On our last Wednesday in Seoul, Sara and I wanted to experience something new. One of our friends from ONU, Warren Thomas, is teaching English at a school called International Language School (ILS), about an hour away from Hanyang University. We thought it would be really cool to check it out and see how he likes living here and also to see Korean children in the classroom. Both Sara and I were interested in learning more about how Warren discovered the job as well as how we could potentially do something like that in the future, depending on our circumstances.
ILS is an expensive school for Korean children ages 4 and up, so not all children are able to attend or afford this school. We were fortunate to be able to sit in on a few lectures as well as a gym class and even to talk with and interact with the students. We were both amazed at how well these students spoke English. These 6 year olds could already differentiate between close and close, so and sew, to, too, and two, and so on! They were learning adjectives, verbs, adverbs, nouns, and the differences between them all. They could understand English just as well as Korean language and it was really amazing to interact with such intelligent children!
Not surprisingly, when we asked them what they liked to do in their free time, they said, "read!!" Many of these children go to school all day long. They begin with elementary school in the morning then drive to ILS where they are only allowed to speak English, and after that is through, they attend a specific lesson at the end of the day such as piano lessons, dancing, gymnastics, or art. Their day is complete around 7pm or later and then they get up and do it all over again! I thought it was really inspiring to see children so young with such a great desire to learn. They were very polite, respectful, and fun! We both really enjoyed this experience and are glad we got a chance to do this :)