I warned you about my silly jokes and puns in the very first blog post on Korean. That said, there are two important messages in this punny title of mine. It definitely serves as a good overview of what’s to come in any case.
The Year Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken
Valdemor, stand aside! 2020 has taken your place! There have been some positives this year with being online for so much more stuff though. For me this has been the year of doing lives on my Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of interacting with so many lovely language learners in the process too.
It’s been an opportunity to reconnect with the learning process in a meaningful way. It’s inspired me to start on this journey with Korean over an entire year too. My hope is that documenting this process helps you on your own language learning journey as well. In fact, I will be adding updates daily to a Facebook Group I set up especially for this (and possibly to TikTok too, if I build up the courage…). And YOU are welcome to join me there to help us keep account of each other’s progress and encourage each other.
Materials & Motivation Matter
I pose questions about what’s important to know in the language learning process. For me the biggest thing is definitely motivation. And I cannot get motivation to learn if I am not inspired by the materials I have to study the language.
So to be content in Korean, I have to have good content in Korean! <— See what I did there? I amuse myself writing this stuff. Some of you will definitely laugh along and others will groan. And it’s all good. The important thing is that we’re in this together!
Curing The Cons of Korean
The biggest con for me in learning Korean is that I have almost ZERO natural contact with the language in The Balkans. No Koreans here! The choice to learn it came from my daughter. This is not the way I usually pick a language to learn. So I had to get creative and turn to social media for help. After all, how could I turn down my daughter to learn a language?
I was determined to get over this hurdle and needed time to look into what is out there for learning the language. I turned to my friend Lindie Botes, who gave me some pointers. I also got lots of great responses on social media with suggestions for channels to follow.
I started following Korean channels on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. YouTube has a couple of channels that stood out to me for well-organised, engaging and useful content. They are:
Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean
I plan to use both of these channels during my studies to supplement my learning experience.
By far I find my instagram feed the best place to see content in Korean quickly and easily in a casual way. I have followed many great channels and LOVE giving my basic reading skills a workout. There are 12 Korean language learning accounts I now follow. They provide me with Korean on a daily basis without even trying! Feel free to check them out or look for others too and suggest more for me to follow!
My plan with these is simple. I want to have accidental access to Korean, so I clock up my exposure to the language without even trying. I enjoy a quick look through Instagram during my downtime in the morning and evening for about 15-20 minutes max.
I also like TikTok, but I have not yet found anything much in Korean, so if you have any suggestions, please do let me know.
On Course For Korean Goal Completion
To keep me on track I like to set goals. I also like to be realistic and treat myself kindly, so no judgement if I miss some of them. I treat myself and others as I would like others to treat me too.
So I need to own up. I was a little ambitious with my goals over the holiday period and I managed to get sick too. Life sometimes just gets in the way of learning though, right?
I am now a couple of days behind with my Michel Thomas Method Korean course. I may still finish it by 1st January, but I am not going to hold myself to that now. I am giving myself an extra three days. The new date to complete it is 3rd January. The Korean Script Hacking is still on course to be finished by 31st December though, so we’re good to go there!
Kicking off with Korean in 2021
I have been through many books and courses to see what’s on offer to structure my learning throughout the year. The Michel Thomas Method Korean course and Scripting Hacking were easy preliminary goals to set myself.
So what am I going to use now?
Remember that I am doing this Korean challenge with my 13-year old daughter, so I needed to be on the look out for something that would work for her and for me.
I love my Teach Yourself and Assimil courses. My plan is to have them as something to dip into and carry around in my bag to read over as extra material on this occasion.
The Talk To Me In Korean website has a great package. You can follow 10 levels of courses, each split up into around 30 lessons. It also offers certificates after each level with the premium option, which is great for my daughter!
If I complete one lesson a day in the morning before I start work, then I should be able to complete the 10 levels by the end of the year.
Now 10 levels of 30 lessons each is very longterm, so let’s focus on getting through January first. I aim to get through the level 1 course by the end of the month and then review how realistic that bigger goal really is.
During my studies I will be working with an italki teacher to help me practise what I am learning. I am a great believer in lots of input and coupling that with some output to play with the language. My learning has always been about me fumbling around with the language and trying out things I hear and want to say.
I will set up a couple of classes a week. One will be more structured with language questions I have. The other will be more chatty to just practise dialogues and language I come across during my studies.