we are a korean/english family living in england.
our kids (boy 7 / girl 5) are struggling to find the motivation to learn korean from their mum and saturday morning korean school.
does anybody know of a korean summer school program - ideally aimed at foreign dwelling korean kids - that they might be able to attend?
we have family in seoul and pusan who would happily take care of them for the duration of the summer school, so we would prefer something in those cities if possible.
please let me know if anyone has any ideas.
Hi, I'm George, a fellow student of Korean. We are a mixed family too.
Your children are at a great age to be learning Korean. Our two older kids had been to church Korean school on Sundays, and were encouraged to use Korean at home, but they really didn't speak fluently until we sent them to the sister-in-laws house in Korea for a summer. At that time they were 11&12 years old and they came back speaking quite well. Even if there is not an intense summer program available (and I'm sure there is) they will learn an incredible amount just by being there. If one of your relatives has children about the same age for them to interact with I think the results will be even better than an academic program.
I have a friend in Busan, a high school teacher, and I will inquire about programs available then get back to you on this post. (edit: I just sent the email) Busan is a lovely place to spend the summer.
We spoke everything to our youngest in both Korean and English from the time she was born -dad even sang to her in Korean We also sent her to Korean preschool here in the US. Everyone at the preschool was full-blood Korean except her. Anyway she spoke mixed Korean and English quite freely until age 5, but a year after she entered regular school all we ever heard from her was English. I thought maybe seeing 'Dear ol Dad' diligently studying Korean would motivate her but it didn't. Who knows what motivates kids? Hmm... comics perhaps?
Our youngest, now 16, has become somewhat capable at Japanese because she loves the Japanese comics and animation. Lately, however, she has started to pick up a few Korean comics and seems to be relearning Korean.
thanks for your quick response to my forum post.
you have provided some great ideas - and some ressuring hope as well!
i love busan as well - and my plan is for the kids to summer there as frequently as we can afford (and as the relatives are willing to take them!) unfortunately they do not have similar age relatives in busan - but their uncle is a teacher and thus i am hopeful he will know how they can join in with organised extra-curricular summer stuff with the kids from his school. Ollie loves sport and would really take to Korea if he could spend 12 hours a day playing baseball and practising tae-kwon-do there during the Summer! mia is a typical little girl, so she would be quite happy hanging out with other little girls doing whatever is on offer. the comics and tv cartoons idea is great too. ollie loves tv cartoons and it does not seem to bother him at all that he can't understand what is being said. i just hope that somehow, subliminally, the language unravels in his head and begins to make sense! if you don't mind me asking, whereabouts in the US do you live? we have relatives and friends all over the US and regularly visit. thanks again george, best regards, bryan.
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.