Language portfolio


I think I want to start a language portfolio on Korean. I already was thinking of doing it as a means of encouraging myself, but I think it will be also useful to document growth and to show new language helpers. People seem specially excited when I tell them about the language contest I did. It would be useful to have that there as well as my correct diary entries and my corrected essays that I’m doing with K*y. If I do language tests I can include the score or level I got there as well.

I can also use the portfolio to evaluate what are my weak parts in the language and what parts I need to work harder on.

Overheard on the street

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I have to be better at writing in my journal entries. It’s much much easier than it was at first — it was so hard then, but still too hard.

I really want to finish memorizing all the words in the 500 Basic Verbs list and then the Survival Korean book. Although I want to start working on Hanja, those first two book are my first targets and highest priority. I have to put all the Survival Korean into Flash My Brain as well as memorize all of them.

I definitely have to spend more time in intensive reading.

Maybe a month ago I suddenly started understanding things on the street a lot — it was almost as if someone had turned a switch on. Very nice. :-). I have also been more relaxed about language learning. Relaxing is very important for language learning it seems. I was reading somewhere that language learning ability is inversely proportional to stress. This very much surprised me, and I want to remember that more.


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More on my adventure —  I decided to try to to join the 2nd group at church as a regular participant instead of the foreigner group I’ve been attending almost since the beginning of last year. I”m doing this in accordance with the growing participator model, however it seems to have been not looked upon very favorably by some of the very high top people in church so I have to get permission from the head pastor and the elder who is mainly in charge of the foreigner group.

Korean class 101

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I found out about Korean 101 Class a few days ago — it’s been a great help in consolidating my Korean and learning lots more Korean words and phrases. Even the beginning lessons have words or expressions that I haven’t learned yet.. It’s definitely very well done and will be a great help. I have to use it for vocabulary, expressions and specially listening practice. It will also be useful for pronunciation.

I had a bit of an adventure yesterday.

Pleasure reading

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I’ve written two diary entries already. I’ve also been reading International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching  for fun and to get ideas on how to learn languages better.

It seems reading for fun is immensely important for language learning, so I should definitely make sure I read for pleasure every day of this month. Since that is a high goal, I’ll try to start just making sure I read for pleasure every time this week.

Progress so far and strategies for future

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I stopped writing my journal with all the holiday and also the disruption to my schedule from moving in with G*. But I must start again, because it was a really great help. Plus, H* promised to look over my diary entries as well, so if they don’t get all checked online, I can have her check it.

I wrote my first diary entry of the new year today! From now on I want to keep it up. . . it seems relatively easy to write a simple diary entry now. Now the challenge will be to make interesting diary entries about what I am thinking about.

Living with G* has been very good in lots of different ways. I still want to think about how it applies to my language learning and write some more about it. I also want to think of specific things I want to take advantage of to learn during this experience.

I’m using Flash My Brain to seriously memorize vocabulary words. It has been a great idea, as I’ve been picking up on words used in conversations or at church or listening to J* Ssem that I learned with the flashcards. I also found it very helpful in being more fluent in speaking with H*, my helper on Saturdays. The flashcards do take a lot of work as well though. My goal right now is to finish the 500 Basic Verbs that I’m studying now, and type in all of the Survival Vocabulary words by chapter and learn them as well.

Some highlights of the last few weeks. I learned a lot about Korean culture by talking with my hair dresser during my last hair cut. It was specially encouraging that I could remember the words spoken with her and look them up in the dictionary later and talk about them with JJ* at school to clarify them more. I also had good couple hour conversation with M*.

Another highlight — I met S* from 2pm to 9:30 last Saturday and we talked most of the time in Korean, especially in the beginning. We both really enjoyed hanging out together and we were able to talk about quite a lot of things. it included me explaining in Korean why I don’t want to have a girlfriend now. I was impressed by it afterwards since several months ago I tried to explain why I held certain other beliefs to someone — this was a similarly hard assignment but I was suprised I was able to explain myself in a reasonable way.

In this next month I specifically want to work specifically on deconstructing and constructing Korean sentences. I also want to continue to build up my vocabulary words in the ways described above.

I’m surprised how helpful my learning songs was to help with my pronunciation.

Language Strategy For Next Month (January 7 – Febraury 7)

I also want to continue to build up my vocabulary words in the ways described above. I’ve mastered 256 words so far in the 500 Basic Verbs list. My first goal: finish all 500 verbs by this Friday. Then work on the Survival Vocabulary book to systematically memorize all the words in that book. Also make sure I memorize all the words in the 2000 Essential Words. Although perhaps I can’t memorize all the words in the Survival Vocabulary by February 7, I should have made a large dent in it.

Continue to work memorizing songs — try to download mp3s and listen to them quietly on the bus. Try to listen and sing during lunch break at home. Make a more determined effort to memorize more songs.

Make a determined effort to perfectly memorize the speech that I wrote. This is a good piece of text that I have a good recording for, and I believe I can learn more pronuncation and intonation by memorizing it fully.

–Text —
Read lots of texts, mostly should be carefully checking each word and sentence. Sometimes more quickly.

–Spoken —

Expose myself to more authentic speach. I will get 10 hrs with Ha Yun. Set up a strategy to make the most of that learning time.

Think of ways to meet other people for dedicated language study time. Think of things or ways to study.

–Text —
Write a diary every day.
Text everyone who understands Korean in Korean, even if they respond in English.

Ask questions on blog or to people if I don’t know how to express something.

–Spoken — Speak with brother in Korean as much as possible.

— Other ideas and strategies to Explore

Almost all these things will require discipline, but will have very good payoffs.

Starting my homestay

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I moved in with G* Thursday evening so now I’m in a home stay in a Korean family — him and mother. It has been really good.