In last week’s post, I wrote that I’ve started learning Basic Korean at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines and how it compares to my experiences in Ateneo Confucius institute. Today, I’ll discuss my thoughts on learning Korean with a specific emphasis on Korean phonology (sound system) and challenges of Filipinos and myself in learning it.
As I wrote last week, a substitute teacher instructed our first session, so yesterday was our first proper lesson with our actual teacher. According to her, she’s been in the Philippines for 5 months and, to the surprise of the class, has only been seriously learning English for a year, having previously focused on Korean education for Koreans. English education in primary and secondary school in Korea “has problems,” she says, because it largely focuses on reading, writing, and grammar, so their speaking and listening skills are inadequate. Nevertheless, she’s able to give us basic instruction adequately in English, but it’s not surprising that she would have some difficulty.