If your Korean language goal is for you to be able to speak Korean conversationally. Then I have some tips that will help you improve your Korean speaking. This isn’t some learn a million Korean words in 2 days, type of post. But more of a how-to genuinely learn Korean vocabulary post. So, if you are interested then keep reading!
Speak Out-loud While Studying
When I was joining my sorority one of the major parts of my journey was practicing for our probate (it’s a ceremony showcasing the new members of the sorority to the university.) One of the things the older girls in the sorority always told me was, to “practice as if you are actually performing. Because how you practice now, is how you will perform during the probate.”
This concept stayed with me and has been a critical tip for language learning. So I’m telling you, that speaking out loud to yourself will help you a ton when it comes to 1. speaking in real life to others and 2. memorizing the words.
How you practice your speaking during your study sessions, is how you will perform during real-life conversations.
After practicing the vocabulary words out loud, your tongue will get used to the new positions. So much so that you will begin to speed it up and even start applying a Korean accent/intonation to the words.
Practice having whole conversations out loud, so that when it is time to have an actual conversation you aren’t stuck because your brain and your mouth aren’t connecting.
If you are looking to intensify your Korean study sessions, I have a post, 7 Steps to Improve Your Korean Study Sessions. It lists even more tips and tricks for having an effective and productive study session.
Don’t Just Learn Words, Learn Phrases.
I think learning individual words is great, but actually understanding how the words work in a sentence is even better.
This is why I find that most of the time it is easier for me to learn a phrase than a sentence. So, as a result, I’ve created one flashcard deck dedicated to just expressions and phrases. Doing this really helps to improve Korean speaking skills.
And remember to practice your flashcards out loud when studying.
Switch Up Your Flashcards
I think a lot of us get stuck in the same old boring routine when it comes to making and using flashcards. And I have two solutions for this, the first is to change how you write your flashcards.
Do some fill-in-the-blank sentences. Or draw pictures instead of the actual word. Doing the steps above makes remembering the word easier. And it allows you to really see if you know a certain word.
For example, I might make a flashcard in Korean that says. “I pizza eat” . Instead of doing it the normal way, and writing out the Korean word on one side and the English word on the other. I might draw a picture of a bowl of food on one side. And I will have to figure out the sentence.
Get creative and mess around with different ways to do it. This helped me to really improve my Korean speaking.
I talk a lot more about using flashcards for studying Korean in my post, How to Learn Korean Words Fast. Also if you’re not a fan of flashcards I have another post titled, How to Learn Korean Without Flashcards.
Use Language Learning Apps like Memorize
Okay, so in the beginning, I didn’t like to use Memorize because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work for me. Well, after tinkering with the app, I found out that the app has a crazy amount of vocabulary list to choose from. And you can even make your own list. The phone app has limited capabilities when it comes to choosing a vocabulary list.
But on the computer, you can access all their vocabulary list. And you can save vocab list that you like to your account while on the computer, so then when you use the app on your phone. The vocab lists are already there on the phone app, ready for use. I have a post called, How to Practice Korean Speaking, which goes into detail about using Memorize.
The app does push for you to purchase a membership. But I haven’t and I don’t really feel the need to. So, I use the free version. It’s great for introducing the vocabulary and phrases in different ways. Each time you see to the word they put it in a different way.
Sidenote: If you are interested in some of the stationary I’ve used while studying Korean, then check out my post, Must-Have Stationary For Korean Study.
Separate your flashcards in a verbs, nouns and phrase deck
This may not be helpful to everyone, but it was helpful to me. So I already explained how I do my phrase/expressions deck. But for nouns, I sometimes draw a picture or write the word plainly.
For vocab, I write the word on one side of the card. And on the other side of the card, I conjugate the verb into past, present, and future. Then when I go through the deck, I try not only to conjugate the word in its past, present, and future tense. But in every conjugation, I know of.
I talk about this a lot more deeply in the post I mentioned above, How to Learn Korean Words Fast.
Surprisingly, Korean is a very conjugation-heavy language. It’s a lot to memorize. But doing my flashcards this way is helping. I will admit it takes a while to go through them, but I definitely feel good once I do.
Lastly, sometimes having a paid instructor can be very helpful. I personally like to use Italki so that I can get one on one attention from a Korean tutor. A tutor who will be able to break down the language for me and help me learn the language better.
While HelloTalk and language exchange buddies are cool. Regular native speakers sometimes have a hard time explaining the mechanics behind the language. This is why having a virtual tutor is amazing.
All I have to do is schedule a lesson online and then show up to my virtual lesson. I can ask whatever questions I want, or just practice speaking with them. I honestly just enjoy the convenience of it.
What I love is that the lessons on Italki are pretty cheap, most lessons are $5-15 USD. And you have the option to choose between 30-minute, 45-minute, or even 60-minute lessons. I usually do 30-minute lessons because they’re cheaper and allow for me to get a lot of speaking in.
It’s a great online resource to have in your back pocket and can/will really improve your speaking if used properly.
- Study words/phrases that are fun/useful. The more you want to learn a certain word or phrase, the more likely your brain will be able to hold on to that information.
- Set a day where all you do is run through your vocabulary lists.
- I’ve heard some people switch their phones to Korean to learn better.
- I’ve also heard about putting post-its around the house for learning the names of objects. (I haven’t tried the last two but I’ve heard they work for learning Korean vocabulary)
So those are all the tips I have for you to improve your Korean speaking. If you have any tips you would like to share, feel free to comment down below! Happy language learning!
Other Language Learning Post You May Be Interested In:
- Top 4 Free Online Korean Textbooks
- Must-Have Korean Study Supplies
- How I became Intermediate in Korean
- How To Create a Korean Language Self Study Study Routine
Other Korea travel-related Post You May Be Interested in:
- How to Get a Teaching Job in South Korea
- Must-Have Apps When Living in South Korea
- My Horrible Hospital Experience in South Korea
- The Struggles of Living in South Korea
FREE EBOOK, HOW TO BUILD A KOREAN SKINCARE REGIMEN
Have you got your hands on a copy of my ebook all about building a Korean Skincare regimen? If not Click HERE to download a free copy of my ebook, How To Build A Korean Skincare Regimen.
DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING?10