The Institute for Teaching & Learning (ITL) launched a global tutoring program to help international students enrolled as full time students at Ewha to succeed in their majors and to improve their Korean language skills. 17 students from eight different nations joined the program and were paired with Korean students mostly in the same major.
“The program was originally suggested by the Office of Global Affairs, who observed that international students experience hardships while studying at Ewha. However, as the office was short on time and labor, the ITL decided to take over the program,” said Dr. Yeonhee Kim, a researcher at the ITL.
Ewha is not the first among Korean universities to provide tutoring for international students, but differentiates itself with the coordinating system.
“Some colleges initiated similar programs but most came to an end after the first one or two years. We hope to keep good track of our tutors and tutees by conducting evaluations at the end of the semester and award outstanding teams,” said Kim.
The tutors and tutees meet once a week during the semester to fulfill the ten mandatory hours. Tutees also report the results of their study in Korean once a week to the ITL with the help of tutors. Although the object of the program is to tutor inclass materials within their majors, since international students studying at Ewha are required to take a Korean language class in their first semester, most of the tutors focus on teaching Korean.
Bayarmaa Khurtsgerer (Political Science, 1), a student from Mongolia, came to Ewha as part of the Ewha Global Partnership Program and was selected as a tutee for this semester. Bayarmaa plans to pursue her study at Ewha for four years.
“I chose Ewha because it was the most prestigious college where students ceaselessly challenge themselves. It has been only three weeks since I started to learn Korean, but I want to make it perfect with help from my tutor,” said Bayarmaa.
Tang Jia Wen (Nutritional Science and Food Management, 3), from China, who transferred to Ewha this year, looks forward to improving her Korean with her tutor. “By studying Korean grammar and practicing writing with my tutor, I want to achieve the Level 5 Certificate from the Test of Proficiency in Korean, which is the second highest level of the test,” said Tang.
“This is a great opportunity for me to make foreign friends and to make a friend to study my major together,” said Kim Na-rang (Korean, 3), who is tutoring Bayarmaa based on her experience helping a Japanese student with Korean last semester at the Ewha Language Center.
The tutors receive a scholarship which amounts to 300,000 won at the end of the program along with a certificate. The recruitment of the tutees was carried out with the OGA. Before the semester, the office contacted international students and accepted applications. Once the tutees are chosen, based on their major, the ITL recruits Korean tutors from the same or similar academic fields at the beginning of the new semester.
“The most important part for tutors is not their foreign language proficiency, but their Korean language ability,” said Lee Mi-hye, a researcher at ITL who takes charge of the program.
An announcement for recruiting tutors next semester will be posted on the ITL Web site (http://itl.ewha.ac.kr) in early September. Those who want to become tutees can refer to the official Web site of the OGA (http://oga.ewha.ac.kr).