Pacific Ridge School Seniors and Carlsbad residents Emily St. Marie and Anny Huang, along with classmate CJ Triana (San Marcos) said goodbye to classrooms in Carlsbad and 안녕하세요 (hello) to classrooms in Seoul this summer during an internship at a South Korean language school.
The students’ interest in the country began their freshman year, when they founded a service-learning group called Lingo Online. Working with the contacts of a former Pacific Ridge faculty member who now works in South Korea, the group offers free English lessons to non-native speakers via Skype. Lingo Online’s members have spent many Friday nights over the past three years conversing with students in South Korea and other countries.
This June, as part of Pacific Ridge’s global travel program, St. Marie, Huang and Triana had the opportunity to visit the land and people they had experienced only virtually. During a five-week internship with language institution Paedea, the students explored different aspects of teaching English in an international setting. They spent the first half of each day creating worksheets and developing grammar and vocabulary assessments. For the second half of each day, the students pursued independent projects.
St. Marie focused her work on increasing the number of children’s audiobooks in Paedea’s library system. She selected books, decided which gender would be the appropriate voice for each story, designated timelines, sourced narrators, and even narrated a few of the books herself.
Huang’s independent project involved examining a representative sample of children’s writing, and developing a system to track the most common grammatical mistakes of each age group. The results of her work will provide Paedea’s English teachers a better understanding of how to structure lessons based on demonstrated need.
Triana spent his independent project time in classrooms, observing the class structure and studying the teaching process. He wrote several blog posts about the efficacy of the school’s methodology, which were later translated into Korean and posted on the company’s website.
The three students hope to parlay their experiences into their final year with Lingo Online. They will continue teaching English, with an increased focus on developing educational materials. These materials can also be used by other students at Pacific Ridge, who often spend time teaching English during their school-sponsored trips to countries around the world each year.
“Korea gave me a sense of independence and confidence that can only be taught through the trials and tribulations of traveling, exploring, and working in a completely foreign country,” St.Marie said.
–PRS press release