Is the Bilingual Campus a Success?
Is the Bilingual Campus a Success?
  • Reporter Chung Yu-sun
  • 승인 2013.12.04 22:13
  • 댓글 0
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In 2010, POSTECH declared to enact the “Three Year Globalization Plan 2010~2012.” Its main goal is to enable POSTECH to develop into one of the top universities in the world. In the pursue this goal, POSTECH also expects to eliminate any disharmony felt by foreigners on campus. All announcements are to be posted in both Korean and English, and most lectures are to be delivered in English. Then, how well has the bilingual campus been established over the past few years?
A total of 270 students, including both Korean and International (Int’l) students, participated in the survey investigating how well the bilingual campus has been realized. Overall, most Korean undergraduate and graduate students felt that the Bilingual Campus was neither enforced too poorly or too well (on a scale of one to five- 5 indicates extreme successful- the highest percentage 33% was on 3). Interestingly, from the Int’l students’ perspective, they felt that it was pretty well enacted (scale 4- 36%).
A huge component of a bilingual campus is that most lectures are to be delivered in English. Although approximately 50% of students felt that the classes labeled English on the syllabus were actually performed in that language, there were times in which the lecture was delivered in Korean. The main reason was that there was a limit to how much Korean students could understand, and the next most prominent reason was that there were no Int’l students present in that particular class.
Though the bilingual campus has progressed well since its implementation, there are still a lot of problems to be solved. A few Korean students indicated that although POSTECH declared “Bilingual Campus,” the campus is more sided to an “English Campus.” As education is the largest component of Postechians’ lives, the fact that all lectures are encouraged to be done in English makes the students feel that the campus is sided towards an English campus. On the other hand, Int’l students feel that there is a lack of English on campus. Living on campus, they felt discomfort in using the school facilities such as the convenience stores, cafeteria, and the online bulletin board. The biggest inconvenience for Int’l students regarded notices. Although some notices are translated into English, there are still numerous notices that are not translated.
There are a few points that both Korean and Int’l students agree upon. For example, they both think that most professors and students are still not comfortable in speaking English, and would prefer lectures given in Korean. From the Korean students’ perspective, they question whether it is more favorable to conduct the lectures in English even when most students cannot understand the material well. Another aspect that they both agree upon is on the lack of interaction between Korean and Int’l students. Apart from classes and a few events held by DICE, there is a lack of opportunities for the two groups to interact.
Some suggest that in order for a bilingual campus to actually be bilingual, there should be at least two classes on the same subject so that the lectures can be delivered in both languages. All in all, though POSTECH has successfully begun to realize a bilingual campus, there is still a long way to go.

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