Dedicating 8/10 hours per week to practicing Korean conversation during the month of March has really helped. I feel a lot more fluent and can say longer sentences without pausing and stumbling. I also feel more relaxed and confident that people will understand me.

In our practice sessions, we usually spend part of the time on watching or reading something (a Pingu episode (I’ll start Mr. Bean this week) or reading a chapter from a book).

Then I try to summarize the story. After I’ve tried to summarize it in my broken Korean, my friend summarizes the story. This last summarization we record, and then we go over the recording together, pausing whenever there’s a word or phrase that I don’t know or can’t catch. This constant retelling of stories has been so far incredibly helpful and fun.

With a couple of my language helpers we also watch High Kick through the Roof together, pausing every time there’s something I can’t catch or understand. When I watch the drama by myself I usually think I’m following the story pretty well. . . but going line by line like this I find that there’s lots I don’t catch or phrases, words and even grammatical constructions I’m not familiar with.

I’ve been kind of surprised of a byproduct of this concentrated listening. Other times during the day when I’m listening passively to Super Junior Kiss the Radio or Maybee의 볼륨을 높여요 I’ve noticed I’m picking up a lot more and paying better attention.