Anyone who has been through high school knows that your last year is one of the most intense.
Not only is it academically demanding but it is expected that year 13 students take on more leadership roles within the school. Amongst a fairly exhausting schedule of extra curricular commitments and assessments I have found that Korean has quickly become one of my favourite subjects.
It is an extra that I picked up out of personal interest, having studied it on my own previously. The year 9 Korean class just happened to correspond with some of my free periods, and so I have been happily installed in the class since the start of the year. At first I was apprehensive about being the only year 13 in a class of people several years younger than myself, however, I very quickly realised that this doesn't matter even slightly. The focus is simply on learning.
The weekly NetNZ online classes have a wide range of different year levels, and everyone is there because they want to learn for the sake of learning. I must admit that it is a refreshing change from my other subjects, which, while I enjoy them, are largely focused on assessment.
I enjoy Korean a lot for many of the same reasons that I enjoy French - not only am I learning another language, I am learning about another culture. In fact, at the last Korean class, I went to we dressed up in hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, and had a tea ceremony, learning a bit about the role tea plays in Korean culture.
I'm a strong believer in the idea that language and culture go hand in hand, and that one cannot be learned without the other. In this day and age understanding and respecting other cultures is increasingly important, and so I think that it is fantastic that students all over the country can connect and learn a language, such as Korean, together, even if they are not as lucky as we are at Logan Park to have such a fantastic teacher on site.