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K-pop fans turn into Korean language teachers

Posted October. 10, 2020 08:04,   

Updated October. 10, 2020 08:04


Indonesian national Catherine Evangeline (22) and Vietnamese national Hoang Minh Nhat Han (20) are fans of Korean pop music and TV dramas who enjoyed Korean pop culture since school years. They started learning Korean because they liked Korean singers and actors, and now they are fluent enough to be able to teach the Korean language to local people.

The Sejong Hakdang (Academy) Foundation under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry, which is conducting a Korean language education program in 74 countries, started this year a program that recruits assistant teachers from among people who completed Korean language training programs in their own countries. Evangeline and Hoang are Class 1 of apprentice teachers who have turned from students into teachers. The Dong-A Ilbo conducted email and phone interviews with them recently.

“Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, are characters that are very easy to learn if you know the basic principle,” said Evangeline. “I love Hangeul, which is more valuable and prettier than any other alphabets.”

In an email interview, Evangeline demonstrated her love of hangeul through her proficient Korean writing skills. She decided to learn Korean through self-study right after watching the popular TV drama “Boys over Flowers” in 2012. She learned spoken Korean by reciting lines spoken by actors and actresses in Korean TV dramas including “Full House,” “My Name is Kim Sam-soon,” and “Secret Garden.” At Sejong Hakdang, she has been teaching grammar, writing, and speaking since 2018.

“In short, the Korean language is hope,” said Hoang, who is majoring in business administration at a university in Ho Chi Minh. He did not have any specific dream, other than a vague wish of landing a job at a Korean company.

“I have discovered my genuine dream, which is to become a Korean language teacher,” Hoang said. “I want to be a teacher who can eloquently and efficiently explain Korean grammar, which I found was most difficult while learning, to Vietnamese students.”

Go-Ya Choi best@donga.com