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Korean Teachers Learn Skills In Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE 11 August 2003

Public Affairs

Korean Teachers Learn Skills In Wellington

Korean students make up a big proportion of students learning English in New Zealand – now their teachers are taking the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills through a month-long course at the Wellington College of Education.

The group based at the College's Karori campus are part of a larger group that honing their teaching skills at the Colleges of Education in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington. This is the second year the course, co-ordinated by the Association of Colleges of Education, has been run.

Carolyn Tait, a Lecturer in International Education, said the 19 teachers based at the Wellington College of Education were all from the South Korean Capital of Seoul and employees of the Seoul Municipal Office of Education.

"They are all experienced teachers of the English, with up to 25 years' experience in the classroom, and they're here to improve their own English language teaching skills, to gain knowledge of the latest methodologies of language teaching and to gain a greater insight into the New Zealand education system and culture.

"The programme we've created for them provides them with a week of discussion on teaching methodologies based at the College campus, two and a half weeks' of practical work, observing and assisting teachers at work in Wellington secondary schools and then a debrief back at the College.

"We're particularly grateful for the assistance of the schools in the Hutt Valley, Johnsonville and Tawa areas that have agreed to participate in the scheme. The exchange of knowledge is not all one-way. By learning about South Korea and its education system, we will be better able to assist Korean students when they come here."

Sue Sumpter, Director Strategic Development, said the College was building strong relationships with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

"We recently had Dr In-Jong You, the Superintendent of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education visit Wellington College of Education. He emphasised to us that creativity, diversity and community spirit are very important to Korean educators. They have a national goal of fostering self-reliance in their students and believe that the international experience of their teachers will contribute significantly to that.

"This is the second group of Korean teachers to study at the College. Dr In-Jong You decided to send further groups because of the very positive reaction from the teachers who came from Korea in 2002.“

The teaching group began its stay in Wellington on July 22.

Issued for the Wellington College of Education by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs

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