Yoom Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi Yoom! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. May we ask you to briefly introduce yourself?
I am Yoom, and I work as a Korean language teacher!
I started teaching Korean lessons on Cafetalk in October 2020. I have always been shy and not the best at socializing with people, but for some reason, I am able to have so much fun chatting with my students, almost to the point that I forget I am shy.While I enjoyed studying other languages and majored in Russian at university, I found that I enjoyed interacting with students studying Korean so much that I went on to graduate school and majored in Korean language education. As for Japanese, I can speak it naturally as a result of more than 15 years of being exposed to Japanese content.I enjoy reading and writing, and I also watch a variety of dramas and movies regardless of genre. I like photography and video editing as well. And last but not least, I love cats!
- Q. Please tell us more about your hometown and the area where you currently reside.
A. I live in a place called ‘Yongin’. It is a city located south of Gyeonggi-do Province, and it takes about 40 to 50 minutes by bus to Seoul. Many people don’t recognize it, so I often explain that it’s right next to Suwon. I lived in Seoul for my studies up until 2019, so I can't say that I'm familiar with Yongin, but I think it’s a nice, quiet place to live with not too many people.
“Everland,” where you can meet pandas, and the “Korean Folk Village,” which has been used as a filming location for many TV dramas, are the most famous tourist attractions in this area. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery each season, so I recommend visiting Everland during the Tulip Festival, and the Folk Village in the fall when the autumn foliage is most beautiful.
- Q. What motivated you to become a tutor on Cafetalk?
A. I have studied many languages. For example, in the case of Russian, I entered university without even knowing the Russian alphabet, learned from a native Russian teacher, and then I went to a Russian language school as an exchange student. In comparison, I learned the Japanese alphabet and basic grammar, but I did not learn Japanese by “studying as one would normally do.”
In the first case, I was able to learn the sentence structure in a short period of time and could efficiently create complete sentences, but my sense of the language used in real life was inadequate. On the other hand, in the case of the latter learning method, I could use expressions actually used by native speakers and the words would came out more naturally, but I could not be sure that what I was saying was grammatically correct, and above all, it took a lot of time.
As a language learner myself, I became a Korean language teacher to help those studying Korean by combining the best of two worlds: efficient methods that have been studied and developed in various foreign language teaching fields, and methods that reflect real-life linguistic practices.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you're not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. I am more of an indoor person who prefers to be at home rather than doing something outside. I usually sit next to my cat and watch movies or dramas that interest me, or read books. My two favorite genres are essays and science fiction novels. I also do some writing myself when I want to clear my mind. Recently, I have also signed up to a gym to improve my physical fitness, and I do yoga in my free time.
- Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style?
A. I think it is most important to create a learning environment where students can speak comfortably. Trying to express yourself in your native language in an uncomfortable situation is difficult, and I am sure it is even more difficult to do so when you're speaking an unfamiliar language with an unfamiliar teacher through the monitor. With this in mind, my top priority is to create an atmosphere in which students can bring out 100% or even 200% of their potential.
All lessons are conducted flexibly within a set curriculum, taking into consideration the individual’s learning style and goals. This is the best thing about one-on-one lessons. Therefore, if the direction of my lesson differs from what you expected, please feel free to tell me at any time. I believe that a good lesson is created by both the tutor and the student working together!
- Q. Which lessons would you recommend to your students?
A. I prepare lessons according to your learning goals and level of proficiency. If you are a first-time learner, or if you have been studying on your own and know the basic grammar in theory, but are having trouble using it in real life, I recommend the "Beginner level Korean" lesson. You will become familiar with the structure of Korean sentences through conjugation practice.
For those who want to understand more about Korean society and culture, I recommend the "Learning Korean through Drama" and "Learning Korean through News" lessons. These lessons are focused on discussion rather than explanation of vocabulary rules and expressions, and will allow you to expand your perspective through in-depth discussions on Korean society and culture that you may have overlooked when simply watching them on the screen.
In addition, I offer a variety of other lesson such as “TOPIK II 쓰기 preparation,” that focuses on key points that many students struggle with, and “Korean lessons on the Phone,” which can be taken more casually. If you are not sure where to start, please feel free to take my “Counseling” lesson!
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. I greatly respect all of you who make time in your busy lives to study and work hard to improve your skills. I am also inspired by your hard work, which helps me work harder toward becoming a better teacher. The support and kind words you always give me are also a constant source of encouragement. I believe that sharing everyday life with all of you is the happiest and most fulfilling moment of my life. Thank you so much for your continued support.