Slow going. . . .

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I’ve been trying to get some good work done but haven’t been getting too much work done unfortunately. I tried today and yesterday working specially on pronunciation. Pronunciation these days includes working on two songs — the Iris 잊이 말아요, 죽아도 봇보네. I tried also to work on 아이유’s 잔소리 but I’m not sure I can easily sing along.

I had a nice several hour visit with H* in Korean which I enjoyed a lot.

Yesterday I had a good long conversation with a new friend I made on lang8, which was a lot of fun. I hope that we become good friends and have lots of long conversations, and that I can really be a good friend to her.


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I’ve been working most of the morning and early afternoon on the Psalms in Korean. I’ve got now to Psalm 37:2 (at 14:37), and collecting lots of interesting words. I might finish my Psalm work right now though because I feel a bit overwhelmed. I have to do more that what I’m doing per day though to finish in one week. Maybe my goal is too unrealistic. I’ll keep trying to work on it. I think I started from Psalm 14 or so yesterday though so I’ve already made much more progress then I was able to do yesterday.

Language practice -> language fluency

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I’m trying to work on improving my Korean several different ways. I have two more weeks where I can study Korean pretty much full time and one week where I’ll only have two hours of teaching every day so I should be able to study a decent part of that time as well.

I had a lots of lots of language practice. This weekend I spent almost the whole time with H* hyeong and so was communicating the whole time pretty much in Korean with him, his friend from Daegu Ho*형 and then on Sunday with the Bible study group. At church and with the Bible study group I realized I was a lot more fluent. . . and I think it was because I had a whole Saturday to practice and get used to Korean.

I have to find a good way to balance Korean study with other things I do.

Last week I started to go to the main city nearby to study — it’s quite nice to study in a cafe and doesn’t feel as lonely as studying at home by oneself. The atmosphere is nice, and most of the places have internet so I can still do whatever studying being on the internet requires and keep in touch with people on facebook and ichat (which I’m not sure is the best way to concentrate, but oh well 😛 kk)

Goals for Week H
Finish the third volume of IQ84( till page 102)
Put all the sentences of 한국어 문법 연습 into Anki.
Write a lot of diary entries, summaries, and prayers for lang8.
Start reading news articles and writing summaries of them.
Star leraning songs.
Work on putting the movies into Anki
Finish reading the Psalms the way I’ve been doing it (시 18:15)

Retuning language learning

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I’ve been trying to think of ways to retune my language learning. I feel I’ve made big strides forward but there is still a long way to go.

Language Helpers: Since going to Mongolia, I haven’t met anyone regularly for language study. Perhaps because I don’t want to waste time or get the wrong people, I redid my advertisement to include a price up front so I don’t have to negotiate that when we first meet. I also say I’m an American which might pique the interest of people who wouldn’t want to tutor a Japanese or Mongolian but would be interested in meeting an American. I also will put up the advertisements now so that I get people who are resident here and not at home for break. I’ll only advertise in the main city near the village I live, because at this stage in my language learning having Saturday not committed to Seoul helps me build my relationship circle.

Communities of Practice (Relationships): I really want to limit the amount of time I spend with other foreigners even though it might be easier to set up appointments with them and do things with them instead of hurting them or causing misunderstandings.

I want to grow in relationships with every one of the people at the small group at church and be able to be a good person in that group.


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It’s very important I do Anki 1 hr every day. I’ll need more strategies to make that a possibility. I also want to do writing (a journal entry or essay) every day. I can either have it corrected by Sh* or get it corrected in Lang8.


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I’ve been really enjoying practicing lots of talking and speaking but I need to get more book work. This month I want to work consistently on Chinese characters as well.


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I’m pretty discouraged about my language study these days.I learned 영 and 아예 two days ago — 영 I heard first talking with Sl* when I went shopping with her and G* Hyeong at 이마트. 아예 I had heard from her and also I* Ssem, but I was only able to look it up in the dictionary then. When I looked up the words in 6000 Survival Vocabulary that I thought I would already have mastered a while ago, I found both words there.

I also haven’t been able to get language sessions for a while or read books regularly (although I have managed to have little bits of book reading). The EPIK training conference was a little bit an unusual distraction, but still I feel discouraged that I wasn’t able to keep up my 101 new sentences per day or my Anki reviews. I feel that is such a basic baseline I should make sure I meet every day.

I am reading some stuff from Greg Thompson for more ideas and to reevaluate my language study program.

I have to keep these words in mind: “A healthy language learner’s life will be filled with people. ” I really want to be involved in people, but I quite enjoy just reading and studying by myself so I find that reading those kind of articles and evaluating my sociable status is quite important for general health and for my language learning.

Language progress, little by little

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I was doing Anki rather regularly, but with the training conference for EPIK I was able to do Anki the first few days but not afterwards, with the result that I have rather a backup of cards I have to process.

The week before last I went to church and prayed in public for the first time at our small group meeting. I’ve become pretty comfortable giving prayer requests now so that has been really nice. Last night and the night before I slept at G*’s place. He’s going to Australia soon, and I want to spend as much time as I can with him before he leaves. Yesterday we had a kind of English class for an hour and a half and then hung out just talking for several hours afterwards. I felt very happy because I could understand most of the conversation, even when Hyung was talking about his love relationships — something he likes to talk about but in the past I’ve found it often hard to understand.

Hyung will only be here till the thirtieth, so I plan to stay at his place till then, since I won’t have any time afterwards to be with him. That will be about two weeks of homestay. . . hopefully I’ll learn a lot of Korean and Korean culture in this time as well as become better connected with him and his friends.


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This Saturday my brother and I canceled the English class I had been trying to do three times every week for the last couple months. It’s very nice — now I should have a lot more time to study Korean and make some progress on individual Korean study. . . something that specially the last month or so I feel I have been able to do so little on.

Classes will be ending soon more and more at school which should give me more time to study Korean in my free time as well. I hope to spend a lot of break during the winter vacation on Korean studying as well.

AJATT had several key pieces of advice I’ve been thinking about and would like to keep in mind this month and in the future ahead:

The amount of Japanese you do when no one’s watching will determine how much Japanese you can do when everyone’s watching.
As far as you’re concerned, a language isn’t for knowing at some idyllic point in the future. It’s a toy. It’s for playing with right NOW.
To immerse is to place yourself in a super high-probability “field” of exposure to Japanese words. So relax. You’ll get it all eventually.
Replace the desire to be fluent with the desire to do something small and useful now…that will bring you closer to fluency than you are.
Don’t judge yourself by the *stock* of Japanese knowledge you have, but by the *flow* of Japanese knowledge you’re placing yourself in.

Partly because I’ve been very busy, and partly a combination of D* coming and my Korean brother going to Australia and me wanting to help him, I’ve not been as careful as making sure that I’m in the flow continually all the time. Specifically with regard to listening to audio. . . I think before D* came I often got five or six hours of non concentration side Korean listening per day. . . and it got to almost zero.

My hanja study went completely by the wayside as well as my studying of the two books I was using to study grammar and vocabulary that were geared to the TOPIK.


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I need to really upgrade my Korean.


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I’ve been trying the last few days to figure out what I should do to get better at Korean. Key things — relax and have fun, and then second thing immerse oneself as much as possible in Korean in all that I do.


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I’m going to put up another advertisement for conversation helpers.

Study update

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Highlight: Thursday, I was able to tell the train people that I lost a watch and arrange by phone to pick it up. That was a kind of simple but nice accomplishment.

Today I will have two hours of Korean practice with a helper — the first I’ve had in a long long time. I’ve started to log my study again this week — I think it’s important because I’m studying little bits by little bits but not studying as concentrated as I should. Specially the last several weeks it has been hard because I had to prepare for open class. I need lots more practice speaking and listening to Korean, and also lots more hours reading Korean and studying (looking up sentences and going through my SRS.)

For my trip to China and Mongolia I want to work primarily on Hanja, but bring a book or two to read as well (maybe one book). Also I’ll bring my Korean Bible (of course) and my mp3 player stocked full of audio so I can practice listening.

Good sentences

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Getting good sentences is addicting but also hard work.


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Some nice experiences this week. More and more just using Korean at work and feeling more comfortable speaking to J* Ssem, Jj* and I* Ssem in Korean. Need to continue to use Korean there to help me get Korean practice.

When I met for a meal Wednesday evening had a lot of time just interaction in Korean, very fun relaxing, and nice to be immersed in Korean environment. The country village where I live might be key in a lot of ways because in the main city too many people such as at church know English. The meeting with the Hengjeongshil people included the highlight of telling the Mr. Bean shopping story in Korean. Very fun. I need to start using this for my language sessions.

Also last night Jee* called and we arranged a whole meeting on the phone in Korean.

SRS now have a Victory Chart on my wall. I finished adjectives but haven’t got much farther this week.

Also I haven’t been meeting people for concentrated Korean study. I really need to do so and not slack off in that part of language learning.

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