About Daniel Kim

건너지 못하는 다리

누군가가 여러분에게 "당신은 xxx 때문에 영어를 배울 수 없어요!" 라고 말한다면 어떻게 응대할 것인가요?

자신에게 던져진 그 말이 논리적인지, 합리적인지를 따지기 전에, 불끈 반항심이 생기지 않나요?


그 동안의 뜨뜻미지근 했던 영어 학습에서의 시행착오는 저에게 그 같은 도전적인 말을 던졌습니다.

"넌 바빠서 영어를 더 이상 향상시킬 수 없어!"

"넌 친구들을 좋아해서 영어를 더 배울 수 없어!"

"넌 어린 나이가 아니어서 영어를 더 배울 수 없어!"

"넌 미국에 있지 않기 때문에 영어를 제대로 배울 수 없어!"

"넌 직장을 다니기 때문에 영어를 제대로 배울 수 없어!"

"넌 그 동안 성과를 제대로 못 거두었기 때문에 영어를 더 배워도 소용이 없어."


다름 아닌 내 자신의 과거가 던진 메시지들이었지만 반항심이 생겼죠.

"정말 안되는 것인가?" "정말?"

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스스로에 대한 도전


그리고는 밑도 끝도 없이 작정을 합니다.

"지금부터 5년간 뒤도 돌아보지 않고 영어를 배우기 위해 전진한다. 그래도 안 되면 내 인생에 영어는 없다."


지금으로부터 9년 전, 37살의 나이에, 세 아이의 아빠이자 직장인으로서 도전을 시작했습니다.


이젠 40대 중반이 되어 얼굴의 주름은 더 늘었지만, 그 동안의 도전과 경험은 인생의 방향을 서서히 바꿔 오고 있습니다.

"새로운 언어를 하게 될 때마다 새로운 인생을 산다."

평범했던 30대 중반의 가장이 Daniel 의 이름으로 새로운 인생을 살고 있습니다.

겉모습이 달라진 것은 없지만, 새 영혼을 얻은 듯 마음과 두뇌는 넓은 세상으로 향하고 있습니다.


어떤 사람은 길가의 돌을 발로 차버리고 맙니다. 어떤 사람은 그 돌을 주워 담을 쌓거나 필요한 곳에 쓰게 되죠.

영어는 길가의 돌입니다.

이 돌을 어떻게 대하고 어떻게 사용할 것인지는 우리 각자의 몫이죠.

꼭 습득해야 할 툴

영어는 의사소통 수단일 뿐이라고들 하지만, 이 의사소통의 수단을 얻지 못할 땐 글로벌 세상에서 서서히 힘을 잃어 가게 될 것입니다.


넓은 땅 중국의 한 시골 공장에서 물건을 미국으로 수출합니다.

유럽에서 신기술이 나와 모두들 그 혁신을 배우려고 합니다.

우크라이나의 프로그래머가 온라인 상에서 프리랜서로 활발히 활동합니다.

각 분야의 리더들이 그들만의 경험과 조언을 세상에 제공하고 있습니다.

청년의 아이디어와 도전이 세상을 바꿀 상품을 만들어 냅니다.


영어는 의사소통 툴이지만, 제대로 사용하면 세상으로 통하는 열쇠가 됩니다.


장난감 칼은 갖고 놀기에 좋습니다. 다루기도 좋죠.

하지만 세상은 실제 칼을 사용하며 돌아가고 있습니다.

실제 칼을 사용하고 다루기 위해서는 많은 노력과 강한 열정이 필요합니다.

영어를 어떻게 대할지, 여러분은 곰곰이 생각해야 합니다.

실제 칼로써 영어를 대해 왔던 제가 전하고 싶은 메시지는

"영어를 통해 얻을 수 있는 가능성과 기회는 생각보다 훨씬 크다!" 는 것입니다.

 

Who are you?

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This is one of the most difficult questions for me to answer because I'm still trying to figure out who I am.

One thing I'm so sure about is that I'm not a perfect human being, yet I'm constantly developing and evolving myself. Yes, I'm currently somewhere between nothing and perfection.

I have a few tags attached to myself. I'm a father of three gorgeous girls and a husband of a beautiful woman who deserves more than I've brought her so far in life.

I'm at the age of what people would think of as an old generation and have 18 years of work experience in a few industries.

I have a great Korean name that my great grandfather presented me, but I've wanted to be called this new English name "Daniel" since I started learning English again nine years ago. I think both of the names have to be appreciated by what I do and what I will be doing in the future.

What made you decide to learn English again with a totally different mindset?

I was so sick and tired of the ordinary, fruitless cycle of English learning. Making a decision to learn English, putting in a modest amount of time and effort and ending up with less progress than I wanted.

I wasn't a beginner when I started it again. I learned English for a year in America when I was in my twenties. But I felt almost the same way other Korean learners would feel when it comes to making a remarkable progress in learning English.

When did you build this website and what encouraged you to do that?

Above all, I wanted to share my struggles I had been going through while learning English. It was three years after I started the journey that I put together my experiences and thoughts to create this website.

I had read several books about how to learn English better or more effectively. I think I learned a lot from those books. However, as I experienced more in learning English, I was accumulating more thoughts and ideas to share with other English learners. So I started sharing those thoughts and ideas through this website.

What changes have you seen in your life since you committed yourself to learning English?

From outside perspectives, there might not be significant changes. I'm the same old person with responsibilities as a father.

But from an inside perspective, I see remarkable changes that have been made over the past several years.

I don't think those changes are end results. I should keep and nurture those changes so that I can have a bigger impact on my own life and others' lives as well.

People might wonder, "What changes?"

It's their mission to figure out what positive changes they could make by utilizing the power of English.

All I want to say is "It's not small. It's definitely worth your effort and dedication."

What do you want from English learners?

First and foremost, I want them to succeed in learning English.

I want them to find that it's worth their determination and effort as I insisted earlier on.

I want them to make a better life by using their potential with the help of English communication skills.

I want them to remember me not as an English learner or English teacher, but a life mentor who has struggled a lot himself and helped others a lot.

What is the first thing or the next thing English learners visiting KoreanEnglish.org should do in order to succeed in learning English?

I have been writing hundreds of posts about English learning on this website. If they want, they can find a variety of information or tips about English learning.

Nonetheless, what I want them to do now is not just trying to find information about whatever they need. I want them to take action immediately while trying to find better learning methods or tips.

Taking action and looking for better ways are the two main aspects all English learners who want to be fluent should consider.

Being successful in learning English means that someone not only has got lots of knowledge and trained skills but also has figured out his own optimal way of learning.

They should remember that successful English learning means acquiring practical knowledge of English through consistent, yet recalibrated actions.

What other websites have you worked on to help English learners?

KoreanEnglish.org is the first one I created and EnglishPump.com is the second one, which helps English learniners practice fast writing. Fast writing practice can help English learners not only write better but also speak better.

KoreanEnglish has been around 7 years and EnglishPump, I guess, is 4 or 5 years old.

And I have another one developed last year, E25.kr. This website is where I help English learners more directly to improve their speaking skills.

This is a new-born baby, but English learners who got tired of the old passive learning styles have been enjoying this new way of speaking practice. I've been trying to pour my experience, knowledge, and creativity into this website so that Korean English learners will get ahead in their English learning journey.

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