A series of Language Encounters launched yesterday evening (Tuesday 7 March) as part of Durham Global Week. Two pop-up social cafes took place, focusing on Korean and German at Ustinov College and St Aidan's College respectively. Mark Critchley, Director of the Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS) takes a closer look at the Korean Cafe.
As part of a series of new Language Encounters, the Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS) organised a Korean night, hosted by Ustinov College. An opportunity to bring together staff from Korea, students from Korea, learners of Korean language and those just interested in Korean language and culture, the event was designed as a celebration of all things Korean at Durham.
The fully booked event was organised by the two Korean teachers in CFLS – Dr Yoonjoung Choi and Heesoo Warner - and included participation by students from across the University, and from a range of nationalities studying Korean language. Professor Simon Mills from our Department of Music brought up a fabulous Korean ‘orchestra’ with a performance of Korean music, following on from a demonstration by the Tae Kwon Do club.
Interest in Korean language at CFLS has grown enormously over the past five years, being the fastest growing language of all those on offer. The Korean Language Encounter exemplified that interest, and has helped cement links between groups with interests in Korea across the University that did not previously exist. Establishing better links between CFLS and our colleges has also been a great boon.
The Korean Language Encounter is one of a series of such Encounters taking place during Durham Global Week. With the Korean event taking place alongside a German event at St Aidan’s College on the same evening, there will be similar Language Encounters for Italian, Japanese and Arabic over the remainder of the week. Following a review of the format, it is hoped such Encounters can be extended to include other languages and become a feature of the CFLS calendar throughout the academic year, bringing together language learners and native speakers to share stories and language tips, help language learners practice in a relaxed and social setting, and celebrate the University's multilingual and multicultural nature.