Teach English in Hai'An Zhen - Nantong Shi

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Studying in the native country from where the language comes from and is spoken by everyone is a huge benefit to the student learning the language. I speak on this from personal experience. My foreign language experience is in Korean, and I have been studying it at my home university here in the United States, but I had the privilege to experience to study Korean abroad in Seoul, South Korea at one of their prestigious universities. Thus, speaking from this foreign language study abroad experience, I would like to discuss the topic of why studying abroad in the nation in which the language being learned is spoken is the best situation and environment for learning a second language and has more benefits than one might initially think of. One of the benefits of studying abroad is being able to fully immerse oneself into the culture. Being in the native country requires a language student to not only have to use the language in the classroom but also in everyday life, like at the grocery store, in a coffee shop, asking for directions, talking to your landlord, making new friends… the list goes on. By having to face so many day to day situations where a language student would need to use the language he or she is learning, outside of a classroom setting, their knowledge, fluency, and confidence in speaking the language being learned would have greater potential to grow and improve exponentially, compared to taking the language classes in the student’s home country, where they would most likely be exposed to the language being learned only in classroom. Another benefit of gaining foreign language experience by studying abroad would be physically experiencing the culture, history, and people and being able to give a greater, deeper context and connection to the language being learned. Language does not just stand on its own - many languages have a rich history and cultural meanings. For example, the Korean alphabet, Hangul, was created by King Sejong in 1446, as a way to enable the commoners to learn how to read and write Korean, as well as create separation and distinction between the Korean language and the Chinese script, which was used previously, but only noblemen learned (ZKorean). Therefore, to truly grasp a language like Korean, knowing the history adds much depth into the meaning and logic of words, as well as an appreciation for the creation of it. Because language is a fluid thing, constantly evolving, newer words can be understood much easier by experiencing them in their native environment. Thus, studying abroad is the best for learning a native language, based not only on my personal experience but is also echoed by many other students who experienced the same privilege wherever you go. It does not only enable a student the opportunity to learn a language in the native environment from which the language is spoken, but can expand the student’s knowledge past the textbook and into real life. It can also bring about a greater worldview by forcing the student to live outside their comfort zone and live among the people who speak the language, viewing the world through the lens of that country and people, possibly leading to more inspiration and passion for the language and country than before. Works Cited “History of Hangul.” ZKorean, zkorean.com/hangul/history_of_hangul.