Subject : Native English-Speaking Teachers Making a Difference

DATE. 2009-05-10 오후 5:11:01 Visit. 1731

English plays an important role in Korea, but it can often come with a steep price tag. Last year alone, Koreans spent W10 trillion (US$1=W1,427) at private education facilities.

Now native English speakers have launched a non-profit organization called HOPE to provide free, safe and accessible language classes to children who may not have had a chance to be exposed to it. The organization contacts care centers in
Seoul, which then provide a room and arrange for class time.

One volunteer, Jason Sigler from the
United States, has been an English teacher at a middle school in Korea for over two years. He decided to offer his time at a children''s center in northern Seoul once a week. He says the experience has been priceless because it allows him to get to know people better.

Parents say their children''s language skills have improved dramatically even though the young learners started studying English a bit later than the average student attending private crammers.

However, organizers say there are still several obstacles to overcome for such volunteer programs in
Korea to continue, chiefly visa issues.

Sylvia Soo, director of public relations at HOPE, said, "We need support of the education system of Korea who will back up, who will support this change, this equal opportunity of education."


(Source : Arirang News, Feb. 17, 2009)