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2017-03-18 “Don’t Make Me Fly!”

This morning we coached a refugee who is getting prepared to give her first public speech in English when TNKR presents at the 13th KOTESOL Seoul conference. She was an English teacher in North Korea, but she lacks confidence to give a speech in English. So this morning we gave her feedback on her speech.

Step 1, she wrote her speech in Korean. We like it so the speakers deliver their speeches with as much of the original flavor as possible.

Step 2, TNKR volunteer translator Lee Saria translated it into English.

Step 3, I edited it.

Step 4, Eunkoo Lee and I gave her feedback today. She felt encouraged after the session. Before, she had been worried that we might want to cancel after hearing her speak. We tried to make it as realistic as possible by having her stand up to give the speech. Today I convinced Eunkoo Lee that we should buy a mic stand so that speakers can practice without holding the microphone and their speech text. She felt like she was flying her confidence was soaring.

Step 5: I will record the speech so she can follow the intonation and also use correct Texas pronunciation.


We reviewed the speech, first she read it, we checked her pronunciation and sentence flow.

Then it was show time! She gave the speech, we gave her feedback on it. She has done public speaking in Korean, she just lacks confidence about doing this in English.

She happily admits to being one of my fans, she has known about TNKR since 2013 and spread the word about us to others.


After the speech prep session, Eunkoo had a feedback session with a refugee who joined TNKR briefly last year. She had so much praise for her tutors!

  • Responsibility: They take the class seriously. One of them in particular prepares handouts and readings. Another tutor uses an interesting reading approach that she really likes. We have raised our standards, but it seems she is also more focused.
  • Praise: Her tutors praise her so much that she finally told one: “Stop making me fly!”
  • Engaged: One interesting thing she really likes is that the tutors check with her to see if she is available. Some tutors have asked me in the past if the students had lost interest. I would suggest that the tutor simply say hello to the refugee in the Kakao group. Many refugees would pounce, eager to study. When the tutors ask rather than waiting then many students who feel they may be bothering the tutors will quickly respond to show their interest. For the eager students, having teachers say hello is enough encouragement for many of them.

Support TNKR’s How to Help North Koreans Project

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