Motivation and Philosophy

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Whenever I’m discouraged with language learning I read articles over at the Language Impact and other articles by the same authors. I also buy new books or try new strategies. I evaluate where I am, and make new goals and try to devise new strategies to satisfy those goals.

My Philosophy about Language Learning

I believe to really learn language I have to practice using language as language. Although stockpiling vocabulary words or studying grammar is useful because it gives me things to use, I only really learn or acquire a language when I practice it. I practice it by listening and speaking.

Because of this belief (that language is learned only by using language) my focus during our language sessions should be primarily on this — practice listening and speaking.

I believe in this formula:
Massive comprehensible input + extensive conversational practice = powerful language learning

I believe that I’m in the low level story building phrase. Because of this I’ll use picture books to continue to learn how to express a wide variety of stories with more and more complicated grammar. I will target grammar to be used in telling stories. Stories will be at first be picture books, but then we will start making our own stories. First we’ll go through each page, describing everything in the book. Then we’ll retell the stories. I’ll listen as the language helper retell the story and then I’ll try to tell the story as well.

I think reading stories on the side is quite useful for generating new vocabulary and new grammatical patterns that I can again use when discussing the picture books.

I should also start with some simple content generation such as series generation or telling what happened yesterday. Or telling some kind of story. We can use Goldilocks and the Three bears.

Another way of generating content could be with the Korean infant yahoo stories. However I should make sure that I generate at least half of the material from spoken Korean.

I also need much more practice negotiating meaning in Korean.This is tremendously important. For that reason, perhaps we should do one hour in Korean and one hour allowing English to be used if I need to, even though without that I’ll be using some Korean. I want to be weaned off using English.

Items I’ll Use
1. Lexicarry
2. Picture Books

During the week when I’m not working with individual language helpers I’ll work on Operation Iceberg to dramatically increase the amount of vocabulary words I know.For this both 2000 Essential Korean Words for Beginners and 6000 Essential Korean Words are useful and should be used. My goal: by the end of seven weeks to have mastered both books.

Although I want to try to learn these words really well in my study sessions, these words will be put on the tip of the iceberg. Further listening, reading and practice sessions (both programmed and in regular daily life) will enable me to take them from the stockpile that I’ll be creating.

EBS 입이트이는 영어

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I’m working through EBS 입이트이는 영어 September 2008 most of this month. It’s a good book — it provides a new paragraph for each day on different things that people tend to talk about. I’m getting a lot of good reading practice, because I read a new paragraph every day (except Sunday).

I’m still disappointed in how much help I get from my language helpers. Definitely more help from people then I was getting before March or whenever I really started working with language helpers (at least I think so), but still not so good. Going to Mongolia and getting a new job knocked me off my schedule.

I don’t have any roommate unfortunately. I did however post an advertisement in the Seoul craiglist for language helpers. Because I live nearer Seoul (and within commuting distance), I feel I have a whole new world of opportunities there to take advantage of. Because so far my old language helper pool has shrunken (because one member went to the army) and gone down in usefulness I still intend to use it, but greatly supplement it with a Saturday in Seoul every week.

My plan is to spend 8-9 hours every week in Seoul. There will be at least two (or maybe 3) weekends that I’ll have to cancel this Saturday array of sessions because of hiking programs the Bible study group.

If all goes well I still meet several hours a week with the old members (and maybe Garcia as well). Then every Saturday I take the trip to Seoul and study 9 hours there.

I got a response from one lady in Seoul. She’s a stay at home mom and seems interested in helping me learn Korean. I’m a little concerned she might want to be paid more than the 4,000W I am interested in paying per hour. However if she’s nice and is a good helper and doesn’t mind what I want to pay I have one person for my Saturday operation already.

I have three more people who have expressed interest in helping me.

Oh, a second person (also a lady) has said that she wants to help me. She is also free on Saturdays. Although I want to meet with both men and women helpers so I get practice with both kinds of speech and modes of expression, I think I might actually prefer working with women. I think they tend to be more understanding and more helpful.