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Tour aims to build understanding of Korea in NZ classrooms

Tour aims to build understanding of Korea in NZ classrooms

Ten teachers from Invercargill to Auckland are about swap their classrooms for Seoul – a city at the forefront of technology, trade and culture.

The teachers have been chosen by the Asia New Zealand Foundation to take part in the annual Korean Studies Workshop from 30 September to 10 October, with the aim of deepening their understanding of New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner so they can pass this on to their students. The Foundation works with Australia’s Asia Education Foundation and the Korea Foundation to offer the programme to teachers.

They will join counterparts from Australia for a programme of lectures, school and site visits, and will enjoy an evening meal with a South Korean family at their home.

The Korean Studies Workshop is one of several professional development initiatives the Asia New Zealand Foundation provides to teachers, with the aim of helping them equip students with the Asia knowledge they will need in their future careers. The Foundation also runs programmes in China, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore.
The teachers joining the 2014 Korean Studies Workshop are:
· Nicola-Sue Fielder – Apiti School, Manawatu

· Penelope Fletcher – James Hargest College, Invercargill

· Michael Gates – Wellington East Girls’ College

· Evelien Hofkens – Paraparaumu College, Kapiti

· Scarlett Howson – Pomaria Primary School, Auckland

· Mala Karan – Ormiston Senior College, Auckland

· Bridget Lummis – Freemans Bay School, Auckland

· Feng Mei Ng – Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

· Yasmin Numan – Waikowhai Intermediate School, Auckland

· Kerry Sullivan – Rangiora High School, Canterbury

Asia New Zealand Foundation schools coordinator Sean O’Connor says the participants will be required to develop a unit of work based on their experiences on the workshop and make these available online for all teachers to use.

“Previous participants in this workshop say it has given them a greater understanding of South Korea’s influence in the world, particularly in commerce, technology and youth culture. It has inspired teachers to introduce a range of programmes into their schools to build students’ knowledge of the country. It also often inspires an interest in Asia more generally.”

South Korea is New Zealand's fifth-largest bilateral trading partner, the fourth-largest source of international students and a significant source of tourists. New Zealand is negotiating a free trade agreement with South Korea.
Korean was one of three languages named last month as a target for an additional $10 million government funding over five years to increase the provision of Asian languages in schools.


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