I live in the Los Angeles area, about 10 miles from Koreatown.
Much of what we learn, especially what kids learn, is subliminal, but once the mother tongue is firmly intrenched this bulwark is a stubborn one to reopen. Of course a steady continuous onslaught from the outside is eventually successful, but a 'traitor' on the inside is an even more effective way to overcome the fortifications of the mind and establish a bilingual government. That 'traitor' I call 'the desire to learn.' Once you convince him to come over the rest becomes easy.
I suppose this convincing is propaganda that says:
'What a great and glorious heritage you have, of thousands of years of great kings, and generals, and battles won. They created the world's first iron clad battleship. It is said that a mere 12 Korean ships, under the leadership of Soonshin Lee (이순신), destroyed 300 Japanese vessels at a single naval battle.
What pride there is in the accomplishments of your ancestors, in language, and science, and art; they created their own unique alphabet, and a printing press with movable metal type before the Gutenberg Bible was first printed. They created clocks for accurate measure of time, an observatory and instruments to track the movement of stars, a rain gauge and a flood gauge, and a farmer's almanac to increase crop productivity. Their ceramic art and high-fire porcelain was a treasure sought by foreign kings, its secrets envied by nations, and imitated worldwide.
Their society was built on respect of elders and the strength of family, the highest value was placed on education and literacy. As some of the first western visitors to Korea noted in their journals 'There are books in nearly every house, even the poorest of households.' Interesting they found that noteworthy.
But most of all...
Korean is fun! Learning may be hard work at times, but the rewards are great. You get a secret language that most of the world does not know (yet
). And of course being able to communicate makes it that much easier to participate in activities such as sports. I think these recent olympics have demonstrated that Koreans can be pretty good at sports.
I could go on and on.. please excuse my rambling.
I will get back to you if I hear of any summer programs. I am still waiting to hear more from my friend.