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Impressing Heaven


FOREWORD
Since coming to Korea in 2007, I have gotten to know many English speaking young
adults among the Koreans I have been meeting. They are my students, tutors, assistants and
friends and I am grateful for their confessions and inspiration.
The stories in this collection are based on my memories of some of my conversations
with these as they opened up and shared their experiences, dreams and insights. This is not
social science. Rather, it is creative non-fiction. It is not the result of a premeditated research
project. Instead, the writing began as personal memoirs of these many precious exchanges,
and lead to my imaginings about the unfolding of their life paths. I thus carried out a
professional exploration as a result of the writing. The names and some circumstances of
these subjects were changed. Therefore, the stories herein do not serve as a precise scientific
record. Rather, they serve as a resident-abroad, EFL teacher’s reflection on real life
experiences.
These days, teachers learn the importance of being reflective in order to be better,
more ethical, and more socially responsible. That is the importance of raising their
consciousness about who they are, who they are with, where they are, and what they are
doing.
Barbara Waldern
©October, 2011
Language teachers especially have come to realize the value in cultural awareness
and appreciation for cultural diversity, for example. In the context of globalization, cultural
awareness and appreciation of both students and teachers can fend off assimilationist trends
and policies while facilitating the improvement of the language learners’ communicative
effectiveness.
Hopefully, a textbook like this can also help students to reflect on their identities,
situations and plans. Humanity lives in a fast-paced complex world today where change is
rapid, profound and constant. It is difficult to sort out meanings, values and directions in this
context. Teaching aids that assist in these tasks can enhance teaching as well as the
relationships between the foreign language and the learner, and the foreign teacher and
student. Furthermore, they can help young adults make important life decisions.
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