If everytime I had a burst of motivation for learning Korean followed by days where I don’t want to do anything at all, I got one cent, I’d have around $50.
That being said, after a week of stress, sickness and school related activities, I’ve finally decided
again, to buckle down and pull up my socks. Luckily, I found Rype, A Spanish language program that advertises fluency to busy people. They had a webinar on language learning which I attended, and 1 1/2 hours later, if nothing else I feel motivated to quit my cruising and reign in my learning.
I’m really trying to organize my life for the new school year (and college) and in general, so I’m trying to schedule my tasks and use my time wisely and effeciently. I’ve started using an app called My Effectiveness, and so far it’s…. effective (haha). I especially like the ‘My Influence’ tab where you can enter things into your ‘Circle of Influence’ and ‘Circle of Concern’. The ‘Circle of Concern’ is for the things that you’re worried about but you can’t change or do anything about, and the ‘Circle of Influence’ for those that you can change by taking proactive action. It puts things into perspective because you have to decide which circle to place your worry in, then you realize that you either
a) can’t really changed what has been done so it’s time to move on or
b) realize that you can change the outcome but something has to be done now.
There’s also a place for your mission statement, which I aim to finish, and an area to prioritise your tasks in order of urgency and importance. Adding the goals/ tasks, took some work but it seems to be a very useful app with a cute minimalistic design. Also, I’ve printed some simple monthly calendars (from here:Simple Calendars) to keep me on track with my lesson plans and goals.
On to business~
For the webinar Sean Kim씨 (founder of Rype) had an agenda with his goals, and I took my notes on the important stuff.
The topics were basically
- Goal Setting
- “Hacking” Grammar
Here are my notes:
I never set a specific goal for Korean, I actually never had one for Spanish or any other language really. I just wanted to become “fluent”, obviously so the future me can communicate with whomever, but there was never a deadline of sorts. Whenever it happened it .Yes, I want to pass my exams and sound as natural as possible during my orals but, it wasn’t specific enough. I knew that goals have to S.M.A.R.T. : Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Time Specific, but it was never that pressing and I had no REAL reason to do it.
According to Sean, We have to ask ourselves certain specific questions, ones that I have spent a lot of time thinking about:
“What opportunities will be available by speaking X language?”
“What would I do if I could speak X language fluently?”
“How will I feel?”
For me, I’ve loved Korean since I was introduced to Kpop, the culture and history, hangeul, the different levels of speaking. I am not a fan of the tourist vacation, where you hire a guide who shows you beautiful spots and popular attractions. I’d love to get lost in a city, see both the good and bad aspects and fall in love with them both. I want to eat street food, haggle with the vendors, have friendly conversations with the natives (which can be done either way) but ultimately, I want to feel at home away from home.
Korean has a structure and the “elegance” that I find alomst magical. It’s a
beautiful majestic language, more pleasing to my ears than most, (the right dialectal variation of course.) I wanted a tangible goal, to reflect my passions, so..
My goal for Korean is “To be able to hold a 30 minute Skype call with my friend Jaewon, completely in Korean by September 2016.”
For Spanish “I want to be able to hold an hour long conversation with a Spanish native on any topic from my Unit 1 Spanish syllabus with very few pauses and grammatical errors, By December 2016.”
In my opinion, one of the most precious things in life is time. I want more hours in the day and night maybe 36 hours of night and 12 in the day, so I could get more done without losing sleep (Night owl ). Anywho, I’ve been learning that it’s better to start small, build a regimen and then slowly increase it ,than to overestimate yourself, something I do too often. I always say I can do 10 chapters today, write two novels and then repaint the Mona Lisa, when in reality I MAY draw a picture, study five chapters and feel really bad for not completing the rest. Then I will avoid it for some time because I know I’d just repeat my mistakes and the cycle would continue.
It is summer, and I’ve just finshed my exams and I have other obligations and goals that I need to fulfill so I’m dedicating at least an hour a day to Korean (excluding journaling), and not necessarily in one large chunk as I may divide the time into smaller periods for vocab revision etc.
I don’t have a specific time for learning at the moment so I’ll just pay more attention to my free times and times that I’m most motivated for learning and working, and go from there.
Vocabulary is very important, and apparently the most frequent 2000 words in a language constitute around 92.7% of the spoken language. 3000 words would barely increase it by about 1.5%, so by learning these 2000 words I should know a great deal for a general conversation. (I wonder if there are lists for these top words arranged into similar themes like food and family etc. That’d make life and forming associations easier.)
I know a decent amount of grammar but I’m lacking in vocabulary. As I’ve said before I don’t want to overestimate the amount I can learn but I’ve gotten the top 100 most common Korean verbs (Top 100 Verbs), top 2000 most common words (Top 1000 Korean Words– there are seperate lists for each 1000) and I’ve found a handy little pdf that teaches you some vocab and has spaces for you to practice, (I think that’s what they are –True Beginner Vocab), so my focus will be on these three lists ensuring that I learn (and remember) the new vocabulary.
There are 8 sentences that show the verb use with relation to speaker both gender and number, direct and indirect object use and sentence structure. They give a general idea of the sentence patterns and the way in which the sentence are formed, when translated into any language. They are:
The apple is red.
It is John’s apple.
I give John the apple.
We give him the apple.
He gives it to John.
She gives it John.
I must give it to him.
I want to give it to her.
They will help me to identify the relationship in the sentences, and I’m really looking forward to see whether or not it actually works, as Korean focuses mainly on the verbs, you add things to the verb that changes the entire sentence. I’ll have to find a native speaker to translate it, and I hope I can find and understand the pattern.
It’s always best if you can learn the target language in the target country, but there are many ways to immerse youself without actually traveling. One way is to paste the translated words of all the items you interact with on a regular basis in the house or office. I live with my parents, and I’m almost positive that if my mom saw 냉장고 or la nevera on her fridge, she would not be happy. I wouldn’t use small fonts either.
Another method is to watch shows and movies with the subtitles in your target language, or like most avid anime watchers, watch them in the target language with English (or your native language) subtitles. I eagerly await the day when Korean anime is made, I think my life’s purpose would’ve been found. Dramas don’t appeal to me that much, I think it has something to do with me never finding a series I could stick to, Korean or not.
Lastly, a journal or diary is the target language is beneficial. I could write something sensible for Spanish and post it on italki to have it checked, but with Korean I don’t feel that I know enough words to make sensible sentences. By that, I mean sentences that would require thought for me to form. Which is probably why I’m going to do it. I’m a pen to paper kid of girl, so I have to plan on paper before I computerize. Retyping won’t be fun OR easy, especially for Korean, but it will MOST definetly be worth it.
As a student, I have no funds (T-T) to spend on a language coach, which would possibly be very beneficial. While language buddies are great, sometimes they fall short as they can’t explain the why or how of some aspect of grammar. They can tell you if it is correct and common, but they can’t get into the nitty-gritty as they themselves don’t know. They never “learned” the grammar for their own language.
That said, they are still great, and youu make friendships and learn funny and interesting things about their lives and it’s just a wonderful experience meeting and connecting with persons.
So, in summary:
Starting tomorrow (now today), I aim to
- Listen to 2 TTMIK lessons daily (1 if the concept is really hard to grasp, or if my day is EXTREMELY busy- possibly when I start my summer job)
- I’ve gotten vocabulary from 3 different sources, and will aim to learn at 10 from each (30 daily. Yie) The first few words are simple, so I hope by the time the words become harder to remember I’ll actually have this habit ingrained within. Although I mostly rely on Anki, I think Quizlet will be better for adding the words and testing from them 3-7 days later.
- I’ll use whatever vocab I’ve learnt in my daily journal entry, which God willing, I’ll post to italki.
- I think a weekly log is the most sensible and likely thing to do. I want to choose Saturday as my log day, but that’s usually my most erratic day, so I may just use Sunday (as the last day of the week). I’ll include the lessons, how much vocab and anything worth noting.
- Regularly practice my speaking with native speakers, at least once a week, and practice my reading to get feedback (book, poems, songs)
- I’ll try to reignite my listening to Korean radio and watching variety shows, maybe a few Korean graders.
This prospect is so exciting, I can feel the energy coursing in my veins or maybe it’s the lack of sleep catching up. Anywho, now that the planing is over, it to put it into action.