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.
- 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.
- My flow improves dramatically.
- I learn a lot of useful fixed expressions and sentence patterns that easily fit into other contexts.
- I improve my Korean narrative skills.
- 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…