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Korean Club Helps Others Learn the Language

12 April 2010 2 Comments

Korean Students Association member Jungho Moon explaining the basics of Korean pronunciation.

At the Annandale campus, the Korean Student Association is currently providing tutoring sessions for students taking a Korean course or those with an interest in learning the language.

On Mondays and Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in CF 230, officers of the association and some fluent speakers are teaching a few students ways to speak and write in Korean. The majority of the participants have been non-Korean but they said that they welcome those who were born in America and have Korean roots within their families. This gives them the opportunity to learn their own language.

Young Jun Ji, Academics Manager of the KSA, is in charge of the two-day a week sessions and seemed very eager to teach Annandale students.
“When I first came here, I didn’t have many friends,” he said. He interacts with everyone in the sessions, getting a sense of comfort that Americans and people from other cultures want to take time after class to learn something they could get both outside and inside a classroom.

Teaching the native language is a way of sharing or showing Korean culture and the different meanings of expression and perception versus the American way. “We teach students to read and write,” Jun Ji said. “They learn the language fast without the pressure.”

For those who are non-Korean born but have family roots, he wanted to let them in to “help uncover [their] identity crisis.” In a way of speaking, Jun Ji gives them opportunities to learn their language which helps them decide whether they wish to further their advances in the culture.
“I was interested in learning Korean because I had a friend who is from Korea,” said Alie Yatco, an Annandale student who has been attending the sessions since the beginning of the semester. She’s not Korean born but a student who likes to learn about different cultures.

KSA President Miriam Hyeon is also a Korean speaker and came to the U.S. in 2006. “I was born in Argentina but my parents taught me how to speak Korean,” she said. Like Jun Ji, she’s happy to teach students Korean and enjoys the interactions with the teachers who are actually NOVA students that tutor students.

Hyeon and a couple of other teachers also explained some of the intricacies of Korean. In any foreign language, direct (command) and indirect (statement) speaking is always taught. In Korean, there is formal and informal speaking. When speaking formally, the direction is towards someone that the person is meeting for the first time. Informally, the direction is towards someone that the person has known for long periods of time, such as relatives or friends. Gradually, the formal speaking can become informal speaking once the person has known a friend, for example, longer than when they first met.

The purpose of teaching students Korean is to have students come together to step outside their comfort zone to learn something different.

“Learning the language contains everything about culture,” Jun Ji said. “It’s also to share how to deal with academics.”

Students who need more than the tutoring center on campus provides can attend a Korean tutoring session until the end of the semester.Students taking a Korean course can partner with KSA officers for added help with their final studies before exam day. The KSA is also holding a KSA Day on April 10 from noon to 3 p.m. in the CF building.

By: Tamika Taylor

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  • Lub said:

    It can be tough to write about this topic. I think you did an excellent job though.

  • Sujin said:

    I start studying ESL and a math classes in this semester
    Is there Anybody for helping me of campus life?
    My english is not good. So I am nervous!
    I need korean friends.

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