Living too far? No time for an extra-curricular? KCC language class slots close?
With knowing how to “self-study” Korean, these things would never be a hindrance, again, to your learning.
I never enrolled in any formal Korean language class because I live far away from KCC and was always “busy” (school, music classes and the like). When free time comes, I am always tired. So, what is the best way for me to study Korean? It’s by self studying. “Self-studying” means you are your own teacher, you are at your own pace and you can schedule your own “classes”. You can even choose to study anywhere- from coffee shops, parks and even when you are in your boring math class! Don’t do it though, it’s your loss. But, you get my point!
I know I’m still lacking but, here are ways on how to start “self-studying” in Korean when you thought you couldn’t.
- Get a book
I have a book entitled “Elementary Korean” by Dr. Ross King, Ph.D. and Jaehoon Yeon, Ph.D. King is the professor of Korean and head of the Department of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia while Yeon is the Chair of the Centre of Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.
Before I knew about this book, I would often buy Korean travel packs and Korean dictionaries- which also helped, but a waste of money. I realized that these kinds of books taught me to only memorize without understanding. If I were you, get books like “Elementary Korean” or even the ones found in KCC. These books introduce grammar, spelling and Hangeul- the very essential lessons you’ll need. By the way, you can borrow at KCC’s library for language books, you can even check workbooks for your exercises.
Always choose professional studying materials. Even though they are a bit pricy, there’s a reason for that value. Don’t settle with easy, cheap and “nonsensical” books because they will affect your learning- big time. You have to see and check the accuracy of the things they write, and also the credibility of the author. Be careful what you read or else it’s like eating the wrong medicine.
- Get a site
Of course, for you to check the accuracy of the texts, get websites that cater language learning. The best site for me is KOREANCLASS101. Not only do they give you a list of vocabulary words but they give you sample dialogues that you can use in Korea. They provide podcasts which you can subscribe to, for free, and also they have Youtube videos that is essential to your learning. In self-studying you have to listen, watch and write Korean more often that those who have a teacher. Why? Because if we don’t, we would easily forget about what we learned- that’s what happened to me. Remember, you’re your own teacher, no one’s going to remind you to study. So getting credible sites can really help us- without even spending a penny! (Except for electricity and internet bills, thanks dad!)
- Get discipline
Self-studying if done in the wrong way can lead to efforts wasted. If you don’t spend almost an hour to three (3) a week in studying Korean or if you don’t watch Korean shows regularly, you can lose the language. So, it’s important to have discipline. Bring your study notebook where ever you go, as much as possible, and when free time comes just read on it. Listen to Korean music, watch Korean shows and just keep practicing your Korean. I am guilty of this because I am always busy with school but, what I do, is that I turn on a Korean show and try to listen to it while doing a project or etc. Also, I write down all the Korean words I know on paper to practice my Hangeul. See my first Hangeul writing and the “improvement” I got from numerous practices (pictures).
So, it’s true, practice makes perfect.
- Get real
Lastly, wake up- get real. Studying Korean, like any subject would be hard.
So, be open to reality- to the challenges you would face. When you talk to a Korean you can make a mistake, when you read Hangeul you might say a wrong word, and the like. Let me remind you though, that without those mistakes you can never master Korean, without those wrong words you can never be able to take TOPIK. Errors, correction, these are the real ones. Face them, beat them and learn from them.
Self- studying is hard. It’s like reading all the books you need, writing all the notes, testing yourself but in the end, you’re the one who checks it- you don’t know what to do! But with technology today, discipline and willingness to learn- it’s easier to self-study. So, I hope you’ll find these things helpful and start learning Korean now.
Written by Krew Member Max Chua