Fall Featured ETA: Maeve Wall

December 14th, 2015

As the 2015-2016 ETA cohort nears the close of their first semester teaching in Korea, FKAR wanted to highlight one of Fulbright’s most inspiring teachers: Maeve Wall.  Exuding a signature aura of warmth, acceptance, and encouragement within and beyond the classroom walls, Maeve’s life and pedagogical philosophies are simply galvanizing.  She was kind enough to share some of her background and thoughts with FKAR in the following interview.

FKAR: Hey Maeve, tell us a little about yourself~

I’m from Columbus, Ohio and went to undergrad at Northwestern University. I studied English Literature, and was obsessed with it (Go Henry James!). I started teaching while in college through the Jumpstart Program for Young Children which works in high needs preschools.  Additionally, I had a few teaching internships including a stint in East Harlem at an Independent charter school, thanks to which I fell in love with New York. After school, I moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn and became a Kindergarten and First Grade teacher through Teach For America. I was lucky enough to get my Masters Degree in Childhood Education at Fordham University during that time.

FKAR: What’s been one of your favorite memories this grant year?

I love figuring out how to work with kids who don’t speak your language. Those moments when students “get it” – amidst language barriers and diverse cultural backgrounds – are immensely rewarding. I think a favorite illustrative moment was working with my after school class and trying, shakily, to talk about gender roles. The students were asked to make a list of things boys can and can’t do before discussing where those ideas came from and which ones they might reconsider or question. When it was time for the girls to make a poster about what girls can do, (I was thinking along the lines of “build things” or “do math,”) one student asked me, “Can we just say girls can do everything?” Yes, WIN.

Infusion Literary Magazine

May 22nd, 2015

Infusion is a literary magazine that strives to capture the diversity of the Fulbright Korea experience and to support artists in the creation of work which honestly engages with their grant year and their craft.

The Infusion staff would like to invite current grantees and alumni to take advantage of the opportunity to be published in the Spring 2015 issue of Infusion, which will appear online and in a print edition. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at midnight (Korean Time Zone).

Submissions should be emailed to infusion.submissions@gmail.com. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief at fulbright.infusion@gmail.com with ideas, questions, or concerns. Read the current volume of Infusion here.

Reflections From FKAF Grantees

May 22nd, 2015

The Fulbright Korea Alumni Fund provides grants to ETAs for community engagement or research projects that promote cultural understanding. With the help of FKAF grants, Fulbright Korea grantees are able to pursue projects that not only impact their communities, but also enrich their own grant experiences. Featured here are reflections from two recipients of the grant, first-year ETAs Deborah Wood and Johanna Yun. The diversity of their research projects reflects the varied backgrounds and intellectual interests of our ETA class.
Our thanks goes out to all alumni who have contributed to the fund this year, and who have made these two projects and so many more possible. If you are interested in contributing to FKAF in future years, please contact eta.coordinator[at]fulbright.or.kr.

Widespread Changes to Native English Teaching Programs in Korea

May 22nd, 2015

As recent changes in government policy regarding Native English Teachers (NETs) in Korea have resulted in significant NET reductions, the Fulbright program has managed to maintain the size of its program. Because of the Fulbright program’s strong connections with schools and its teachers’ positive reputations, many of the changes effecting other NET programs have been minimized for Fulbright ETAs.

In 1995, several nation-wide and regional English in Korea programs began to promote the use of NETs in Korean classrooms to teach English. In 2011, Korea’s NET program reached its peak with nearly 9,000 NETs in Korea. Major cuts in numbers of foreign teachers have been made in the past few years, especially at the middle and high school levels. These cuts have impacted larger cities the most, and similar cuts are likely to continue over time.

Korean Students Speak: Best Educational Blog

January 1st, 2015

Congratulations to Korean Students Speak (KSS) for winning Best Educational Blog at the 2014 K-Blog Awards!

Created by a Fulbright Korea ETA, Korean Students Speak is a project that encourages students to creatively voice their opinion in the midst of their otherwise test-focused academic lives. The blog also provides an opportunity for people from around the world to get a glimpse of the attitudes, ideas, and dreams of South Korean students. Since its launch, KSS has grown tremendously, with the blog now showcasing the work of over 2,000 students. As we enter the new year, we are excited to see that number continue to grow from the efforts of students in English classrooms all over the country!