On a Joint Mission Towards the Future of Foreign Language Learning – NCCU Received a Presidential Visit by Busan University of Foreign Studies
|Group photo of the NCCU and BUFS representatives. From left 4, BUFS President, Dr. Giyoung Jung. Photo by OIC.|
|BUFS delegates visited Dean of the Office of Academic Affairs Prof. Naiming Yu and Prof. Shih-hui Li from the Program in Japan Studies. Photo by OIC.|
|BUFS representatives visited the Department of Korean Language and Culture. Photo by OIC.|
by Christian Schoppmeyer /
OIC Campus Reporter
National Chengchi University was being honored with a presidential visit by the Busan University of Foreign Studies (BUFS) on June 25. During the meeting, both sides engaged in discussions on the major challenges and opportunities that the advancement of technology is bringing to foreign language departments. As the internet and its various sources for foreign language learning offer students unprecedented opportunities to learn a language independently, both universities acknowledge the necessity to explore new avenues on how languages are to be taught. That is, to embrace these new developments instead of competing with them.
The newly appointed President of Busan University of Foreign Studies, Dr. Giyoung Jung, chose NCCU to be his first official international visit signaling a strong interest in furthering and elevating the relationship with NCCU. Other delegates from BUFS include the BUFS' Director of the Center for International Affairs Prof. Hiranaka Yukari, Secretary of the President Mr. Ryu Inho, and the Manager of the Center for International Affairs Mr. Yili Wang. During the luncheon hosted by NCCU President Prof. Edward Chow (周行一) and Vice President for international affairs, Prof. Mei-Fen Chen (陳美芬), representatives from both institutions keenly shared their views and strategies to tackle the issue at hand.
BUFS President Jung particularly emphasized his fundamental belief that software and machines may translate texts faster than a human mind. Yet, they nevertheless cannot express a sentence's meaning as adequately as a human translator could do. Even at the current state of technical advancement, software still lacks the ability of understanding specific language nuances and the culture behind written and spoken words. Hence, human interpretation as well as negotiation skills remain indispensable.
As self-learning language software and related tools are however widely available to everyone interested, BUFS President Jung considers one of the key roles of any foreign language professor is to motivate students. In this regards, and in order to spark even further interest and motivation among foreign language learners, the Busan University of Foreign Studies applies the rather unique “tandem concept” to most of its classrooms. Through this specific method, the university derives benefits from its large international student body by pairing local and international students together in the same class.
In order to increase the competitiveness of foreign language students, BUFS strives to encourage their students to learn additional skills in the field of business and information technology. In this way, it can be ensured that students cultivate multiple talents apart from the mastery of a language.
After luncheon, BUFS delegates also visited the Office of International Cooperation, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Department of Korean Language and Culture. As BUFS is particularly known for its programs in Japanese Studies, President Jung proposed the increase of student exchanges between both universities' Japanese departments and master program in Japan study. President Jung believes that by coming to study at BUFS, NCCU undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Japanese would not only be able to benefit from BUFS' expertise in this field, but could also learn Korean simultaneously. BUFS delegates and NCCU professors all agree that being able to speak Japanese, Korean and Chinese would definitely guarantee a very positive outlook for foreign language students on the employment market.