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2018 SNU Chinese Camp

Sep 13, 2018

A classroom of 2018 Chinese camp
A classroom of 2018 Chinese camp

Amidst one of the hottest summers Korea has ever experienced, a number of students sacrificed two weeks of their precious summer holidays to come to school and study Chinese.

During summer and winter semester breaks, the College of Humanities offers intensive language programs for undergraduates. This summer’s Chinese language camp, organized by the Department of Chinese Language and Literature and sponsored by the College of Humanities, was held from August 6 to August 17.

Packed into two intensive weeks, the program aimed to improve the students’ Chinese proficiency and introduce them to various aspects of Chinese culture. Classes were conducted from 9:30 AM to 3PM, Monday to Friday. The curriculum covered reading, writing, listening, with a special emphasis on speaking. Through intense debate and presentation sessions taught by a native Chinese speaker, students had a chance to put the words and expressions they were learning into practice. This sets the camp curriculum apart from many other language courses in which students passively learn reading and grammar.

40 participants, selected from a large pool of applicants, were divided into three levels based on their Chinese language proficiency. In each level, students in groups of three or four were assigned a native speaker student mentor who assisted them throughout their two-week academic journey.

The camp program also included various stimulating out-of-class cultural activities. During the two-week period, students participated in traditional meditation sessions and sampled a variety of Chinese tea. Students also went on a field trip to Dongyang Arts Center, which offers free screenings of Chinese movies, followed by a visit to a local Chinese restaurant.

On the last day of the camp program, students gathered in the Humanities Hall for their final presentations, which included both academic presentations and more lighthearted fare, such as the performance of Korean TV dramas in Chinese. “Not only was I able to enhance my Chinese proficiency, but I also met great teachers and friends. It was a great experience,” said Lim Taeksang (Department of Political Science and International Relations), one of the participants in the program.

Written by Chae Hyun Kim, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,