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!