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  -  Education   -  North Asia Education   -  Experiencing the Korean classroom: New Zealand educators in action

1 May 2024

Eight delegates representing schools and educational institutions in New Zealand arrived in Seoul, South Korea on the night of 11 April for the 2024 Korea Study Tour organised by North Asia CAPE and the Auckland office of the Korean Education Centre.

The programme began with a full day of school visit and first-hand experience of the Korean classroom at Youngpa Girl’s Middle School, located at Songpa-gu, sister city of Christchurch.

Representing schools and educational institutions across New Zealand, the delegates gained a fresh learning experience not only through classroom observations but also by themselves teaching two classes. Prior to traveling, the delegates prepared lessons that introduced Korean students and teachers to New Zealand culture and society. The photos below show passionate New Zealand educators in action.

After greeting in te reo Māori, English, and Korean, Kerry-Anna Matahiki, Kaiako Matua Wharekura, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawamaitawhiti, taught Korean students basic reo Māori words, introducing aspects of Māori culture.

Chardonei Pukekawa Uerata Harris-Taua, Kaiāwhina / Kaimanaaki, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, delivered an interactive session with students learning to perform movements to a Māori song while using poi.

Prior to travelling, Rebecca Spurdle-Fisher, Head of Languages, Takapuna Normal Intermediate School (TNIS), asked TNIS students to write letters for their Korean counterparts. These were received and read enthusiastically in class. The Korean students responded to the letters and Rebecca hopes to continue this exchange and create deeper connections in the future.

Jan LodeWikus Swanepoel, Principal, Maidstone Intermediate School, shared basic facts about New Zealand, inciting students’ interest in visiting the country.

Rebecca Fa’aesea, Deputy Principal, Mangere Central School, taught Korean students how to count from 1 to 10 in Te Reo. Rebecca also explained about Matariki, linking this to an activity that encouraged student conversations around what makes the constellations special while making Matariki stars.

Sara Travers, Deputy Principal, Papamoa Primary School, focused on helping Korean students gain an understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural history. Apart from English and te reo greetings, students in her class also learned how to create a model of a wharenui.

Lyn Tao, Senior Librarian at East Coast Bays Library, taught students important facts about New Zealand’s geography, population and culture. Students in her class enthusiastically participated in games that also introduced New Zealand’s beautiful nature and wildlife. Lyn passionately learns Korean under NA CAPE’s K-Hub programme to better serve her library’s Korean clients.

Christopher William Martin Wall, Deputy Principal, Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, helped students discover similarities and differences between New Zealand and Korea. He also showcased his Korean skills, inspiring students to use English and see the value of learning different languages.

The Korean classroom teaching experience is a pioneering component of the 2024 Korea Study Tour introduced by the North Asia CAPE that offered the delegates a unique opportunity to experience an educational setting outside of New Zealand and to create deeper connections with Korean educators. NA CAPE thanks the KEC and Youngpa Girl’s Middle School for supporting this programme. It also acknowledges the following partners and sponsors for the 2024 Korea Study Tour: Kyunghee University Institute of International Education; Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea; and Korea Tourism Organization.