Foreign workers learning Korean language to seek better future in the country

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Foreign factory workers learning Korean language to have better opportunitues in work place.

Meeting and talking to students of various nationalities at the Miracle Operation Korean Language School at Pocheon City, Gyung-gi province, South Korea has given an important insight of why they attend the Korean language classes.

A factory worker, Donnalyn, 30, from the Philippines, said she came to know about the language school from her boss’s daughter after two years working at the factory.

“Why am I excited and happy to learn Korean language here is the teacher does not only teach us how to speak and write but also make us understand the subject we are talking about.

“The school offers free Korean language lessons consisting of five levels with the first level to be completed in three months,” she told MWN when asked about why she learnt the language.

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Saroy Dahal, 27, from Nepal learns Korean language to communicate easily with the local people when he travels round the country.

MWN representative from Malaysia was part of the 15 Asian journalists representing Asia Journalist Association (AJA) who had an educational visit to the school on 27th April 2024.

On the advantage of her being able to speak the local Korean language, Donnalyn said, she has the opportunity and the chance to get the Korean citizenship after one year “mastering” the language.

According to Donnalyn, being a citizen of Korea, she will enjoy several benefits such as health insurance and medical services at public hospitals, public transportation and most importantly being able to secure a higher salary at her work place.

When the Asian journalists were at the school, there were 20 people from different countries in a class learning the Korean language. They were from Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia and others.

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Donnalyn, factory worker from the Philippines currently learning Korean language.

Another factory worker, Saroy Dahal, 27, from Nepal, has been working for six years in Korea and after realizing the advantages and the benefits he will get for learning the language, he registered at the school three months ago.

Saroy said he has to attend the language class four times a month with 19 other foreign students who are also working in the factories and other sectors.

“I want to stay in Korea for 15 years and for that I have to be very eloquent in the language, can communicate and socialise with the community members easily.

“Moreover, in my opinion about 60 per cent of the Korean people do not know how to speak English or other languages and only 40 per cent of the young people can speak English,” he said when asked why he has to speak the local language.

Meanwhile, the school is one of the three learning facilities in Pocheon city where workers can enrol and often at times that are convenient to them.

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Kim Yu Soon, CEO of Miracle Operation Korean Language School Inc.

Oh Taeseok, General Manager of Miracle Operation Korean Language School, said, around 150 charitable individuals from all over the country have been offering support to the three schools and the teachers have joined in the selfless efforts by volunteering to teach.

“The launch and subsequent growth of the schools were possible and thanks to the local journalists who first reported about them and to the charitable souls in various communities that seized the occasion to extend benevolent assistance,” he added.

Under the school policy, illegal immigrants are not accepted and only workers with a legal status and a valid work visa for six months could be enrolled. The list also includes international students and those wishing to learn Korean language. Korean language class levels include introduction, beginner, intermediate and advanced.
A semester lasts 10 weeks with class hours varying between 60 and 90 minutes.

The curriculum includes social integration programs and career preparation, Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) preparation, Korean conversation, reading forum, study guidance for children and youth and intercultural exchange.

However, the tailored courses have generated excitement among several foreign communities and the students sitting in the classrooms seemed particularly enthusiastic about the lesson and they did not attempt to mask or reduce their eagerness.

A teacher later said that at the heart of the school vision lays a deep commitment to offering tailored language classes that adapt to the needs of the students and to the preferences of their careers.

The committed teachers, all young and impeccably dressed, were a strong reminder of the traditional “Korean Seonbi,” the scholars who were well learned and possessed good character.

She added, the curriculum has been tailored to meet the needs and fulfil the requirements of the foreign workers coming from all over the world.

The flags of their countries were painted on the white wall to help boost their morale and to display the school’s mission of fostering diversity while teaching the local language.

More than 300 students have benefitted from the school since it was launched as a proactive step towards assisting the foreign workers achieve occupational and social security and serving the community.-Malaysia World News


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