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Multi-Lingual Queens College Graduating Senior Receives Fulbright Scholarship to Teach English in South Korea

 -- Madeline Yap is the Second QC Student to be Awarded this Assignment --

FLUSHING, NY, May 16, 2013 – When Queens College student Madeline Yap was a child, her dream was to become a teacher. She and her best friend would turn Yap’s bedroom into a classroom and play pretend games with lesson plans and exams.  This July Yap, 21, will pursue her childhood dream when she leaves for South Korea to spend a year teaching English through the prestigious Fulbright Student Program. 
Yap, who lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her Malaysian parents, is the second QC student to receive a Fulbright to teach in Korea.  Like Erica Leong, who won the same award last year Yap will spend six weeks training in Goesan, Chungcheongbuk-do, and then will receive her teaching assignment
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” says Yap, about being chosen for the Fulbright over thousands of applicants. “It will certainly help me learn about how to teach in a real school setting and shape my career as a language teacher.”
Yap, who will be graduating as an East Asian Studies major from Macaulay Honors College at QC on May 30, is already well prepared for teaching. Brought up in a bilingual household, she conversed in both English and Cantonese, her parents’ native language, and studied Spanish in middle school and at the Bronx High School of Science.  Before entering college, Yap discovered a love for East Asian languages.   In her freshman year at QC, she took courses in Mandarin Chinese and the following year, added Korean language classes. As her fascination with the music, history, society and culture of East Asia grew, so did her passion for becoming more skilled with these languages.

Thanks to support from the Macaulay Honors College Opportunities Fund, Yap spent last spring at Yonsei University in Seoul, where she immersed herself in all aspects of Korea. “It was a life-changing experience,” she says.

“I became more confident, independent, and socially active, and made a lot of new friends from all around the world,” says Yap.  During her time in Korea, she became the manager of an international Tae Kwon Do club.  She had already risen to pre-black belt status in this martial arts program in Queens, where she had trained junior staff and developed skills in leadership and teamwork.                                  
Since 2009 Yap has also privately tutored primary and secondary school students in English as a Second Language (ESL).  She plans to incorporate into her new assignment many of the successful methods she has used in tutoring as well as those she herself learned while studying in South Korea.  These include positive reinforcement, patience, keeping journals, watching movies and listening to popular music in English.                                                       

Yap is just one of the outstanding students from over 2,500 degree candidates expected to attend the 89th Queens College Commencement ceremony on the campus Quad in Flushing, on Thursday, May 30.

As it celebrates its 75th year, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its over 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs.  More info on Queens College at


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Deputy Director of News Services
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