3. Advancing Cross-Cultural Skills
According to the Lewis Model developed by linguist and cross-cultural specialist Richard D. Lewis, cultures can be divided into three categories: Linear- Active, Multi-Active and Reactive. Some of the key characteristics of these cultural groups are:
- Linear- Active: talks half the time, polite but direct, job-orientated, confronts with logic, separates the social and professional
- Multi-Active: talks most of the time, emotional, people-orientated, confronts emotionally, interweaves the social and professional
- Reactive: listens most of the time, polite and indirect, very people-orientated, never confronts, connects the social and the professional
United States belongs to the first group (Linear-Active), Latin America belong to the second group (Multi-Active), and Korea belongs to the third group (Reactive). France is in between the Linear-Active and the Multi-Active.
It is advantageous to be familiar with all three cultural dimensions. And since language is the road map of a culture, learning languages that are greatly different from one’s own will broaden the cultural outlook of children.
4. Boosting Career Options
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith
People have been learning foreign languages since a long time ago to facilitate trade. South Korea is a major trade partner of many countries. Learning the language of a trade partner will smoothen the working relationship between two parties, especially if the culture of the trade partner values connection and mixes the social and professional. An English-speaking child will benefit the most from learning a language from the Reactive group and the Multi-Active group. When they grow up and enter a diverse workforce, they are well-equipped to work effectively with people from different cultural groups.
5. Understanding Korean Films, Songs and Other Artworks
Many Korean films, songs, and books have become international favorites. Author Baek Hee-na recently won the world’s children literature prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. It provides a great convenience to be able to understand the contents directly in Korean, as sometimes meanings can be lost when translated due to Korean unique culture. Being able to read Korean books, watch Korean films and sing Korean songs provide children with broader options for entertainment and education, beyond what is available in English and translated work.