Soldiers learn to speak Korean on Casey
August 18, 2009
CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - More than 40 Soldiers gathered for classes to learn to speak the Korean language July 30 in USAG-Casey's Education Center. The class is taught by three Korean nationals hired by the Northern Gyeongi-gi Provincial Office to teach their native language to Soldiers who wish to learn from July 7 to Aug. 27.
The class uses techniques, which will teach students to read, write and speak the language at the same time. Teacher's use text books and work books written for the purpose of teaching Korean as a second language to English speaking peoples.
"If a student can learn at least one Korean phrase per day they will be able to speak good conversational Korean in only six months or a year," said Son, Da Jung, a teacher of one of the classes. "I have been teaching the Korean language for six years, but this is the first time I have taught American Soldiers."
Most of Son's students can learn to speak conversational Korean in three months, but the classes on Casey are only a few hours per week, she said.
"If they can use one sentence every day, they would quickly learn to have conversations with Korean friends," Son said. "If they try to use the language, it shows a good attitude toward wanting to communicate with people outside the post."
Learning academic Korean language would take many years of scholarly study, Son said. To speak well enough to be understood in daily conversation will take from three months to a year depending on how much the student uses the language outside of class.
"Learning one sentence per day is a common pace for learning Korean, especially if the written characters are so unfamiliar," Son said. "If a student can learn one sentence per day, he will be able to speak in a short amount of time, depending on his diligence."
Students take home their workbooks with weekly assignments as homework, and they also have compact disks with the lessons on them to study between classes, Son explained.
The classes are held Tuesdays for three hours and Thursdays for two hours and last for only eight weeks, but at one sentence per day, Soldiers will be speaking Korean like natives, Son said.