Seoul National University Boosts Ratio of Lectures in English

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Feb 7 15:40:55 UTC 2006

SNU Boosts Ratio of Lectures in English

By Chung Ah-young
Staff Reporter

Seoul National University (SNU) will offer 129, or 10 percent of 1,201
liberal arts lectures in English starting the upcoming spring semester in
a bid to enhance students English proficiency. It is the first time for
the English-only lectures to represent more than 10 percent of the liberal
arts courses in the university curriculum. According to SNU, the
English-only liberal arts lectures include 79 basic and elective English
courses and other basic science and human studies courses such as math,
natural science, literature, anthropology, economics, politics, history,
international relations, current affair discussion and plays.

Apart from liberal lectures, the school said that some major subjects are
also being conducted in English, both at undergraduate and graduate
schools. Combined with major subjects conducted in English, the number of
English-only lectures has totaled 6,515 English-only lectures or 4.1
percent of the universitys whole curriculum. Also, SNU will adopt the
classics written in original languages as a requirement to improve
students advanced reading skills.

The policy is designed to raise freshmens basic academic knowledge through
intensive liberal arts courses, which have recently been pointed out as
their academic weakness. As part of the policy, the university has newly
set up 39 classics lectures, in which one to five students in groups are
supposed to read the original texts under an individual professors
guidance. The classics lectures, which were adopted as requirements for
freshmen last year, are intended to enhance the understanding of classics,
which are basic in human studies and improve reading skills in foreign
languages, original texts and Chinese characters.

The classics lectures are available for SNU students regardless of their
majors. The lectures deal with the classics, 100 of which were already
announced as part of the selection recommended by the university last
year, affecting high school seniors preparing for the admission exams
essay tests. The university will also strengthen the current seminar
lectures, which were introduced last year to help students discuss a
certain issue from various perspectives as comprehensive thought-provoking

``To have internationally competitive edges, undergraduate students are
supposed to be able to write their papers in English, an SNU official
said. ``As part of the effort to improve their academic performance, we
will expand the number of lectures conducted in English and also other
lectures, which are designed to give comprehensive and intensive
knowledge, she added. In line with an increasing number of
English-speaking lectures at local universities, Korea University has been
trying to make 30 percent of the courses taught in English to produce
global leaders under the Global KU project.

Korea University has been helping students get used to English lectures by
providing regular college courses taught in English. Otherwise, students
would have to go abroad for English language programs.

chungay at

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