|▲ Photo by K.A. Reporter Jeon, Yo-han
Nowadays, English conversation is booming in Korea, which obviously lead to students wishing they were better at it. What is the easiest way to improve English speaking skills? Well, there is no “easy way,” but the best way to do it would be actually speaking English. That, however, brings out another problem; most of the students do not have anyone to speak English with. Talking to friends in English is not that easy and it is quite embarrassing as well. Also, not many people know foreigners who are willing to talk to them for the sake of improving one’s English skills. But there is a solution to all this! The Kwangwoon University’s English Clinic Program! It runs from Monday to Friday every week. KWU students can use the clinic for fifteen minutes a day, up to three times a week. During the fifteen-minute clinic time, you can talk about anything to the foreign professor in English. It is a great chance for you to speak English while learning something new from the professors. I experienced the English Clinic firsthand to spread the word.
My Experiences in the Clinic
First of all, the professor really tried to make the most out of the fifteen minutes that we were given. I had some questions prepared for the professor for the clinic. While he was answering them, he asked me some of his own questions that made me think hard and speak more. Thanks to the professor’s hard work, the clinic time was over before I even realized it. Although it was not such a long time, it was definitely worth more than just studying by myself and was a lot more pleasurable. Secondly, it was very interesting in many ways. Even though I was talking to a professor as a student trying to learn English, he was being really friendly and entertaining not to mention helpful! Lastly, as with everything, the English clinic does have its downside. I realized that having no place to wait for my turn for the clinic was somewhat discomforting. I had to wait outside the clinic door until the previous user was done because the nearest chair was out of sight. Comparing what you can earn from the clinic to its little factor of discomfort, the English Clinic is something definitely worth using.
A Word from the Professor
In Korea, students get a lot more access to English reading and listening materials. But the opportunity to speak, which is what some of the students really want, is less common. In this aspect, English Clinic is really helpful, students can come ask any question they want or just come and enjoy the free talk with the professors.
Words from the Students
Student 1: It was really helpful.
Student 2: The fact that I get to talk to a professor one on one is really great because it is less embarrassing this way.
Student 3: I liked how I could talk about anything to the professor.
What is the English Clinic Program?
The English Clinic is run by the KILE (Kwangwoon Institute of Language Education) for the whole KWU students. Any student can come by to improve the fields of English that they feel lacking, or just to ask questions to any of the eight foreign professors individually. English Clinic helps with any English related factors such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, American cultures, English regimes, interviews, preparing for abroad studies and so on, for free. Students can also just come and have a “Free Talking” session with a professor. It is held at the Moonhwa building in room 116 (KILE English Clinic Room) from March 4th 2012 to June 7th. (Clinic closed during Midterm, Finals, Holidays and school festival season)
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