Sunday, July 24, 2011

International Families and Education

A Religious Sister who works with immigrants writes about the problems of the newly arrived foreign women married to Koreans. To illustrate a typical problem, she mentions that the oldest of two boys (4 years old), born to a Vietnamese woman married to a Korean, can only be understood by his parents. The mother came to Korea knowing little of the Korean language. The father, realizing the problem, sent him to Seoul to stay with relatives, where he went to a kindergarten that taught the basics of the language; there was some improvement, the Sister said. In this case, because the father was concerned, something was done but many fathers are not that concerned.

Another boy in 2nd year grammar school rarely did his homework. The  assignment required that the child work with the mother. Since the mother's knowledge of Korean did not permit their working together, the child went to school without the homework. Since he had a foreign mother the teacher, in his first year, excused him but in the second year the teacher wasn't that indulgent. This made going  to school difficult for the child because of the embarrassment of not keeping up with the other students, and he lost his desire for learning.

These children from intercultural families have little difficulty communicating with the spoken word. The problem comes with the written word. When they have to write a book report, it's difficult for them to arrange their thoughts and find the right words. This difficulty comes from the mother's unfamiliarity with the culture, and it affects the child in his emotional formation and attitude. The difficulty becomes more evident with the passage of time.
Much has been done to help the international families, but there is much that remains to be done. The Sister believes there has to be standards set for improving these programs for children, and the teachers have to be better educated concerning what is required. The mothers should also be helped to understand the educational system, which will then help them in  educating  their children.

The difficulties that are now being seen because of the recent increase of international marriages present a serious problem for Korea. If the children of these marriages lose their desire for learning they will drop out of school and be a problem for society in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment