The above sentence was actually a sample sentence from my super awesome “Weekly Korean Vocabulary book” published by my language gurus at http://www.talktomeinkorean.com (see bottom of post). Nonetheless, it got me thinking about what we self-learners can do not to lose our interest, drive, and motivation. I’ve been studying Korean on my own for 6 months now, and while I’m certainly more excited some days than others, I never feel like quitting. So what keeps me going?
I find that switching between various learning tools is a great way to make your learning more fun and varied. In many ways it’s the same as running practice. If you’re always running the same pace on the same track, you’ll soon get bored and eventually give up exercising. However, if you switch between paces, and find new running trails, or maybe listen to some up-beat music you’ll find the experience much more enjoyable.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the (completely free) grammar podcasts at http://www.talktomeinkorean.com. They take one grammar point at the time, break it down and provide plenty of sample sentences for easy understanding and application. However, just focusing on grammar will not do it alone, so I combine that with listening training through their Iyagi podcasts and of course use textbooks for building my vocabulary. On a recent trip to Seoul I hauled a few children’s books in Korean – among those one with 10 of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales. Yesterday I managed to read “The ugly duckling” in Korean. Of course I didn’t understand every single word, but I found it encouraging that I managed to read it fairly well nonetheless. Finally, I spice up my learning by watching the occasional K-drama episode. I always watch with my notebook and make a habit of writing down as many whole sentences from the drama as I possibly can. Great and entertaining exercise.
How do you keep your learning fun and varied? Do share!
I'm a Danish girl living in Korea teaching economics at Sogang economics. When I'm not working I love to learn Korean, discover this beautiful country, read and blog about my experiences and thoughts. Follow me at www.sofietokorea.com :)
I have a feeling we have very similar learning styles because I try to switch up my resources as well. But I sort of stumbled upon this method. I noticed that over time I would get a little annoyed with certain resources and feel like switching to others. Keeping things fresh is definitely great!
Another thing I do is I commit to doing SOMETHING everyday. Big or small. That has helped a lot. Do you ever listen to podcasts in Korean for listening practice? And I’m curious, what other languages do you speak?
I agree, switching resources and studying daily is really a must if you want to see progress. I do listen to podcasts – mostly the TTMIK Iyagi lessons. I find them a great resource for training listening comprehension. As for languages I’m a native Danish speaker, fluent in English, German, and Swedish, I have a decent level of Italian, learned French in high school (although most of my French understanding is now channeled through Italian) and now I also know Korean to some degree. Of all languages I have learned, Korean is by far the most captivating.
Reading your blog really motivates me to keep on learning Korean. I’ve actually started learning Korean by myself a few months ago. And when I thought that I have achieved a OK in reading, I’ve registered myself to the formal Korean language classes only to know that almost all my pronunciations were wrong. Haha!
So starting a month ago, I’m beginning all over again with a native speaker whom kinda refuse to speak in English. LOL. Somehow that actually helps because what choice do I have but to listen carefully to what she have to say, write it down and later find the meaning? *pat on the shoulder*
Quoting your sentence “In many ways it’s the same as running practice. If you’re always running the same pace on the same track, you’ll soon get bored and eventually give up exercising.” I’ve noticed that the sense of giving up was actually high during the ‘studying alone’ time.
Upon reading this article, now I’m thinking of diversifying the learning method. Thanks for the introducing me to TTMIK and pls do pray for me!