I’ve been living in South Korea for about 8 months now and I don’t really feel like I’ve been progressing as quickly as I should be. It’s been harder than I anticipated to learn and study Korean, since at work I mostly speak English (I’m an English teacher after all) and I hang out with English-speaking friends. But I had a kind of breaking point recently, and it was because of something seemingly simple.
I went with a friend to a cafe to drink bubble tea. Everything on the menu is customizeable, so you pick the flavor, the toppings, the amount of sweetness and ice, and temperature. I was trying my best to order in the only way I knew how, using simple words and pointing at things (which usually works), but the cashier taking my order kept asking me questions about my order that I didn’t understand. I had to keep looking to my friend to translate every little thing. I felt so stupid, I couldn’t even order my own tea! And I felt like a burden to my friend. That’s when I decided I couldn’t live like this any longer.
So I bought some more books and sat down and devised a study plan. I will admit, I’ve never been much good at sticking to my own plans, or at studying hard, but I want to live comfortably and self-sufficiently, and to be able to order my own tea when I want to!
So without further ado, here is my plan!
Books, materials, apps etc.:
- Hello Korean 1, English Edition
- Korean Grammar in Use, Beginning
- TOPIK in 30 Days, Intermediate Vocabulary
- Diary of Dana in Korea
- Cram flashcard app
- Eggbun app
- Kpop, dramas, and related apps (MILK music app, Viki drama app, built-in DMB app for Korean television reception on my phone)
- Good old-fashioned pen and paper
- 1 chapter from Hello Korean 1
- 1 “day” of TOPIK in 30 Days (33 base vocabulary words)
- 1 episode (story chapter) of Diary of Dana in Korea
- 1 unit on Eggbun
- 1 mini chapter from Korean Grammar in Use
Habits to develop:
- use Cram to study TOPIK vocabulary on the go
- listen to Kpop regularly, read the lyrics more often (music apps like MelOn and MILK show the lyrics)
- watch MORE dramas (I’ve been watching a LOT of American television recently…) with LESS subs
- practice writing by keeping a Korean diary
- keep a notepad with me to take notes on new words and expressions that I learn from my coworkers
Preparations on Sunday:
- Prepare my planner for the week by writing out my daily and weekly tasks
- Download any necessary audio files
- TOPIK in 30: create a flashcard deck on Cram for that week’s vocabulary, including related words.
- Hello Korean 1: Read this week’s chapter’s culture point, objectives and sample dialogue. Listen to the audio for the sample dialogue 2 to 3 times. Prepare headings for notes in notebook.
- Diary of Dana: Listen to episode one time. Read through once on my own. Listen to episode once more.
Monday through Friday:
- I don’t have a daily schedule planned for Diary of Dana or Hello Korean 1. With Hello Korean, I tend to move through the chapter at a reasonable pace and like to take lots of notes. I always do the chapter exercises and listen to the recordings, so I’ll carry on with how I usually study. I think Diary of Diana will require a lot of patience and using the dictionary to look up new words.
- TOPIK in 30: I do have a plan worked out for this book. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I will focus on 10 base words and their related words each day. I will try to understand the example sentence and then use each word to make my own sentence. Thursday will be a sort of rest day, with only 3 base words. I will use Friday to study the polysemy, synonym and antonym page.
Reviews on Saturday:
- Catch up on any missed Eggbun units or Grammar in Use mini chapters.
- Hello Korean 1: Reread my chapter notes and try writing my own sentences.
- TOPIK in 30: Final flashcard self test, and complete the daily review quiz
- Diary of Diana: Reread the story again and study the episode’s “Cultural Tip” phrases and vocabulary.
So that is everything I’ve planned at the moment. It’s quite an intense regimen, but I’m really determined to make some noticeable progress. I think it’s really important for me to use all of these different resources because they all offer different benefits and I get bored easily, so it’ll be good for me to take bit-sized chunks out of each different resource. And I think I have created a nice balance between vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and listening. I’m lacking in speaking practice, but I’ll be doing the best I can otherwise. I don’t know if I’ll stick to this plan perfectly. I am human after all and life is unpredictable. But I will try my best!
Hopefully this helps you come up with your own study plan! Really, writing this all down was more helpful to me than anything else haha. I’m obsessed with planning so I would love to hear about your study plans as well!
I’m starting this plan tomorrow (Sunday). Good luck everyone! Myself included 😛