EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
English Expert Column
kweagle  |  g.herald1984@gmail.com
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Updated : 2021.04.10  17:12:25
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 Students are frequently asking me how to improve their English language skills, and over the years I have settled on a couple of ways that I recommend approaching this seemingly difficult task. For me, I really believe that the key is to combine English into other areas that you already have an interest in. I will give you a couple of examples in this article, but any person interested in building on existing language skills can take these ideas and make them their own.
 The first thing that I recommend to students is that they start by taking a good look at their major.  Nearly every field of study at Gachon University, even Taekwondo, will have a tremendous amount of free English material related to it that can be found online. That information will be in the form of blogs, news articles, scholarly or historical articles, editorials, essays, podcasts, YouTube videos, movies, documentaries, and more. I encourage students to deepen their knowledge of their main academic interests by studying and exposing themselves to the topic through English. The majors at Gachon are similar to majors at universities all over the world and being familiar with the collection of English vocabulary terms to express common themes will always be useful to you within your field of study. Furthermore, the most contemporary research in any field will always be published in English to allow for academic discussion and debate internationally. By reading, watching, or listening to current developments in your area of study in English you are “killing two birds with one stone” as we say. I encourage students to focus on understanding the concepts that are being conveyed and keep a notebook of field specific vocabulary they encounter. This can be viewed more as strengthening your competency in your major than trying to improve your English and can feel really rewarding from that perspective.
 The next option is similar to the first, but probably more fun. Instead of looking to a major, look to your hobby or personal interest. The same path toward information applies, be it gaming, soccer, art, cooking, you name it. The volume of English language content in any field of interest is free and almost limitless online. Really, no matter what your personal passion is, you can learn more about it, get better at it, and communicate with other people around the world about it through English. The point here being that English does not have to be something that is for a class, or for a test, or that feels like work. It can simply be another way to enjoy something that you already love.
 English is a difficult and stressful subject to study in Korea, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier to your life. If you approach English with the goal of learning the information that is being conveyed, more than focusing on the rules of the language itself, it really can be something that allows you to expand your understanding of any subject or interest. These suggestions are not necessarily the best way to prepare for a TOEIC, TOEFL, or IELTS test, but those tests are not what life is really all about. Those tests are not what English is all about either~!
▲ Dept. of
Global Language Center
Prof. Joseph Tetrick
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