Long Island school with no Koreans adopts Korean as its 2nd official elective foreign language

December 5, 2014
Students at Whispering Pines Seventh-day Adventist School in Long Island. (Courtesy of Korean Education Center in New York)

Students at Whispering Pines Seventh-day Adventist School in Long Island. (Courtesy of Korean Education Center in New York)

A small Long Island private school was among a handful of institutions to adopt the South Korean government’s Korean as an Elective Foreign Language Subject Project.

Whispering Pines Seventh-day Adventist School is comprised of 124 elementary, middle and high school students.

It’s one of 26 schools on the U.S.’s East Coast that adopted Korean as its second official elective foreign language, receiving a support fund of $13,000 from Korea’s Ministry of Education each year.

Chris Lee, 30, teaches Korean at the school. He started as a teaching volunteer two years ago before becoming a full-time instructor.

The entire student body greeted Korean Education Center in New York Director Park Hi-dong in Korean Thursday during his visit to hand over the funding — a part of the center’s $275,000 with which to support Korean language education in the U.S. — with “Hello” and “Welcome.”

School Principal Shirley-Ann Thomas-Laurencin said Korea’s dynamic image played a big part in the school’s choice to teach its students Korean.

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