On 3rd November (Saturday), the Ministry of Education (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Yoo Eun-Hae), LG Yonam Foundation (Head of local education office Min Byeong-Hee) and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (President of HUFS Kim Inchul) came togehter for the 6th Bilingual Speaking Contest at LG Science Park.
The Bilingual Speaking Contest first started in 2013 and has since been held every year. The purpose of the Contest is to foster the learning of bilingual languages, and also to help establish the identity of multicultural students and nourish their pride.
This year's Contest was the first since the Bilingual Language Education Agreement on 27th June 2018 was concluded between the MoE, LG Yonam Foundation and the HUFS. Fifty one students have been selected from 17 local education offices to give their presentation in their respective mother tongue, like Chinese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Sri Lankan and more, as well as in Korean.
After the assessment, the MoE Minister's Prize and Special Prizes were awarded. In addition, the winners get the chance to further develop their bilingual language skills by being instructed by professionals at the "Multicultural school with LG" for 2 years.
Prizes were also distributed to teachers who were dedicated to help the students develop their potential talents and to participate in the Contest.
Amisha, who has participated in this year's contest, (1st grade Kwansan Middle School), said in her presentation that when she first came to Korea she missed her friends and family, but she now dreams about becoming a flight attendant that links the skyway between Koream and Sri Lanka.
I experienced how sad my mother was, when she couldn't say farewell to her father in person when he died, and I decided that I wanted to help multicultural families, that can neither call nor visit their families.
My great grandmother moved to Jilin Province to raise seven children. I want to tell my great grandmother in heaven that her great granddaughter has become the prefect of her class and also is competing at the Bilingual Speaking Contest.
After visiting the memorial park of Lee Tae-jun, who was a doctor and fought for the independence of Korea, I realized that patriotism doesn't know any borders. I want to become a teacher and help multicultural students.
Director-General Jung In-soon of the Ministry of Education mentioned at the awards ceremony, "You are gifted with bilingual abilities and you are familiar with two different cultures. Based on those talents, you have the potential to become future professionals who link two countries." She also added, "We will help multicultural students, so that they can unfold their full potential and capacities."
* unofficial translation