Students' happy smiles on special Hangeul Day here in Malaysia!
Yu-mi Lee is a dispatched Korean teacher from the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). She has been an English teacher in Chungbuk Province in Korea. She holds a bachelor & master degree of English Education from the Korean National University of Education, and also a doctoral degree in Korean Education from Chungbuk National University. She is continuing her career as a Korean teacher in Malaysia. – ED
Inconveniences due to the outbreak of COVID-19 was no exception here in Malaysia. There was MCO (Movement Control Order) from March 21st to June 8th, 2020 over five steps with no permission to go out. The Malay government struggled to enforce this rule. It was a serious and harsh time for me, isolated at home by myself in a foreign country. During this unusual time, I took comfort only from meeting my students in the online classes, which was actually why I was here in Malaysia.
Fortunately, the school opened and resumed classes after 3 months on June 22nd. I reviewed, with the students, the lessons from the Korean textbooks I had taught during the online classes for students who couldn’t join the online classes due to lack of WiFi connection and home computers. While reviewing the lessons with them, I was anxious to get my students to experience Korean culture. I made up my mind to have some wonderful events and exploration programs about Korean culture for my students in celebration of Hangeul Day.
First, I wanted to hold an exhibition displaying my students' crafts and artworks in the school yard. So, in preparing the exhibition, I had a special Korean calligraphy class: writing beautiful messages on postcards with Form 2 and Form 3 students, and writing poems on cards for Form 4 students. They made really wonderful artworks beyond my expectations. Second, I brainstormed what we could do as Hangeul Day celebration activities with my students. So, we came up with many good ideas for making freebies for participants such as a Hangeul fan with an A Pink image, hand-crafted cards with pictures of BTS or Twice, hand-crafted bookmarks with pictures of celebrities mentioned above.
As planned from October 7th to 8th, there was a wonderful display of beautiful calligraphy cards and poem cards hanging from the ceiling of the alley in Susur Kajar (steep rail) in the school yard, where students could watch and appreciate the artworks written in Hangeul. In the afternoon on October 7th, we held a Korean pop quiz show about Korean entertainment personalities, K-pop lyrics and Korean dramas with 20 student participants.
In the morning on October 8th, I hung Korean word cards on small trees for students to enjoy a treasure hunt. Simple Korean words such as ‘사랑,’‘행복’ were written on the word cards. In addition, I set up a Korean language booth where students could freely write Hangeul on crafted fans, cards and bookmarks with their favorite Korean singers printed. Students were very excited while they were writing the 10 given Korean words such as 사랑해요, 좋아해요, etc. These events and programs we had in celebration of Hangeul Day were worthy of effort and hard work. It paid off fully. Students' happy smiles as they learned of the beauty of the Korean language are a valuable and unforgettable memory for me from the day when I shared the beauty of Korean with them.
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