Found in Translation

In the month of June, Marlboro tends to have a serious lull in activity other than the day-to-day operations of the college. So it was a nice break from the routine to have a delegation of seven faculty and administration members from Daejeon University, in South Korea, visit the campus on Wednesday. It was the last stop on a three-day tour of colleges and universities in the northeastern United States that also included Dartmouth, Wesleyan and Tufts. Seongsan Chae, a professor of business information statistics who acted as the chief translator, said Marlboro’s Clear Writing Program was singled out by their college president, Lim Yong-Cheol. The delegation wanted to learn more about the program and see how it might be incorporated into their school’s methods.

Daejeon University is a private university located in a town of the same name-just like Marlboro. The educational ideology statement on their website talks about “nurturing democratic citizens” and “people with creativity” toward a “society with justice”-similar to Marlboro. What’s different is Daejeon’s scope: their faculty size (230) approaches Marlboro’s total student population. Could Marlboro’s approach to teaching writing to all students across all disciplines translate in a school with 10,000 students?

Answering that question did not seem daunting to Chae and his colleagues. After all, as writing professor John Sheehy told them, “We teach students to write for an audience larger than just their writing teachers,” and they certainly had a large pool of non-writing teachers at their disposal. The group will return to Daejeon with materials and ideas on how they might do just that.
-Chris Lenois