A hagwon a day keeps yelling moms and bad grades away, so goes a common misconception among many Korean students. SIS has provided the student body with a variety of easy-to-access educational resources in order to enhance students’ writing skills. Specifically, the Writing Center is open every day during both office hours and activity period to all high school students wanting to improve, receive useful advice regarding writing assignments from English department staff members, and even form closer bonds with teachers. Unfortunately, students often ignore this valuable school resource and turn instead to hagwons, which subsequently can lead to a lack of independence.
There is no question about the benefits one can receive from going to the writing center. Yet, many students choose to hagwons –which, needless to say, costs money – over resources available at school. This is a prominent issue in Korea, as the educational culture here often triggers students to value hagwons over school. Such problems can not only degrade teachers’ reputations and educational values but also create a barrier that obstructs student-teacher communication.
Admittedly, an increasing dependence on hagwons cannot be extinguished overnight. Hagwons are generally open for longer hours and allow students to acquire additional help when needed. However, students should realize that writing centers are worthy opportunities that should be taken advantage of, as they allow students to gain a better understanding of what school teachers specifically want.
Hagwons in Korea, on the other hand, exist for only a few purposes: “Students should be able to face challenges on their own and be able to receive feedback from school teachers themselves.”
to pinpoint important details, help students with their school work, and give further guidance on the subjects than classes in school can within a short period of time. This is the crux of the problem. Students should be able to face challenges on their own and be able to receive feedback from teachers themselves. Although school teachers may assign difficult assignments from time to time, they are meant to be manageable with the use of school resources. Using them will bolster students’ independence and prevent them from relying too much on outside resources.
The only possible way students might start using these school resources more often would be if the school actively promotes the benefits of such resources. For example, through the Writing Center, teachers can help students overcome struggles regarding their writing. This would decrease the overreliance on hagwons as a place where all problems can be solved. Once the problems are settled, students should utilize school resources more frequently, as they offer interaction with teachers and teach independence.