In a country where mandatory duty is known all too well, students are begging for the question of, “Does English testing at the university level fall under the same obligation?” After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that the answer is “yes!” You might be wondering, who this man that can nonchalantly choose a side on the debatable issue of universities in Korea is. Well, I will tell you, along with my justification for swaying to the side of mandatory English test scores being contingent upon graduation.
I have been lecturing at multiple universities for the past decade, all of which was focused mainly upon English courses. With this in mind, my opinion may seem to have a bit of bias due to the importance I place upon English learning. However, this does not discount the legitimacy of the points I will raise.
I can drone on and on about how we live in a globalized world with English as a conduit to effective collaboration and success, but we have all heard this notion and understood the importance behind it. Considering this, I would like to switch the focus onto another important aspect behind mandatory English testing, which is the give-and-take relationship between students and the university.
You know better than any, the hard work and dedication you put into affording yourself the opportunity of attending our illustrious university. The prestige allows students a greater chance of success after graduation. Of course, this prestige is not independent from you and your future prospects. Your success is linked to the success of Dongguk University as well. As an alumni, what you will do after graduation reflects upon the university. By attaining better positions in the job market, you correspondingly enhance Dongguk’s image, enabling it to continue and even rise in prestige. This handcuffing of future development makes it vital for students to reach the expected English level of their department, ensuring them an advantage when starting along their career path.
Many may see this as a nuisance, or dare I say, a completely unnecessary obligation, with Dongguk giving unrealistic expectations. Yet, I find this to be a beneficial tool for your future. Currently, there are multiple tests students can take to meet the desired requirements. Those who find themselves more grammar oriented can make use of TOEIC, whereas those who feel their conversational skills to be further advanced can take the OPIc test. There are plenty of options that cater to a variety of different skills, affording the best possible opportunity to meet the required score. On top of this, for students who find the plethora of tests too challenging, Dongguk also provides alternative English courses and camps that can be substituted for the former assessments.
In short, Dongguk is doing everything they can to aid students in meeting their potential while ensuring their own legitimacy as a prestigious university. Without this push by the university, many students may find themselves running the risk of apathy, inevitably leading to a future of regret from the missed opportunity to better themselves and their future prospects. Although this is just my personal opinion, I implore all students reading this not to look at the mandatory testing as a hindrance, but more of a benefit to a brighter future. While striving to be perfect is an unrealistic dream, striving to be better than your current self should be the daily goal of all individuals.
Baylen Ferguson firstname.lastname@example.org
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