EPO: Institute for Ewha’s English Education 1
EPO: Institute for Ewha’s English Education 1
  • Oh Seo-jin
  • 승인 2013.08.31 17:56
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English Program Office makes changes to elevate quality of English education

An EPO instructor teaches students during a lecture. Photo provided by The English Program Office (EPO).
The English Program Office (EPO) has been offering courses and programs to further Ewha students’ English education. Although EPO has constantly been putting efforts to provide the optimal environment for students, the recent effort seems to be the most significant. From the beginning of 2013, the EPO has put visible efforts to to improve the quality of its courses and programs, awknowledging students’ complaints on the level of courses. Although these efforts have elevated the quality of the courses by putting a stronger emphasis on writing, some voice that further improvements, such as reduced level gap among students are needed. The Ewha Voice has collected students’ opinions on the current state of the EPO’s programs and suggestions for further improvement. In this issue, the Ewha Voice will analyze EPO’s efforts and students’ opinion and suggestions in depth.

The English Program Office (EPO) was established with the goal of providing quality English education for Ewha students. To offer the most ideal environment for students to acquire English, the office has been employing many native speakers as instructors, as interaction with them not only improves students’ basic English skills but also enables students to acquire the language more fully and naturally by being exposed to, carefully observing, and especially participating in a different culture.
The EPO offers English courses as well as various programs to raise English speaking, listening and writing skills to an advanced level.

Among the 84 percent of students who answered that level gap among students exists, 51 experienced inconvenience due to the level gap and 49 percent have answered that have not.
Many of the courses, such as “Essential English,” “College English,” “Advanced English” and “Academic English” are distinguished by levels in order to provide the optimal education, accordingly. Other courses, such as “Current Issues,” “World Women through English,” and “Research Writing,” are additional classes that students can enroll in after completing the prerequisite courses for freshman.
In addition, EPO programs such as Ewha Writing-Intensive School (EWIS), a program focused on writing, Ewha Intensive English (EIE), an immersion course focused on speaking, Writing Clinic, a tutoringservice for advice on writing, and E-PALS, a service that gives students the opportunity to interact with native English speakers, are provided to help students improve English skills.
EPO seeks changes to elevate the quality of its English education
At the beginning of this year, the officemade several changes that improved the quality and efficacy of English education. One of the major accomplishments of the EPO is its increased willingness to acknowledge students’ call for elevating the general quality of courses.
 “We have decided to focus the classes even ㄷore on writing, enabling students to deliver their opinions more effectively and express their thoughts more fully,” said an official at EPO.
Consistent with this, a noticeable change has been observed in most of the EPO courses and programs.
With a strengthened emphasis on written expression, all of the courses and programs now require writing. Professors therefore give feedback on essays and research papers in all classes. Before this new change, the number of writing assignments varied depending on the teachers.
The ELounge, run by the EPO, intiated a program in spring 2013 called “E-PALS” that provides students the opportunity to interact with foreign students.
“Since I have never been abroad to learn English, I was searching for programs through which I could practice speaking the language,” Bae Eun-jin (Physical Education, 2) said. “Then I found E-PALS. I immediately signed up for the program and am excited to improve my English and meeting new friends. I was very impressed by the EPO’s efforts at providing effective programs for students. They are of immense help, especially for those like me who have never, or scarcely ever, had a chance to go abroad and acquire the language.”
New courses that will be offered in the spring semester 2013, “Rhetoric and Composition” and “Special Topics in English,” are also focused on improving writing skills.
Other efforts include turning a 4-week Ewha English Camp into daily programs such as EIE and EWIS for students’ convenience. The office will continue to develop new programs for students.

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