean capability but also members’ English level as well.
What does Sookmyung Korean Language Education Volunteers offer language learners that differs from other language courses available to them?
Upon joining our group, each newcomer must take and complete a 6-month training session. During the training, each new member improves their linguistic ability, observes real language lessons in action, and participates in team-teaching. Every activity in the training helps to ensure volunteers are instructed in basic knowledge and teaching methodology. The group is also responsible for creating its own materials for the classes that will guarantee learners improve their vocabulary and grammar skills. In addition, members are regularly evaluated each month so that the group can monitor the classes, evaluate the quality of lesson, and compensate for anyinsufficiencies. Group volunteers also analyze various other available teaching materials and textbooks to keep up an edge, and many of our volunteers take classes of the Department of Korean Language & Literature or in at the International Korean language education Center.
Lastly, would you like to leave any final words for Sookmyungians?
The strength of our group is focused on building self-confidence and responsibility. Above all, volunteers get exposure to diverse cultures without leaving Korea. ‘Sookmyung Korean Language Education Volunteers’ is a great way to improve your personal soft and hard skills. For any student interested in working in Korean language education, our group can provide you with the chance to see what it would be like before making that final step into the industry. If you love Korean language or are interested in promoting Korean culture around the world, come join us. We’ll always open the door when you knock. We look forward to hearing from you.