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2017-03-17 Inspired by Eunhee

Eunhee Park visited the TNKR office yesterday for classes with tutors Debbie Roberts and Kaina Ortiz. It is amazing to see her speaking in English. She joined TNKR almost two years ago at a basic level, and now she is laughing and joking in English! Those of you who haven’t read my Korea Times column about her, please do so, to see how incredible her story is. You can also read it in her own words at her fundraiser for TNKR.

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Debbie Roberts started tutoring Eunhee in January of this year, so far they have had three classes together. Debbie’s fundraiser for TNKR includes Eunhee in it.

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Kaina Ortiz and Eunhee also began studying together in January, so far they have had four classes together. It is easy to forget how much time tutors give to help NK refugees improve their English. Eunhee has now been studying English in TNKR for almost two years, so she is no longer just asking basic questions.

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I admit it, I’m one of Eunhee Park’s fans. Her story and personality are absolutely inspiring. She praises TNKR so much that even I blush a little! It comes out naturally.

She lets you know what she is thinking. When she is studying English, she doesn’t pretend she doesn’t understand, she will make it clear she doesn’t understand. And when she does understand or when she catches up? Thumbs up!!!

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TNKR National Director Eunkoo Lee met a student to get feedback about her experience in TNKR. This student joined us earlier this year at a really basic level. At first she was following the tutors, going against the TNKR philosophy of the students treating this project like a self-study opportunity of practicing with tutors what they learn. She let Eunkoo know she will try harder to take at least one learning activity or question for her tutors when she has class. Eunkoo felt so encouraged by it! When Eunkoo was working as a researcher, she would give refugees advice, but it was more theoretical than practical. Now, she can learn about the needs of refugees, give them feedback based on their particular situations. When she sees a student go from being passive to taking charge of their own learning then it makes her believe she is doing the right thing.

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Tae In started in TNKR as a coach, she has now become a coach. What I love about her classes is that even though Tae In is a fluent Korean speaker, she never uses it with students. She has made it clear that she is an English language tutor. Her student yesterday is an advanced beginner who has given up a few times before. Let’s see if she will stick to it this time. Tae In has raised expectations for her in several ways.

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Then we had an interview with a German artist who wants to do a project related to NK refugees.

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