Department of Chinese Education was newly established in 2015 in order to reflect the increasing importance of Chinese as a global language. It is valued to be the first Department of Chinese Education established in Korea. As most KNUE students might only vaguely know about the department, this article covers the lively student voices of Department of Chinese Education. Two students who represent each grade and the teaching assistant were interviewed to shed light on the department.
Undergraduate student number 15, Hong Ji-yeon
1. Give us a general introduction of the Department of Chinese Education!
The department consists of 18 undergraduate students, three professors, and a teaching assistant. From this year, a native Chinese speaking instructor came to teach us. The general mood of the department is harmonious like a family. Because there are only two grades in the department and the number of members is so small, every student cares about each other very much. The relationship between professors and students is also really close. I bet the emotional relationship of the department is the best in KNUE. In addition, meetings such as for reading and studying Chinese are actively conducted to make a great academic mood.
2. What is a formal event of your department?
“Wednesday Movie Screening” is one which introduces and plays Chinese movies every Wednesday. The event was originally implemented to include general Chinese culture(s), such as movies and food; however, the range has decreased into only showing movies from this year because the food, a lamb stick, was so popular that we decided to sell it during the university festival period instead. As for the movies, we prudently choose the contents considering popularity and literary value for the audience to be impressed. I hope a lot of people would be interested in the movie screening.
3. There are many Chinese international students in KNUE. Are there any regular meetings with them?
We had some meetings with Chinese international students last year named “Korean and Chinese’s Night.” This year, we are taking into consideration for more concrete, systematic, and continuous meetings. I hope that a regular meeting system with Chinese international students will be settled soon.
Undergraduate student number 16, Cho Kyung-Ah
1. How do you feel about your department as a freshman?
Because I have been interested in learning Chinese from middle school period and I have wanted to be a teacher for a long time, I am so happy to be a member of the department. The curriculum covers basic to advanced levels of Chinese; thus, I can keep excited in learning Chinese till now. As I know little about Chinese and education, there are many things to learn and it keeps me expecting what will be taught next. Currently, Chinese education is learned as a second foreign language now, however, because Chinese is getting popular these days, I look forward to Chinese being the major foreign language in the near future following the progress of China.
2. Did you know that the department was newly established in 2015 when you applied for it? What do you think are the good and bad sides of the new department?
I knew the department was newly established when I decided to enter the university. Because there are only two grades with small numbers, all the members have relatively high responsibility in the department and we are very close to one another. However, the rules are insufficient to support the department’s operation and even worse, there is no department room or major classrooms. I hope both would be supplemented soon.
1. I have heard that the department has many agonies about facilities. Would you explain in detail about them?
Not only do we have no department storage, but also the major classrooms do not exist. Because of that, I must book and register every classroom every semester and if we have an extra class, we should follow other departments’ schedules when borrowing their rooms. In addition, since we have no major classroom, though we have three graduate students, we cannot give them a room to study in. They are using the dean of the department's own room as their study room.
2. Are there any services which support studying abroad in the level of the department or university?
First of all, in the department’s capabilities, the dean is making an effort to connect with other universities for an exchange program. However, we have no concrete plan now.
Secondly, as to what has worked at the university so far, we have sent several students to Yanbian, Honam, and Taiwan for a week. And in return, we are going to take students from Taiwan. Some of the students are planning to apply to be an exchange student now.
In the situations where the new department is incomplete in the rules for the operation of the department, students join together to make a better campus life. Including both interviewees, most students have chosen the major following their interest and aptitude. Also, they are studying Chinese through groups and social meetings. In addition, the department is trying to convey the Chinese culture to KNUE members with “Wednesday Movie Screening,” which shows Chinese movies biweekly. It shows that the department is making an effort to communicate with KNUE members. However, they are struggling with the deficiency of facilities. They have neither a department room for students nor dedicated major classrooms. If there is more support from the university, the Department of Chinese Education’s students might have a better campus life.
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