For the second consecutive year, TNKR has been asked to help North Korean refugee youngsters get prepared for an English speech contest.

We would like to get started by October 15, so if you are available and interested to help NK refugee youngsters between October 15 to November 2, leading up to the contest on November 3, then please be ready to apply when we post the application form very soon.

I will be returning as one of the judges, and coaches will also be invited to attend the contest. It is always a great time, with parents and friends joining the contest as attendees.

For those of you familiar with TNKR’s process, we will be using the same process. We plan on holding at least one orientation session before the refugee adolescents will be choose their coaches and we may conduct at least one orientation session online.

To be eligible:
1) Fill out the application.

Submit a properly formatted resume, ARC card or passport copy, and a signed waiver.

2) Have an initial phone call with TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue. 02-6929-0942

3) You may be invited to a second phone call or online orientation to be held on Thursday and/or Friday.

NOTE: First preference will be given to TNKR members/volunteers.


Create a Resume

This resume will be presented to the refugees. Please read this closely and follow for your resume to be accepted.

Resume Formatting Guidelines:
* One-page maximum
* Word document format (PDFs are NOT accepted)
* Copy and paste the resume template (see template below)
* 12-point type for main text, 14-point for your name
* Photo (optional)
* No fancy formatting

Rename file as:
Speech Contest, November 3 Resume: “(Track 1)Resume_FirstName_LastName“

Be aware that this resume is for refugees to review, so make your pitch to them!

Resume Template (Copy & Paste):
Speech contest Resume
(photo, but not required)

1) Name: (Use the name you would like to be referred to by the refugees.)
2) Nationality:
3) Availability for tutoring:
Location and Distance: (Starting location, and please indicate how far you are willing to travel from that point. Example: Seoul Station, Lines 1 & 4, 30 minutes
Days and Times: (Example: Monday -Friday, 5 pm to 8 pm)
4) Two preferred teaching/coaching skills: (Example skills: Speech, presentation skills, essay writing, etc.)
5) Education background (mention current or latest school):
6) Employment (mention two jobs, at most):
7) One-paragraph introduction about yourself and why you want to join TNKR:
8) Contact Info: mobile number in Korea, Kakao ID, e-mail address (Note: This information will not be given to the refugees.)
Step 3. Submit Application Items

E-mail the following items to TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue ( and TNKR Academic Coordinator Janice Kim (
* Formatted Resume
* ARC, Passport, or State-Level ID (scan or photo)
* TNKR waiver (scan or photo)
* Recommended free scanning apps: CamScanner, Tiny Scanner

To expedite your application:
Add Casey (“Y2KC“) and Janice (“jank123“) on Kakao Messenger, then send a message: “Hello, my name is ( ), I am an applicant with TNKR hoping to be a speech coach.”

P.S.: First preference is given to TNKR members: . Contact TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue with questions,

Want to help TNKR, but don’t want to teach? Then consider TNKR’s Volunteer Leadership Academy. It is a way to get involved with TNKR, developing leadership skills and adding some different to your resume/portfolio/career/experience abroad.

We have numerous activities being organized by TNKR volunteers, friends of TNKR volunteers, musicians, even high school students from Jeju-do visited us and discussed specific plans they had for raising awareness about TNKR. One day, we might have someone who can lead this Academy, the way TNKR Academic Coordinator Janice Kim leads Track 1 and masterfully handles the recruitment process.

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TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue was interviewed by “North Korean Now” show for Yonhap News TV.


Teach North Korean Refugees began as a hobby for its co-founders back in 2013. We would occasionally match North Korean refugees with volunteer English tutors. Five years later, almost 400 refugees and almost 800 volunteer tutors and coaches have joined us.

On Saturday, we held our 76th Language Matching session. We had 17 tutors, 10 NK refugees and five TNKR staffers participate in one of TNKR’s most organized, most fulfilling, and fun sessions.

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TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee conducted four 1:1 interviews with refugees who are very eager to join TNKR. Two of them were so enthusiastic about joining us that I was ready to start teaching them!

One of the refugees was referred by a current TNKR student who is telling her friends about TNKR. But the student referring others is very clear, as she tells people: “Don’t join TNKR until you are serious about studying. They have high expectations, and you can learn a lot if you study hard.”

It is wonderful to hear this! One thing we have been focused on the last few years has been making TNKR from scratch into a serious academic organization. We have had to make it feel unfriendly for socializers, playboys, and others not really focused on helping refugees improve their English. Having a high-level professional organization is not easy when you rely on volunteers who naturally don’t remain engaged for long. Hearing refugees tell others not to join us until they are serious is encouraging, they can recognize the high-quality and expectations.

We have been trying to encourage an atmosphere of self-directed education. It is a good sign that refugees in TNKR are warning other students about it.

Tutoring in our office this evening were Meghann and Una and the day started with me getting interviewed for a Youtube channel.

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If I recall correctly, TNKR held orientation sessions on June 9 and 10. Our last “day off” was June 3, meaning that I have worked 15 days in a row, and with plans for orientation sessions this weekend, I may go almost the entire month of June with only one day off.

After working over the weekend holding a Matching session on Saturday and a Donor Appreciation event on Sunday, TNKR was back to work today. We had 4 interviews with refugees seeking to join the program. It was such a great feeling to hear two of the refugees refer to us as “heroes.”

We also had visitors who wanted to find out how they could get involved with TNKR.

Support TNKR:

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