Blog IELTS Improve Communication Skills

Improve Communication Skills

Under the increasing influence of globalization, many Asian governments have begun university reforms to enhance educational competitiveness and national competence in a globalizing economy. Subsequently, internationalization has impelled the restructuring of higher education institutions in a number of Asian nations, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan [1]. Individual governments have taken different approaches and measures to enhance the competitiveness of their institutions of higher education. The Chinese government has taken quantitative and qualitative measures such as the massification of higher education and the development of world-class universities since the mid-1990s [2]. ·   With financial support from the government, Chinese universities have actively recruited high-quality academics from around the world to improve their educational quality [2]. The Japanese government has had concerns about the diminishing positions of their universities and has supported international collaborations and exchanges to facilitate the repositioning of Japanese higher education institutions [3]. In the case of Singapore, the government has carried out extensive university reforms with the intention of establishing the island country as a center of education in the Asia-Pacific area. To achieve this goal, the government has promoted the establishment of branch campuses of reputable foreign universities in addition to the reformation of university curricula [4]. In South Korea, university reforms have resulted in the drastic expansion of higher education [5]. However, there have been criticisms that this expansion has not been accompanied with qualitative improvement. It has been noted, for instance, that faculties’ research capabilities fall behind those in the world’s best universities. The Korean government has also adopted internationalization as an important tool to enhance the competitiveness of higher education and research [6], [7]. It has taken several major initiatives, such as the Study Korea Project, to increase the number of foreign students in universities; as a result, the number sharply increased from 4682 in 2001 to 49,270 in 2007 and continues to show robust growth [6]. Moreover, the government has actively promoted English-medium instruction (EMI), that is, English used as the language of instruction, in particular, where English is not the native language of the students. An increasing number of universities in non-English-speaking countries across the world are offering classes in English [8]–[10], but the Korean government has been particularly aggressive in its drive for the implementation of EMI. It began providing financial support for institutions adopting an EMI policy following the Study Korea Project of 2004 [6]. In less than two years, the number of EMI-offering universities increased to 2.2%, of the 410,000 university courses [6]. In 2011, 30% of all classes offered by the universities in the Seoul metropolitan area and 10% of those in other areas were conducted in English [11]. In particular, Korean science and engineering schools have been leading the adoption of EMI. The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), the nation’s most reputed science and engineering schools, have achieved the highest rates of EMI classes among Korean universities. In 2006, KAIST introduced an all-out EMI policy that intended to dictate all classes to be conducted in English; in 2010, POSTECH was offering 88% undergraduate classes and 95% graduate classes in English [12]. Under these circumstances where English is given unprecedented emphasis by Korean science and engineering schools, this study aims to provide a thorough examination of English communication education for graduate students at a Korean engineering school, to determine their English needs, and to propose comprehensive English communication programs and services in the hopes that the knowledge can be applied to graduate engineering programs in Korea and in other non-English-speaking environments.

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