Korean Daily Highlights KSU and Asian Studies Program (English translation)


KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 18, 2014) —  Korean Learning Craze on Georgia Campus with ‘Korean Wave’

American students study Korean with great fervor; they list a flood of names of K-pop idol groups, dramas, and movies; female students exceed male counterparts in enrollment, possibly attributed to the femininity image of Korean Wave (also known as Hallyu in Korean, referring to the phenomenon of South Korean popular culture and entertainment rolling over the world).

The United States, known as a ‘melting pot’, is the biggest heterogeneous, multicultural nation in the world. Ironically, however, Americans are notoriously indifferent to foreign cultures or languages. In fact, a common belief among Americans in general is that foreign language study is a waste of time, as current US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is concerned about ‘America’s foreign language deficit’. The students taking Korean classes at Kennesaw State University are different. As Millennials, they pick up the slack in cultural understanding and linguistic communication that U.S. has been lacking.

Those students interviewed by the reporter (Kyla Rowe, Sara Lafferty, Nakeya Tyson, Vincent Brown, and Olabamipe Fashola) said in unison that learning Korean is much easier than people may think. They continued their authentic testimonials with it takes more or less than a week to be able to read any Korean text, although they still find speaking Korean challenging. Like most learners of Korean, they became interested in learning Korean through South Korean popular culture that has been sweeping other Asian countries to begin with and all over the world nowadays. Vincent pointed out that K-pop is viewed as women’s music among young Americans because of its stereotyped femininity image and Korean dramas and fashion also display feminine traits overall. “It’s time to change its self- or stereotyped-image”, he added.

For the original Korean article, please visit: http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=2877909


 “Korean Language Program is a good sign for the future of KSU”

Interview with Dr. Dorff, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences revealed KSU's launching of the Korean Language Program, the first in Georgia. This program was created with the hope of providing students with internship opportunities through Korean entrepreneurs in the metro Atlanta area.

Although the number of Korean heritage students is much less than that of UGA or Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University established the Korean Language Program last year, the first time in Georgia. Most students currently enrolled in Korean classes at KSU are non-heritage students and a few heritage students are also enrolled with hope of developing their Korean proficiency.

Dean Dorff explained that the foreign language programs at KSU focus on practical communicative language skills as well as literature-based reading and writing skills. He believes that students with foreign language ability can have more and better career opportunities than those without any foreign language study when they graduate. In pursuit of this generally agreed upon goal, foreign language proficiency for the majority of our students is highly appreciated. Korean classes also prepare students for their future career by not only language instruction but also cultural lessons incorporated throughout their course of study so that they can acquire the skills necessary for comprehensive and effective communication in the multicultural environments. The Korean Language Program will also enhance immersion opportunities for the students, for example internship opportunities utilizing local Korean entrepreneurs. Symposium on Asia-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO) organized by Asian Studies Program at KSU is one of the best immersion opportunities for students to exchange information and build networks with aspiring business people, scholars, and government officials from North America and Asia.

Dean Dorff also mentioned that KSU will offer a BA degree in Asian Studies presumably starting fall 2015 and expressed his hope for support from the Korean government, as the Japanese government, and to some extent, the Chinese government already supported the degree program.

Kennesaw State University has been working on the consolidation with the Southern Polytechnic State University. Upon completion of the consolidation, KSU and SPSU will be officially consolidated as Kennesaw State University, and KSU will expand its scope and size even further. “As engineering programs included, I expect more Korean heritage students in the area to attend KSU”, he concluded.

For the original Korean article, please visit: http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=2877928