A Maryknoller living in Taegu, Fr. Robert M. Lilly, sent the following blog about a young student that he has known for many years . The family lives in the same apartment building; the mother at one time worked in the parish in which Fr. Robert was the pastor.
A 13- year-old Korean girl recently made news for getting a perfect score on the Internet-based T.O.E.F.L (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Reports headlined that the 7th grader at a Seoul middle school studied at home and had never attended "hagwan" (English teaching institutes)
The second place winner is equally remarkable, Chun Hye Kang, a student at Yeongnam International Middle School in Taegu took that prize, It was the first time that a student from a school outside the Seoul capitol city area was so recognized. It heartened English language students, heretofore, seemingly overlooked in national competitions, everywhere.
Chun, who had lived in England from the age of 5 and attended primary grades at a public school there scored full marks in each of the four sections of the T.O.E.F.L: listening, reading, speaking and writing. The youth returned to Korea in 2000 and found himself a stranger. Today he is more comfortable when he thinks in English, which he translates into Korean in his mind.He gives much credit to his school for his success.
The Yeongnam International Middle School where he studies is a Seventh Day Adventist private religious school with a history of educational assistance to Korea. It recognizes that English language teaching must evolve and offers a globalized approach to language education.
The interaction between student and teacher, which is the basis of formation builds in areas beyond rote memorization and contributes to a learning environment.
Chun Hye Kang excels at regional language test competition. Last week on November 25 he again captured 1st place in the Taegu-North Kyeong Sang yearly Provincial English test.
For the future he is interested in all aspects of science and hopes to achieve a place in the nation's scientific future.