PALO, Leyte- Aside from helping in the rehabilitation of damaged or destroyed public buildings due to supertyphoon Yolanda, the Korean contingent has also offer a part of their culture to the Leytenos: their language. And with the current popularity of the so-called K-pop culture to include the “koreanovelas” shown in the national televisions, it’s no wonder why many local, particularly the youth, are wanting to learn the Korean language. For weeks now, students at the Pawing High School in Barangay Pawing in Palo, Leyte were given the chance to learn and study the Korean language with the members of the “Araw” contingents as their teachers. The Korean language classes starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m. for all weekdays, except on Wednesday. Giving free studies of their language is part of the social rehabilitation intervention that the South Korean Araw Forces is doing while doing their share in the repair of public schools destroyed by Yolanda, said Lt. Hwang Dea Heung, who serves as one of the teachers. Learning the language will not only make the local understand Koreans but will also allow and give them better opportunity in finding a job in their country, Heung said. There are two types of examination for non-native Koreans to test their Korean language proficiency that could help the locals land a job in their country, he added. These are the Korean language proficiency test and the test of proficiency in Korean. In the TOPIK test, there are three different difficulty levels- the beginner, intermediate and the advance which determined to the difficulty level of the test taken. “Our language is hard to understand. But these children are eager to learn it that makes it easy for me to teach them,” Hwang said. Most of his students are either fan of Korean pop band and Koreanovelas. To make the study of the language easier, a Korean film is being shown to make them more familiar with the language and how to pronounce properly. Rachel Liones, one of the students, said that it needs enthusiasm to learn the Korean language. “You need to learn it by heart for you to understand and learn easily the language,” she said. Liones said that it would now be easy for her to talk with the Koreans using their own language and that she could earn an income as an interpreter.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)