Jeong Yoon Ku

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Award for Excellence in Tutoring

1st June 2016

Congratulations to Korean tutor Jeong Yoon Ku on being a recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Tutoring. Jeong Yoon is an expert in Applied Linguistics, with research focus in Korean honorifics and language teaching. She also teaches professional Korean to Australian diplomats. She is a passionate and dedicated language teacher who encourages students to learn the Korean language and gain real-life knowledge of Korea by developing creative and interactive tutorials based on communicative teaching methodologies. Jeong Yoon Ku’s teaching is informed by the close attention she pays to her students’ individual needs.

What is Jeong Yoon’s approach to teaching and supporting student learning

Interactive communication between an instructor and a learner is one of the most important factors in teaching and learning a language. Understanding students’ motivation is the best way to encourage such communication. While grades are certainly effective motivators, students’ genuine interest can facilitate their long-term and independent learning. Therefore, I always try to find out about students’ needs and learning styles. Such an understanding not only allows me to provide tailored class materials, but also to make language learning a more enjoyable process for the students.

A positive atmosphere is also essential in the classroom, because it attracts the students’ attention and encourages active participation. I always try to give positive comments in class, and especially strive to find ways to help shy students participate. I emphasise that making mistakes is not a sign of lacking knowledge, but the natural process of learning a language.

Students are more open-minded when they face a knowledgeable and reliable teacher who wins their respect. The key area in which I seek constant self-improvement is accessibility in the learning process.

Teacher Ku is the greatest tutor I’ve ever had at ANU. She is approachable, knowledgeable and has a strong grasp on teaching and learning methods (making material engaging, structured and understandable). She very obviously tries incredibly hard at her job and it shows. Student, KORE1021 Modern Korean 2

I really appreciate that all my students choose a Korean course over a variety of other available language courses. In addition, I feel a strong responsibility, because they come to understand Korea through the course and me.

Thus, I integrate my desire to respect my students into my teaching practices. I have found that respecting students’ personalities and treating them as individuals are the best ways to support their learning. I create an environment where students can show their knowledge and ask questions without having to worry about other students’ views: I respond quickly to all e-mails and personal notes, and hold individual meetings.

I often think of the expression, ‘Praise breeds willingness’, when I am teaching Korean language. My course convenors have respected and praised my teaching and given me the space to think about my teaching by myself. Backed up by their full support, I have been motivated to design and improve my teaching based on my teaching philosophy and classroom experiences. As this has been my experience, I hope that my students will be motivated by my support and praise to learn Korean and enjoy their Korean language learning. I am a guide for these language learners in helping them enjoy their language journey.

Ms Jeong Yoon Ku has been pivotal in sustaining the growth of the program, and in supporting the very diverse range of students who take our courses. Ms Ku brings an incredible amount of positive energy to her classes, and takes much pride in doing whatever she can be sure that no student falls behind. Course convener, ANU Korean Language Program

This story was originally published by the Centre for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching

Tags: Korean, Teaching

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