"How long are you staying?" my friend asks. We shuffle forward in line at the bakery and place our orders: two mini-eliopita and a tea for me, iced coffee and a fruit tart for her. Once we pay and sit down, I answer as honestly as I can.
"I don't want to say any definite answer since I still haven't spent a week there--let alone a year," I respond, holding out an eliopita for her to try, "but I think my minimum ideal would be two-years."
She breaks her tart between her fingers and picks at an strawberry that escaped. "Damn that's a long time." Then, "Do you speak any Korean?"
I wince. "A little. Not enough. I should practice more, actually."
Most guides don't really mention this other than to say that learning Korean isn't a requirement for EPIK. Of course, they say, it's nice to learn, but it won't affect your chances of teaching abroad. In fact, most guides kind of gloss over at least learning Hangul. Hangul seems to be the consensus, and that's why I want to talk about my decision to learn Korean.
A little disclaimer: I've yet to land in Korea myself.
Another disclaimer: I'm pretty shit at learning languages.
Pedagogy and Reflection
We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience