Are you trying to learn Korean? But having trouble getting the information to stick? Or are you looking for motivation? Looking to be inspired and maybe get a few tips and tricks out of it? Well, you’ve come to the perfect place! In this post, I list out my very best tips and tricks for learning the Korean language.
1. Plan out what Korean grammar points you will be studying.
What really helped my Korean study sessions was planning out what I would be learning beforehand. I used to run through three chapters in a day and not be able to speak out loud about what I had learned in the lessons. Or even worse I would go weeks without studying at all. I had no routine and no structure.
With studying languages you really need to plan out your time well. Especially, if you are self-studying. Rather than motivation, you need a routine. And by having a routine you will build a habit. And a habit is better than motivation.
Right now, I am in a language class, so I plan out my study sessions by what grammar points we learned in class. The class is only once a week, and we usually cover 4 different grammar structures in one session.
Throughout the week, I will block off different days for learning different grammar structures. I would also have days dedicated to learning vocab. And I had a day for speaking and writing.
Planing out my sessions really helped to build consistency. I suggest that you create a schedule for yourself. If you are self-studying, map out what grammar structures you want to learn for the week. Plan out what vocab you will learn. And make sure to have a day dedicated to speaking and writing. Write it down in a calendar or on your phone and then do it!
If you are on the hunt for a good Korean language textbook, and you don’t want to break the bank. Then check out my post, Top 4 Free Online Korean Language Textbooks.
2. Make your Korean study sessions aesthetically pleasing
I know this isn’t always possible. But when I feel aesthetic, it motivates me to study harder and really gets me in the mood to study. For me, being aesthetic is making a cup of iced coffee in a mason jar. And having a dark chocolate bar or some kind of snack for the session.
It’s also laying out my materials neatly on my desk. Taking pictures, and playing Lofi type music, or indie music. It just gets me in the mood to do work. I actually have a playlist on Youtube, with some of my favorite study music.
I suggest for you to make your study space, your own perfect oasis. Do this to the best of your ability. Even if you study at a library, maybe set up your materials in a way that makes you feel ready to study. Just make your space is your own and a place where you feel productive.
Also if you are having trouble creating a study routine, you should check out my post, How to Create a Korean Study Routine.
3. Don’t move on to the next grammar point, unless you can verbally say 10 sentences using what you’ve learned.
This tip has literally made my study sessions so much more effective. Usually, I would study the grammar structure. And understand it in my head, but not be able to say it when needed in real-time conversation. This was because I wasn’t practicing using the language out loud.
I think for all languages, speaking, should be a huge part of the process. So what I do now is force myself to create and repeat sentences out loud. Using the newly learned grammar until I feel comfortable with it.
Saying the sentences out-loud helped me to realize that just because my brain understood the logistics of the grammar point, doesn’t mean my mouth was able to say it. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for me to feel comfortable using the new grammar point. When I did this, it really made my study sessions feel more intensive and purposeful.
If you are looking to get better at speaking Korean, then check out my post, How To Study Vocabulary For Speaking Purposes. Also, I have the post, How To Practice Korean Speaking, which also goes into detail about improving your Korean speaking skills.
Also for some great speaking practice, you should sign up for Italki! Italki is a great site that gives you one-on-one language lessons/ speaking practice for as little as $5 per session. I personally use it for Korean speaking practice. And I love how I get undivided attention and the person is paid to help me become a better language speaker. And all for $5 or more!
4. Watch Study With Me Videos on YouTube
This may sound a little extra, but I really enjoyed watching study with me videos. Sometimes I would watch a short Korean-study-related video on Youtube to help put me in the mood to study.
Other times I would put a longer study with me video, while I was actually studying. This helped me stay on track. It made it seem like I and the person in the video were studying together. It’s strange, but it’s a mental hack for motivation. There are actually live videos of people studying on Youtube too, that you can play in the background while you study.
Although I do believe that having a habit is better than motivation. Sometimes having that extra push is helpful. If you are looking for other motivational hacks for studying Korean, I have a post called, How To Find Motivation to Study Korean.
5. Create different Flashcard sets
This one may only be applicable to me, but I found that when I made three different flashcard sets. One for verbs, nouns, and expressions. I was really able to focus on the individual words easier.
I have a different routine for each flashcard set. Meaning, I do different things with each set. And memorize them differently based on if they are a noun, a verb, or an expression. Separating the words into these groups helped build my word retention.
I have a post that goes more in-depth on this topic called, How To Use Flashcards To Learn Korean Words. Also for those of you that don’t like flashcards, I have a post titled, How to Learn Korean Without Flashcards.
6. Writing and Re-writing notes
Although my goal isn’t to be a writing wiz. I noticed that when it came time to remember what to say in a real-time conversation. I often visualized my flashcard sets or my notes. After realizing this, I began to write my notes neatly and aesthetically pleasing so they will stick out in my mind more.
I would usually take some notes in class and then throughout the week, I rewrite the notes neatly and nicely in my notebook.
If you are in the market for some new spiral-bound notebooks then check out At a Glance, they carry notebooks from your favorite brands such as Mead and Five Star. Their notebooks are super durable and have quality thick paper too! I suggest you check them out for a high-quality language notebook!
Having pretty notes isn’t always beneficial to everyone, do what works best for you!
If you are interested in what stationery I use for Korean study, you can check out my post, Must-Have Korean Language Study Supplies.
7. Don’t Give Up!
My best tip for learning Korean is to not give up. I know it can be disheartening when you find a person on YouTube who has been studying for 3 months speaking Korean with ease. While you’ve been studying since forever and can barely string together a simple sentence. Try not to focus on anyone else’s language journey and learn to enjoy the process. Enjoying the process is key to language learning.
If you can learn to enjoy studying, then comparison issues will happen less and less.
I hope that these tips were helpful and applicable to your study sessions. If you are interested in learning more about my language journey then check out my post, How I became Intermediate in Korean.
And comment down below any tips that you may have!
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