Seo has love for language
by Courtney Warren
Aug 31, 2014 | 3546 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Jiyoung Seo came to the United States for school she had already visited a few times before.

However, this time was different.

Seo would be attending elementary school where everyone spoke English and she had to become fluent very quickly.

Seo attends Indianola Academy, just began her second year, and is in the fifth grade.

She lives on the Delta State University campus with her aunt, Jung-Won Shin, who is a professor of music, cousin, and grandparents.

"I'm from Ulsan, South Korea. I came because I wanted to study another culture and I want to go to Harvard," said Seo.

Seo said, while she had taken English classes in Korea, she "didn't know a lot, just about a first grade level."

However, Seo was determined to do well and she began attending Indianola Academy, took violin lessons, piano lessons, swimming lessons, and tutoring.

"I love to play piano and violin because the music is beautiful and I enjoy it," she said.

With the encouragement of her family and her hard work, her reading levels continued to rise.

"When I first arrived I was reading 'Fancy Nancy' and some other pre-school books. Now I am reading 'The Serpent's Shadow' by Rick Riordan. My favorite books are Harry Potter and 'The Giver' because 'The Giver' is a story I just can't imagine and Harry Potter is about magic. I love magic," said Seo.

In just a single year, Seo went from reading pre-school level books to finishing Tolkein's 'The Hobbit' and 'Fellowship of the Ring', as well as the entire Harry Potter series.

Seo said she learned a great deal at school in her classes as well as when talking to her friends.

She also said "I learned a lot from my tutor. She helped me pronounce words and work on grammar."

Seo said, now that she has lived in Mississippi for an extended amount of time she has noticed several things are different than what she is used to.

"Mississippi has a lot of mosquitos but I like the southern charm and friendliness. People said 'hi' and 'good morning' even if they don't know you," she said.

This past summer Seo spent her vacation in Korea with her family; however, she attended an English academy and worked hard to practice the language over the summer.

"I think it was important because that way I can't forget English. If I could tell someone learning English anything I'd probably say, 'you know, English is hard but don't give up! Books will help you. I like to read because it helps me practice English," she said.

A passion for Harry Potter immediately grew within her once she began reading the first book in the series.

She read through them quickly and when she got towards the end she said she almost didn't want to finish them because then the adventure would be over.

"I'm going to wear my Harry Potter robe this year for Halloween," she said with a grin.

Seo also said she has enjoyed experiencing the food in Mississippi.

"Fried okra is my favorite Mississippi food. My friend was eating some for lunch and after I asked her what is was she let me try it. I like it a lot," she said.

Seo is looking forward to another year of school and is planning to finish the

Riordan series she is currently reading and continue on to other adventures.