Are you progressing in your Korean language journey? Or do you feel like you’re not making the most out of your time? Trust me I understand. Which is why it is so important to make a Korean language study routine. A routine that is easy for you to stick with and one that allows for you to get the most out of your sessions. If you are interested in creating a Korean language study routine that works for you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase. I will receive a small compensation from your purchase from the seller. I am only sharing resources that I am currently using or have used in the past myself.
1. Know Your long-term Korean Language study Goals
When creating a study routine, it’s important to know what your end goal is.
Do you want to be able to write in Korean? Be able to read in Korean? Or is speaking your goal? Maybe your goal is to be able to watch Korean dramas without subtitles? Yeah, I went there. No judgment.
Personally, my goal is to be conversational. And to be more specific, I mean conversational about everyday things, not so much about the news or politics.
If speaking/ being conversational is your goal too then I have a great post that may be helpful called 5 Ways To Improve Your Korean Speaking.
Okay, so once you have your end goal, let’s move on to the next step.
2. Figure out how much time you want to put into it.
Be Realistic. In the early stages of language study, it’s easy to overcompensate. And think you can take on a 2-4 hour study sessions nightly. But for the normal person with school or work, that’s just unrealistic.
I say schedule out 30 minutes to 2 hours a couple of days a week. 30 minutes or more for your vocabulary days. 1-2 hours for your grammar days. But if you think that you can handle a 2-4 hour study session every day then more power to you.
Usually, during my own study sessions, I will tell myself that I will only study for 30 minutes tops. And then end up studying for over an hour. It’s just getting started that’s hard for me.
I suggest you start off with 30 minutes or maybe even 15 minutes and then adjust as needed. Or be like me and get so caught up in studying that you don’t realize how much time has passed.
If you are hard-pressed for time, then you should schedule yourself a little more strictly.
I just say this so that you don’t get disappointed in the long run when you can’t seem to keep up with your schedule. Start off simple and work from there.
3. Make Sure you are studying for your goals!
I think it’s so easy for us solo learners to have goals of being conversational. But then during our language study sessions create minimal speaking opportunities for ourselves.
You have to build a Korean Language study routine that is based on your language study goals.
If your goal is to speak Korean like mine is, then you need to be speaking ALL THE TIME, during your study sessions. As a beginner, this may be hard when you have limited vocabulary skills. But as you grow in your language journey, your vocabulary will build.
Make sure you are reading all your sample sentences out loud. And make sure you are talking saying your answers to sample questions out loud.
I have a post titled, How To Practice Your Korean Speaking, which gives various ways to practice your speaking skills.
Also, try to schedule speaking sessions with a native speaker. Use language exchange apps such as HelloTalk. HelloTalk allows you to make friends with people in your target language. You can set up video or phone call language exchanges with them. With HelloTalk your language partner is using you to learn English and you can use them to learn Korean. Both of you will be helping the other get better at their target language
And if you aren’t a fan of language exchange apps, then maybe paying for a Korean language lesson would be more beneficial.
I’m currently using Italki. This website has language teachers that will help you learn Korean. There are professional language teachers and community tutors that are ready to assist you no matter what level you are currently at.
The community tutors are pretty cheap usually priced from 5-12 USD an hour. Lessons with community tutors are usually conversation-based lessons aimed at helping you with your speaking skills.
The professional teachers usually have a set curriculum that they will use with you. Professional teachers will be able to help you improve not only your speaking skills but also your grammar, reading, and writing skills. The professional teachers are a little more expensive too.
You can sign up for 1 on 1 sessions with either a professional teacher or a community teacher using Italki.
I also recommend using Talk To Me In Korean’s IYAKI . It’s great for fine-tuning your listening skills. Since speaking and listening go hand in hand.
4. Plan out your individual study sessions out
So now that you have the big picture, it’s time to think small picture. It’s easy to say on Monday that you will go over vocabulary. But what exactly does that mean? What does studying vocabulary look like to you? Because when Monday comes you will be distracted and all over the place because you don’t know what vocabulary you wanted to go over. Or how exactly you will study the vocabulary.
I suggest writing out what you will do during each study session before you sit down to study. Make a set routine of what a “Vocab Study Session” will look like, vs what a “Grammar Study Session” will look like.
Will you use flashcards as I did in the past, when I created the post, How To Learn Korean Words Fast With Flashcards. Or are you tired of flashcards, like I was when I created, How to Learn Korean Without Flashcards? It’s really up to how you think you will learn best.
Create a routine so that you know what to expect from yourself for each session. So that you’re not wasting time trying to come up with ideas on how to study vocabulary.
And yes, sometimes routines can get boring. But when that happens just play around with your original routine until you start to feel challenged again. Make changes as needed. But start out with a set schedule. You need a foundation so that you can know what worked and what didn’t.
Also if you are in the market for a new paper planner to write down your new language routine then I highly suggest the Erin Condren Life planner or the Erin Condren Academic Planner. I have used both in the past and loved them dearly. They are super durable and the paper quality is amazing! It takes watercolor like a champ. So check them out!
And just to help you out further I’ve included a sample study routine.
My routine looks very close to this one below. Except that my Italki lessons are on a different day than described below. And I’m still trying to find the right language exchange partners on HelloTalk.
Some people like to think of HelloTalk as a dating app when it’s not, but that’s a story for another time.
You can schedule less work for yourself or more work. It’s up to you.
Sample Korean Language Study Routine (Conversation based)
FYI: TTMIK is short for Talk To Me In Korean, an online website that is an amazing resource for people trying to learn Korean.
Monday: Grammar Day! (Go over 2-3 TTMIK lessons, write down sample sentences, be able to say sample sentences out loud. Make sure you have a good understanding of new grammar.)
Tuesday (30-minute minimum): Vocab Day! (Using Memrise, go over the words you learned in the TTMIK lessons from the day before. Use writing repetition to learn any words you can’t get to stick in your mind. Make sure to say all words out loud. If you still can’t get the word to stick, try learning it in context. Use Naver Dictionary to find sample sentences of the word being used in normal conversation. Use Google Translate voice to make sure you are saying the word correctly. Make sure you are reading all Korean out loud.)
Wednesday (1-2 hours): Grammar Day! (Go over 2-3 TTMIK lessons, write down sample sentences, be able to say sample sentences and make sure you have a good understanding of new grammar.)
Thursday (30-minute minimum): Vocab Day! (Using Memrise, go over the words you learned in the TTMIK lessons from the day before. Use writing repetition to learn any words you can’t get to stick in your mind. Make sure to say all words out loud. If you still can’t get the word to stick, try learning it in context. Use Naver Dictionary to find sample sentences of the word being used in normal conversation. Use Google Translate voice to make sure you are saying the word correctly. Make sure you are reading all Korean out loud.)
Friday (1 hour): Listening and Speaking Day! (Listen to one TTMIK IYAKI podcast on Soundcloud. See how much you can understand. Afterward, read over podcast script out loud. Write down words you can’t understand, Look up words on NAVER Dictionary to find the translation. Write down the sentences samples sentences given on Naver to help you remember the words in context. Listen to Podcast again. See if you can understand more. Try to read the script with the podcast. )
Saturday (1 hour): Korean Lesson DAY! Log on to ITALKI.com. Talk with the teacher and get feedback. Also maybe contact language exchange friends from Hellotalk.
Sunday: Day off! (relax or chat with language exchange friends from Hellotalk.)
Now your routine can look a little different. Maybe less speaking based, and more reading based? Or perhaps more writing-based? It’s really dependant on your end goal.
Also if you’re really dedicated you can make your sessions more intensive, by adding more than one class of ITalki a week. Or talking to HelloTalk friends more often. But, don’t get so worked up that you overwhelm yourself.
I’ve heard of some people making it a point to speak Korean with their language partners on HelloTalk, every single day for at least 15 minutes.
Try it out and see what works for you. Change what you need to change so that it works for your study goals and learning style.
As someone who is self-studying the Korean Language, having a plan is a must. Since there is no teacher, you must be the one to come up with a schedule, and stick to it!
Having a routine helps to eliminate the need for motivation. And once you get the groove of it, studying will become like second nature. I hope that these tips and tricks help you to improve your Korean language study routine.
Here are some other posts you may be interested in:
- How to Find Motivation to Study Korean
- 7 Tips for Improving Your Korean Language Study Session
- How I became Intermediate in Korean
- Free PDF’s of Korean Language Textbooks
- Korean Language Study Supplies
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