22
Sep
08

Language Is a Key Connection

Can you imagine growing up in another culture knowing that you’re American yet not speaking English or being able to communicate with people you are related to by blood? That’s the case for so many adoptees who were born in countries like Korea, China, Guatemala or others. In the past many adoptees have grown up thinking of themselves as caucasian Americans only to find when they enter college that others see them as Asian or Latino. Yet, they don’t really fit into the Asian or Latino communities because they don’t speak their native language or know much about the culture.

We’ve planned all along for our son to learn Korean. And we’ve had people asked us if that’s really the best idea; after all, when’s he going to use Korean. Well, we’re hoping he’ll use it at home since we plan to learn Korean as well. But most importantly, he won’t face the stigma of being Korean and not speaking Korean (and believe me, there is a stigma that we’ve heard about first had from both adoptees and mixed-race friends).

But we’ve found that teaching a child Korean is easier said than done. There just aren’t a lot of Korean language programs or helps out there for children. The search for such helps, though, has led us to numerous resources for other languages. So, below I’m sharing the resources we’ve found for a variety of languages.

Teach Me series
This series has 10 language sets available, including Korean, Chinese and Spanish, and uses songs to teach the languages. They also have teacher’s guides to you use the series and the company is starting an “Everyday Series” that will teach phrases and more. The CD-book sets are about $15 and the teacher’s guides are around $8. Some of these sets are available through Amazon.com.

KidSpeak series
This series is for kids ages 5-13 and uses animation and games to teach the language. They have nine languages for kids, including Korean, Chinese and Spanish; they also offer two combo packs (a 6-1 world pack and a 4-1 Asian pack). Individual languages are $30 and the combo packs are $40-$50.

Rosetta Stone series
This series is for bigger kids and adults and pricier than the ones above. But lots of people have had great success with this series.

Favorite Korean online resources
Indiana University has two sites that help teach some basic Korean. This site goes over hangeul, the Korean alphabet. This site is a multimedia dictionary that goes over lots of different words and phrases. On this site each word/phrase is said by both a male and female speaker. Our son loves practicing the names of animals on this site.

Well, it’s not a lot but hopefully you’ll find some resources here to get you started no matter what language you’re looking for.


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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

Favorite Korean Movies-TV Shows

Be Strong, Geum-Soon
Please Teach Me English
Spy Girl
Tae Gu Ki
Chunhyang
2009 Lost Memories

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2worlds1familyblog at gmail dot com

It’s a Small World After All


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