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Expats teach English to another class

Sept 10,2008
HOPE is a volunteer group that provides free English lessons to underprivileged children. Provided by the organizer
To many working-class families in Korea, learning English can be a vicious cycle.

It alienates those who cannot afford private lessons and derails them in the competition for jobs, schools, promotions and ultimately for a better life.

A group of Canadian expats has recently decided to do something toward breaking this cycle.

HOPE, or Helping Others Prosper through English, founded by three Canadian teachers, is a volunteer group devoted to providing free English lessons to underprivileged children in Korea, according to director Philip Lozano.

“Most English teachers here are only exposed to well-off families,” Lozano said in a telephone interview Monday. “All the kids wear nice clothes. Their parents take them to English private lessons. It’s a little bit unfair.”

Lozano said a huge portion of the Korean population cannot afford private English lessons, but are no less deserving of the opportunity to succeed, a key part of which is learning English.

HOPE (www.alwayshope.or.kr) officially started its outreach program on Monday, with volunteers teaching English at Namsan Orphanage in Seoul. They plan to go to the orphanage once a week, Lozano said.

He said the organization is looking for other orphanages or groups of underprivileged students that need their help. Volunteers, of whom they currently only have six or seven, are also eagerly needed. Nationality, he said, does not matter.

“I think it’s important to remember the advantages we get in Korea and use those advantages to help others,” Lozano said.


By Moon Gwang-lip Staff Reporter [joe@joongang.co.kr]


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