An English-speaking Area Other than DICE
An English-speaking Area Other than DICE
  • Reporter Lee Sang-min
  • 승인 2010.04.14 14:12
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The 13th floor of Residential College

▲ English-speaking floor students who joined a cultural program
Because all the international students in POSTECH inhabit the Dormitory of International Cultural Exchange (DICE), people often regard DICE as the only place where international English is used officially. However, there is another English-speaking space in the POSTECH dormitory. It is in the highest floor of Residential College building - the newly built residence of 13 floors, simply called Dormitory 21.

The Residential College (RC) for freshmen and sophomores was founded to offer practical education and support to help young students adapt to living alone. The life of Korean high school students is usually quite subordinated to family and parents, and thus some problems such as seclusion and depression occur relating to failure in adaptation and self-management. To avoid these problems and cure them, Residential Advisors (RAs) and master   professors each take care of a portion of the RC students.

In the building, an English-speaking floor is specially designed for some students who want achievement in using English. Different from the other floors whose activities promote the relationships among students and improve refinement, the English-speaking floor focuses their activities on developing communication via English and other accompanying features related to such training.

The main participation program in the 13th floor has been its ‘English Program’, conducted twice a week. In that, students discuss freely in English about anything prepared by leaders. Short speech competitions and studying groups were planned, too. Like DICE, in the 13th floor students absent are given  penalty points, and can finally be evicted. Other similar activities have been executed on other floors.

This year, 2010, is the third year of operating the English-speaking floor, and many changes have been attempted. Now English activities are mainly required, except cultural activities, because of overloading. Also English activities are divided into three - practical English, discussion English, and examination English. Practical English means overall usage of English, including at all meetings. Discussion English can be covered by the ordinary ‘English Program’. Then, for examination English, a TOEFL vocabulary study group has been organized and trial TOEFL tests are being prepared. The residents were divided into two groups so that RAs could efficiently manage all students. Program leaders are now fully composed of students who experienced residence abroad.

Initially, the foundation of the English-speaking area was sudden and there was not much preparation. Related to this, RA Lee Sang-hyun, now in his third semester as an RA, said “The well-organized current system has been constructed in just five semesters. In the future, it is likely to be a better environment for students to use English freely.” Besides DICE, the English-speaking floor in the RC will assist in the internationalization of POSTECH.