Internship program gives students teaching experience in Korea

Published 25 November 2009

daejeonFour students from the University of New England’s School of Education are teaching English at four schools in the Korean city of Daejeon.

Their eight weeks of teaching experience in Daejeon (19 October – 11 December) has been organised through UNE’s Korea Internship Program with financial support from the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education.

The four students – Andrew O’Connell, Helen Wicker, Sophie McGregor and Nathaniel Sundstrom – are working with Korean teachers of English at middle schools (Years 7-9). The schools are Sung Duk Middle School, Daejeon Daecheong Middle School, Daejeon Taepyeong Middle School, and Weolpyeong Middle School.

“English proficiency is one of the most important goals for school education in Korea,” said Dr Myung-sook Auh, one of the coordinators (together with Dr Chris Reading) of UNE’s Korea Internship Program. “The Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education is supporting our program in order to give Korean students an opportunity to learn English from teachers who are native speakers of the language.”

The Daejeon Office’s current involvement with the UNE program is the first time that it has recruited pre-service teachers from overseas. This follows the signing of an agreement in July this year by the Office’s Superintendent, Dr Shin Ho Kim, and the recently-retired Vice-Chancellor of UNE, Professor Alan Pettigrew.

As part of their internship, the UNE students are conducting two demonstration classes for teachers of English (to which Korean teachers of English from throughout the city have been invited), and developing lesson plans and teaching materials. During their internship, the students are taking advantage of the opportunity for cultural exchange by using Australian (as well as Korean) folk tales and folk songs in their teaching of English – songs such as “Waltzing Matilda”, “Click Go the Shears” and “Botany Bay”, and stories with themes such as the Rainbow Serpent and the arrival of Captain Cook.

One of the UNE students, Helen Wicker, is being filmed – together with her advising Korean teachers and her home-stay “mother” – for a Korean television report on her experience in Korea.

For more information on UNE’s Korea Internship Program, contact Dr Myung-sook Auh on (02) 6773 2917 (e-mail:

Clicking on the image displayed here reveals a photograph of Dr Shin Ho Kim, Superintendent of the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education.