Hello everyone. I have been a good girl this past week or so. Having set myself the task of working through the first TalkToMeInKorean workbook I have been doing one to two lessons a day. It helps that I have listened to most of the lessons in level 1 multiple times. I have completed 18 lessons so far! Yay. Having an easily achievable goal for each day is making it much easier to stick with it. Hopefully that will continue once I start level 2 and its all new information! I am almost up to date with the corresponding vocabulary on Memrise so feeling pretty chuffed there too.
In a bid to find effective ways of language learning I bought an ebook off Amazon called ‘Conquering Babel’ by Claire Handscombe. It’s only short, may be 70 pages but it has several positive points. It has got me thinking about my motivation for language learning. She even has you write down five reasons to refer back to on days when you are lacking the energy to push yourself. One of the most useful points for me has been about setting goals for myself using SMART.
There are various versions of SMART around, but the gist and aim are the same – setting a specific manageable target to work towards, and breaking it down into manageable chunks. From a language perspective its about what level I want to reach. The goal of most language learners is fluency in the chosen language. This is all very well, but it is immeasurable. How can you tell when you are fluent. Realistically achieving full fluency is a life-long task. Even in our mother tongue we are constantly learning new words and phrases. What does fluent even mean to you? Being able to hold simple conversations, read you favourite book in your chosen language, or like in my case, being able to understand Korean dramas without so much need for subtitles. Having clear steps in mind to work towards your goal makes it easier to measure progress, but also enables you to see what you have achieved, which is great for motivating yourself to continue.
For myself, I intend to put the big picture (of fluency) out of my head and concentrate on smaller tasks, such as finishing individual levels on TTMIK, or a specific text book. If I have only one or two simple but still challenging goals at a time, I might get further in my Korean studies this time. Here’s hoping. 🙂
On a different note my love of the drama ‘Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’ has lead me down another path. A good example of how language learning opens new avenues of interest. Like in most Korean historical dramas, there has been reference to the ‘Analects of Confucius’, so I decided to find out more about Confucianism. Nothing too intense, so I got my hands on a copy of ‘Confucianism: A Very Short Introduction’. It has been fairly easy reading so far. It certainly helps to give a better understanding of how society was run, and also gender roles and expectations. I think anyone who has seen Sungkyunkwan Scandal will have some vague interest in it. I have also found a useful website online containing the Analects, their translation, and also some explanation of the text. A little further reading will be needed I think. It is actually in PDF format so I will probably download it for easier reading.
I have started following a new blog called TwentyThirdStation. They have some fantastic posts on learning Korean. This past week was focused on Korean through Kpop. They broke down parts of the lyrics on a selection songs. While I don’t understand everything I find the challenge of some of the more advanced stuff interesting, and a break from some of the more basic level stuff I am still on which can sometimes be a little boring if I am honest. This keeps things interesting.
Thanks for reading. 안녕!