Talk like a Korean
Joud Bayeh | reporter
At Pittsburg State, Korean is no longer taught as a course, so the university’s resident native speakers are trying to make up the difference.
The Korean Student Association (KSA) started the Korean Language Workshop on Monday, March 4, in 102 Grubbs. With this program, the KSA will offer free language lessons to any interested students.
“I think it is a good opportunity to learn a foreign language,” said Yujin Kim, senior in computer science and one of the teaching volunteers. “I know there was a Korean class, two of them, but the teacher was a student who graduated and left PSU, unfortunately.”
Sang Won Yun, junior in electronic engineering and treasurer of KSA, says that since there’s no more Korean class, KSA decided to offer the workshop.
Kim says that the class was closed, but he is glad now to have the workshop.
“It is a small group in which we can do anything, watching movies or do anything helpful to whoever wants to learn Korean,” he said.
In their first workshop, the 25 students attending learned the Korean alphabet and a little about the history of the language. Nipapond Ditsomboon, junior in business management, says she loved the experience.
“I could learn the Korean alphabet, which I had no idea,” she said. “I have a lot of Korean friends but I couldn’t communicate with them, only in English.”
In the first session, the group of students was divided into tables of two to four people each. For each table, there was a Korean speaker volunteer to teach them the alphabet and help them with the pronunciation.
“It is really hard to learn, but I have other friends who don’t know anything either, so it is easier with people who have the same knowledge of the language,” Ditsomboon said.
“There could be Korean classes again at PSU, if the students show interest,” Kim said.
Kim says his motivation for teaching Korean is partly set in his desire to preserve his own culture while he is away from home.
“The language keeps part of the culture,” he said.
Yun says he enjoyed seeing how people reacted to the experience.
“Before today, I doubted people would like it, but after I saw their faces, I realized that it is very meaningful and awesome,” he said.
Kim says that in the next meeting, students are going to learn how to describe the weather in Korean.
“The weather can be the start of any conversation,” he said.
Ditsomboon says she is excited about the next meeting.
“Korean is awesome, please come, it is good for you, because it can be your second or third language,” she said. “The Korean language has a big influence in the world.”