We’ve had a wonderful time hosting our group of elementary school teachers from Gangwon Province, South Korea, but it’s time for them to go. They arrived eight weeks ago, and have had a whirlwind introduction to primary education and culture in the United States. They toured a slew of sites such as the Bush School, the Bilingual Orientation Center, the Seattle Public Library’s Children’s Literacy Program, the University of Washington, the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club, and Northwest University’s Graduate Education Research Conference, among others. To a more leisurely end, the Gangwon teachers took weekend trips to Victoria BC, Tillicum Village, Portland, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and LA.
When not gallivanting around Seattle and the rest of the West Coast, the teachers were either in class, practicing their English, or doing research in the SPU library. The teachers participated in a Culture class for an hour each day, and had the option of up to ten hours a week with an English tutor. Several guest lecturers from various realms of education, from the primary to graduate level, also visited the program. Tim Healy, A.C.E.’s Instructional Coordinator at SPU, lead an Action Research class in which each member designed an action research project to complete back in Korea.
Earlier this week, the teachers gave their final presentations. To give you an idea of the research being conducted, presentations were given on enhancing reading skills, improving class attendance, motivating elementary students to learn English, overcoming pronunciation barriers, teaching Korean culture through traditional music, and video-conferencing to rural areas to improve the national standard of EFL instruction in Korea. The teachers began with their concept, reviewed relevant literature, and designed and administered best-practice research under Tim’s guidance. Upon returning to Korea, the Gangwon teachers will give their presentation to a formal review board and then implement their action research studies in their own classrooms!
On Wednesday, the Gangwon teachers and the A.C.E. staff involved with the group gathered together for an award ceremony and to say goodbye. They depart Seattle today.
The Gangwon Group has been a joy to work with, and we will surely miss them. Check out dozens of photos from their time with A.C.E. by following this link.