I’ve been studying harder than usual this week and am really starting to notice a difference in my Korean skills. Strange how the time you put into studying something is so strongly correlated with your learning outcome. ^^
I’ve specifically noted improvement in three areas: speaking, reading, and vocabulary. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great time speaking with my language partner for the first time in a few weeks. She complimented me on improved flow, and I could feel it myself. Somehow the words came out of my mouth a bit faster, slightly more coherently and sounding more Korean. 대박!
As for reading, I’ve noticed that I now read Korean faster than before, which is super important as the TOPIK reading section is quite demanding.
I’ve discovered that my voice appears to be the key to both of these improvements. Through practicing reading TTMIK’s Iyagi lessons out loud both alone and with my LP, I’ve gradually improved both speed and intonation. If you can read out loud at a fast pace, you can read fast.
As for the speaking I’ve tried playing a bit with my voice. I’m used to paying a lot of attention to my voice when I give lectures at the Uni, as I remember from my own time as a student that the voice, pitch, intonation, emphasis, and flow of the lecturer plays a huge role for students’ concentration and learning. Inspired by something I read online about language learning I then started to dramatize my voice when reading out Iyagis, news articles or shadowing a drama dialogue. It’s quite demanding at first, but also super fun. And I’ve discovered that when I train myself in speaking dramatically, regular speech becomes so much easier by comparison. It’s kind of like running fast paced intervals in order to improve your overall long-distance running pace.
Finally, I’m steadily building my vocabulary through my regular textbooks, my TTMIK books, and the TTMIK news articles. I’ve made a habit of making two new decks of flashcards in memrise (a highly recommended and free online resource) per week easily amounting to 100-150 words. In order to make sure that I remember to review these new words daily, I’ve put an alarm on my phone through the memrise app. Ahh, I love how technology makes language learning so much easier and fun.