Award Winners Credit Reading for Good English
December 8, 2006
By Jane Han
``Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Those famous words of 19th century critic and journalist Margaret Fuller are reflected in the values of the five grand prize winners of the Korea Times-hosted 2nd International English Contest. The awards were presented Friday.
``Reading is my all-time favorite hobby,” said Song Jee-un, eighth grader at Oryun Middle School, who is one of this year’s grand prize winners in the English Proficiency division. ``I always kept consistent in my reading because I enjoy it a lot, but winning this prize came to me as a surprise.
The 14-year-old said she didn’t think she would get graded so high in her English skills, but is grateful for the award because it will be a great addition to her credentials.
Another student who was surprised was Kang Sung-hye, student at Gyeongbuk Foreign Language High School.
``I hadn’t even planned on participating in the competition because I wasn’t confident, but I’ m so thankful to my parents because they trusted my English skills till the very end, said Kang, smiling cheerfully. ``And they are actually the ones who filled out and submitted the application form for me.
Kang said she reads many different genres of story books in English and also listens to English story cassette tapes at night.
``I find it fun to listen to English tapes before going to sleep because it’s like listening to bedtime stories, she added. ``But it was actually a pretty helpful pointer in improving my English skills.
The youngest winner Seo Hwee-tak, third grader at Du Jeong Elementary School, also credited his winning to constant reading.
``I love reading, said Seo, as his mother agreed. ``My son enjoys reading newspapers. He always reads The Korea Times to help him get a firm grasp of English writing.
Kim Min-june, fifth grader at Seryun Elementary School, and Cho Hye-Ryeong, eighth grader at Imae Middle School, were the other grand prize winners.
The five winners will be given an opportunity to take a one-month trip to Canada on an English study program.
More than 2,500 students from kindergarten to high school participated in this year’ s competition that awarded five grand prize, 10 gold prize, 15 silver prize and 50 bronze prize winners.