As a leading school in making its campus more international, thousands of exchange students and up to 6,000 international students are admitted to Ewha every year. Although various options of English lectures are available for the international students, the Ewha Language Center (ELC) provides Korean doumi program to encourage them with their Korean skills. The ELC began to educate Korean in 1988 and is in charge of cultural exchange between Korean and international students from 52 different countries. The Korean courses are open four times a year in every season and seek team teaching system where two teachers guide a class. The Korean doumi program, however, is unique in that it does not take place in a lecture room with a lecturer and students facing each other. It matches Korean students as mentors and international students as mentees so that the most practical everyday Korean can be acquired in the most efficient platform. “My mentee, Kaylee, told me she wants to focus on the communicating part of the language at the beginning of our session,” said Cho Sung-hai, who has been working as a mentor of Korean doumi since last December. “According to her request, we decided to focus our class goals more on speaking and listening. Kaylee later hopes to attend a graduate school in Korea so we’re going to work on precision in her language skill as well.” Although the teacher in the program is a fellow student, the sessions is planned in a systematic way so as to provide the best quality of education. “We have specific education guidelines that provide basic framework on how the classes should unfold,” Cho said. “We have room to be flexible with the curriculums based on each student’s different needs but ELC provides useful protocols to make our sessions more educational.” As Cho is a Korean Education major, she was already familiar with the education theories that are most useful in teaching foreigners Korean. “I wanted to narrow the gap between textbook education and the classroom fields with real experiences,” she said on her reason for applying as the mentor. “I believe my efforts will turn out effective for my students’ Korean skills.” Cho also adds her own creative way of teaching to make the classes not only helpful, but also fun. “During the winter, I was paired up with a student who had the difficulty in the number and calculation part of the textbook,” she explained. “I implemented a game of our own to proceed even the most advanced level in that unit. My mentee at the time had such fun and participated enthusiastically and that was my proudest moment of all.” The Korean doumis continue to guide international students to encourage their aspiring goal for a more in depth study in Korea.
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