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Saturday,December 14,2019
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People-to-People Diplomat; "Deunson"The Korean Language Circle for Foreign Workers
How can we express al-lok-dal-lok? I will show you some examples. Mt. Sorak is noted for the glorious colors of its autumn leaves. In this case, we can use "al-lok-dal-lok"as an echoic word.?Let's learn other expressions using echoic words. "Stars are twinkling,ban-zzak-ban-zzak...."
When the Post reporters opened the door of the Korean Language School for Migrant Workers, which was named 밆eunson? several students who look a little bit different from Koreans are studying with a young Korean teacher. "In today's class we will learn the differences between echoic words and mimetic words," said Kim Sun-hee, a Deunson teacher, while writing Hangul on the blackboard with chalk.
Deunson was established in order to teach Korean Hangul to migrant workers. About 10 students from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies are volunteer teachers and approximately 20 foreign workers are learning Hangul. Deunson began teaching migrant workers through the introduction of Bucheon Foreign Workers?House in Nov. 1997.
Deunson is not only about teaching Hangul but also introduces migrant workers to Korean culture through visiting cultural assets such as the Korean Folk Village and Kyungbok Palace.  Be-sides, they have published Korean teaching materials for them.
Deunson students came from Southeast Asian nations including Myanmar, Mongolia and Bang-ladesh. Actually, they are working in assembly plants and plastics factories around Seoul area. However, most of the workers?visas have expired and they do not get any employment benefits.
"They study much harder than I expected. I was surprised by their desire for learning," young teacher Kim said with a smile. "If we can't express our opinions in Korean, we aren't able to get what we want,?one of migrant students, Min Zaw Aung, from Myanmar, explained in a passionate stammering. "When I arrived in Seoul, I was puzzled about what to do. I often lost my way. But by attending Deunson classes I learned to read Hangul and now I can go anywhere,"?Mr. Min added.
"Teaching changed my attitude about foreign workers. Frankly, I had looked down on the workers before teaching them. However, I felt that we really have many things in common and now those workers are some of my best friends,?Hwang Jeong-won, a chief of the circle, confessed his experience. "Today, we are scheduled to celebrate a migrant worker's birthday. Why don't you join together??Ms. Hwang invited the Post reporters to the party. "I want to offer my hands to the student workers who are in danger of losing their human rights in South Korea," one young Korean teachers said in the interview with the Post.
On meeting with members of Deunson, the reporters found that each Deunson volunteer was a people-to-people diplomat. "How about joining the Deunson Circle? (www.freechal.com/~deunson)

Kim Jung-yoon  sasports@hanmail.net

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