Hey guys! On a cheerier note, I would like to share with you my current Korean-learning methods and how you can learn Korean, the best way possible.
Lately my Korean friends have been telling me that my Korean has improved – one friend who didn’t know I was learning Korean even told me she didn’t know I spoke Korean so well! Honestly, I think they’re just flattering me because they’re nice, but it doesn’t hurt to have Koreans recognize my continuous efforts to learn their (rather difficult) language.
A couple of weeks ago, I met this guy at Language Cast who has a Master’s Degree in English Language Learning or something along those lines. He said that the best way for a beginner to learn a new language is first by memorizing 800 (I think I remembered that number correctly) of the language’s most frequently used words. He calls it a ‘frequency corpus’ but when I looked online for it, I couldn’t find a good list. He says that after you memorize these words, you should fully immerse yourself in the language – listening and watching Korean TV shows would be the easiest way. And he says to turn the subs (even Korean) off.
So I was interested in this idea, and I tried it, but in the end, the method is not for me. I feel like I’m talking about modifying current diet methods or something. But it’s actually kind of similar, honestly. Both with weight and language acquisition, if you don’t keep it up, you will lose it (or in the case of weight, gain it back). So for me, I have developed the following method.
- Everyday, or as often as I can, look up words in the English Naver dictionary. This dictionary has become like my bible. It’s really wonderful, and gives every usage of a word, and usages of different words with similar meaning. The only downside is that it doesn’t pronounce the Korean sentences, just the English, because I think it’s a dictionary created for Koreans to learn English.
- I watch Korean dramas all the time. I make sure it’s a drama or TV show that interests me, and I have English subtitles. Many people say having English subs won’t help you learn, but for me, it’s the opposite. I’ve learned so much Korean by watching dramas with English subs. I don’t want to just fumble in the dark for the meaning of a sentence – I want to know it, so that when I hear it again, I’ll know it.
- Try to speak in Korean as much as possible with Koreans and with friends learning Korean. Even if I don’t know the correct/proper way to say something, I want to try saying it. Practice makes perfect, after all.
- I keep a Korean verbs and a Korean expressions notebook, for jotting down every new verb and expression I learn. I also write down examples and sentences next to every new verb/expression, and the act of simply writing down what I learn is helpful for memory consolidation. Plus, I really like having a reference book to look at when I’m fumbling for words.