The current status of YU study groups
There are about 50 formal study groups that focus on finding jobs supported by the Office of Placement Services.There are also dozens of study groups supported by individual departments. In the case of informal study groups, theyhave meetings for achieving specific goals, like attaining high scores on the TOEIC, OPIc, and SSAT exams. You can getinformation about these groups through the free message board on the YU official homepage and notices on bulletinboards in each college. The Observer covered two of these informal study groups. One is ”Morning Attendance CheckStudy,” and the other is the English conversation study group “Rainbow.”
Morning Attendance Check Study
• New group started in December, 2012• Every morning, members meet and check theirattendance at the central library basement floor at8:30 a.m. except on weekends• After the attendance check, late arrivals are fined1,000 won and absentees are fined 3,000 won• Members come from various majors.During exam terms each member studies for theirtests and during vacation they study TOEIC,employment preparation, and contest preparation
English conversation study group “Rainbow”
• It was formed in 1987, and it has a long history andtradition• Most members have received perfect scores on TOEIC,TOEIC Speaking, and OPIc exams over the last five years, andsome have been chosen as TOEIC scholarships students• More than 10 members have been picked for the GSP(Global Study Program) and as exchange students• During the semester: 7:20 a.m. - 8:50 a.m., only onweekdaysDuring the vacation months: Mon,Wed,Fri, 7:20 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.
Schedule and curriculum of “Rainbow”
From 7:20 a.m. - 7:35 a.m., there is a one minute speech. It is a free talking theme, and members talk aboutwhatever they want like current events, an outline of books they would like to introduce, interesting articles andmovies.From 7:36 a.m. - 8:05 a.m., there is a listening section. They do not prepare any specific teaching materials forlistening, but on an appointed day, a specific member has to prepare listening materials from CNN news and Englishtests in advance. Listening lasts for about 25 minutes, and before they solve some simple questions, they grasp thepoint by listening to the clip 2 or 3 times. Finally, they take dictation and read each sentence aloud.From 8:10 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., there is S-box. S-box means question box. Each member writes questions or keywordsin English on a piece of paper and submits them. In turn, they pick up a note from the box, read it, and then answer the questions. During this time, they can check their basic English ability, response time, and overall ability.From 8:21 a.m. - 8:45 a.m., there is discussion and debate. A selected member introduces a controversial topic for about 2-5 minutes, and then members share their opinions for 10 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, they discuss or debate the topic in turn. They have covered controversial topics like nuclear energy, economic democratization, sexual assault, and the Arab Spring, to light topics that reflect current trends, like happiness, bucket lists and health.
Morning Attendance Check Study leader
Senior, Visual Communication Design
Q) Why did you organize this study group?
A) In December of last year, after I finished graduate work at an art exhibition, my schedule suddenly opened up. I needed to have more structure in my life so I organized this study group.
Q) What has been changed or affected through the Morning Attendance Check Study group?
A) We only arrive at a fixed time, but we feel a sense of accomplishment. Before this group, I did not have any appointments in the morning. I was not active in the morning. However, after I started this group, I have become a morning person. Due to the work, I put in to my study through this group, I reached the finals of a contest and I have read various books. I am sure other members have also changed.
Senior, Business & Economics
Q) How do you select members each semester?
A) We select our members through an interview over the course of 1 or 2 weeks after the opening day of school. It varies according to the number of people who apply. Under the framework, they have to introduce themselves in English, and answer 3 basic English questions. The questions are simple, such as “which colors do you like the most among the 7 rainbow colors?” but the full details are secret. Current members will ask applicants questions and they also have to answer in English. Following the interview in English, applicants are asked detailed questions in Korean that have not been covered yet. They can also ask questions about this study group. This may take 20 minutes per person.
Q) What are the strong points of “Rainbow?”
A) Making comparisons is difficult because the curriculum of most study groups is similar, and I don't participate in other groups. However our study group is well established. Every year, our alumni meet with current students. It is called “Rainbow Day.” Current members get employment information from seniors on “Rainbow Day.”
In spite of not receiving formal support and not being well established the Morning Attendance Check Study group has a unique approach. In contrast, “Rainbow” has a long history and proven results. Aside from these groups, there are many other study groups that recruit members every semester. Take advantage of these opportunities while you can!
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