Q: How did you become interested in English?
A: I was a self-taught student who always sought how to improve English. When I went to Australia by myself, I was eager to learn English, so I downloaded American movies in my mp3 player to listen to it every day, which helped improve my English.
Q: What was your college life like?
A: I devoted my college life to a band and English study club. Through the band, I learned to fight stage frights. Through the study club, I learned the joy of teaching others. In fact, I created an English study club where I taught English to Dongguk students three times a week. At that time, although I was not used to teach someone, I pushed myself, thinking ‘why not just give it a try.’ I really learned a lot from that teaching experience since my students also taught me how to teach.
Q: How did you prepare for your debut as an English teacher?
A: It wasn’t until my senior year that I was back on track to prepare for an English instructor job. I looked for every available opportunity and just as people take internships for employment, I looked for teaching materials such as American drama, pop song, news, comedy shows, through which I memorized the contents and useful expressions after repeatedly encountering them. I also tried to understand English in my own way. For instance, in grammar, I did not memorize the every rule; instead, I tried to understand the usage of it. Knowing when and how to use it was a simple way to understand; most importantly, it did not get me discouraged while learning. Most importantly, I did not get discouraged or insecure when I was looking for a job.
Q: Do people need to study abroad in order to be good at English?
A: It is not always true. It is actually a dangerous thought, because while surrounding environment could be an important factor, attitude is the most important. I have no doubt that those who truly want to master English can do so anywhere. As a famous author Antoine de Saint Exupery once said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Thus, the most crucial thing when you learn English is to know why you are learning it.
Q: Any messages you would like to give to the Dongguk students?
A: Nowadays, many people seem to be preparing for a Civil Service Exam, the Certified Public Accountant exam, or employment in big corporations. Sometimes, you need to stop worrying and enjoy more. Join a club, go on a date, or travel to the place you have never been before. Learn to broaden your perspective. The last thing I want to say is have a GBS mind. In other words, do not be afraid of facing any mistakes; just follow your path that you have decided to walk on.
Na Soo-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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