Name: Hyomin, Shin
Before Step Up, English was like a heavy burden to carry in life for me. When I was in middle school, education courses in Korea started with grammar. And I stated the private tutoring of English for entrance into a university. However, both attempt didn’t gave me an incentive to study English. English was like a duty, not just for me, for everyone in my school students. For me, English has always been my partner and enemy who put the same weight on my life. Honestly, it wasn’t clear what should I do or what I want at the beginning of the course. But from now on, I want to sort out not only my English skills but also the abstract things.
First few weeks, I focused only on listening. Naturally, my first goal in the speaking class was to accurately understand the context and to ask questions without being ashamed of something I didn’t know. All of the other of classes goals, this one was the most difficult and hardest for me. My friends who took the class with me said they never thought I was hesitating, but in my heart I was worried. In Korea, I was used to attending classes quietly. Because of the cultural environment in my hometown, it was really strange and amazing not to be ashamed even if I response the teacher’s questions to wrong answer. However, the attitude of active classmates and the atmosphere of the class through discussion and conversation certainly helped my speaking ability. The first few weeks, my speaking were full of stumbles, and suffered from pronunciation. Still I can’t speak perfect pronunciation and sentence. But when I don’t understand someone else’s word during the talking, now I can ask questions again without fear. So I tried to meet my goal, and as a result I achieved my goal of speaking class.
On the other hand, in case of the writing class, I didn’t meet my goal yet. My original goal was “By the end of the course, I will write that clear topic to understand for readers. To do this, I will practice SVO structure to follow the rule.” I’m still practice making the SVO sentences and also plural structures. But compare between my class from the start point to now, my writing skill is gradually advanced. There are mistakes made in writing three essays. On the other hand, there are still some unnoticed mistakes. And sometimes, I can recognized the mistakes when I did the proof reading. All the processes are still awkward to me and take a lot of time to correct grammar, just like doing something unfamiliar, but as a result, I feel proud to find the wrong part. So I would say that I am in the process of developing. Also my SMART goal is still on the process to making the perfect sentence.
In case of my goals in Reading & Discussion class, was specifically focused on how to improve my English reading. However, this class also played a crucial role for me to express my opinion actively. I stuttered and used the wrong words, but I talked my opinions and didn’t hesitated during regular discussions in class. The time to communicate with my classmates was not only interesting but also valuable in that they could see an argument from various points of view. However, the ultimate goal of all goals was to abandon the fear and hesitation of English. And I think I did well combining my goals and purposes.
And Communicating on Campus, I expected before took this class was a lecture that teach about of American college life or the history of Lehigh. Of course, some of the classes included major buildings on campus and the history of the building, also festivals and events at school. But there was something really important. I was surprised to learn about my rudeness during class. Especially when I learned how to write e-mail, I was worried about my mistakes because I was so ignorant. However, all the assignments seemed to be made for the international students who first come to the United States. We did our first task of explaining the location and function of buildings to know what is available at school and how can we get. The next assignment taught us what services the school had and how to use them in a useful ways. Of course, the e-mail skills, communications and interview skills that I learned for conduct the interviews were also very useful and helpful to o adjust a American life. Finally, the third task was not just to interact and take advantage of everything that we have learned. The most valuable things is the group work, that help each others and make the result for one purpose.
To be honest, not all of the tasks were just fun. Some parts were difficult, hard to understand, and picky for students who were not familiar with English. But as a result, I think I have successfully adapted to life in America as well as school, All of my classes taught me important contents that were based on my basic English skills. I still use a lot of grammatical mistakes and wrong words during writing this page, but one thing I can be sure is that I will develop as I have done on this StepUp course.