Korean-Filipino kids learn Filipino language in Seoul

Posted at 06/16/2014 11:33 AM | Updated as of 06/16/2014 4:44 PM
The opening ceremony of Wika Nga! Filipino Language Classes for Filipino-Korean Children was attended by Philippine Ambassador Raul Hernandez (sixth from left) and Seoul Global Center (SGC) Director Kim Donghoon (right most). Photo by Noreen Lindo

SEOUL - Korean-Filipino children are now getting a chance to learn the Filipino language.

The Philippine Embassy, together with the Seoul Global Center (SGC), Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO) Inc. and Seoul Filipino Parents and Children Organization (SFPCO), launched the "Wika Nga! Klase ng Wikang Filipino para sa mga batang Koreano-Filipino (Filipino Language Class for Korean-Filipino Children)" last June 14.

"We hope we could continue this project not only until August, but make it the cornerstone of a more comprehensive and proactive engagement the Embasssy, in collaboration with local authorities, like the SGC, and Filipino community organizations, like PIKO and SFPCO would like to have with multicultural families through education," Ambassador Raul Hernandez said during the opening ceremony.

Twenty-one Korean-Filipino children, aged 7-11 years old, will attend the 2-hour class for 10 weeks from June to August.

"The aim of this program is to strengthen the Filipino heritage of Korean-Filipino children by teaching the basic Filipino grammar," Ronel Laranjo, PIKO President and the class instructor, said.

He said Filipino mothers will also have an active role in teaching the language outside the classroom through supplementary materials and homework.

At the end of the program, students will attend a Filipino camp where they can use what they have learned from the class. The students will also be encouraged to join the 2nd Filipino Speech Contest in Korea to be hosted by the Philippine Embassy in August.

"This would help Koreans appreciate multicultural families more," Kim Dong-hoon, director of the SGC’s Daily Living Consultation Team, said. SGC is a comprehensive support center for foreign residents in Seoul.