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)

Words
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.

Pronunciation
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.

Deconstructing
–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.

Constructing
–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.