About a month ago I took advantage of one of TTMIK’s sales and bought two e-books each containing 10 episodes of their latest feature, TTMIK Story Time. The concept is very simple; one of the teachers speaks into a camera about something related to everyday life such as walks in the park, birthdays, shopping, and hairstyles for 1-2 minutes. These videos with Korean subtitles are available for free on YouTube. If you purchase a bundle or a subscription you also receive the transcript, the grammar breakdown, and a short comprehension quiz. Lately, I have been using the videos for improving my Korean speech, flow, and intonation. Here’s how I did it:

I watched a Story Time monologue 3-4 times, then read the transcript out loud to myself repeatedly (sometimes recording myself) to improve the sound and intonation of my Korean. Finally, I memorized every single sentence (depending on your brain’s storage capacity, this may take a while) and recited the whole thing to myself over and over again in various paces and pitches. This part was actually really fun!

Now, why would I do that? There are several reasons as to why this method is super efficient.

  1. My pronunciation improves since I’m forced to compare my own voice with the native speaker’s. I mainly did this with female speakers, as there can be a slight difference in male and female speaking patterns in Korean.
  2. My flow improves dramatically.
  3. I learn a lot of useful fixed expressions and sentence patterns that easily fit into other contexts.
  4. I improve my Korean narrative skills.
  5. Reading the transcript out loud again and again also improves my reading speed.

This method is very simple, which is not to say that it’s easy. I actually consider this approach “the interval training” of language learning. You put in a brief period of intense training and are then rewarded an outcome of increased fluency, flow, and above all, confidence.

Here are a few of the more or less fixed expressions you can go out and throw into your Korean sentences right away:

~아/어서 그런지: Probably because…
왜 그런지 잘 모르겠는데: I don’t really know why that is…
왜 그런 걸까요?: Why do you think that is?
저는 V+는 편이에요: I tend to…
어렸을 때부터 지금까지: Ever since I was young
N+을/를 소개해 드려고 하는데요: I’m going to introduce…


  1. Great idea. One tip I can add is that if you want to break up the dialogues into even smaller chunks, you can download the Youtube videos as .mp3 files using Peggo or other similar programs and then slice them up into individual sentences using a program like Audacity (http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/). I’ve also done this with TTMIK lesson sample sentences sometimes, where I create an mp3 file with a sample sentence repeated multiple times with a long pause in between, and then as I’m driving to work, I can listen and repeat all the sentences during the pauses. It’s a bit labor intensive, but not too bad. Maybe 2-3 minutes a sentence once you figure out how to use the program.


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