Currently in Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU), there are various kinds of English classes. It has two objectives, one is to improve English skills of SMU students, and the second one is for foreign students who want to attend classes with SMU students. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) asked opinions to the foreign students about these classes. What are their general opinions about English classes?
SMT How many English classes are you currently attending?
LUO I am attending 2 English classes, and the other 3 classes are all Korean classes.
NITA I am currently attending 2 English classes, which are all related to my major.
KIARA I attend 2 English classes.
KIM I attend 1 English class.
SMT How do you feel about the overall quality of the English class lecture?
LUO I think the quality is quite okay. Professors speak English well and I can properly understand it.
NITA I am satisfied with the English classes. Professors and students are active and I feel comfortable being in the class.
KIARA Quite good. Compared to classes in my own country, I am satisfied with the overall quality of the classes.
KIM Well, in my personal opinion, I feel that English classes’ quality is comparatively low to other classes. Of course, I can understand that since our mother tongue is not English, there can be limitation in understanding and delivering academic knowledge. However, still, I sometimes feel there should be some improvements.
SMT What do you think about professors using Korean in the English class?
LUO Personally, I can understand a little Korean, so I think it is okay. I understand that teaching and studying in English is very hard, because it is not their mother tongue.
NITA When professors or students use Korean a little bit, it is okay. However, when it is going too far, than it becomes trouble. Although I am studying Korean, there is a certain level that I totally cannot understand.
KIARA Well, I am attending two English lectures, but I have never met professors using Korean. If professors sometimes use Korean in the class, I would be totally okay.
KIM Sometimes, it is definitely hard to deliver academic knowledge in another language, no matter how high the professor’s English ability, so I can understand, but for the few foreign students, I think professors and students should consider them, because they are also the same students who are studying together.
SMT Do you have any suggestions for the English classes at SMU?
LUO Well, in case of my university in China, only students who are majoring in English can attend to the English classes, so I like the classes’ openness to all the students. I am satisfied with the overall class, so I have nothing to suggest more!
NITA I feel lack of professor’s interest and concern towards foreign students. Whenever I ask specific questions about class or assignments, professors answer kindly. However, asking and answering is all professors do. They do not show their concerns by actions. So sometimes, I feel little bit sorry for their behavior.
KIARA Actually, whenever I asked professors for help, they did not answer to it. I think in Korea, there is lack of communication and talking between students and professors. I hope I could have more intimate relations with professors. Also, it would be very nice if there were more English classes, for example, art class or music class. In my personal opinion, I think lots of foreign students will be very excited if there is a K-pop class.
KIM My suggestion is not about school policy, but about students’ participation and attitude. Usually in English lectures, SMU students are very quiet and they seldom ask questions to the professors, which obviously contrasts with foreign students. I think SMU students need more active attitudes in the English lectures.