|▲ Students learning how to communicate in English during a native English speaker’s communication class at the Language Education Center|
Foreign language abilities are needed for many purposes, such as getting scholarships, graduating and getting a job. Thus, many students want to learn how to effectively study foreign languages including English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. The Language Education Center (LEC) operates a variety of foreign language programs from native English speakers’ classes to second foreign language classes. The Chonnam Tribune recommends some language courses that support CNU students in order to enhance their foreign language abilities.
Improving English Communication Skills
The LEC operates native English speaker’s communication classes for students and local residents who are willing to learn how to communicate in English. As of now, 10 native lecturers are teaching them and the classes are divided into six levels. Students must take a level test in advance before registering for the class. They are allocated to different classes through level testing. After completing the level 6 class, the center awards a certificate to each student. Kim Ye-rin (Freshman, Dept. of Plant Biotechnology) who is looking forward to attending the program said, “I am expecting the English program to help me communicate with foreigners when I go abroad.”
Many Koreans have considerable English abilities, but they still have a fear of speaking English and communicating with foreigners in English. Level 1 and 2 classes are suitable for those people. During the classes, native lecturers teach them English pronunciation, vocabulary and phrases that are used every day, eventually helping them gain confidence in speaking English. Students practice the phrases with their partners or in groups. Lecturers encourage students to speak English without thinking about grammar so that they can overcome their fear of speaking English. Philip King, one of the LEC English-speaking lecturers advised, “Changing your attitude of ‘must-learn-English’ to ‘want-to-learn English’ will help you get confidence in speaking English.”
Preparing for the English Proficiency Test
The center also offers classes for preparing for English proficiency tests such as TOEIC, TOEIC speaking, OPIC, and online writing courses. In the case of the TOEIC course, most classes are taught focusing on reading and listening comprehension, except for the Reading Preparation class. The program is subdivided into basic, advanced and actual reading courses. Basic classes try to get students interested in TOEIC and move onto an intermediate level through lecturing based on the overall outline of the test. Advanced classes teach students TOEIC’s pattern and problem-solving skills easily.
The LEC also opens a Target-score-achieving class during the summer and winter vacation period. The class is for students who want to achieve their target score on English proficiency tests within a specific period. During class, they mainly solve actual exam questions of the test and then develop their ability. Biweekly they also take a mock test and teachers consult with them one by one about the test results. If you are too busy to take a class in a classroom at the center, you can take an online English writing class preparing for TOEFL or IELTS Essay Writing. It would improve your English writing ability. Kim Hye-seung (Freshman, Dept. of Environment and Energy Engineering) who had a TOEIC basic level class said, “I had a hard time studying TOEIC by myself. The class motivated me to study TOEIC much harder than before taking the class.”
Learning Second Foreign Languages
Students who want to go abroad and learn a foreign language and culture need to take second foreign language classes at the center. Learning a second foreign language, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish will be a new experience. Most beginner classes aim at enhancing students’ basic language ability at the elementary level. They also have a goal to help students make basic sentences accurately by encouraging them to learn and use daily conversation sentences. The goal of intermediate classes is to use daily conversation sentences and expressions fluently. Students can enhance their language abilities and raise their interest in foreign cultures by understanding the circumstances of the countries. Free talking classes try to encourage students to communicate and express their opinions freely. They freely talk in pairs about the topic of each chapter.
While taking these second foreign courses, you will be able to learn one of the most popular languages in the world and develop an international mindset required for global society. Having more languages that you can speak will give you wings for your career. A person who can communicate with people all over the world will have great opportunities to get hired for companies in the world. Song Tae-ho (Junior, School of Chemical Engineering) who took a basic Japanese class said, “I found out that the course was very useful because I learned a lot about pronunciation, the alphabet and basic expressions that can be used daily.”
How to Boost Foreign Language Confidence
The center provides various programs for CNUians and discounts for CNU students. Some departments also have financial support programs that provide their students with all fees for LEC classes. Park Ju-hyeon, staff of the foreign language team of LEC said, “We try our best to provide quality programs to CNUians. I hope more students get to know about LEC’s programs and participate in them.” LEC’s winter session starts from January, and registration starts from December. Learning a new language during the coming vacation at the LEC will be a chance to spend your time valuably. It will not let you down.
[Interview with Lecturers]
Tips for Studying English
The Chonnam Tribune interviewed two lecturers, Christopher Williams and Kim Seong-gon in order to provide students with some tips to study English and improve English abilities. - Ed.
|▲ William Harris, Lecturer of English Communication, Language Education Center|
Christopher Williams (Lecturer of English Communication)
The best way to speak with foreigners is to look at simple conversation. The conversation is always similar, asking about hobbies, food, sports etc. Think of a conversation with simple vocabulary. Practice will help you communicate smoothly. This works the same when you go abroad. The conversation will be about booking hotels, ordering food. Think of key expressions you will use during the conversation. Then say it aloud. Repetition using your tongue will let you learn the rhythm and pronunciation so that you can use the right expressions in the right situation.
|▲ Kim Seong-gon, Lecturer of TOEIC, Language Education Center|
Kim Seong-gon (Lecturer of TOEIC)
TOEIC scores have become a fundamental qualification for employment in Korea. Especially, I suggest you use a ‘shadowing’ method when solving exam questions in Part 2. It is an effective method to repeat a dialogue, and listen to the dialogue twice. You should always concentrate on the questions in Part 3 and 4. Find the key word in the questions and paraphrase it. If it is too hard to solve three questions at the same time, I recommend solving the first and the third questions first. It will give you more composure than before. When you get more confidence, try to solve all the questions at once.
By Baek Du-jin, Tribune Reporter
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