Culture club organizes Korean classes for children

Seeking to promote cultural diversity and awareness within the SIS community, the International Culture Club (ICC), a new club, have been lecturing teachers’ children about the Korean language after school since Aug. 21. Every Tuesday and Thursday afterschool, ICC members rotate according to weekly shifts to provide lessons about the Korean alphabet and commonly used words. The club also aims to introduce its students to Korean traditions and culture.

The club was originally divided into four different branches: China, Japan, Korea and Spain. However, finding it difficult to cooperate, the founders decided to merge all branches into a bigger club and promote unity.

“The four branches will still exist but they will be active only when we organize events,” said Yoojeong Lee (11), ICC co-founder. “We found it hard to manage the club because all the ideas were jumbled and disorganized. Since communication was the biggest problem in our club, merging will prevent confusion and disputes among the founders.”

In order to ensure that club members are continuously active, the ICC executives and Christina Choi, ICC adviser, organized this Korean language program for the SIS teachers’ children. To make classes more engaging, ICC members brainstormed culturally enriching activities that these students could learn from, such as making rice-cakes and using chopsticks.

“It turned out well because the students were surprisingly engaged,” Ms. Choi said. “It was fun to watch the ICC [founders] share their love for culture to the international students. I think this program reduces fissures between the international and native students because foreigners [often] feel like outsiders for not being able to speak Korean.”

In addition to Korean classes, ICC executives hope to start International Culture Week and United Nations Peace Day, which is on Sept. 21. This day promotes the value of peace and cooperation among different races.

“We have lots planned in our mind but these ideas will be executed later as we plan to take baby steps,” said Heeyon Park (11), ICC president  and co-founder. “We plan to increase our presence in the SIS community through the publication of a magazine that will be distributed to students so that they will be  more aware of certain cultures and current events of the customs related to our school.”