Ewha Graduate Gives Tips On Learning EnglishBrightly colored drawings by elementary school students hang down the walls of the ivory-colored building. Green and yellow capital letters spell its name: EBY Academy. Stepping inside, orange and red English textbooks are arranged on the table and a 3x5 inch picture of E Bo-young and her husband decorates the entrance of her room, lending it a cheerful ambiance. Standing up from her desk, E Bo-young comes forward to greet the interviewer with a contagious smile.
E Bo-young, the charismatic CEO of EBY Academy, spells her last name with an E to represent the love of her life: English. A graduate of English Education ("84), she has brought light into her profession in many ways―as MC of several EBS programs, lecturer, author, and mother of two as well as a successful businesswoman. But there is one thread that links all these roles: her love of English.
Her love of English is special because unlike many English educators in Korea, she did not acquire it by living abroad. People tend to say learning English is easy but without patience and effort, the study of English can only deteriorate into vanity. Perfect pronunciation does not matter if one has a good logical grasp of the flow of the language, and logic does not come merely by blabbering in English. It is learned from books, just like students memorize textbooks to get the meaning of the story," explains E.
E"s dedication has certainly paid off. Her refreshing voice now awakens thousands each day with "another edition of Morning Special." She credits her "early-bird disposition" to the success of her daily program. "Thinking logically in English demands time and practice. Only in the fourth year of hosting did I truly perceive the language," says E.
And that is not all. With 10 years of "edutainment" behind her, E has a multitude of tips for success, both as an educator and as a broadcaster. One of them is treating students equally. "I don"t dedictate English to people but speak for the people on the show," explains E. The other virtue is her frankness. "I have no reason to be a know-it-all. I acknowledge words and expressions that I don"t know. English grows in experience. I feel most comfortable when my co-hosts and listeners collaborate with myself to make a day"s program worthwhile."
Apart from her affinity for English, time-management complements her passion for work. Having several things going on at once, she knows the true meaning of deadline. "It"s the diligence and concentration that controls those deadlines. Concentration does not come to you if you have other things in mind. Take for instance, a bottle of water. One shouldn"t take sides by seeing it as half full or half empty. Pureness comes when water is seen as a gift in the bottle. If we apply this philosophy to teaching young kids, we can double the good in teaching children effectively."
During her four years at Ewha, E began the process of learning these skills early. Among the extracurricular activities, translation part-time jobs were her favorite. "From my experiences, I gathered my wit and resourcefulness―the driving force of carrying a live program," says E.
On the other hand, not everything in E"s path to success has been easy. Even now, some aspects of her job are less than ideal. In order to meet the 8 o"clock schedule, she has to wake up at 5 a.m. to get prepared. In other words, starting a career as a MC meant having to deal with the pressures added to a housewife. "Though broadcasting occupies a big part of my life, I have never thought of it as my main job. My potential lies in teaching English and letting people appreciate the language." comments E.
Despite these difficulties, E maintains a bright and optimistic view of her future. She recently completed her first semester for Ph. D. in English Education at Ewha. She keeps a notebook in which she jots down English expressions to keep her from self-driven conceit. "I am always interested in English-learning strategies. English requires "sense." In order to catch that "sense," it requires lot of know-how. To gain the know-how is up to the individual."
When asked to give studying tips to Ewhaians on English, Ms. E concludes, "Don"t blame your poor English unless you set a long-term goal and strive to pursue it. Students nowadays study so much less compared to their predecessors. If you do want to succeed in English, start working with all your might. There"s no place where "success" comes before work except in a dictionary."
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