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July 13, 2011 - 19:52 By John.Power
On English lectures...

I think the English lecture debate in Korea has two sides, which is good because it is an exciting moment to share ideas among students in English. However, it is true that it also has limitations.

This semester, I took two lectures in English. One I took was about Korean theater. We were taught how Korean theatre has developed with shamanism. I think it would have been better if I could have taken it in Korean. Then I could have understood much more than I did. In particular, this subject has its own terms. It was hard to get it 100 percent. Now, I’m done with that class, but I’m not so sure whether I got that as much as my professor tried to deliver. The other one was easier than that. It was more focused on discussion. It was good to talk with a couple of people in English. It is important that the school should know that all students cannot understand and participate. Is it really what the school wants?

I think if schools in Korea keep trying to run lectures in English just for their reputation or to benefit the government, they need to re-consider. Because it’s more important to give students a clear education.

― Jung Da-rae, Seoul

I don’t understand why Korean colleges need English lectures. The purpose of going to university or college is to learn and get a high quality education. That is why students pick majors which they want to learn more. However, nowadays, students are more stressed out because of English. After every single class, we must translate power point files into Korean to understand the content of the class. Sometimes, people record the lecture and transcribe it to study in Korean. People spend more time in translating English to Korean. Do you think this system is efficient? No, it is not. Yes, learning English is important for our generation, however, receiving better a quality education is more important. We are Koreans; we are living in Korea, why should we have English delivered lectures in Korean colleges?

― Chung Sung-woo, Seoul

I am pretty sure English-delivered lectures will lead to a global Korea. I have two kids who are going to university in Seoul. They have never been to other countries to learn English. I want them to learn English abroad, but I don’t have that much money. So I always feel sorry about it. I heard many Korean universities provide English-delivered lectures. I think this is a really great opportunity for domestic students in Korea which will lead to a global community in Korea. I do not really need to use English in Korea for my generation; however, it is necessary to use English even in Korea for my kids’ generation.

― Lee Eun-suk, Incheon

On food aid...

I oppose food aid to North Korea. South Korea has been helping North Korea purposelessly because people in South Korea believe North Koreans are still our race. That is why South Korea has provided tons of food, medicine, etc., with humanity. South Korea wants to help people who are hungry. However, North Korea has used food aid as army rations, and has taken a provocative attitude toward South Korea. That was not the reaction we wanted, we want the people in North Korea to eat heartily with food aid from South Korea. I feel really bad about not providing food aid to the public. And I heard that some North Korean army members re-sell food aid and buy weapons. There are so many people who are starving and finally die in North Korea. I don’t think food aid is a good method to lead to peace between North and South Korea. Our government should think about other ways to solve this problem and maintain peace.

― Kim Hyo-jin, Seoul