Kim Jae-ho Senior, Dept. of Mathematics email@example.com
When it comes to teaching methods, I believe there is no difference between high school and university. One-sided instruction in a classroom with too many students, is no different than that of a professor, infusing knowledge through non-stop speaking.
We are not accustomed to studying voluntarily because we have only been studying questions, referred to as, ‘College Scholastic Ability Tests’. That’s why most students lack creativity, and a positive attitude. I do know that there are those who are trying to create new ways of studying.
One new method is to study in groups that consist of only students. The members organize their study schedules by themselves and follow them. These study groups operate very freely. As a result, a group member may realize the difficulties in leading a lecture. That is, as it were, walking in another mans shoes.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of, not only understanding the teacher’s mind, but also sharing information, in an interactive environment. There are many fields of study that we can’t reach. In a group environment, however, we can talk with others who are majoring in diverse departments.
It can be a kind of encyclopedia experience. Everybody can devote himself to the great book, as far as he knows. Another benefit to this group, is to develop stronger social skills. Members must wait, until the others finish stating their opinion, before they can speak. This causes each member to become more sensitive to others within the group, a dynamic missing in a normal class.
This form of group study allows its members to develop intimate relationships, as they get to know each other more closely, a dynamic missing in a crowded class. A few weeks ago, we read an article published in, The Korea Herald, titled, “US teachers urging group studies”. This quoted from American professors, stressed the importance of studying together.
Finally, I want to introduce English group study, which I participate in at the University Of Seoul. (Although an appropriate name has not yet been chosen, it used to be called, ‘UOSJCLUB,’ or ‘English Patience’) Last winter, it started with only two members, so there will be an anniversary party soon. We met a lot of students who had participated in our group study. Some of them left, due to their private reasons, and others still study hard.
I highly recommend our group study, not only for the development of fluent English, but also for nice relationships. Most of the members have experiences going abroad, for example, the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Canada, and additionally, the US military camp in Korea. We have learned about various cultures in all of these places.
As a result, we can talk about many details with diverse methods, because every member participated in intensive English classes. We talk in English every morning from Monday to Friday, and listen to a native speaker’s voice from AP news recording tapes, in order to be reminded of good English sense. This might be regarded as flattery, but I guess this study group deserves it.
We have a kind of eccentric system, referred to, as paying the penalty. In the beginning of group study, there was no way of preventing people from being late, or absent, without any special reason. As we became friends, we lacked the discipline necessary for a serious class.
Therefore, we created a desperate plan. Instead of not paying tuition, we were willing to be fined. We also took a test every morning. The test consisted of material, and principal words, that we studied the day before. We all must memorize the material, before the meeting begins.
If not, you can’t help being punished. We save money for managing the group study, as well as for being diligent. Consequently, as time has passed, we have accumulated more and more compact know-how. This best describes how we have studied in our English group.
There have been many trials to break through our misunderstanding toward English. It has cost us a lot of time and effort. To our surprise, we realized that communication is more important than just fluent English. We also know that being a fluent speaker is still far off, and we have a long way to go. At any rate, we have a strong belief that we are taking the right steps to be such a person, no matter what the cost.
So, if you have a passion to study English hard, please feel free to knock on our door. We are always open to all ardent studiers.