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The Gachon Herald
English Expert Column
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Updated : 2014.06.28  23:39:29
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  Korean students wishing to learn English should think of advancing their second language skill as more like trying to practice a musical instrument or trying to be very good at art. In order for you to be successful, it will cost a lot of time with joy. The studying process should not feel like working memorization, it should feel like attempting to express yourself. If you don’t enjoy it, or wish to share what is inside of you, your second language won’t be attractive to you. You have to think about English as an opening to experience all the things that you can’t experience if you only know the Korean language. Don’t look at it like studying. Think of it as how can I enjoy access to the greater world and the wealth of information there.
  For example, watching The Simpsons for fun, listening to hiphop music for enjoyment and reading something that you are interested in is part of your life that can be called intrinsic motivation. That is the strongest factor to learning new skills. What you’ve studied for 12 years is test oriented and academic that must be done by schools or parents. But think about it this way: You can use it for exchanging information. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just need you to participate in the conversation. Find an aspect of English that you enjoy. The highest and most modern expressions of culture and learning in almost any field are written in English. So choose your favorite field and find an English book or magazine that addresses that subject. You can learn two things at once this way. You are learning English in the context of your own interest and you are learning what you are interested in. Again, just read it for fun, read it for reinforcing your own interest.

  For speaking, speaking can be difficult because of the lack of native speakers, so in order to practice speaking, find people who are committed to practice their second language skills. The limit of access to native speaker should not limit in your ability to practice speaking. You have to find other friends that are also second language speakers and make time to only practice the second language. Everyone is interested in practicing English. So the hurdle we talk about is try not to be embarrassed when practicing with each other. A good way to do this is try to turn it in to a game. One of the games that my students played was they have to pay some money, like 100 won, everytime they use Korean and at the end they use the money to eat something. In that way it becomes a game. And Koreans love games, Koreans love competition. This isn’t a game about being perfect, this is game trying to be confident when using English .Since you might never have the opportunity outside of korea to ask for help in Korean, you always have to figure out how to say what you want in English. So in order to improve speaking reward system can be effective way.
Professor Joseph Tetrick

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