|“Friends” members, who are enjoying the camp at Sacheon|
How about listening about “Friends” English conversation club? This club is a medium-sized study group, which is being acknowledged through more than 3 years of history, among English conversation group around Changwon University. They gather on Sunday afternoon, during the quietest time in the library, and have English conversations, share job vacancies, and devote themselves for self-development without any failure. “Friends” is helping many students even though it is operated for free, and surprisingly, the head of “Friends” was born in Changwon. Here, we will meet the main person, the head of “Friends” English conversation club.
Q: Nice to meet you. Firstly, please introduce about what kind place “Friends” is.
A: Nice to meet you. I am Jihun Jeong and I graduated from the Management Department of Changwon University. As you mentioned earlier, “Friends” is a place for English conversation meeting, but this is also a place with a role to support people in difficult times of each person’s life. Most students firstly joined in order to improve their conversation skills. However, looking at students who have been together for a year, it can be said that through “Friends”, psychological stability is mainly established. For example, huge psychological disturbances experienced by job seekers, who are preparing to find jobs, failure through many curriculum vitae letters and interviews, and frustrating experiences. But, at this time, when there is someone checking my curriculum vitae letter and giving support beside me, won’t I be strengthened? “Friends” is that kind of place. This is a place for getting good scores, which is necessary, while living students’ lives, but sometimes this is also a place to rely on each other like very close friends during difficult situations and being a solid supporter for each other.
Q : I am curious about why you created “Friends”.
A : I had an experience to somehow be happy while doing voluntary activities during my university life. Through it, helping someone was not only added to my life’s value, but a value of giving happiness gifts in other people’s lives was naturally being built. I thought about what I can do for students after they get their jobs, at the end, my thoughts of helping students to have their best English skills during university encouraged me to make this meeting.
Q: How are you running this meeting?
A: I thought that the most basic thing in English conversation is vocabulary. For example, people may not forget what “Apple” is, when this word is really understood completely and carved into their minds. Our studying method is helping people by using this kind of various words in conversations continuously and repeatedly, reminding people, and making the words to be theirs.
If someone can use a difficult word easily, that word is not longer difficult, like “Apple” which is simple and easy, he or she can use it in more complicated ways. To explain in more detail about this method, it is started by asking each meeting participant to select 5 words, and then they share it with each other, looking for derived words, and using them in conversations. After that, a test is given.
The reason for giving the test is to increase the concentration level during 2 hours of the conversation meeting, by confirming each person’s English level, doing our best and providing small but appropriate service.
Besides the English conversation using vocabulary, we are also doing agreement and disagreement discussions and presentations in English by each person. On the same day, we decide and announce the topic for the next week, and each person has one week to think and prepare for it. At the meeting time, English sentences, prepared by each person, are presented in many ways and shared in front of other people.
For example, simple topics like ‘Where do you want to go this year?’, and ‘What do you think about studying at a coffee shop? Agreement vs disagreement’.
Q: I heard that you also share job vacancy information. What kind of information do you share?
A : Currently our “Friends” meeting is held together with seniors from Lotte (students from the class of 2005), GS (‘09), CECO (Denso 풍성) (‘09), 53rd lawyer (‘07), and they are providing information about job seeking and useful information about company life after getting a job to their juniors. Actually, because many students among “Friends” members are preparing for job seeking, there are also many students who got jobs after their registration. For example, of registered students in 2016, there were 8 people looking for job, and there were 4 who got jobs and started their new lives as company employees. “Friends” members share their interview experiences, various information about tests which they are preparing for, spontaneously or during the meeting, especially by using our “Friends” Kakaotalk group to gather people to go for a job seeking camp. Based on what I know, people are also gathering to join the “Dream Catch” job seeking exhibition together on April 7th. Last year, there was also another experience. I heard that 3 students of “Friends” gathered and joined life invention competition hosted by Changwon city; they cooperated, won second prize, and were awarded with the Head of Changwon city award.
Q : As a senior, would you please say something to your juniors?
A: As a senior, I want to say something to freshmen. I think that it is good if you don’t just stay inside the campus, but you go and join international activities. Club activities which match your interests, international volunteering or visiting activities are also good. Our “Friends” can also become one of those activities, right? Personal connections with seniors, English skill improvement, and job seeking information sharing are simply not listed as a qualification we have, but of course they may be a help sometimes. It means that it may be felt also as ‘God’s move’.
Lee Hun, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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