Sunday, July 15, 2007

U.S. High-Schoolers Get First Anglo Teacher of Korean

This is a great story. L.A. has its first Anglo-American teaching Korean in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Not much else to add as the article covers the story well.

U.S. High-Schoolers Get First Anglo Teacher of Korean

David Hanes has become the first Anglo-American to teach Korean to Korean-American students at high school. He is to start teaching at Los Angeles High School.

Hanes passed the Korean teacher examination administered by the California state government last year. He arrived in Korea last week to attend a training Course for Korean language teachers in the U.S. co-hosted by the Foundation for Korean Language and Culture in the U.S.A, the International Korean Language Foundation and the Ewha Humanities Center at Ewha Womans University.

“I’m going to teach a class for second- to fourth-generation Koreans who can speak little Korean and hope to teach advanced Korean in the future,” Hanes told the Chosun Ilbo. “I’m a bit worried that Korean-American students will form a low opinion of me if my Korean’s not good.”

Hanes, who became interested in Korea when he lived in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, started learning the language at the Korean Cultural Center six years ago. Now he has a teacher’s certificate himself.

Ailee Moon, the president of the Foundation for Korean Language and Culture in Los Angeles, says, “The Korean teacher examination is so difficult that even Korean-Americans often fail. It’s really great that Hanes as a foreigner passed the examination.”

Hanes likes foreign languages. He majored in Russian at UC Santa Cruz and went on to get a Spanish teacher’s certificate. Ten years ago, he started learning Chinese, and now he also has a Chinese teacher’s certificate.

He is learning about contemporary Korean society by reading books and watching Korean soaps since teachers have to cover politics, economics, society and culture in Korean class at U.S. schools. “Lately I’ve been reading the Korean comic book ‘Kid Gang.’ I want to set an example for other foreign teachers as the first non-Korean teacher, and I hope many others will follow suit.”

Sphere: Related Content