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
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.