Students, Soldiers team up to learn, practice English
February 2, 2011
CAMP CASEY, South Korea - Fifty-eight elementary and middle school students from throughout Dongducheon, and 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers, participated in the "Kum-ta-rae" Teenage English Camp on Camp Casey Jan. 7, where students were taught English for four days and were given a chance to use what they had learned on the final day.
To start the camp, Brent Abare, the deputy garrison commander of Camp Casey stood in front of the students and taught them the word "hooah," which they later said together with their Soldier counterparts.
"Our goal is to go beyond the camp and provide students a better opportunity to learn English," said Abare. "This program will be great for both the students and the Soldiers since it brings cultures together."
Some students were shy while others were actively having conversations with the Soldiers. To the hesitant ones, Soldiers showed some personal belongings they brought to break the ice. After getting to know each other, they moved to the theater to watch a movie.
Everyone took their seats in the theater with hands full of popcorn and beverages. As soon as the movie was over, they headed to Warrior's Club to have lunch.
"This is my second time participating," said Choi Do-Hyun, a 1st grader from Sin-heung Middle School. "I learned a lot my first time here, so I decided to take part again. I always have a lot of fun here with my teachers since they are very nice to me. I would like to meet them again if I have chance."
After lunch, Soldiers took their students to the gym on Camp Hovey and did several sports activities. They also toured the fire station and also bowled together.
"I have only been in Korea for three weeks," said Pvt. Samuel Huston, from C Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion. "However, I volunteered for the program when I heard about it from our first sergeant. I will engage in this campaign if I can and will surely recommend it to my comrades."
Students are given an opportunity to examine the improvement by giving a speech in front of their peers and taking a written test back at their schools.
"We always make a graph comparing the test results of the student took before the camp and after the camp, and improvements are visible," said Kang Mi-Ja, the vice-principal from Dongducheon Middle School. "Our middle school teachers have a good impression of U. S. Soldiers as they participate in the program. Therefore, I can confidently say that this English camp has a positive effect not only for the students but also for 2ID."