U.S. Marines teach English to ROK youths through interaction
POHANG, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Marines and sailors volunteered to teach English to the students of Haneulggum Ji Yeok Adong Center March 25 in Pohang, Republic of Korea during exercise Ssang Yong 2014.
The Marines and sailors, with 7th Communication Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, are in the ROK to take part in exercise Ssang Yong 14.
“Today we came out in Pohang and were interacting with some Korean children,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Stephen F. Brown, chaplain for the battalion. “We were playing with them and teaching them English through different games. Today was essentially for the children to have fun while learning English at the same time. I asked the community relations specialist if there were any events like this, and sure enough, he had one for us.”
During exercises like Ssang Yong, U.S. Marines and sailors show their interest and care for local communities by taking part in community relations events, according to Brown.
“Coming out here shows that we do care about the community, we do care about what’s happening here, we care about the people and the children,” said Brown.
The battalion consistently participates in bi-weekly community relations events at their home station in Okinawa, Japan, according to Brown.
This is not the first time U.S. Marines have visited the Haneulggum Ji Yeok Adong Center, according to Shin Beom Ryong, a teacher at the center.
“At least two U.S. Marines come once a week and teach the students English,” said Shin. “Playing and speaking with the children in English helps them a lot because interaction is a more natural way for them to learn. The children always have good time.”
The students at the center range from kindergarten to middle school and some of them have been attending the center for the most of their lives.
“I’ve been coming here to play with and learn English from the U.S. Marines for the last five years,” said Park Min Ji, a student at center. “I really enjoy spending time with the U.S. Marines. It’s a lot of fun!”
Ssang Yong, which is Korean for “twin dragons,” is an exercise designed to strengthen the ROK-U.S. Marine Corps combat readiness and combined interoperability as well as advance the ROK Marine Corps Marine Task Force and command and control capabilities through the conduct of combined amphibious operations.