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We Live by Smiling
2006년 05월 01일 (월) 영어학부 이기택 교수 ktlee@cufs.ac.kr

   Hello everyone! My name is Ki-taek Lee. I am honored to have a chance to share my thoughts with you about how to study English and even have a happier life! I have gotten the chance to meet you not only during our on-line classes but also at our off-line classes on Saturdays. I enjoy teaching English to you a lot as well as helping you make your dreams come true.

   Everybody has their own dream and it varies according to the person. But, I think we all share one thing in common ― we want to be happy. So, it is natural to ask how to be happy. Much has been written about how to be happy, so let me introduce some ways.

   When it comes to being happy, I think the most important thing is try to see the bright side of things and be optimistic, especially about our English study. Everybody has their own strong points, but not everyone can find them and make the best use of them. Sadly, many people can't recognize their own strong points and they fail to use them, so they just end up envying other people's good luck. You don't have to have that happen to you because you have many good instructors to help you here!

   As a student of the English department, being able to speak English fluently is one of the methods of being happy. From that viewpoint, I have done my best to teach you English by introducing my experience, attempting to save you time by sharing with you my know-how. It is well known that there is no royal road in learning a foreign language, but there are "short-cuts" or smart ways to study.

   On Saturdays, it is very impressive to see students from every region come and take classes regardless of their busy schedules and other distractions. Off-line classes can give students and professors the chance to meet each other face to face and I can feel the students' strong enthusiasm and passion to learn English.

   I have been asked many questions such as how to speak English fluently, how to memorize vocabulary, how to master grammar, how to write well and so on. I think that studying something is like a boat on a flowing river that we have to row up everyday without stopping to reach our destination. Otherwise our destination will just be farther and farther away. In other words, you have to study English everyday.

   There are four language arts. You need to study reading, writing, speaking and listening. And, they should be dealt with and studied all the time. Without mastering them, we cannot learn a language. 


  






These four language arts are different but interconnected in the whole that is language. I mean while learning reading, you can also learn writing, speaking, and listening. You may think that you are just studying reading, or just studying writing, but you are really studying all aspects of a language all the time. Understanding this is a "short cut" to language learning.

   For example, you may think that reading an article is just studying reading but it is not. You can also practice speaking by reading out loud. You can also look at your reading for how to use and express yourself in English. Through careful reading, and careful thought about English and Korean expression, you can avoid speaking and writing Konglish. You can even memorize good and useful sentences, try to write them without looking at your book and then practice them with other people whenever you have the chance. In the process, you are actually studying not just reading, but speaking, listening and writing as well!

   Another "short cut" is not being afraid of making mistakes, especially while speaking. Please don't get any stress from forgetting vocabulary and idioms! It is natural to forget but that is a small problem compared to losing interest and passion. Interest and passion are the motivation and the engine of the "boat." So, as you can see, as long as you have enthusiasm and desire to learn English, and everyday you use your enthusiasm and desire in studying, you cannot fail. You have to believe in yourself!

   So, please take advantage of off-line classes. There are many basic and useful subjects such as Reading, Speaking, Writing, and TOEIC. Furthermore, the level of the subjects are so various that you can easily chose proper and optimal ones. And, you can also meet your fellow students, make good friends and get good information about your classes. And, you can also ask any question that you have on your mind. It is something like “killing two birds with one stone!" Could this be another shortcut?

   To keep a resolution, such as coming to the off-line class or studying English, is not easy for many reasons. One of the strategies for keeping your resolution is to renew it every three days. Be pleased with and feel gratitude for what you have accomplished. I think you are surrounded with things that can make you feel happy and joyful in daily life. How serious can it be if you smile? And, it is so small and easy. So, I make it a rule to smile every moment and every day. Whatever your dream is and however serious your problems are, smiling is the best solution!

ⓒ 미네르바(http://minerva.cufs.ac.kr) 무단전재 및 재배포금지

     
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