▲ Multicultural participants share fun facts about their countries at the English Quiz Champ show. Photo courtesy KCTV
There’s a TV game show hosted by KCTV Jeju that’s a chance for students to have fun while practicing their English skills – and it can be exciting for the audience too.
The English Quiz Champ first aired in July 2007. KCTV recently hosted a special edition, The Challenge Quiz Champ, to celebrate the one hundredth episode and to raise awareness for the program.
The English Quiz Champ was created to motivate students on the island to learn English and also to help improve their general foreign language abilities. The program was set up by the Jeju International Scholarship Federation, headed by Governor Kim Tae-Hwan, and is run by KCTV Jeju.
The program is the only English quiz show in Korea for high school students. English language and culture-themed questions are asked on the show. The only program similar in theme and scope is intended for elementary school students and is hosted by Arirang.
KCTV's Challenge Quiz Champ turned the tables on the theme of the show June 20 by bringing together foreign residents from around the globe to compete and have fun. All contestants were required to have an intermediate level of Korean conversation skill, and to answer questions about both Jeju and Korean culture.
The 24 foreign contestants were all Jeju residents, representing 11 different countries including China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Japan, Hungary, France, Canada, America, and the Philippines.
The excitement was palpable onstage, with family and friends of the contestants nearby to lend their support. The contestants had only a short time to probe the depths of their knowledge and to answer the questions asked of them. Because the questions were asked in Korean first to lend an advantage to proficient speakers, the contestants felt anxious about their potential success.
“I’m excited, but also very nervous since I’ve only been studying Korean for a few months,” said Cynthia Loiselle, an EPIK teacher on Jeju and Quiz Champ participant.
Well-known guest hosts Kim Yeon-song and Lisa Kelley were flown in from Seoul for the special edition taping. With so many participants, the one-hour program took over eight hours to film. The foreign participants competed in three rounds, with only 12 contestants making it to the second round, and only six making it to the finals.
▲ An unidentified English Quiz Champ participant shows intense concentration as he answers his quiz question. Photo courtesy KCTV
If the fun and promotional value of the show wasn’t enough to make the participants want to succeed, there was also prize money at stake. The third place prize was worth 200,000 won, the second place prize was worth 400,000 won, and the first place prize was worth 1 million won.
An American took home first prize, while citizens of Japan and the Philippines, respectively, took home second and third prizes. KCTV was unable to provide the names of the winners at presstime.
Also unique to this anniversary program was the opportunity for the foreign participants to share talents, stories, and other aspects of their respective cultures. There was dancing, singing, rapping, and even a tea ceremony demonstration. Many brought photos or other personal relics from home to discuss in Korean, adding to the international feel of the event.
Candy Litimco, a teacher from Canada who came to watch the taping of the show, said she encourages her students to watch the program regularly, and found the special episode particularly interesting.
“The show has a much more international theme than I was expecting and I think it will help to get more viewers interested, especially students,” Litimco said.
While this program was successful, similar Challenge Quiz Champ special events have yet to be announced. The Challenge Quiz Champ hundredth episode special edition aired in early July, and can be found along with more information on the regularly scheduled program on KCTV’s Web site, www.kctvjeju.com.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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