In 1999, Dr. Ross King, Professor of Korean and Head of Department in University of British Columbia’s Department of Asian Studies, launched a Korean language and culture immersion camp called “Sup sogui Hosu,” the Korean Language Village, as part of the Concordia Language Villages in northern Minnesota.
In 2000, the Korean Canadian production company Kaekokeom Productions aired an award-winning documentary in Korea about Dr. King’s pioneering work at the Language Village titled “The Blue-eyed Korean Language Scholar,” after which the Language Village concept came to be known in Korea. Not long after the documentary aired, English Language Villages started popping up all over Korea as part of South Korea’s ESL craze.
‘Villagers’ aged 7-18 attend Sup sogui Hosu, the Korean Language Village, for 2 or 4 weeks, and during that time are immersed in Korean language and Korean culture. They eat Korean food, sing Korean songs, participate in Korean cultural activities, use Korean currency for daily purchases, and are surrounded by a curriculum and environment that fosters courage and growth in Korean language. Two or four weeks may seem a short time, but the program is remarkably successful at achieving its goal of creating life-time learners of Korean who graduate from high school and then go on to study Korea and Korean language at college or university, and who become civilian ambassadors for the Korea-US relationship in their daily lives.
Here is a Korean language documentary “Standing Guard for Korean” about Dr. Ross and the Korean Language Village.
The blog for Sup sogŭi Hosu, the Korean Language Village.
Korean Grammar Dictionary by Dr. Ross King.