Studying the Korean language has been one of the most painstakingly slow and rewarding processes ever. During this journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I personally process information. In this post, I’m going to break down my Korean language study journey. As well as share some tips that will help you on your language journey, so that you don’t fall into the same rabbit holes I did.
Why I Decided to Study the Korean Language
Truthfully, I began studying the Korean language because I was obsessed with the culture. And as a result, I decided to move to Korea by teaching English. If you are interested in learning more about how I was able to do so, then check out my post, How to Get A Job in South Korea. At the time, I was really craving to experience the Korean lifestyle for myself. However, after living in South Korea for some time my passion for Korean culture definitely dwindled. I actually have a post about how I kept motivated to study Korean when I was starting to lose interest in it, in my post, How I Find Motivation to Study Korean. Update: as of 2020, I’m no longer studying the language.
When Did I Start Studying Korean?
I started studying Korean about 3 years ago, so in 2017. It took me a while to actually learn the basics because I didn’t know how to study a language. It’s very different from studying math or history. After a little while though, I got the hang of things and really started to make progress. If you are interested in learning some of my tips and tricks to get the most out of your study, then check out my post, 7 Tips For Improving Your Korean Study Session.
I started studying Korean with TTMIK textbooks (Talk To Me In Korean). Their podcasts are very entertaining/engaging and easy to listen to. But, I didn’t like that they never really gave a good vocab list in their main textbooks. In their system, if you want to learn vocab you have to purchase a separate textbook. If you are looking for some quality Korean language textbooks, I wrote a post about the best Free Online Korean Language Textbooks.
How Did I Become Intermediate?
Moving to South Korea helped my language journey a lot. Being surrounded by the language on a daily basis. Hearing it constantly and consistently from the people around me. And just sheer necessity forced me to talk in Korean and learn Korean faster. However, most people in Korea don’t expect foreigners to know Korean so they speak in English in most situations. Unless you are dealing with an older person, then it’s complete Korean. If you are interested in getting good at speaking Korean, then check out my post, How to Study Korean Vocabulary for Speaking Purposes.
When I first began learning Korean I tried many different ways to learn. Self-study, online lessons, in-class classes. I found that for me personally, the best way for me to learn was to be in the classroom. It was just easier being surrounded by other language learners. Being in a classroom motivated me to study throughout the week so I didn’t fall behind. In South Korea, there are many free Korean classes that you can take in the major cities.
I’m currently in a level two class using the textbook, Wild Korean. It’s formatted a little different from normal language textbooks. And the grammar can sometimes be hard to understand if you don’t have a teacher present. If I miss a class, I have to do a lot of googling to catch up. But the textbook does give a lot of vocabulary and everyday phrases that are helpful for living in South Korea. It’s a good textbook for those that want to be conversational.
What are my language goals?
My one and only language goal is to be conversational. Nothing more and nothing less. I want to be able to have a conversation with a Korean speaker about a movie or TV show using Korean. Or talk about the weather or talk about traveling using Korean. I want to be able to talk about hobbies and things like that. I don’t really care to learn about news-related topics or super formal Korean, just basic conversational Korean.
Also, I have a post that details some of my best tips for improving Korean speaking, 5 Tips For Improving Korean Speaking. These tips helped with my Korean language study big time!
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!
My study sessions mostly revolve around learning vocabulary and speaking out-loud because of this. If you are interested in learning how I learned vocabulary then check out my post, How to Use Flashcards to Learn Korean. And if you don’t like flashcards then check out my other post, How to Learn Korean Without Flashcards.
What’s my study routine?
I actually made a post about it. It’s called How To Create A Korean Study Routine. In that post, I share not only my own Korean study routine but also tips and tricks for you to create your own. Also, if you are interested in learning what study supplies, I used, then check out my post, Must-Have Korean Study Supplies.
Other Post You May Be Interested in:
- How To Practice Your Korean Speaking
- How to Get a Teaching Job in South Korea
- Must-Have Apps When Living in South Korea
- The Struggles of Living in South Korea
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