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2017-11-25 14th KOTESOL DCC Symposium and Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanks so much to Kotesol: Daejeon-Chungcheong Chapter for inviting TNKR to present at its annual symposium and Thanksgiving Dinner. Eunkoo Lee and I presented as the featured speakers at the Plenary session. Thanks so much to Mike Peacock, DCC Chapter President, for making it happen. I’m just sorry that because of our tight schedule that we couldn’t join earlier in the day.

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2017-11-26 TNKR Matching 66: Sitting-room only!

On Sunday 2017-11-26, Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) just held its largest ever Language Matching session: 10 refugee students, 21 tutors, 1 South Korean student. Instead of standing-room only, it was sitting room only. During the week, we were on pace for a somewhat typical large session, with 16 tutors and 9 refugees signed up. Eunkoo Lee hasn’t checked recently, but we probably have more than 70 refugees on the waiting list to join the program. And with refugees saying at the orientation that they wanted to select several tutors, we decided to hold an emergency orientation session to accept five more tutors.

The question became: What if everyone shows up? We have been on a hot streak recently, with every tutor showing up. We could expand because Janice Kim has taken over as Manager of Track 1. In the past, 15 tutors was all that I could handle alone, in addition to my other many duties for TNKR, and I greatly regretted the time that we had 19 tutors at a session. It isn’t just the session, but the follow up when some tutors disappear knowing I can’t chase them all. Whereas I tend to be grumpy in teaching applicants how to fill out the resume, Janice is delightful, patient.

So we decided to have our biggest session. We only have 22 chairs, so if your figuring ain’t bad, you can guess that about 35 people (including staff) were going to have trouble squeezing into 22 chairs. So we made the decision to move all of the chairs out of the room, and to have everyone sit on the floor, like we were back in elementary school.

Support TNKRhttp://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/donate/

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2017-11-26 Five hours early!

(TNKR) Teach North Korean Refugees Language Matching session #66 will be held today from 2 p.m. Students get to choose tutors based on when they arrive to our office, first come, first choose.
As of this morning, we have a new record: 9:20 a.m.
Yes, she arrived almost 5 hours early.
I occasionally have some experts, mainly South Koreans, telling me refugees are passive. My response, as I have been saying since I was a grad student at Harvard, and said when I helped create a school voucher program for low-income parents in Washington DC, have been saying to education experts I encounter, and said again in my TEDx Talk recently: If the people who benefit from your program or activity are passive, then it means you didn’t design it well.
I can’t account for all 30,000 NK refugees who have escaped to South Korea in the last 20 years, but the ones who find us are certainly motivated.
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2017-11-13 Special Project with Special Lady named Sharon

I first met Sharon Jang in early 2015. She has remained with TNKR constantly since then. Every meeting with her is lovely and inspiring. We are now working with her on a special project, it is all hands on deck with our staff in the office as well as a volunteer in the USA.

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2017-10-12 Congratulations, lovely Sharon!

We joined lovely Sharon Jang as the results were announced in an essay test. We were so delighted that she mentioned the impact TNKR has had on her!

She first joined TNKR in early 2015. Her English was at a basic level, she joined both Tracks 1 and 2. She had no fear. And if you know her story about working in a coal mine in North Korea, then you can understand why the thought of giving public speeches gave her no fear.

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2017-10-10 TNKR’s British Invasion

TNKR held its second planning meeting for its trip to the UK next week. We had many tasks assigned and have a lot to do.

Our biggest challenge: Attracting attendees to our 10/21 forum.

Here’s the agenda:

1:50- 2:05 Registration & tea time

2:05- 2:10 Welcoming remarks

Casey Lartigue Jr. (TNKR Co-founder)

Jihyun Park (Stepping Stones, Co-founder)

2:10-2:30 The Launch Ceremony of Stepping Stones

2:30-3:00 North Korean traditional dance performance

3:00-3:10 Tea time

3:10-3:25 Speaker 1

Kim Hyeong-soo: Understanding the North Korean System

3:25-3:45 Speaker 2

Park Ji-hyun: Life as a North Korean Woman in China

3:45-4:10 Speakers 3&4

Casey Lartigue & Eunkoo Lee: Impact of English education for North Korean refugees


Q & A

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2017-09-23 Volunteer Training Workshop, Day 2

Volunteer Training Workshop, Day 2:

  • Lecture 1: NK Education System by Jinhee Han, former English teacher in North Korea
  • Group Discussion with NK Refugee Students (College)
  • Lecture II: Roles and Profess ledionalism in Volunteering with NK Refugees by TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee
  • Group Discussion led by TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan

Support TNKR

Watch a TV special about TNKR

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2017-09-24/25 Telling Their Own Stories

On Sunday TNKR held an orientation to get prepared for its 64th Language Matching session to be held on Sunday October 1. We will be holding an emergency session tonight and probably another one on Wednesday.

We had nine volunteers join the session.


Support TNKR

Watch a TV special about TNKR

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2017-09-17 TNKR Matching 63

On Sunday, TNKR held a large Matching session with 10 refugeees, 17 volunteers tutors, and 7 volunteer staff members. 

Support TKNR: http://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/donate/

Volunteer: http://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/volunteer/

Breakdown Read more