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영어로 글 잘 쓰는 법 - Solution (2)

어떤가요? 좀 더 설득력 있게 글의 구성과 논리와 수사를 바꿀 수 있었나요? 다른 사람의 글을 읽으면서 글쓴이가 말하고자 하는 주제(theme)가 무엇이고, 그 주제를 효과적으로 전달하기 위해 어떤 논리적 전개를 사용하고 있고, 읽는 사람의 마음을 사로잡기 위해 사용하고 있는 수사가 무엇이고, 결과적으로 글의 구성이 어떤 식으로 되어있는가를 파악하는 것이 바로 독해(reading comprehension)입니다. 결국 글을 잘 읽기 위해서는 반드시 글을 써보아야 합니다.

이 글을 읽는 모든 학생이 영어로 읽고 쓰는 과정을 즐기기 바랍니다. 고등학교 2학년 때 이 글을 작성한 학생은 관정 이종환 재단의 장학금(1년에 5만 달러씩 4년 동안 20만 달러를 지급합니다)을 받으면서 미국 최고의 명문 대학에 다녔습니다. 고등학교 2학년 때 이 정도로 자세히 조사해서 영어로 자신의 생각을 펼치는 훈련을 한 학생에게는 당연한 보답이겠지요. 아래는 제가 고쳐준 원고입니다.

이 글을 쓴 학생이 작성한 원래의 글과 자신이 생각하는 더 좋은 글과 제가 고쳐준 글을 비교하면서 글쓰기 전략에 대해 생각해보기 바랍니다.

Three main reasons for the deterioration of Korean students’ scholastic ability and the way to cope with them

The deterioration of Korean students’ scholastic ability has loomed ahead and put many people into the abyss of anxiety. It seems that the decline of the scholastic ability represents itself not as a problem confined to students of certain age but as a problem for all students. Though some argue that Korean students’ scholastic ability hasn’t actually declined, we cannot help disputing that allegation, with many apparent announcements based on the objective survey.

One step we should take before arguing that Korean students’ scholastic ability has dropped is to define what the scholastic ability means. Formally the scholastic ability could be defined as an ability to gain knowledge through some kind of education. Although it is unreasonable to measure the scholastic ability with the past standard at the time when social and cultural atmospheres are changing rapidly, the fundamental meaning of the scholastic ability, an essential ability to acquire from education the knowledge to manage a better life, has never been changed.

Since the human resources are critical for a country’s future competitive edge, some decline of Korean students’ scholastic ability presents a large burden to the future of our country. The overall depreciation of Korean students’ scholastic abilities has not only been pointed out by many professors and teachers who have spent long time teaching students, but also by many test results conducted by many prestigious test centers, worrying about our country’s future.

In elementary schools a large majority of first and second graders receive 20~30 points out of 100 in dictation tests. Half of the 9th graders who took a scholarly rating test conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education in 2002 got the score below a failing mark of 60 in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Also according to the scholastic achievement evaluation results announced by the Korean Institute of Curriculum & Evaluation in 2001, more than 40% of students got the score below the basic scholastic ability level in Korean, English, Social studies, Mathematics, and Chinese characters.

Recent series of tests for measuring freshmen’s basic scholastic ability at the Seoul National University also show the continuously lowering spike of the scholastic ability clearly. A few years ago, in the Freshmen Math test of our country’s most prestigious university, 7.7% of freshmen declaring science and engineering majors got below 30 points out of 100, and most of them did not pass the test. In addition, for the TEPS, Test of English Proficiency developed by the Seoul National University, which must be taken by every freshman, on an average, more than 15% of the students get below 500 points out of 990 every year. It means that more than 15% of the freshmen are not eligible to take any English courses offered by their university.

As a result, universities are lowering their course level and dividing classes into superior and inferior classes. Even in some faculties of science and technology, students are required to take additional basic courses to supplement their lack of ground knowledge in their field of study. Many other case studies demonstrate the deterioration of the scholastic ability, especially in the fundamental subjects.

What is the cause of this deterioration of the basic scholastic abilities? Several major reasons are eminent.

First, we could point out the education policy, which has been disregarding our current educational conditions and just mimicking the American and Japanese education system. It is said that our current education system has imitated that of Japan. Ever since the Japanese turned from the notorious injection-oriented education to the liberal education system, the overall required quantity of studying has diminished. The Japanese began to emphasize students’ initiatives and self-study efforts so much that Japanese students have neglected other more important educational factors. For example, faculties’ leadership in studying has been weakened, ultimately lowering students’ scholastic ability.

Our country is facing the similar problem at the same time of the introduction of the 7th education curriculum. Although the 7th education curriculum aims at the open, active, and student-centered education, pre-existing deficiency in educational conditions and passive irresponsiveness of students have led to the overall decrease in both of the quantity and the quality of studying.

The second reason should be found in our educational practices focusing excessively on the university entrance exam. The predominant academic clique of the Korean social structure has triggered off extreme competition for the university admission. Every single student and school has swarmed only into entering universities so that the school curriculums reflect just these interests. In almost all secondary schools, teacher-centered cramming lessons and memorizations are prevalent, instead of student-participating discussions and in-depth studies. Forced studies by teachers are replacing self-reliant studies. Students are becoming the problem-solving machines merely for the CSAT(College Scholastic Ability Test)-level questions, in spite of the arrival of the revolutionarily new age for creativity and originality. It would be hard to anticipate any growth of a student’s scholastic ability in this kind of education system.

Finally, we might have to think of the equalization policy for the secondary education. Opinions are sharply divided over how much the equalization policy affects the lowering scholastic ability. However, if we look at the analysis of the equalization policy’s effect on the scholastic achievement executed by Kyung Hee University, we can recognize the lower-level groups show higher scholastic achievements under the equalization policy, yet the other way around for the upper-level groups. The PISA(Programme for International Student Assessment) result in 2003 showed that even though ordinary students’ scholastic ability was high, the upper 5% students’ scholastic ability was low. It may be the result of the equalization policy. It has played a special role in slipping down upper-level students’ scholastic ability.

In general high schools, even though there are many students wanting to study, conditions for studying have yet to be prepared. Discussions or researching classes that could increase both students’ logically reasoning and presenting ability and that could inspire students’ intellectual curiosity are rare. Some students even bother other students who want to study.

Even if the 7th education curriculum encourage students to choose the subjects depending on their aptitude and competence, in reality, lack of teachers or only one teacher teaching several subjects makes each class uninteresting and superficial. Consequently, students are losing their interests in learning. They are giving up their desires to learn, which ultimately leads to upper-level students’ lowering scholastic ability.

On the contrary, in the case of independent private high schools, foreign language high schools, and science high schools, students would be able to pursue their academic desires much more readily. Since the students with the similar academic ardor get together, each student could benefit from learning together. Through their active participation and discussion, students’ interests in specialized or general learning would be inspired and they could compare various opinions with their own. Teachers also stimulate students and are stimulated by them and enthusiastically lead them to deepen their knowledge. By attending these schools, one could carry out self-leading education, acquiring more general knowledge and deepening the interests towards specialist learning.

Equalization? Well, it might be needed in elementary schools. However, our equalization policy that causes students to lose their interests in learning might have to be revised in order to increase Korean students’ scholastic ability.

아주 잘 쓴 Essay이다. 특히 전반부는 나무랄 데 없이 잘 썼다. 그런데 후반부로 갈수록 글이 집중력을 잃고, 문법적 오류가 쏟아져 나오면서 비논리적으로 되어 간다. 아무래도 우리 OO이가 좀 더 긴 호흡으로 글을 쓰는 훈련, 또는 좀 더 긴 시간을 집중해서 사유하는 능력을 키워야 할 때인 것 같다.

그리고 잔소리 하나. OO이가 원래 쓴 문장과 내가 고친 부분을 낱낱이 면밀하게 비교해서 어디를 어떻게 고쳤는지 검토하고, 왜 그렇게 고쳤을까 하는 의문을 지니기 바란다. 틀린 부분은 당연히 고쳐야 하지만, OO이의 문장이 틀리지 않았는데도 고친 부분은 내가 글을 쓰는 방식과 OO이가 글을 쓰는 방식이 어떻게 다른가를 꼼꼼하게 살피기 바란다. 지금 내가 하는 말이 결코 OO이에게 나처럼 글을 쓰라거나, 혹은 내가 고친 문장이 더 좋은 문장이라는 것을 의미하지는 않는다. 오히려 글을 쓸 때, 한번 더 생각하여 좀 더 본질에 접근하는 통찰을 얻고, 또 좀 더 논리적으로 사유를 전개하고, 마지막으로 글을 읽는 사람의 마음에 와 닿는 문장을 만들기 위한 과정이라고 생각하기 바란다.

자신이 쓴 글을 다른 사람이 고치고, 그 고친 글을 또 다시 자신이 고치면서, 자신의 원래 쓴 글을 뛰어 넘는 새로운 “글쓰기”를 몸에 익히는 것이 어쩌면 글쓰기의 핵심인지도 모르겠다. 어떤 사람들(G.F.W. Hegel and the Hegelians)은 이러한 우리의 사유 전개 방식과 행동 방식을 통틀어 “변증법적 과정(dialectic course)”이라고도 한다만, “正(thesis)-反(antithesis)-合(synthesis)”으로 계속되는 과정을 밟는 것이 우리의 삶 자체이고, 어쩌면 인간의 역사를 넘는 우주의 역사에도 적용될 수 있는 진리인지도 모르겠다.

하여튼, 잘 쓴 글이다만, 다시 한번 면밀히 OO이가 원래 쓴 글과 내가 고친 부분을 비교하면서 공부하기 바란다. 그래서 우리 OO 이가 나보다 훨씬 더 훌륭한 글을 쓸 수 있는 날이 빨리 오기를 진심으로 바란다.