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Updated : 2013.06.02  00:11:27
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  After New Year’s Day 2013, 100 students from Gachon University took the significant first step to Hawaii through the Gachon Global Leadership Program. The students were divided into two groups; one assigned for January, the other for February. As one of the participants, I was strongly able to feel that the program would be a great opportunity to practice and develop my English skills, so I made an effort to learn English in Hawaii: Not only inside the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well.
  The main program is scheduled from 9 am to 4 pm during weekdays and was scheduled by IMPAC (International Mid Pac College). In order to be taught effectively, based on the placement tests, students were put into three different levels with native English speaking teachers. The director of IMPAC allowed the teachers to have their own curriculums and operate their classes flexibly. Joshua Nelson, our teacher, focused on debating and discussions rather than on textbooks. For example, he gave us the topic to debate: pros and cons of Samsung and Apple’s smartphones. He also suggested games to make students speak English more and have all the students participate. The best thing that the students loved to do was the class trip called ‘Discovery day’ on discovery day. Students could go out and interview people anywhere, such as beaches, malls and streets. Interviewing people gave us lots of confidence and chances to make new friends.
  On the other hand, I tried to keep having conversations with native English speakers even Chen I was outside the classroom. The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism issued the third 2010 census report, “Island Population and Housing Units, State of Hawaii: 2010,” and it says “Asians (race alone) accounted for 43.9% of the total population on Oahu in 2010, the largest race group on the island.” Although Hawaii is one of the states of the U.S, it was not difficult to survive without speaking English. Still, I tried to expose myself to English 24/7 in order to avoid speaking Korean. That is why I frequently went to local places and met people. New friends fixed my grammar and taught me where I should go and what I should do in Hawaii. Moreover, I was able to share ideas with people who may have biases due to different perspectives and cultures.
  People may think it is hard to study in Hawaii because of beautiful beaches and attractions et cetera. However, as long as students have a strong will to practice English with the well-organized schedule of IMPAC and confidence to talk to strangers, it is not impossible to improve one’s English skill in Hawaii. In other words, it can be a turning point to reach the goal; real English.

Kevin Taeyoun Eum                         Dept. of Industrial Engineering.

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