For those of you who don’t know, I am in the United States Air Force, and I’m currently stationed in Osan AB, Korea. While here, I decided to learn to read piano sheet music. When I went in for a consult, the teacher, Ms. Kim, had offered her services for free if I would come and converse with her son, Hyoung, to help him with his English.
This was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. English is an important language across the world; it’s the language of business. Korea is the number one country in the world for suicide. Approximately 28 out of 100,000 kill themselves. Most of this has to do with the high competition to get into college, and the biggest factor for getting into a good college is a students ability to speak English.
Reading has some interesting effects on how the brain computes information, and some studies indicate the reading helps long term memory. So, for Hyoung, reading is an excellent opportunity to help him get into a good college and deter him from becoming another statistic. We also found several things in common that we like.
Hyoung loves comic books, and while it isn’t the types of books I think his mother would prefer him to read, it will still help with his English. The important thing when it comes to reading is to be engaged in the story that you are reading. After all, he is still 13 years old, and I don’t even believe he would be ready for much more than a Nancy Drew level reading material. At his age, if he isn’t invested in the story, he isn’t going to like it. Especially if it is a language he struggles to comprehend.
If I can introduce Hyoung to some English based comic books, it may set an impression, and he would continue to read those comic books after I am gone. For Hyoung and many others like him, reading can mean the difference between getting into a good college or something worse.