In addition to academic studies, NSLI-Y students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, from music lessons to cooking classes. For students in the storytelling class, their extracurricular activity took them all the way back to Kindergarten!
On February 10th, students culminated their storytelling experience by presenting their own stories to students at Sogang Kindergarten, a national kindergarten school near Mapo-gu, Korea. Through creating fun and engaging children’s stories, NSLI-Y students developed their writing skills through the use of onomatopoeia, mimetic words, conversational phrases, and narrative techniques. In addition to stories, students enjoyed a day of performing Korean songs and dances alongside the Kindergarteners.
Seeing this small children’s school, brought memories of when I was in their place, years back, taking off my shoes, playing with blocks, having teachers hand out treats for snack time. There were a lot of mixed emotions as I actually stepped through the doors of the school. We all took our shoes off, and some of us were lucky enough to have our shoes fit in their cubbard [sic]…
We started with singing songs, and they had their little hands out, so they could follow along with us. It was such a nice moment to see actual interaction. They referred to us as teacher, but at the time, I just wanted to be a friend to them, and to be kind.
During everyone’s presentation of their stories, I would try to act it out for kids, so they could get a visual picture of what was going on. When I read my own story, I tried to become active while reading and tried to sound playful. And possibly because of my methods, when all the kids went out to play with the snow, they were having tons of fun hitting me with snow and trying to actually communicate. I did not have any goals before going to this children’s school, but after having them play with me in the snow, I felt so accomplished because I actually made so much progress with them.
-Anthony, NSLI-Y Korea, Academic Year 2013-2014