2:36 pm - 12/03/2018

Half of foreign students at SNU don't understand Korean lectures

About half of foreign students studying at Seoul National University (SNU) have a poor understanding of major classes conducted in the Korean language, a poll released Monday showed.

According to the survey of 432 foreign students by the university's Diversity Council, 47.2 percent said they have little to no understanding of major classes conducted in Korean.

It found 24.3 percent of the respondents having no understanding, while 22.9 percent said they don't understand much. Only 17.8 percent said they can mostly understand the classes.

In a similar outcome, 43.8 percent of the respondents cited a lack of Korean language ability as the most important factor in experiencing academic difficulties.

Slightly over half (50.9 percent) complained of difficulties in participating in debate during major classes conducted in Korean, with 36.6 percent saying they are unable to take part in team projects.

Foreign students invited by the Korean government must go through a Korean language course for one year before entering SNU, but many say that the program is not sufficient for the foreigners to fulfill their academic goals.

Indeed, 34.6 percent of government-invited foreign students said the pre-entrance Korean language course was very insufficient, while 8.4 percent said it was not helpful at all.

In addition, the foreign students don't appear satisfied with SNU classes conducted in English.

Of 10,904 lectures offered by SNU last year, only 11 percent, or 1,237, were conducted in English, meaning that foreign students who are poor at Korean have difficulties in taking various lectures.

In the poll, 36.1 percent called for increasing the number of English lectures, while 22.9 percent raised questions at English capabilities of SNU professors in charge of English lectures.

"It is necessary to find practical ways to help foreign students improve their understanding of major classes conducted in Korean, if there are not many short-term remedies, such as replacing Korean lectures with English and other foreign language lectures," an official at the SNU Diversity Council said.

"In the long term, the number of English lectures should be steadily increased. More systemic support will also be needed to help foreign students improve understanding of Korean lectures, such as the introduction of English subtitles and tutoring between students."

source: Yonhap News
sciencebottle 4th-Dec-2018 06:26 am (UTC)
LOL so true about ubc, the number one comment I get offhandedly asked about at the housing office is about tuition and i'm like....i wish i could give you an answer but lets just say your debt will be...decently large

There's been so much backlash. changes to the tuition increase are on the agenda for every student running for positions on senate. there was a town hall sort of thing where students grilled higher ups about where the money was going and it got pretty heated. sfu in general has been in a bit of a mess this past year so no one really knows why they're taking so much more money from us lmao. at ubc at least there's all the facilities and new residence buildings so you can at least begrudgingly see where the money is, but sfu is still a concrete mossy prison as always :)

jyusou 4th-Dec-2018 07:36 am (UTC)
omg, i visited friends in vancouver earlier this year and went to visit ubc and the first things i thought when i saw all the new buildings and the new bus loop were "what is this place i don't recognize anything anymore!!" and "damn...my tuition..." lol (good luck to them getting rid of their reputation as the "university of building and construction"). something fishy must be going on at sfu if they're asking for such high increases but with no plans to expand infrastructure. regardless, the lack of transparency is infuriating :/ i'd be surprised if discussion over this didn't get heated/there was no backlash at all!
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