Misunderstandings and biases about Chinese students taking Chinese-language classes
Misunderstandings and biases about Chinese students taking Chinese-language classes
  • Lee Seo Yeon
  • 승인 2020.01.01 20:20
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Students are preparing for taking a class. (출처= Lee Seo-yeon)
Students are preparing for taking a class. (출처= Lee Seo-yeon)

 There are some students who speak quite fluently in the Chinese Language 2 class. Some of the people who speak smoothly are first-year majors in Chinese Languages & cultures. I also am in my first-year as a Chinese Languages & cultures major and am taking this class. I was curious why native Chinese students study Chinese at CUK. The class contents are too easy for Chinese students as it was made for non-Chinesestudents. So, I interviewed one Chinese student in this class, 罗迪(Loudi, Business Administration, 18). He said the reason for taking this Chinese lecture is to get a good grade. Actually, one anonymous senior majoring in Chinese said, “All Chinese students that I met until now took this class to get a good grade.” Similarly, I feel many Koreans have a negative view of foreigners taking classes in their own language while at CUK. However, I want to tell a positive side of the Chinese students in Chinese class.

Luodi’s Korean homework notebook
Luodi’s Korean homework notebook

 There are three different Chinese classes that are composed of different professors, who have their own teaching style. I will tell about case of one class which contains Chinese students, only among three classes. The characteristic of the class is that two students become a partner during the semester, practice conversation in class and prepare for the speaking exam together. Korean students have assignments that writes new Chinese words and sentences three times each unit. If Chinese students do the same assignment, it can really be a waste of time. Therefore, they submit Korean writing assignments and take an exam with the same contents written in Korean. 罗迪(Luodi) said this class is helpful for studying Korean as the professor make them translate the Chinese language in the textbook into Korean and write it three times.

 One of the most worthwhile moments at learning a foreign language is communicating with foreigners in their native language. Even though there have been several exchange programs with international or foreign students studying at CUK, few students have participated. In one Chinese language class I covered, the professor made Chinese students speak in front of his classmates, while the rest of the students tried to follow them. Korean students can hear the pronunciation of a native speaker. It can be difficult to approach and talk to foreign students. However, students can talk to them naturally if they take the same class. I have observed sometimes one Korean student sitting together with a Chinese student having a daily conversation in Chinese. “It would be a very good opportunity if Korean students try to interact with foreign students actively. Keep talking to the Chinese students and bother them,” Professor Lee Jin-hee said.

 Kim Soo-ah (Chinese Languages & Cultures, 19), who has a Chinese partner said she met a Chinese friend for the first time in this class and it is a good opportunity as she can speak Chinese with a native and also teach them Korean. When she first noticed that Chinese students are in class she was concerned as to how it could be advantageous for the Chinese in getting a high grade. However, now she feels okay in that they take a separate exam in Korean with the same contents and the professor evaluates Chinese students and Korean students separately. Song Ji-woong (Chinese Languages & Chinese Cultures 19) taking this class also said he was worried about grades, and he did not much like taking a class together with native speakers. But, he said he has gotten a lot of help with pronunciation and the class is a good opportunity for him to do language exchanges.

출처= insidehighered.com
출처= insidehighered.com

 According to the CUK Office of International Affairs, foreign students including international students and exchange students, are not included as a rule when estimating students’ grades with CUK students. This Chinese language class professor also follows this rule and she made separate Korean test paper for foreigners . Therefore, what I want to say is international students do not get a good grade without any effort as they are native speakers.

In a Chinese language class, CUK students can meet foreign friends who were indifferent to each other. There are also opportunities using what they have learned from the class. In conclusion, I hope that Korean students get away from the negative view of international students in thinking, “They may take a class to get a high score without effort.” They need to look at some of the positive effects of their presence in class and recognize there are also advantages for Korean students. It is not right to have narrow-minded thinking with blind condemnation of these classroom situations. I expect CUK students to have a broad perspective that looks at problems from other points of view. In addition, I hope CUK students who take Chinese classes try to talk to Chinese friends a lot by using this opportunity.

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