Coping with the global world
Coping with the global world
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2007.09.03 00:00
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Globalization is a buzzword and many fields have already started preparing for this globalised era. The Global Ewha 2010 Project is one example of an effort to prepare for the ever-changing world. This project aims to establish branch campuses around the world and provide more English classes by recruiting more foreign professors. However, is taking more classes in English here at home enough to cope with the globalised world? 
Most of us seem to think that being fluent in English is the key to being a global citizen. Some part of this is true because English is the language most spoken around the world. Hence we fiercely try to acquire high scores at TOEFL, TOEIC or many other tests to measure our English skill. However, while competing with one another to get higher scores, we sometimes forget why we are taking those tests in the first place. The main reason why we are trying to learn English is to communicate with other global citizens, not to acquire an academic credential or even for fluency itself.
Being a fluent English speaker can be one way to get close to the other part of the world. But we have to keep in mind that the attitudes we have when approaching people from different countries is what is more important. English itself is only a tool and if we stress the tool too much, the main purpose of communicating can possibly fade out.
In this regard it is important to think about how all of
Korea is now reacting to news about the Taliban kidnapping of 21 Korean church volunteers. News coverage discusses the kidnapping itself in detail and even extends to the summit talks between the U.S. and Afghanistan, which may have some bearing on the hostage crisis.
However, part of the reason the crisis occurred in the first place is because the international news we get about countries in
Middle East is stereotyped. Because we equate our English skills with globalization, we tend to read only the English news, where only a fraction of people in the Middle East are spotlighted, and we do not seem to be able to understand local conditions well or predict danger before they happen. Although we seem to know more about the world now than the past, our perspective does not seem to have broadened any further.
To be truly global, it is essenttial for us to have the right attitude toward the world. Learning English and knowing about global issues may help you reach out to people from different countries. However, without an open mind toward the world, it is hard to connect with them. Not everyone in the world speaks perfect English and not all the international news reported in the English media is accurate or helpful. Therefore, let? not be caught up in our prejudices and be more open minded global citizens.


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