I’m back (and plans for this blog)

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여러분 안녕하세요. 진짜 오랜만이죠? 그동안 대학교 때문에 너무 바빠가지고 한국어 공부를 제대로 못 했어요.ㅠㅠ 그런데 앞으로 8개월동안 대학교에 안 나가요. 그래서 이젠 한국어 학습에 집중하고 열심히 공부할 거에요. 잘 부탁드려요.

I’m baaaaack~!!! So, although I never planned to take a hiatus at all, school happened and life happened while this blog wasted away at the bottom of my priority list. BUT, this is something I am REALLY passionate about and really want to keep up with!!

I would rate my current level of Korean at somewhere between high beginner and low intermediate. By the end of August, I would like to confidently call myself intermediate. The area I am most severely lacking in is definitely writing, while my strongest skill is listening (thank you countless hours of Korean music and drama).

Over the time I have been gone, I have kept up with some Korean study, although it was mostly passive and nothing significant.

  • I have consistently been watching Korean drama, and have started watching those that don’t require much technical vocabulary (as medical/law/historical dramas do) without subtitles. I can do this pretty comfortably; however, if subtitles are available I still give in to the temptation hence I try to watch the episodes as soon as they come out, before they have been subtitled.
    • Short Term Goal #1: No subtitles for any drama, unless historical
    • Reasoning: I have to get out of this comfort zone I’m in, and it’s not too difficult to infer things from context in medical/law situations. I can also look up episode recaps if any plot points completely go over my head so I don’t miss out on the drama. Expanding this goal to include historical drama may be reasonable in the future, but I have barely watched any even with subtitles as of now, therefore am too unfamiliar with the vocabulary and speech style to set any goals as of right now (plus it’s not one of my current interests).
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  • I’ve been doing courses on Memrise, since with every language I’ve studied in the past, I’ve been told vocabulary is my weakness. I’ve done the Integrated Korean Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2 courses, and am currently working my way through the TOPIK Master Intermediate course (currently  at 494/1851 words learned).
    • Short Term Goal #2: Finish TOPIK Master Intermediate on Memrise
    • Reasoning: I know many say the best Memrise course is the one you make yourself, and I understand why and I’m sure that it is; however, when I tried this before for Japanese on Anki, I ended up inputting every single word I encountered and then getting tired of inputting more words than I was reviewing. Because of this, I think I should hold off on making my own Memrise course until I am familiar with the vocabulary words that come up in the most textbooks and the most common few thousand words in Korean, or I am targeting new vocabulary from a very focused topic (e.g. a book/article I’m reading, a song I’m listening to, or a particular field of study)
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  • I’ve written one or two entries on Lang-8. This is the by far the hardest exercise for me to do, because my writing skills are severely lacking compared to my other skills and I always find myself wanting to say so much more than I can. However, it is likely what I need the most and where I can benefit most greatly.
    • Short Term Goal #3: Write a Lang-8 entry 3 times a week
    • Reasoning: Writing is my poorest skill and the only way to really improve on it is through practice and feedback. It’s important to do regularly; just a few sentences per entry is fine!!! Improving in writing should also help my other skills as I get more comfortable with recalling and applying the vocabulary and grammar I have learnt and thus retain them better
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  • In terms of grammar, I maintain that TalkToMeInKorean’s lessons lessons are the best place (for me) to start because they are fun and relatively easy to get through. After that I plan to go through the Integrated Korean textbooks while solidifying the vocabulary learned from their Memrise courses, before moving on to the much-praised Korean Grammar in Use textbooks.
    • Short Term Goal #4: Finish TTMIK Grammar Lessons Levels 1-9
    • Reasoning: I got up to somewhere in Level 6 in the past, and really found the lessons informative and easy. I think it’s a good place to start to build my confidence and form a general foundation which can then be strengthened by information from textbooks that go more in-depth and built upon by resources aimed at higher-level learners
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  • I briefly listened to some podcasts (mainly Tablo’s Dreaming Radio) every day while taking the bus until Tablo stepped down from his position as host. I then stopped because all this Korean I didn’t understand was getting to be a little overwhelming.
    • Short Term Goal #5: Listen to one episode of a Korean podcast every day
    • Reasoning: Again, it’s time to completely step out of this comfort zone, and I need as much immersion as I can get while outside of Korea. I need to accept that I won’t always understand everything and work on picking out the general meaning of what I hear even without visual cues
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  • During my last two summer holidays, I checked out a few Korean children’s books from the international section of the local library. I only got through two short, very easy ones and  a few pages into an intermediate-level one before stopping because I felt overwhelmed, but I’d like to tackle reading again and see how I’ve improved. I also started reading an easy webtoon but just ended up never going back to it
    • Short Term Goal #6: Read one children’s book and 2 webtoon/manhwa chapters per week
    • Reasoning: Listening is great for picking up commonly used words and expressions, and reading provides the same thing in a different form. Words on paper can be broken down and analysed in detail. I can also learn about spelling and pick up differences between spoken and written Korean from books, and slang from webtoons/manhwa

 

Summary of Short Term Goals

  1. No subtitles for any drama, unless historical [listening]
  2. Finish TOPIK Master Intermediate on Memrise [vocabulary]
  3. Write a Lang-8 entry 3 times a week [writing]
  4. Finish TTMIK Grammar Lessons Levels 1-9 [grammar]
  5. Listen to one episode of a Korean podcast every day [listening]
  6. Read one children’s book or 3 webtoon chapters per week [reading]

These goals are to be accomplished by the end of May, when I will set new goals for the month of June. I have managed to address both vocabulary and grammar, as well as the areas of reading, writing, and listening.I’m not quite sure how to practice speaking (other than talking to myself, which I already do), but I will definitely come up with something for June.

I also want to add some non-Korean language-related  content on here but that’s going to depend on how much time I have and what I feel like doing so I’ll keep my ideas to myself for now. Stay tuned!

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