Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie “Connected”: Autoblogography about love, death & technology

Movie “Connected”: Autoblogography about love, death & technology

 I participated in a Marshall McLuhan Centenary Symposium Fordham University’s Mcnally Auditorium on September 25. There was a preview screening of “Connected” (to be released in October, 2011), a new film by Tiffany Shlain, an American filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards, and a panel discussion among media professionals followed after watching the movie.

I took my daughter, Holly, who just turned 17 years old to the symposium. It’s because I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to think about how media have changed the way we lead our daily lives. Before going there, I explained about some famous aphorisms, “The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village” and “The medium is the message.” by Marshall McLuhan. She seemed to understand that the medium has more impact than the substance of what is said, shown or written.

It was so funny that Mr. McLuhan, a metaphysician of the media, personally expressed the view that “we are fools to use radio and television in the modern world.” He added: “Only madmen would use radio and TV if they know the consequences.” In the entire movie, Tiffany, the narrator kept saying, “The more connected, the greater consequences would come.” by exemplifying World War I & II. His famous quote was proved and still holds good even after more than 40 years have passed. Tiffany even declared 21st century is the era of “Interdependence” not “Independence”. (It was ironical for me to reflect that I was so impressed by how American people weighed the value of “Independence” in their relationship and career when I first came to America. I had to experience cultural shock based on individualistic culture because I grew up totally under the environment of collectivistic society (high definition, high context) and got used to being dependent on each other. )

The movie, Connected started from Tiffany’s personal memoir about her father, Leonard Shlain, once her super hero, surgeon and author died of brain cancer and elaborately wove her delivery of second child while talking about the development of technology and media has changed the way of connection and reorganize the way of communication between people, societies, and countries. The movie was partly a portrait of her life and our times of 21st century through the introduction of new medium such as emails, internet chatting, facebook, and twitter via smart phones beyond the limitation of time and space. In addition, all the graphics and images of being connected through new media were expressed amazingly in the movie. Had it included various storytelling episodes regarding the development of media in addition to her own memory of her father, it would have more gotten into the public, though.
Actually, I had a personal experience of being into facebook for about 8 months. I found myself addicted to the smart phone in order to check all the updated posts and respond to them. It was just like teenagers’ addictive properties toward personal electronic carriers such as MP3, I-pad, I-pot, I-phone and so on. I used to blame Holly for being distracted by unnecessary things while doing her homework. For example, when she is doing her homework, she’s texting her friends, checking her face book, surfing web-sites, or chatting through MSN service via her cellular phone. I’ve found that she looks irritated when she forgets to carry her blackberry.

However, my case went farther than hers. I did facebook even while sleeping. (I mean my obsession with facebook was excessive for a while.)  I’ve realized that this kind of obsessive compulsive behavior attached to mobile carriers can be easily found regardless of generation once bitten by the bug of SNS. It has been a month since I blocked my facebook wall posting. Being connected with people beyond the barriers of time and space was awesome, but it also hindered my life and my relationship here just at present. It’s ironical to find out that connecting with people in the virtual activities and communication may isolate or disconnect people who I have relationship with in real life. At the end of the movie, Tiffany also asked to herself, “Is connecting widely blocking connecting deeply?” It reminded me of Web 2.0 Suicide Machine” that allows users to permanently delete their accounts from social networking sites such as Facebook Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn. “When you make 5,000 fake virtual friends, you’ll lose your true 50 friends!” is its catchy phrase.

Actually, I was looking forward to some analysis or reflection about some side effect of new media in terms of being connected in the movie, but only it shows the phenomenon about being connected in the image of global village that McLuhan predicted about a half century ago and doesn’t go in depth while touching her personal stories regarding technology, She wanted to talk more about love through the experience of her father’s death and her child’s birth interwoven with the development of technology.

Therefore, in the academic point of view, the movie just scratched the surface of the issue, “Being connected through the internet,” and in the view point of public interest, the movie was not really attractive due to lack of dramatic stories related. In other words, to the scholars, it seems to be rather superficial, and to the public it sounds to be less fun. However, Holly simply replied to me, “Wow… It was so fun!~” when I asked directly, “How was it?”

During the panel discussion, it was exciting to listen to some panelists who stated their controversial views about the movie and the situation that new media caused. Also, we had active discussion between the audience and the panelists. Most of all, I was happy that the panelists and the audience applauded Holly when she spoke about her opinion that “the more connected may bring about the more controlled. “ It was definitely a good education for her to get a food for thought about the environment that media and technology have influence on. Actually she got a chance to think about that “media do matter!”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Connected... Marshall McLuhan centernary symposium

       I’m sure that all of you would be familiar with the sentence, “The medium is the message!” by Marshall McLuhan. He also said, “The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village” Needless to say, it is amazing that he predicted how new media would have transformed the way we live our daily lives about 30 years ago even before any technology related the internet invented. I think technology itself won’t maintain neutrality anymore. I feel like as if I have proved his words trustworthy not through witness but through real experience. It’s because I’m having the galaxy phone on my right hand and net-book on my lap all the time. “Have you ever faked a restroom trip to check your email? Slept with your laptop? Or become so overwhelmed that you just unplugged from it all?” The narration in the movie,  “Connected”, seems to talk about my life. I bet all of you guys are on the same page.~~^^ I’m going to see the preview screening of Connected, which is one of programs of “A Marshall McLuhan centenary symposium”  in Fordham University this Sunday. The panel discussion among media professionals will be followed after the movie prescreening. I’m looking forward to it. “Connected” will be released in October, in America. I’m not sure when it begins screening in Korea, though. However, I can highly recommend it to you! )

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is the purpose of learning English?

 I remember that one of my American friends said,
"Susan, if you pronounce [L] and [R] clearly, your English would be much better!” Even when I learned in a language center, I asked one of my instructors to give me a simple tip for the [R] sound. He said, "Imagine when you are really angry, and say "roar" from just like an angry lion.    

It was about 10 years ago. Nowadays, I’ve realized that my strong Korean accent never will disappear no matter what, which means English is my second language and I was exposed to learn how to speak English after the puberty period. Eventually, I came to cherish my Korean accent in English. It’s because I realized that my Korean accent tells my identity to American people as long as I speak English grammatically perfect and my word choice is classy.

The purpose of learning English as international students is not to speak like English native speakers but to communicate with American people or people from different countries. However, it cannot be over emphasized to learn to pronounce correctly in the beginning of learning English, which will affect the entire English learning process.

                     <how to pronounce the sound of [l] and [r] correctly?>

However, you should make an effort to gain good pronunciation skills as much as you could even though you cannot speak just like English native speakers. Now, I I am able to pronounce [L] and [R] sound much better.

Just practice and practice!!!

American Dining Etiquette

How to Prepare for Dinning Interview?

When I heard from my friend that her daughter had an interview over the meal in the restaurant, I wondered why employers wanted to interview candidates in that public place instead of their office. Besides, I had doubts whether interviewing while eating could be an earnest job interview to evaluate candidate’s potential effectively. I was also interested in what an appropriate dining etiquette would be in the business setting. Based on my earlier mentioned concerns, I was naturally led to research more about dining interview and came to realize that it is one of the most widely- used meeting formats in this hospitality industry. Needless to say, job seekers should learn dining etiquette as well as establish dining interview strategy in advance.

<Dining etiquette is important in business setting>

Nowadays, many employers are more likely to conduct the second or third round interviews in restaurants. It is because spending something over meals would be natural way to predict with confidence how potential employees react in a specific situation. Therefore, prospective employers are willing to pay for dinner or luncheon table in order to observe the candidate in a public setting and see our demeanor in social setting. Through the entire process of the dining interview, they eventually figure out whether the interviewee would be qualified socially and professionally. To be successful in the dining interview, table manners are fundamental.
I think it will be a geat chocie for  international students to learn the appropriate table manner while studying in America. Why don't you go to a high-class restaurant now and then to experience the formal dinner?

< Always begin eating with the flatware  farthest from your plate!>

Let me give you a hypothetical situation.

If the interviewer orders a glass of wine and asks if you would like one too. How would you answer? First answer, “Since the interviewer asked, you don’t want to be rude and accept his invitation and order a glass of wine as well. Second one, “Thank you. But I’ll just have water please.” Which answer will be correct?

The first one, is an improper response because having any alcohol-even if the interviewer offers is inappropriate in a job interview setting; the second one is a proper response because when it comes to alcohol, the only appropriate response in a job interview is to politely decline.

Before the dining interview, the candidate should absolutely check do’s and don’ts in terms of American dining etiquette!

For instance, never start eating before a signal from the host to do so.
Do not order too expensive dishes and choose the food hard to cut into bite-size pieces.
Don’t use your bread for dipping into soups or mopping up sauces.
Don’t make noise such as slurping and burping…
Don’t talk with your mouth full.
Don’t’ stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, wine or condiments… instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.
Don’t ever offer your criticism about the food…If you cannot pay any compliments, at least remain silent..
Picking teeth or licking fingers are very unattractive..
There are hundred and hundred dining etiquette tips..however, everything is based on the commonsense, right?

Although the candidate may be nervous, he/she should do the best to relax, while maintaining an assured posture throughout the interview. Also keep it in mind that elbows should be off the table all the time Based on the above recommendations, it is not surprising that the reasons why people do not get hired are from small mistakes or carelessness, such as poor hygiene, too much perfume, late for interview, and limp handshake. Therefore, candidates should pay attention to details.

After the meal, “indicate that you are finished with your meal by placing the knife and fork, on your plate following their 4 o’clock pattern. Be sure to place the napkin on the right hand side of your table setting. In case of leaving the dining table for short space of time, put your napkin on your chair.

Typically in an interview, you are the guest and so the meal is paid for by the employer whether the organization is a business, non-profit, educational institution. Remember to say “thank you.” A thank you note the same day is necessary by using E-mail and a hard copy after the interview. Follow up and follow thorough such as writing samples, references, or other proof of performance should not be overlooked. Through self-evaluation process after coming out of the interview, we can build into our strategy ahead of time to determine appropriate follow up or adapt effectively for a next interview.

The dining interview can be a great opportunity for job seekers. The meal setting makes everyone more comfortable and sociable, and some of the awkwardness of the traditional office interview can be alleviated in rather relaxing atmosphere. However, it is not an easy task to make a good impression on a hiring manager and eat simultaneously. To sum up, an interviewee should think strategically, be professionally sociable, and mind table manners during the dining interview.

A candidate invited to the restaurant can have a confidence because having a chance to the dining interview means being selected to be a strong contender for the job. Therefore, the chance of impressing the interviewer will be highly increased as long as the candidate maintains dining etiquette based on commonsense. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Informal Experience of Learning English

This following essay is about my personal experience of learning English.  I hope my story will be helpful for the readers who are in the middle of mastering English as a second langauge. Thanks.





Whenever people ask me why I decided to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language) in the master program at Seattle University, I never hesitate to say, “I want to contribute to the development of English education in Korea after I finish this program. I often think that I have might have been a victim of misguided English educational policy in Korea. Even though I studied English in school (middle, high school and university) for 10 years, I used to run away from Americans because I was so afraid to speak with them. As far as I remember, I was never encouraged to speak or listen to authentic English as a student in the public schools in Korea. It is ironical that I was not able to communicate with English speakers even though I was always a top English student during a middle school and a high school.
Although in the past a few decades, English professional educators of Korea have put in force different teaching approaches such as Audio-Lingual, Situational Method, TPR (Total Physical Response) response, and Whole Language Method in addition to Traditional Approach in the classroom, there is still much confusion in English education policy in Korea. I would like to contribute to the next generation’s success in learning English and help to clarify educational policy towards English language learning.

The five phases of my second language experience
In looking back on my experience of learning English, there are five different stages. During the first two stages, I used the methods that the teachers or curriculum recommended. I studied English very hard based on the extrinsic stimulation and the intrinsic desire to get good grades on any kind of English tests. After finishing school, I had 12 years break from studying English because English wasn’t necessary for my job and I didn’t have any motivation to continue learning English. After that time, I had a strong desire to communicate comfortably with English native speakers. Therefore, I decided on my own to try several new methods during the second two stages of learning English. Now, I realize every step that I tried has contributed to my success in learning English, even though at times I doubted the efficacy of some approaches. In the following paragraphs, I will explain in more detail about my personal experience during each phase.
Grammar-Translation Approach (1976-1981)
When I was a middle school student, I was introduced to English for the first time. I started to study English by memorizing grammatical verb tenses. Most classes were taught in Korean, with little active use of English. Much vocabulary was taught in the form of lists of isolated words and long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar were given. Grammar provided the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of words. Reading of difficult classical texts was begun early and little attention was paid to the content texts, which were treated as exercises in grammatical analysis. Often the only drills were exercises in translation of disconnected sentences from English into Korean and little or no attention was given to pronunciation. In my memory, I really enjoyed studying difficult grammatical rules and memorizing vocabulary for reading texts. Most English tests consisted of multiple-choice questions, which evaluated the ability of grammar, reading and comprehension, and translation. Thanks to my diligence and hard work, I was a top student in English class. Therefore, it was so natural that I thought I was great at English. Eventually, I got into a university that I dreamt of attending for a long time.
However, it was quite unfortunate that listening and speaking skills were not included in the first six years of my experience of learning English even though listening, speaking, reading and writing are very important components of learning a foreign language. I still regret that English conversation skill and correct pronunciation were ignored in favor of the other language acquisition skills during the beginning period of learning English. Had my pronunciation and conversation been more emphasized, I would be a much better English speaker regardless of Critical Period Hypothesis for language acquisition.
             Reading and Lexical Approach (1982-1986)
When I was a university student, I had a chance to read many books written in English thanks to my major, Journalism. To begin with, most of the journalism textbooks that I used in the university were imported books written in English. At first, I had a hard time to figure out the thesis and main ideas of the text, and various specific details. Therefore, I made a study group with my classmates to collaborate and cooperate in our learning. It was a great experience for me to get powerful reading skills because I came to learn how to identify the topic of the reading, have a general idea of what the text says about its topic, understand the main ideas put forth in the text and understand the details given in the text to support the main ideas and so on. 
I don’t think that reading and vocabulary acquisition can be separated. Vocabulary has been associated with the reading and should be presented, practiced and reviewed in the context of reading. In a private English institute, I had a chance to study difficult vocabulary systematically with a textbook “Vocabulary 22,000” that was very popular among university students at that time. Meanwhile, I learned to be able to look at a multisyllabic word and analyze its meaningful parts such as root, stem, prefixes and suffixes to understand words I didn’t know. At that time, excessive vocabulary learning gave me the impression that the most important thing about learning a language is accumulating new words as equivalents for concepts, which they can already express in their native languages. While I was studying in Yonsei University, which is a prestigious private university in Korea, I had a great chance to get powerful reading and vocabulary skills. I believe that this experience was the foundation allowing me to jumping to an academic level of English.
             Silent Period (1987-1999)
After I got a bachelor degree of Journalism, I worked as a journalist for a Korean newspaper and a reporter for a public relations department of a corporation so that English listening and speaking skills were not necessary in my job. As a matter of fact, I stopped studying English for almost 12 years because I didn’t have many opportunities to use English in my work place. Besides, my reading and translation ability of English was enough to support my job. However, I had a long-standing dream that someday I would communicate with foreigners naturally and fluently.
           Audio-Lingual Approach (2000-2001, 9)

           I had several opportunities of traveling abroad, such as America, European countries, China, and South-East Asian Countries from 1995 to 1999. I realized I couldn’t ignore the importance of a universal language, English. In particular, I really wanted to be a role model for my children’s English ability. I believed it was never too late to learn English again. Therefore, I checked my ability of English carefully and honestly at the moment. I realized that I was not able to speak and listen as well as I wanted to even though my ability of reading and comprehension was at an advanced level. At first, I began listening multiple audiotapes and watching videotapes as much as I could. Some of them were composed of bilingual and the others of monolingual. As time went by, I decreased the ratio of bilingual materials and increased the ratio of monolingual materials according to the improvement of my understanding. Using repetitive drills, I mimicked and memorized of set phrases of structural patterns. Moreover, I recorded my own speech on the cassette record player and compared it with the original version to check mistakes for pronunciation. Although it was very boring and tedious process, it effectively improved my listening skills. However, my spoken English didn’t seem to be improving because I didn’t have many chances to converse with native English speakers in Korea. Eventually, I realized that it would better to stay in a whole English speaking background for a while in order to learn the “authentic” English. One and a half year ago, I came to the United States to get exposed to the natural English-speaking environment.

             Communicative Approach (2001, 9-   )

            I believe that learning is risk-taking, exploratory, and welcoming of the potential in errors for new learning. After I came over to the United States, I decided not to be afraid of loosing “face” in speaking English to other people. I realized that I should make an effort to have opportunity of speaking English as much as I can in order to take advantage of the whole English speaking environment. I have tried intentionally to avoid spending time with Korean friends since I came to the United States. I studied English in the ESL program for one quarter and then studied some interesting subject such as Intercultural Competence, Career Development, and English Writing in a community college. Meanwhile, I made many friends who came from different countries. It was very exciting experience, not only practicing English but also learning different culture. Eventually, I realized that English is not an object of knowledge but a channel of communication for myself. I always try to mimic as much as possible the “natural” setting whenever I have been exposed to meaningful input regardless in the classroom or out side of the classroom. I believe communicative competence is defined as the internalized knowledge of the situational appropriateness of language. I realize self-correction in careful speech would be very successful however, where time pressures preclude monitoring, that kind of monitor causes more errors in casual speech and hinder natural communication. Therefore, I make more emphasis upon a communicational proficiency and less emphasis on formal rules and error correction. Ironically, I haven’t had enough time to have a natural conversation with native English speaker after I got into Seattle University because I have lots of homework to do. However, I have a great opportunity to improve my writing skills dealing with assignments from classes. I came to realize there is contrastive writing styles based on different cultures and have practiced American writing style so far.
Nowadays, I became very comfortable with speaking in English because I could get rid of any frustration of my Korean accent. I believe that the ultimate aim of good pronunciation is not for native-like accent but for effective communication so that I am able to be even proud of my foreign accent as long as I speak clearly and fluently. Now, I am so thrilled that I will be able to get good writing skills besides communication proficiency thanks to the experience of studying in the United States.
There is little doubt that learning a language to read in that language or to pass a Ph. D requirement is a different task than learning a language to be able to communicate in that language. Besides, theoretical priorities have changed throughout language teaching history, as reflected in the relative importance placed on pronunciation, grammar, reading, or conversation. Likewise, there have been contrasts in attitudes toward the use of formal versus colloquial language, toward the gradation or sequencing of skills versus subjective assessments of the usefulness of structures or words, and toward language description. When I recall my personal English learning experience, there was a distinct time to focus on certain skill such as grammar, translation, reading, vocabulary acquisition, listening, speaking, and writing based on learning environment and motivation. Although it wasn’t intentionally planned in advance, every step has been necessary and helpful to improve my English.
Second language acquisition is like walking up to the “stairs” of a mountain. Sometimes, people might feel like going back down even though they work very hard. However, they don’t have to be discouraged because there is no “slope” in the mountain of language learning. They just step back from running into the vertical angle of the next stairs and control their breath to jump onto the next higher level. Second language learning is a life-long journey so that we don’t have to be hurry. The most important thing in the life-long journey is “keep going” and never giving up. I got a good lesson in looking back upon my learning experience of English that is “the show must go on no matter what the circumstances are!”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The American culture of calling each other on a first name basis

         <Can students call their professors by their first name?>

          In Korean culture, calling people by their first name is only acceptable between friends or from older people to younger people. When I came here in America to study for the first time about 10 years ago, I was shocked when I was exposed to the first name basis regardless of age, gender, position, and seniority. It seemed very casual and convenient to call each other by their first name. However, it sounded rather rude and uncomfortable for me to call people by their first name who looked much older than me or who were authoritative figures such as my children’s teachers, my children’s friends’ parents, my college instructors and so on.
     Whenever I asked American people around me whether they wanted to be called differently, most of them emphasized preferring to be called by their first name. They wanted to be friendlier to me and made me feel comfortable. I still remember one of the instructors in college was even uncomfortable when I called her “Professor, ~” and asked me, “Please, call me Lorie!” After that happening, I practiced calling people’s name by their first name because I realized that it was the way of making friends easily in the United States. Actually, it happened in Seattle in the western part of the United States. It’s true I called the professors in the university, “Dr.~” However, it wasn’t really formal and there wasn’t nothing really authoritarian between teachers and students. After spending about 2 years, I went back to Korea and had to experience reverse cultural shock and adjusted myself to a more formal way of addressing each other based on authority and power.
     I came back to America just two years ago. This time, I chose New Jersey, the eastern part of the United States, to stay and I’ve realized the atmosphere is a lot different from the western part of the United States. It seems like a different country in a certain aspect. When I was studying in a language institute, I called everybody by their first name because I wanted to show how friendly I was. However, it hadn’t been a long time until I figured out most of instructors preferred to be called “Teacher!” The majority of the students in the language program were Chinese people whose culture is a lot similar to Korean culture in terms of showing respect toward teachers by not calling them based on their first name, but rather their job title. Maybe, the instructors got used to being called “Teacher!”
    One day, I was about to take the elevator to get on the fourth floor where the institute was located. I ran into an American woman who I hadn’t seen before. And then one of my Korean friends got into the elevator and greeted her. So, I just introduced myself exuberantly, "Hi! Good morning! My name is Susan! What’s your name?" She just eyed me up and down without response and asked me, "Are you a student?" So, I replied, "Yes!" She frowned and answered, "Most students call me Teacher!" with a very firm voice and turned away. Shocked and frustrated, I couldn’t help but shrug to the Korean girl who observed that situation vividly. I know very well this case should not be over generalized and her behavioral pattern cannot be applied to an entire group; however, the people in the eastern part of America tend to be more authoritarian and treat each other based on their hierarchical position than the people from the western part of America.
    After that happening, I have had a chance to think deeply about what inter-cultural competence would be and have adjusted myself to a new environment again. Now I came to realize that I should acquire more flexible attitudes and try not to take any behavioral patterns based on cultural difference personally.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Professional Educational Consultant... Sooseon Kim

Hi...International students who are currently studying in the U.S.
I'm here for you guys!~
My name is Sooseon Kim.

After having graduated from Yonsei University with a major in Mass Communications, I worked for the Monthly Magazine, “Small and Medium Enterprise Information” as a reporter and the National Council of Saemaeul Undong of Korea as a staff of the department of Public Relations for about 7 years. My duties included news coverage, drafting of report articles and public relations. The memories of writing articles, interviewing public figures who I respected during the period of my first career still makes me feel proud, with much contentment of the work I performed. However, I had to quit the job after I delivered my second baby because raising two children while working became too difficult. Following my resignation as a reporter, I taught elementary and middle school students how to read and write logically as a part-time job for about 4 years. In order to become more specialized in teaching essay writing and reading, I completed Korean language education, which is one year training course at the Graduate School of Education at Korea University. Furthermore, I have acquired certification of qualification as a reading instructor issued by the YWCA and qualifications for essay writing by the School of Continuing Education at Ewha Woman’s University. It was an excellent experience that enabled me to confirm my talent and aptitude not only as a news reporter but also as a teacher.

As the need for foreign language study in Korea continued to grow further, I began to foster a desire to pursue formal studies in English that I had a strong affinity for since my school years. I wanted to teach how to read and write in English logically and seek effective and efficient ways of learning English as a foreign language in a Korean educational setting. Therefore, I decided to go to the United States and stayed there for 2 years and a half in order to learn American culture and language in an authentic atmosphere. During my studies, from September 2001 to February 2004, I participated in voluntary service activities not only at elementary, middle and high schools but also at a 2 year college in order to more intimately experience and learn about the educational system in the USA. I also worked for the Edu Times, a subsidiary company of Segye Times, as a foreign correspondent with the task of conveying actual circumstances of public education in the USA for about a year. I put my utmost efforts in my studies and successfully achieved an amazing academic record and a GPA of 3.92 out of a possible 4.0 at the master’s degree course in TESOL at Seattle University. Furthermore, I put much effort into establishing amicable interpersonal relationships with professors and fellow students while pursuing my studies.

I presented my thesis under the title of “Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition in a Second Language” at the 2nd Asia TEFL Conference in 2004, and jointly drafted thesis, “The Nativization of English in Korea,” with Professor Jian Yang of the Graduate School of English Education (TESOL program) at Seattle University.  Upon returning to Korea in 2004, I gave English related (elementary, story and academic writing) lectures at the Pagoda Foreign Language Academy for 4 years until last May. While providing lectures to large numbers of adults, I sought means of enhancing effective delivery techniques in addition to the quality of educational contents. Furthermore, I lectured on the area of TESOL by participating in English training for elementary school teachers at the School of Continuing Education at Daejin University from 2004 to 2005. During the period from July to October 2008, I was put in charge of overall tasks including management of native speaking lecturers, development of curriculum and programs, and student consultations at the newly opened Global TESOL College as an academic director.

While studying and teaching English as a foreign language, I came to sincerely realize that there is no such thing as a perfect theory or method in foreign language education. Rather, optimal effect will be achieved when such theory or method can be applied appropriately in accordance with the characteristics and aptitude of individuals being taught. I have long dreamed of running my own business in an area related to English education based on the working experience of delivering English lectures for adults, teacher training and management of language academy over 5 years by integrating English teaching theories and practical methods that I studied in USA. I also believe the variegated experiences of employment in the publications and public relations area utilizing my undergraduate major in Mass Communication helped me to build up entrepreneurship spirit. Therefore, I am highly motivated to study in the master program of media and professional communications in FDU in order to apply what I am going to learn into my specific career setting in the future. Actually, I am currently writing an article about American education in Women’s monthly magazine, Yeoseong Donga in Korea.

Although it was based on Korean cultural perspective, I was bombarded with comments such as “it is an impossible task at your age,” and “why are you trying to live your life more difficult than it would be?” when I carefully disclosed my decision to pursue further studies overseas in 2001. Studying in a foreign country was not easy; however, I was able to put my utmost efforts into it because it was the path that I chose on my own will. Eight years have passed since the first decision to study abroad was made; I have chosen to embark on further studies in 2009 in the USA once again and have been studying in the graduate program, “Media and Professional Communications” in Fairleigh Dickinson University.
I am planning to gain my second master degree in 2012. I hope I will have some working experience as a communication consultant in the education field here in New Jersey or New York area for at least one year and go back to Korea in order to dedicate what I have achieved through my study and work in the United for the development of English Education in Korea.  I have decided to muster my courage as I have realized the truth through experiences in my life that if I were to sincerely deal with the tasks given to me under the circumstances I am confronted with, then the results will always be greater than what I have expected. I will continue to put efforts in accomplishing the best that I could no matter what position I would be in with a humble state of mind.
                                                        Sooseon Kim (09/11/11)