Learning a second language is hard, no doubt about it. And sometimes when you’re older (say 40) it seems like you’ll never get past a certain point (for me it’s particles and verb tenses; ugh!). And while this story is about a teenager, I have to say it inspired me to press on and work harder.
Alyssa Donovan of Maine (a caucasian American) recently became the first person of non-Korean descent to place in a Korean speech contest, which was hosted by the U.S. National Association for Korean Schools in Burlingame, California. An attempt to impress a boy in junior high prompted Alyssa to learn Korean, but instead has resulted in a life-changing path for her. She’s been studying since 2007 and, as you can see from the video I link to below, she has far surpassed my preschool Korean (and I started studying in 2006).
Of course, you can’t compare learning timelines or paths since everyone is different (and obviously as a 40-year-old part-time working, full-time homeschooling mother of a 5-year-old I must, at times, have other priorities). Still I found Alyssa’s story encouraging. I believe with all my heart that knowing the Korean language will be important and beneficial to Little Man. And who better to help him along the way than his mom.
So read more about Alyssa and watch the video at the links below. And 화이팅 Korean language learners!
Here’s a write-up about Alyssa from the Chosun Ilbo. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/07/18/2011071800463.html
And this mention on the KoreAm site includes a video of Alyssa speaking Korean, in case you had any doubts about the story. http://iamkoream.com/maine-teen-first-non-korean-to-place-in-korean-speech-contest/