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Saying 안녕하세요 (hello) to KNU’s visiting students

By Christian Stewart
Feb 14, 2017

These students are at MNU to be involved in a month-long program called the Winter English Camp, a concept of Nazarene Language Institute (NLI) president and pastor David-Young Kim.

Kim said the students are visiting from Korea Nazarene University (KNU) in what he referred to as an “English immersion program.”

Kim said that the demand for English speaking individuals in Korea is high and in many cases, Korean students require a basic grasp of English in order to be eligible for certain job opportunities. He said that some students wish to continue their education by studying abroad in the United States, which requires a certain score on English comprehension tests. However, in Korea there is a lack of teachers who are competent enough in English to provide the level of mastery the students need to do well.

Korean students lineup in Campus center, luggage in tow. They await the arrival of their host families, as Olathe will be their home over the next six weeks. Photo by David-Young Kim.Korean students lineup in Campus center, luggage in tow. They await the arrival of their host families, as Olathe will be their home over the next six weeks. Photo by David-Young Kim.

KNU student Rebecca Lee is an English Major, whose career is dependent on her ability to speak the language well. Lee said that she and her fellow students were very happy for this opportunity to learn more about English directly from native speakers.

“This program is perfect for us,” Lee said.

The Winter English Camp director, Allison Johnson, said that the operation is a three-way partnership. MNU, KNU, and NLI have partnered together under Kim’s direction to provide a unique English learning experience for the 16 students involved in the program.

Johnson said that the camp is scheduled to last six weeks. The students  attend English classes Monday to Friday, and take field trips to Kansas landmarks on the weekends.

“We’re exposing them to things in our local area,” Johnson said, “kind of giving them that cultural immersion experience.”

In addition to classes, the students will attend small groups led by senior intercultural studies major Elizabeth Atwell and senior ministry major Thomson Ticum,

“We talk, play games and practice English,” Atwell said, "practicing English as a normal college student would.”

Johnson said that an important part of the Winter English Camp is something dubbed th one-on-one program. Johnson and Kim recruited MNU students to serve as personal friends to the Korean students. The volunteers agreed to meet with their individual KNU students three times a week to help practice English, share culture, and make them feel welcome.

However, MNU students don’t have to be officially involved with the program to hang out with the visiting Koreans. Kim said that he encourages all MNU students to interact with them. “These students are here to practice their English,” Kim said, “I know they will appreciate help.”

Kim said his vision extends beyond merely educating students. Although KNU is a Nazarene establishment, Kim said that as many as 60% of KNU students are not Christian. Education is very valuable in Korea, so employing learning as leverage, Kim has used the Winter English Camp to function as a tool to evangelize to Korean youth.

“I pray that MNU students build a good relationship with KNU students, and through that good relationship—share the gospel.”

Christian Stewart

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Christian Stewart is a student at MidAmerica Nazarene University and a reporter for The Trailblazer.

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