Teach North Korean Refugees
Talk / KOTESOL Gives BackEmpowering North Korean Refugees Through ELT
Presented by Casey Lartigue, Jr., Eunkoo Lee, Yuna Jung
KOTESOL is excited to collaborate once again with Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), a fellow non-profit organization. TNKR is dedicated to supporting refugees by providing English language programs, including one-on-one tutoring, speech competitions, and mentoring for employment and education opportunities, so that they may better navigate and thrive in South Korean society. As a result many of TNKR’s alumni have gone on to deliver TED Talks and write bestselling books about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in North Korea. In this session, attendees will first hear from TNKR’s co-founders about the invaluable work they provide, and how English language teachers can support their students. Then, a TNKR student will describe her life in North Korea, her defection to the South, and her experiences as an English language learner and refugee in South Korean society. Q&A will conclude the presentation. The conference program chair highly recommends this session!
TNKR’s mission is to empower North Korean refugees to find their own voice and path through education, advocacy, and support. Our core values include access to education opportunities for refugees, a positive experience for volunteers, practicality and authenticity of action.
About Casey Lartigue, Jr.TNKR Co-Founder
Casey Lartigue is an American advocate and activist for educational freedom based in South Korea. In 2013, he co-founded along with Eunkoo Lee the Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center in Seoul. He is the 2017 winner of the Hansarang Rural Cultural Foundation’s “Special Contribution” Award and Challenge Korea’s 2018 Global Award and 2019 “Challenge Maker” Award. He is co-editor of the book Educational Freedom in Urban America: Brown v. Board after Half a Century. He is a columnist with the Korea Times and a former commentator on National Public Radio's News and Notes.
Lartigue received a bachelor’s degree from the Harvard University Extension School and a master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
About Eunkoo LeeTNKR Co-Founder
Eunkoo Lee is a co-founder of TNKR. Prior to working with TNKR, she was a researcher with the Korean Development Institute, and her focus was on young North Korean refugees in South Korea. Before that, she was a researcher at Database Center for North Korean Human Rights and published internal white papers on North Korean human rights from 2007 to 2009 as a departmental co-author. She has a master’s degree in North Korean Studies from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea, as well as a master’s degree in International Studies from The University of Sheffield. Eunkoo has recently begun a PhD at the Graduate School of International Studies at Ewha Woman’s University.
About Yuna JungTNKR Student Representative
Yuna Jung originally hails North Korea and defected to South Korea in 2006. A TNKR representative, Ms. Jung is a student of their one-on-one tutoring program, which she credits for her proficiency in English. She has worked as an instructor of North-South unification education in many organizations, as an English teacher at YBM Private Academy, and as a translator and personal secretary to the chairman of Roger Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. A public speaker in high demand, Ms. Jung frequently lectures at secondary schools and government institutions across Korea, and she also makes regular guest appearances on the South Korean TV talk show “Now on My Way to Meet You (이제 만나러 갑니다)” on Channel A. Other notable past speaking engagements have included being the featured speaker at the Ivy League Conference for Korean Unification at Harvard University in the United States in 2019, and competing in the 2017 Ministry of Unification Education Experience Presentation Contest, for which she won the Grand Prize.