Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Sogang Korean Course for Waygookin
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> FAQ
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
rooster_2006



Joined: 14 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I graduated from Yonsei's six-level A Course (and I'm not a gyopo, just a foreigner with dedication). I also did a five-day stint at Sogang and disliked it so much (maybe it was just our teacher) that I got a refund and returned to Yonsei in time to finish Level 3 there and get a B.

Problems I experienced at Sogang:
- The teacher was not tolerant of foreign learning styles. I am an active student. It's my nature. She said I was being "disruptive" and made a big deal about it. None of my Yonsei teachers ever had the same complaint, which tells me that Yonsei teachers are a lot more tolerant of true foreign learners.
- There is too much conversation time with other foreigners, and not enough time spent learning actual material. Why should I spend two hours a day of paid instruction time conversing with other foreigners when I could be having the same conversations with the real Koreans with whom I share my house? I mean, not that trying to understand the accents of certain Chinese students isn't fun and all...
- Dictionary use is frowned upon. The teacher wanted us to ask other foreigners for the definitions instead. I got scolded for opening my dictionary.
- They told me before starting the term that if there was a problem, I could switch to another class in the same level. Funny how when there actually was a problem, they said I couldn't. This prevented me from ever knowing if the other teachers were like the bad one I'd had, too.

Most of the stuff in this thread seems to laud Sogang as the best, put down Yonsei for "being too focused on grammar," etc. I disagree. Yonsei brought me up to an advanced level of Korean. Sogang felt like a cult.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rooster_2006 wrote:
I graduated from Yonsei's six-level A Course (and I'm not a gyopo, just a foreigner with dedication). I also did a five-day stint at Sogang and disliked it so much (maybe it was just our teacher) that I got a refund and returned to Yonsei in time to finish Level 3 there and get a B.

Problems I experienced at Sogang:
- The teacher was not tolerant of foreign learning styles. I am an active student. It's my nature. She said I was being "disruptive" and made a big deal about it. None of my Yonsei teachers ever had the same complaint, which tells me that Yonsei teachers are a lot more tolerant of true foreign learners.
- There is too much conversation time with other foreigners, and not enough time spent learning actual material. Why should I spend two hours a day of paid instruction time conversing with other foreigners when I could be having the same conversations with the real Koreans with whom I share my house? I mean, not that trying to understand the accents of certain Chinese students isn't fun and all...
- Dictionary use is frowned upon. The teacher wanted us to ask other foreigners for the definitions instead. I got scolded for opening my dictionary.
- They told me before starting the term that if there was a problem, I could switch to another class in the same level. Funny how when there actually was a problem, they said I couldn't. This prevented me from ever knowing if the other teachers were like the bad one I'd had, too.

Most of the stuff in this thread seems to laud Sogang as the best, put down Yonsei for "being too focused on grammar," etc. I disagree. Yonsei brought me up to an advanced level of Korean. Sogang felt like a cult.


Some good criticisms there. Still, your Sogang experience was somewhat limited. If Yonsei did get you to an advanced level of Korean I'd say you chose a good program for your particular learning style. However, I still maintain that Sogang is the best for the greatest number of students while Yonsei will be effective only for a small minority.


Last edited by the_beaver on Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
285285



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rooster_2006 wrote:
Sogang felt like a cult.


I've passed levels one and two at Sogang, and I'm about to start level three. Hail Sogang!! Hopefully if I make it to level 4 I'll be allowed to wear a red cape and chant Korean childrens songs at the moonlit ceremony where we joyfully burn Yonsei Korean language textbooks. I look back on my level 1 initiation rites fondly...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchshime



Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Location: "I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land."

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Working from 3:30 to 10 PM also feasible? Reply with quote

Hey all,

I would like to enroll in Sogang's full time course (M-F). I will likely live in Gangnam/Songpa/Seocho area. If the class is from 9 - 1 and I work from 3:30 - 10 PM, is this overloading my schedule? I am a gyopo (1st generation) and I know very basic Korean such as the alphabet, how to read, and very basic writing, which is why I am so interested in Sogang because I have read that it is conversationally based.

I know that 4 hours a day in addition to teaching M-F from 3:30 - 10 PM is quite a full day. What are people's input/opinions on this? Has anyone tried "overloading" in a similar fashion for a few months? I figure I can push myself hard for a few months so I at least have a decent base of Korean, then change to a private academy (Seoul Korean Language, YBM, Ganada) that is less demanding on my schedule. Of course, I have been waiting to live in Korea my whole life and would be very serious about my job as well as Korean learning.

What are people's thoughts? Also, what is the commute like from Gangnam to Sogang?

Thanks so much everyone!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Johnwayne



Joined: 28 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was kind of curious if anyone could comment on the difference between levels 2 and 3 at Sogang.

I am preparing to enroll in Sogang this coming fall and could potentially place in level 3 since I am already familiar with most, if not all the, of the grammar/vocabulary in level 2 and below. However, my familiarity is rather limited in that it doesn't extend that well to my speaking ability (lacking fluency). Listening and reading and writing are okay, but speaking on the fly is obviously more difficult.

Anyways, I was curious if taking the level 2 course would be beneficial or if I would be bored to tears and should push for level 3. I was told by one person that there are more opportunities to speak in level 2 relative to level 3. Any truth to that? I was planning on the 3 hour a day course, if it makes any difference.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fergalator



Joined: 06 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any information on other Universitys offering courses?

Im living in Anyang.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchshime



Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Location: "I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land."

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone taking the winter course this year? If so I will see you there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rooster_2006



Joined: 14 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnwayne wrote:
I was kind of curious if anyone could comment on the difference between levels 2 and 3 at Sogang.

I am preparing to enroll in Sogang this coming fall and could potentially place in level 3 since I am already familiar with most, if not all the, of the grammar/vocabulary in level 2 and below. However, my familiarity is rather limited in that it doesn't extend that well to my speaking ability (lacking fluency). Listening and reading and writing are okay, but speaking on the fly is obviously more difficult.

Anyways, I was curious if taking the level 2 course would be beneficial or if I would be bored to tears and should push for level 3. I was told by one person that there are more opportunities to speak in level 2 relative to level 3. Any truth to that? I was planning on the 3 hour a day course, if it makes any difference.
I had a friend who was a Chinese teacher (E-2 visa, just like English teachers) from northern China. She balanced her Chinese hagwon job in the evenings and Yonsei University KLI Level 3 in the mornings. She was really worn out. Like, REALLY worn out. She made it through one term but didn't go farther. I'd expect that at the higher levels, it would be almost impossible to balance work and study (Levels 5 and 6 are killers, especially Level 6 since you can't retry if you fail a test -- you have to take the level all over again). Of course Sogang is well known to be an easier program, and your work hours may not be as high as hers, but it'll be a challenge. Gangnam is on the #2 Line, right? So is Shinchon. So I guess the commute is a straight subway commute. That's kind of nice, as long as you actually get a chance to sit down (and you may not, #2 Line is busy). Only problem is that it's quite a walk from the Shinchon subway station to Sogang. Maybe there's a bus that is more pleasant, not sure.

If you really have your life together, you might be able to swing it, but personally I'd recommend going lighter on the Korean -- I have friends who went to Ganada hagwon with good results. Personally I think all the university programs OVERLOAD you with more Korean than you can handle.

I'd recommend just going into Level 3. It's terrible to be in a language class that's below your level. Seriously. I did that for Level 1 -- I already knew 1,000+ words and insisted on "starting from the beginning to get a good foundation" even when my teacher said I could move up. Silly me.

Anyways, good luck. I did Level 6 with several part-time jobs, and I passed by a hair's width and graduated from Yonsei KLI, but it was not an era of my life that I'd care to repeat (although you cannot believe the ecstasy I felt when I learned I had passed the final exam by like a 2% margin on writing and was clear to graduate).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Johnwayne



Joined: 28 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went ahead and pushed for level 3. So far its okay. I find the other students level is about on par with mine.

By the way, anyone considering Sogang in the future might like to know that you are only entitled to a 70% refund of your tuition after the first day. I was not aware of this until after the first day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stevieg4ever



Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would just like to say that I am preparing to attend University this December and would appreciate any feedback on my predicament.

I have about 4 years' experience learning Korean although the overwhelming majority of this has been as a part-time student in London and through self-study. I am TOPIK level 2 although I haven't sat the exam in a long time and I would estimate I am approximately level 3, roughly speaking, and my Korean vocabulary currently stands at approximately 2,000 words. I study everyday and am currently using the College Korean series (Univ. of California press: C. You & M. Rogers) which I have almost finished.

I am torn between Sogang and Yonsei. One big factor that is worrying me is that I have finished the first 6 Sogang books (up to and including 3b) inside out. I am about to start Sogang 4a (advanced series) in London through another part-time course before returning to Korea in December. Another problem is that I have been travelling for about 1 year during which I havenít really spoken a great deal of Korean and, invariably, my speaking and listening proficiency has deteriorated as a result. I am worried that I may not do as well in the oral exam and that might lead me to being placed at a level that doesnít really reflect my true ability.

Any advice would be great! This thread has helped me a lot already as has the poster Beaver (thanks for all of your help!).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Ilsanman



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Location: Bucheon, Korea

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have similar complaints as Rooster 2006. My class was full of hippie Japanese students in their late 20s who hadn't worked a day in their lives and were living off of Dad's money. Even though I was roughly the same age as them, I felt a huge generation gap, and they accused me of being a snob.

No one in the class could take a joke. I had learned a few funny jokes (in Korean of course), not insulting, and everyone got offended. The teacher said I lacked respect.

They purposely low-balled my level and refused to let me try the higher level. When I did a pair-work activity with someone of the higher level than me, I was at least as good as them, if not better.

We had an Iranian student in the class, and the teacher pandered to him a lot. Almost overcompensating. I was trying to teach the class 'What time is it Mr. Wolf' one day in Korean, but Mr. Iran knew a game too, so they quit my game right in the middle of it to play his. And they wonder why I stood to the side, reluctant to join in. Who lacks respect now?

I felt the cult thing too. I didn't take much to it. Also the constant comparison to other programs. I heard, and I quote 'If you are level 4 in Yonsei, you are level 3 here'.

I took an 8 week course at Sookmyung a few years later and enjoyed it ten-fold. If I have a chance (sadly, I don't think I will), I will go back and finish level 7 at Sookmyung.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Murakano



Joined: 10 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

catchshime wrote:


What are people's thoughts? Also, what is the commute like from Gangnam to Sogang?

Thanks so much everyone!


Take the 730 bus from Gangnam. Stops right outside Sogang Uni.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tenninjas



Joined: 25 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using the online resources from Sogang on the recommendation of two friends who have been tutoring me, and I have to say I find it to be quite good material. I am wondering if anyone has mixed use of the books with the online materials, and knows of any correspondence between the two? I was looking through what I could (most of it is shrink wrapped) and the best I could figure is that 1A/1B loosely corresponds to Novice Level I? Does anyone know more? (I'm thinking mostly about the workbooks, although the student books could be useful...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
noraebang



Joined: 05 May 2010

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rooster_2006 wrote:

- There is too much conversation time with other foreigners, and not enough time spent learning actual material. Why should I spend two hours a day of paid instruction time conversing with other foreigners when I could be having the same conversations with the real Koreans with whom I share my house? I mean, not that trying to understand the accents of certain Chinese students isn't fun and all...


So the main "benefit" of Sogang is that you get to converse with people who don't really know the Korean language? I saw a lot of talk about conversation time in other threads about Sogang, but I assumed it was mostly listening to the teacher or replying to her questions, which might be valuable in a class of 10 or less.

I was really interested in Sogang before, but I don't think I'd want to pay for that aspect. If a couple hours out of the day consist of non-native conversation practice, when conversation practice with a native speaker is free anywhere outside school, I'd start to feel gypped. Was the teacher walking around and correcting your spoken mistakes as you conversed?

But I'm also weary when people say Yonsei is "grammar heavy." I like grammar, as long as there are tonnes of native Korean sentence examples of each grammar rule in the book. When you get two sentence examples, and then are asked to apply the grammar rule in 20 different exercises where there are different subtleties that you didn't learn in the examples, you end up ingraining your mistakes and your first language biases into your speech. I don't like forming bad habits like that. I wonder of Yonsei material has a lot of full native language input like full sentences?

I also heard Yonsei was vocabulary heavy, which brings up the same issue. Is it memorizing-isolated-words vocabulary heavy, or vocab-with-sentence-examples vocabulary heavy? Memorizing a dictionary or vocab list isn't very helpful when you don't know how to manipulate the word like a native does--that requires the context of a sentence.

My last question about Yonsei is whether you get enough audio input. Do you spend a lot of time reading stuff that a native speaker, such as the teacher, doesn't read to you? I like to copy the original intonation and pronunciation of native speakers rather than trying to figure out how something should sound by the way it's written. When you read a word you've never heard before, you can mispronounce it in your head and form a habit of mispronouncing that word eventually.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rooster_2006



Joined: 14 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having graduated from Yonsei University KLI, my take on it is that two-year (or 1.5-year) uni programs are too long. I attended the KLI for two years of intensive study, graduating after 1.5 years (intensive study time, not counting breaks), and doing two more terms just to keep my D-4 visa.

Although the first three or four levels are useful, the last few levels are dead weight (and extremely stressful) in which you learn more and more (often useless) vocab from a fire hose -- sometimes 50 words per day. In order to keep up with the curriculum and pass, you have to study only these 50 words. After memorizing 50 words, you'll be too tired to learn words that you think are useful.

In my opinion, the best method is to study Korean academically (in a uni or hagwon) until you hit around 5,000 words/TOPIK Level 4/KLPT Level 4. After that, MAINSTREAM YOURSELF.

Some people think years spent in a classroom with grammar books, doing "grammar translation" is the best way. These people are wrong.

On the other side of the coin, many people seem to think that going to a bar and getting drunk with the locals everyday with a phrase book is the best way to learn a language. Once again, WRONG.

I think the best method is a hybrid of the two methods. Do academic study for a year, then after attaining upper-intermediate proficiency, mainstream yourself. Sign up for hagwon classes in cooking, art, technology etc. alongside Koreans. Join clubs. Sign up for Korean online games. Rent an apartment with Koreans. Get a job that isn't teaching English, like at a restaurant or a 7-Eleven. Scheduling yourself with tons of immersion activities is probably more useful after the initial year of study than another year of dry study.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> FAQ All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 4 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International