Last Tuesday I received a phonecall from my friend Yoon-Jung. She wanted me to pose as a model for a newspaper article in the Digital Times, a Korean IT-oriented newspaper. Of course, I accepted 😀
They needed someone who looked as a foreigner (basically, anyone with light hair and big eyes). In Korea (just like in all Asia in general), people usually can’t distinguish a Spaniard from an American, we all are just “oegugin” (foreigner). In the picture, I’m supposed to be an English native teacher, and Yoon-Jung is my student. She’s learning English through Skype video-conference, a pretty good idea, taking into account that:
- English has become a key factor among young generations in South Korea. When it comes to getting a job after graduation, I’d say South Korea is one of the most competitive countries in the world, and being able to communicate in English is absolutely mandatory in today’s global business world.
- The Internet has become an essential part of life in Korea, specially among high-school and college students, who usually prefer to chat with friends rather than actually meet them. Besides, Internet connectivity is practically ubiquitous in South Korea, and seeing people surfing the web or chatting on the bus or subway is not uncommon at all these days, so why not learning English while you are in the subway on your way home?
Detail of the picture, with Yoon-Jung talking to me by Skype video call.