Language Schools: Yonsei University

This was written in August 2006 after my experience at Yonsei University as an exchange student, so some of the information may be out-dated now. There are two main programs at Yonsei – DIEE and KLI. DIEE (Division of International Education and Exchange) is what I was involved in. It is a general exchange student program where you take normal university classes and optional Korean language classes. Should you choose to take language classes they are run for 2 hours per day in the afternoon, Monday to Friday. The fact that the classes were in the afternoon didn’t agree with me; 4-6pm didn’t really allow for doing much other than waiting for class once you’d had lunch. I would have much preferred a morning class, but maybe that is just me. KLI (Korean Language Institute) is operated much the same as the DIEE program with regard to language classes, although they are 4 hours per day and the students are generally more serious since their sole purpose is for language learning. Students don’t have to be university students or graduates, I think a high school certificate is all that is needed. As a side note, there were some students DIEE that took their general university classes in the form of KLI classes for a total of 6 hours instruction per day. About the classes: Most teachers are only monolingual Korean, or give that impression. My teacher only spoke Korean in the classroom, but after class if we had things we wanted clarification on that we couldn’t grasp only in Korean, she could explain things in English and Japanese, or write an explanation in Chinese characters for the couple of Taiwanese students we had. Class size was dependent on level. The earlier levels seemed to have up to about 14 students, whereas the upper levels only had about 5. My class had roughly 8 from what I can remember. Whilst the class size was a little large at times, it was good in the aspect that you had some different points of view to certain grammatical situations. I found this helped me understand some things I had difficulty with because some of my peers would ask things that I hadn’t considered. The method of the class was basically covering a situation with the relevant grammar and vocabulary per academic hour. This would entail going through a dialogue (listening, repeating) and after clarification of the grammatical points we would have to attempt reciting the dialogue without the text. This would take close to the 45 minute lesson, and then during the second hour we focused on the grammatical patterns that had been...

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