Since the Language Education Center (LEC) was established 44 years ago, it has been gaining popularity among CNU students. Actually, the CNU authorities selected the LEC as the best institution in Chonnam National University (CNU) last year. The LEC consists of 2 committees including the Certification and Administration Committee, International Center, Research Department, Education Department and the Administration Department. They try to make every effort to make the LEC more convenient for language learners. In this article, Tribune will give you a brief outline of the LEC. –Ed.
Global, TOEIC, Foreigners, and Aim High and Learn are words which remind us of the LEC. Students can describe the image of the LEC in a word by choosing one of them. There are a variety of programs at the LEC in order for CNU students, staff members and local residents to enhance their language proficiency: Global English, English Conversation Program, Korean Language Program, English test preparation courses, Second Foreign Language Program, Kid’s English Program and so on. You can visit the website http://language.jnu.ac.kr for more information about these language courses.
ADULT ENGLISH CONVERSATION PROGRAM
This program of regular courses is divided into six levels. If you wish to take a class, it is recommended that you take an interview, what is called a placement test, to measure your English proficiency before enrollment. Otherwise, you must start from level 1. Yoon Sang-jun (sophomore, Dept. of Public Administration) is now attending a conversation class. According to him, the class atmosphere is up to the teacher and classmates. He said, “So far, I’ve been very lucky to study with passionate and motivated people including encouraging foreign instructors.”
KOREAN LANGUAGE PROGRAM
This course is designed for the foreign students who want to learn Korean language and broaden their understanding of Korean culture. In particular, it is expected that the foreign students who are attending CNU take the classes to master the Korean language.
SECOND FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS
LEC offers these Foreign Language Programs: French, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Russian. Ahn Byong-gyu (Executive Director of the LEC and Prof. of English Education) remarked on the policy that LEC will open a class, even though only a few students want to take that class, if the number of those who sign up for it is more than five.
The LEC held a Global Festival on May 12 last, with about 200 students attending. First held in the spring of 2005 this was the 3rd festival of its kind. A series of joyful events passed off favorably such as Iron Chef (Dae-Jang-Geum), Treasure Island, Golden Bell and so on.
Shin Hwa-jeong (sophomore, dept. of English Lang. & Lit.) who joined one event as an audience member said, “I am very excited to get a free gift as well as to have an opportunity to talk to foreigners who are hard to meet in everyday life. I will participate in this festival again next time if it continues to be held.”
Selling pineapples at the Snack Bar during the festival, Park Min-suk (freshman, Dept. of General Studies) said, “I feel so good to be a host at the pineapple shop. Also, I feel so satisfied because the pineapples are so tasty and juicy that the customers can fully enjoy them.”
Tristan Webb (foreign instructor, English) with a big smile on his face said that he was so proud of the fact that his team won the first prize in the food contest, reassuring the importance of teamwork and cooperation.
Kim Eun-young, LEC coordinator, remarked that the Global Festival was designed for the students to become familiar with an English-speaking environment. The applicants who apply for the various events are gradually increasing in number each time. In particular, it is remarkable that more and more freshmen and sophomores are joining the festival. That is because they are learning English through the Global English course. She hoped the students would enjoy the festival in English.
INTERVIEW WITH AHN BYONG-GYU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LEC
Q. Global English has been in practice for three years. Can you evaluate it and outline any visions for it?
A. Global English is designed to enhance students’ English proficiency and their interaction with foreigners. At present, the university students are living as flowers in a greenhouse, in a sort of an ivory tower. If they enter society, outside the gates of CNU, the situation will be quite different. They will then realize the importance of English more than ever before. So, we need to prepare them for it. As a senior professor, I recommend that students should develop their English proficiency and I think Global English helps greatly in this regard. While undergoing Global English courses, the students can better understand English-speaking cultures. This narrows the culture gap through the various experiences gained, either directly or indirectly.
One more thing, as you know, the students are evaluated on a grading system of S(satisfactory)/U(unsatisfactory) after completing the course. Although Global English doesn’t give graded credits like I mentioned, it requires the students to do a lot of homework. This can cause discouragement and burdens among some students, so we are trying to resolve such remaining problems sooner rather than later.
Q. What is the Global English Festival intended for?
A. I can see more and more students are interested in this festival each time. We provide the students with English-speaking scenarios where they have to speak English without choice. Besides, we also select several scholarship students who are going to study aboard. It helps to promote students’ motivation.
Q. Any advice for LEC users?
A. The owner of the LEC is the students. It means that the LEC is of the student, by the student, and for the student. In other words, I want the students to use and visit the LEC most frequently. The facilities such as language laboratories and multimedia rooms are not sought out by the students. The students don’t even know of their existence. But bear in mind to use those facilities carefully because they are public property, to share with other students.
Q. Can you give some tips for learning English?
A. There is no royal road to study English. Attending a lecture is not everything. Attending a lecture class is just a tip of an iceberg. The rest depends on self-endeavors. And steady effort is most important of all.
Q. Do you have any good remarks about students?
A. If you have any suggestions for the LEC, please feel free to let us know. Your idea could be a big help in developing the LEC. Lastly, I want you to say hello to the LEC staff and to greet those working at the information desk on the first floor of the LEC building. The staff here usually handles thousands of matters on a daily basis. Your smile can make them smile.
Tribune asked some foreign instructors the followings:
1. What is the most memorable episode while teaching in Korea?
2. Good remarks about CNU students
◙ Marc J. Battista / Chicago, USA/ almost 1 year and 6 months
1. I don’t have a most memorable event during my stay here. Instead, I have a lot of wonderful memories. What I appreciate the most about living and teaching here is learning about Korean culture. I have many of my students to thank because they have helped me understand Korea customs and traditions better. Thank you!
2. CNU students are very intelligent people who have many original ideas. They are sure to be successful in the very near future. I commend them for their conviction toward education.
◙ Alison Kuznets / England / 9 months
1. My most memorable moment was when, after a science experiment with my elementary school students, one girl comes up to me to say, “Thank you. That experiment really made me understand.”
2. Past CNU students have socially and politically inspired the nation. I hope they continue in this noble tradition.
◙ Jonathan Brenner / New Jersey, USA / about 4 years
1. The friends and colleagues I have made and the camaraderie I feel. I have met many people from all over the world so there are many stories to tell.
2. Many are hard working, dedicated, and are a real pleasure to have at students.
◙ Kira Litvin / USA / 2 years and 9 months
1. My first level 1 class ever has to be the most memorable because students formed a really friendly and comfortable bond, they were cheerful and positive about learning English, and they really improved their English skills in a short time!
2. CNU students are kind and cheerful. They have a sincere interest in advancing their abilities and they put their best effort into their studies.
◙ Alexander Syrus / Australia / 1 year and 6 months
1. Believe it or not, for me, every term, semester, or even a single lesson can be memorable. That’s just because I’m always in my element when I’m conducting a lesson, particularly at higher levels. And having studied foreign languages in the past, I’m empathetic towards foreign language learners. I’m also quite fond of my Korean students. I’ve found them to be sweet, kind and generous. And they tend to understand my sense of humor which makes my job even more worthwhile.
2. As you study, learn how to learn, remember that these may well be the best years of your lives. So, since your current job is to study, you might as well make the best of it. As the cliché goes, hard work will eventually pay off.