Country: South Korea
Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, covers an area of 233 square miles and has a population of approximately 10 million. Seoul is the heart of the thriving economy of South Korea. In fact about 40% of the nation’s population resides in Seoul and the surrounding area. Seoul’s atmosphere is much more cosmopolitan and international than any other region in the country. It has four distinct seasons, with long, hot and humid summers and cold, dry winters. August, the hottest month, has temperatures ranging from 72 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. January, the coldest month, has temperatures ranging from 21 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Though located only 20 km from the border with North Korea, in terms of internal security it is generally a very safe city and it is not uncommon to see pedestrians out past midnight. There is a large expat community with around 200,000 Americans in the Republic of Korea. Public transportation is inexpensive and convenient; Seoul has a complex network of subway and bus lines that are inter-transferable. Many signs are both in Korean and English. Taxi fares are generally cheaper than in U.S. cities; the base fare starts at 3,000 Won (approximately $3).
Host Institution: Daum School for North Korean Defectors
Daum School is a school for North Korean Defectors (NKDs) which was founded in 2011 by a Korean-American who lived in the United States for 45 years, served in the U.S. military, and came to South Korea to work with NKDs. Daum School is an international school accredited in the United States by the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA). It has a student population of about 50 with students between the ages of 17 and 25. Some students defected from North Korea, while the rest were born and/or raised in a third country (mostly China) where one or both of their parents traveled after defecting. Daum School is located in the southern part of Seoul, roughly 30 minutes by car from the Embassy.
A State Department English Language Specialist worked with the Daum School from October 2017 to February 2018, holding teacher training workshops as well as revising the English-language curriculum to better address the needs of this unique group of learners. The Embassy would like to build on the work of the Specialist. The Fellow will work closely with instructors at the Daum School including two English teachers who are both Koreans, and a number of volunteers who are native speakers.
- The Fellow will teach English using the newly designed curriculum in addition to incorporating themes on American culture with the aim of addressing any anti-U.S. propaganda that students may have been exposed to in North Korea.
- The Fellow will train and coach English teachers. This will be the teachers’ first year using the revised curriculum and volunteers will require training to implement and, if necessary, modify the program.
- The Fellow will incorporate TESOL teaching techniques into classes such as Drama, Physical Education, and Music.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Support the U.S. Embassy Seoul’s other public diplomacy initiatives through workshops for English teachers such as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and through professional development activities at conferences for English teachers.
- Support training for teachers in a future English Access Microscholarship Program (which may enroll North Korean Defector students) pending its approval.