These days society requires English is essential to all people regardless of age. Commonly English is divided into two things in Korea. Those are TOEIC and Practical English. These are the best valuable English in Korea. For this reason, it seems that the topic of personal preference for either Practical English or TOEIC is given to me. Therefore I will write my opinions about this topic.
If someone asked me “Which system (Practical English or TOEIC) do you think actually develops better English skills?” like this, I will choose Practical English without any worrying. The reason for this answer is based on the essence that why do we have to learn English. Based on the essence, I think Practical English will be more effective in improving real English ability. Why do we study English? Let’s think about it. We are living in global era now.
So meeting with foreigners is growing. We should talk with them without awkwardness.
For natural conversation with foreigners we have to study English. This is the essence why do we have to study English. So, what do we need to talk to them? Skills for solving English exam? No. Surely no. We have to study basic grammar and how to talk to them in English. TOEIC can be useful in learning grammar, of course. But we don’t communicate in paper! Conversation is actually speaking through words that come out of the mouth. For this reason, Practical English can develop English skills better than TOEIC. The reason I think like this is because of the experience that I have studied both of them(TOEIC and Practical English).
The impression of TOEIC was “I just need to learn strategies to solve test questions.”. But the impression of Practical English was quite different. I studied at SDA Language institute. And I have studied Practical English since I came to university. During learning Practical English, actually more and more I speak and listen English direct I could have confidence and understand how to talk in English. For this, I could have conversation with foreigner with no problem. Namely, I think that Practical English is more appropriate for the essence of learning English. And based on my experience, Practical English is more effective in improving real English skill.
Next, I will focus on Practical English because I chose this. It is important to people as much as TOEIC vs Practical English is whether learning by Korean or foreign is effective. I think it depends on the time of learning rather than choosing just one. Learning from Korean is more effective for people who start to learn English. And after this starting point, I think it is better to learn from a foreigner than Korean. (Korean teachers have to teach students only English, of course.) Because, Korean teachers know better than foreign teachers what we have lack and hard work at some points. Korean teachers have also learned English, so they can understand our situations easily. So for the people who start to learn English, Korean teachers will be able to be helpful more than foreign teachers. I think people can understand a basic things about English like this ‘how to start the English’. After making a basic, it is better to learn from foreign teachers. Above of all, pronunciation part will be more effective if people study with foreign teachers. I think there is a difference in pronunciation that cannot be overcome between Korean and foreign. We have to reduce this difference, but I think there will be a limit if we learn from Korean teachers. But if we learn from with foreign teachers, we can be able to reduce that difference. Pronunciation will improve if we listen and follow it frequently. Second, I think English is culture. English has its own rules from its history. But we can’t understand all things about English. Namely, we can’t understand the each word’s real meaning or the each grammar’s real meaning. When we speak in English, it may be different between the meaning of the word or grammar we think and the meaning of the word or grammar they know. People called it ‘nuance’. In fact, I think ‘nuance’ is the most important thing. The way to speak or speaking skill is important, but in order to communicate the exact meaning, it is important to understand the word’s real meaning rather than memorize it. As Korean understand 100% of Korean language, foreigners understand 100% of their language, English, so we can learn very effectively. For these reason(pronunciation, nuance), it is good to study with foreign teachers.
I have more opinions about Practical English. I want to write about aspects that I liked to do in Practical English class. Umm.. it’s not different with that I said earlier. It was very attractive to learn English as a culture. In fact, I enjoyed this most while studying in the university and academy during the winter vacation. So all classes were interesting. Times were really fast in these classes. Learning about the word’s or grammar’s real meaning that I hadn’t known before was interesting. I could know the joy of the learning. Especially, learning about grammar’s real meaning was very helpful for me. After this activity, I thought like this “Grammar is quite easy!.”. It’s important thing. Understanding grammar is essential to people who want to speak English more well. In this part, learning grammar’s real meaning is helpful for me. And I remember another one. That is “Talking with friends.”. Actually, conversation with teacher is little hard for me. And I think that the conversation with teacher is process of learning, but conversation with friends is process of reviewing and applying. Learning conversation was interesting for me but, reviewing and applying conversation was more interesting. Through this activity, I could understand the learned in the class. I always used the learning content in the conversation with friends. More and more I practice in real, I could feel “I fully understand this”. And simply, it was just fun. We don’t have perfect or great English ability but we tired to do our best. It was good to try to communicate in only English. Not Korean. Finally I have last thing that I liked in my Practical English classes. Presentation assignment was really good, either. It was good experience. Although the presentation was not great because of tired and so many things to do, it was good for me. Especially, in the process of writing a script and repairing with Bobby I could know what I lack and what to fix. Through this process there was a lot of improvement as I rewrite the script, prepared my presentation part(making PPT), and practiced speaking. So, speaking ability was little improved and I could have confidence. I could know “I can do it.” In conclusion, because the classes were interesting and I had a confidence in doing English, I loved Practical English and I’m loving it now either.
And I think Practical English has more benefits except some things that I mentioned in this posting. I like Practical English’s benefit. So I personally wish that society would turn into atmosphere that encourages Practical English more than TOEIC. I don’t know what TOEIC means. Actually, I think TOEIC is strategies for the test. So I want to study not for strategies, I want to study real English. And society needs to be changed. If the society changes like I wanted to, major company will gain more good things. Because, in a global society people who are able to speak English practically, not a person who is good at English just in the test, will be helpful for the society. Actually in the hospital, there are quite many nurses that can’t guide for foreigners exactly. But if society changes, there will almost no people who can’t guide in English exactly. However someone can ask like this “If there is no TOEIC, how do you evaluate a person’s English skills?”. I can answer confidently. We can prove ourselves through the Practical English. Through some grammar checking and speaking checking, we can evaluate English skills, enough.
I don’t know why people want to evaluate English skills as a TOEIC. But I can’t change the reality right away. So I should study TOEIC. But, I will not study just TOEIC. I will continue studying Practical English as much as I can do. Because my final goal is working at a hospital in Australia, I don’t stop studying Practical English. For final goal, I will graduate SDA Language institute first.
Thank you for reading 🙂