The importance of writing
The importance of writing
  • Hong Jee-won
  • 승인 2009.04.13 15:44
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       Writing, a representation of language in a textual medium, has emerged as an effective means of communication in terms of portraying one’s ideas and arguments in a logical manner. Growing concerns over Korean college students’ writing skills is becoming a social issue.

 According to a report released by the Korean Educational Development Institute in 2002, Korea ranked the lowest among the OECD members in terms of its citizens’ reading and comprehension skills. Fifty percent of the 16,562 applicants who took the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)’s test of proficiency in Korean in 2004 did not pass the test. This test of proficiency is a state-approved exam, which tests Koreans proficiency in their native language by testing their grammar skills, comprehension skills, and writing skills.

        “A piece of writing that lacks a logical form is not considered as writing, but is rather limited only to a means of expressing one’s feelings into words. Many university students, who are not used to writing an argumentative essay, show weaknesses in constructing a strong logical from of writing,” said Professor Han Soo-young (Korean.) “It is quite disappointing to see university students only putting forward simple logical forms in their essays.”

          Song Na-ri (Public Administration, 2), who claims she was part of the public education “cramming” system, shows her frustrations in writing. “As a person, who received the public education system, I wasn’t educated to convey my ideas and thoughts in a discussion, but rather was required to memorize the knowledge imposed by the teachers. Having to write term papers in college was always a burden,” she said.

         Despite the hardships university students face from writing, the demand for writing is growing in Korea. In 2007, Korean universities added essay writing to the admission criteria to test student’s writing and critical thinking skills. Also, essay writing skills are tested in many of the state-run exams, such as the Legal Education Eligibility Test (LEET), Medical Education Eligibility Test (MEET), and the Public Service Aptitude Test (PSAT). These movements are taken to test writing skills as well as the candidates’ critical thinking ability.

        To reduce the incompatibility between the students’ writing ability and society’s growing demand for the skills, Ewha has been putting efforts to assist students. Korean and Writing, a mandatory course for graduation, has been modified for the Spring 2009 semester.

        “Compared to the previous course where students did not have much opportunity to write. This year, we modified the course in the content of the course along with the textbook and its name. We inserted more exercises, where students will be given more chances to write,” said Professor Han.

  As part of the Renaissance project, logic and communication was added to the general education classes as one of seven new categories for the Spring 2009 semester. “We categorized logic and communication because we recognized the need for skills in communication, which can be a milestone to express ones opinion in the society,” said Hwang Gyu-ho, a dean at the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs.










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