Imagine one day a foreigner asks you, “I need to go to Student Union Building. Where is it?” How would you answer? Perhaps most Sookmyungians would reply well, but some cannot respond. If you are of those few who would not be able to respond, how about enrolling in one of the many English course and programs offered by Sookmyung Women’s University? Programs vary in levels for students and usually help students improve their English ability.
Best Service to Bridge the World, Global Lounge
Sookmyung Women's University’s International Cooperation Center has more than 270 partner universities abroad and offers a multiple degree system for exchange students. Staff at the center call, visit, and e-mail student information on exchange programs operated by student counseling and provide information. For example, Sookmyung Women’s University’s Sookmyung International Summer School (SISS) is held every summer vacation period. It opens 2 sessions: one in July and another in August. Foreign students from the University of Illinois and Stanford University as well as from nine other countries like Taiwan, United States, the Netherlands, Ecuador, and Switzerland join the SISS programs. During the SISS, students learn about international relationships, perspectives of women, and the relationship between gender and media.
Leadership General English Education Institute, General English Program Center
In order to improve the English proficiency of students for today’s global age, ‘English Presentation and Discussion’ is a compulsory curriculum subject in addition to ‘English Reading and Writing.’ The General English Center uses theme-based practical English courses to increase the English proficiency of students in school. Also, to receive help with English compositions, the English-only English Lounge opens Writing Spot. Students participated in an English pilot for graduation in 2001, and mandatory G-MATE based final exams for first years began in 2010.
You Can Join these courses
1 Advanced English Reading and Writing (Spring and Fall Semester)
This course focuses on furthering reading and writing skills. The reading portion of the course uses advanced readings from a variety of sources. Students are required to write a variety of written materials, which will help later academically and out in the workforce.
2 Advanced Presentation and Discussion (Spring Semester)
Students in this course will be required to discuss and present on a variety of topics in a students in a professional manner. This course is designed to prepare students for real-world committee discussions and presentations once they leave university. Students will also have a lot of opportunities to discuss major issues of the time.
3 Advanced English Career Paths (Spring and Fall Semesters)
This ‘Advanced English Career Paths’ course prepares students for international corporation employment placements after they leave university. The course also helps students manage meetings and familiarize themselves with business-like vocabulary. This course is taught by a native English speaker. Although there is no prerequisite for this course, students are encouraged to establish a sound background of the English language before participating in the course.
4 Basic SNOW English (Spring and Fall Semester)
This course is designed to enhance students’ English proficiency through the use of SNOW program. Interesting lecture clips from prestigious universities in English-speaking countries, famous speech clips, and various educational Internet materials provided by SNOW are used as class materials develop students’ listening, speaking, and writing abilities as well as thinking skills.
5 Advanced SNOW English (Spring and Fall Semester)
This course is designed to enhance students’ English proficiency through SNOW program at the advanced level. In this course, students advance their English proficiency by communicating in a variety of pair work, small group activities, and tasks based on SNOW materials.
Using Your Practical English Ability, English Lounge
The English Lounge is an English-speaking zone on campus, which was established in March, 2007 to provide a comfortable atmosphere for people who want to speak English. Students can stop by and use English in a relaxing surrounding. It is located on the first floor of the Queen Sunheon Building just inside the main entrance.
1 Newspapers and Brochures The English Lounge provides daily newspapers such as the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and the Sookmyung Times as well as brochures with information on events around Seoul.
2 Magazines and Books The English Lounge provides a collection of magazines and books like Time, National Geographic, Oprah, House, and Garden.
3 Internet Zone There are three computers with Internet access. Students can surf the Internet for fun or do research and homework assignments for class.
4 Write Spot Students can get help with essays, cover letters and other homework assignments from lecturers during Writing Spot hours. GEP lecturers volunteer their time between 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays to Fridays. Students should first make a reservation before going to the Write Spot.
Things to do before you reserve a Writing Spot.
1 Use an English word processor to type up your paper.
(In other words, don’t bring any work that was done on Hangul or
another Korean word processor.)
2 Hand written work is acceptable, but it should be clear and easy to read.
3 Proofread your work before coming to the Writing Spot.
4 Prepare a list of specific questions prior to coming.
5 Bring a memory stick of USB (electronic file) in case you need to work
on the computer.
5 TV Room/Lounge The TV room has a wide screen TV with SKY life. There is also a DVD player and a large collection of DVDs, such as Friends seasons 1 to 10, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Harry Potter series, Prison Break, and more.
Enjoy English! English Club
English clubs are opportunities for foreign students and professors to meet for two hours a week. Clubs include book clubs, discussion clubs, and photo clubs and use a variety of leisure activities to learn English naturally. Topics are determined by club members who are interested in learning and proceed to club activities. Participation in a club requires a 30,000 won deposit, and members are recruited just before the start of each semester.
Global Sookmyung Online!
1 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
Sookmyung has opened a Digital Humanist Center to support its MOOCs. Since last year, the center opens lectures centered on the world’s greatest scholars without any request for students to pay for the lectures. Since all lectures are given in foreign languages and there are no Korean subtitles or transcripts, the lecture provides students with a challenging way to improve their English.
2 Sookmyung Network for an Open World (SNOW)
SNOW offers lectures from all over the world, and the lectures are grouped according to subject, lecturer, and major. All video clips have Korean or English subtitles so one can study by reading and listening. The website also offers SNOW NOTE for students in order to facilitate the forming of study groups. Also, SNOW DEBATE is held every semester. For this program, five students are selected. One participant selects a certain lecture every week and with the selected video, the group engages in discussion and debate on the subject matter. All activities are held in English. After completion of the semester, each student in the group is provided a certification of completion. Recruitment of new members is announced on the Sookmyung community website at the beginning of each semester. For the further information, see the website or contact the manager via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read to Lead the World
The Sookmyung Main Library has an English Reading Garden in its World Women’s Literature Center located on the first floor of the building. The English Reading Garden started with 1,192 English books in 2009, which were donated by Oxford University Press and later bought by the library. All books in the Garden are written in English. In addition to bestsellers, there are also classical works such as A Midsummer Night's Dream. What’s more, the library provides graded readers; thus, students can choose books according to their English proficiency level. All books can be borrowed. The English Reading Garden is opened to every student and faculty member, and it operates from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays each semester.
How to Express yourself, LinguaExpress
LinguaExpress plays a significant role in teaching English to students with its highly effective language education system.
1 Language Exchange Program
The Language Exchange Program is conducted by LinguaExpress and connects foreign students and Sookmyungians directly. Foreign students teach their mother tongue to Sookmyungians while Sookmyungians teach Korean to them. Since students from a variety of nationalities come to Sookmyung, lots of languages such as English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French, Russian, Bahasa Malaysia, standard Malay can be heard during language exchanges. Participating in this program is done on a first come, first served basis, and announcement of registration can be found on the Sookmyung community website during the semester.
The institute often hands out fliers about SFEC. LinguaExpress opens SFEC every semester, and this program provides TOEIC, TOEFL, and speaking courses. All courses require payment of tuition fees, but the cost is much less than one would pay at a private institution. More information and the procedure for registration can be found on their website: cafe.naver.com/sfecenglish.
Student Organizations Help You Professionally
There are lots of student-centered organizations including leadership groups and clubs that use English as their medium. If you want to improve your English, joining one of the below organizations will help a lot.
1 Translation/Interpretation Sookmyung Interpretation Volunteers (SMIV) provides interpretation volunteering jobs both inside and outside the school. They use a variety of languages including English. Training as a volunteer requires all the members to participate in a debate program called LEP. Also, IEP requires members to interpret and debate at the same time.
2 Activities with Foreign Students Global Leadership Group U.R.I and Sookmyung Cultural Ambassador. These two groups work side-by-side with foreign students at Sookmyung. They support foreign students’ understanding of both Korean culture and Sookmyung. They play a major role in international programs such as Sookmyung International Summer School or international seminars. These groups will surely help your fluency in English conversation.
3 Press The Sookmyung Times (SMT) is the only student organization publishing a monthly English magazine. By joining SMT, you can improve your English composition skills. SMT recruits new cub reporters each September, so don’t hesitate. Also, Headline is an organization producing English news every week.
4 Play Flames is a club operating out of the Department of English. Students can take part in acting or working as a staff. They create performances based on English written literature such Shakespeare. The club does not require one to be have great acting ability, but a willingness to have fun.