Tag Archives: learning

Foreign Language Tip | Reading a Passage in Korean [TTMK Video]

So I remember a while back I was talking about practicing your reading skills in Korean. I wasn’t able to fully demonstrate it in the post because I didn’t know how to properly explain it.

And then I found this video…

This is exactly how you practice learning to read in Korean. When you hear people say to buy children’s books in Korean, they mean reading it like the video below. Break down the sentences and then put it all back together in the beginning. Yes it’s a bit of translation but you want to be able to start reading to comprehend and the best way to do that is to break down the sentences or in this case break down the passage.

Another thing you can do is read webtoons. I downloaded both the English and Korean webtoon app that way I can use the Korean one to practice reading and the English version to make sure I’m on the right track and I know for sure what words I need to review.

Or, if you like watching K-dramas, you can do the same with them. If there are Korean subs available for the drama that you’re watching, you can break down the sentences there too and then switch to the English subs if you need check your accuracy.

It takes practice but you guys can definitely do it!

(one day it will just click…)

Foreign Language Tip 2 #19 | Listen Until Your Eyes Start Crossing…

If you’re listening to a foreign language lesson like a podcast or just an audio recording from your program, the best way to get the full effectiveness of it is to listen until you stop paying attention.

That may seem like common sense, but a lot of times is not actually something that people commonly do. There’s this thing called passive listening that a lot of people will tell you works when you’re learning a foreign language and then there’s listening and letting your mind wander to something completely irrelevant. One of the two is pretty effective as you learn a new language.

So what’s happening?

  • You’re bored.
  • You’re distracted.
  • You have a million things to do today.
  • You have a lot on your mind.

It could be anything causing your distraction. But whatever the reason, when you notice that you don’t even remember what was said five minutes ago or “what did he just say? I missed that!” and you go back to that 5:01 mark and you can’t even remember what the lesson was about and now you feel the need to start over, that’s when it’s time to stop for the day.

But why stop the lesson?

Honestly, because you’re not getting anything else out the lesson at this point. Because you’re not 100% focused on it, it’s just better to stop for the time being and pick it up later. You don’t want this to become a chore. You want it to stay something that you enjoy doing and that way you won’t quit learning altogether.


So how do you stay focused? Talk to me in the comments below!

Foreign Language Tip #13 | You Can Learn in a Year… With Realistic Goals!

Many different software programs, paid courses, and websites will scream at you in the title:

“LEARN KOREAN IN JUST ONE YEAR!… by registering for our monthly installment courses that’ll eat a hole in your pocket for $19.99 a month for the first 3 months.

To be honest… that’s not necessary. It’s not something that will speed up your process if you sign up or hinder you if you don’t. It all depends on how you learn. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for these things.

Or, maybe you’ve heard time and time again people say, “I learning (x) in 6 months” or “I learning (y) in a year!” But how did they do it? For a lot of them, it could be that they used a language learning program or even took a class but for the few that learned on their own, I can guarantee you they set realistic goals. We’ve talked about this before and why it’s so super important to list out goals to help you through this journey, but I’m not here to rehash that, I’m here to motivate you a bit.

Everybody doesn’t learn at the same pace or in the same way, but they can still meet the same end goals.

Here’s how:

It’s not about what you study, it’s about how you study!

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, study things that matter, true, but study in increments of time that benefit you! Don’t study for an hour when you only need 15 minutes. And don’t study for three days a week when you need to study for at least five.

  • For example: I need at least 5 minutes every day to review my vocabulary along with an additional 30-45 minutes each day to review my lessons. Do I always stick to this? No, because I am admittedly lazy when it comes to my own personal studying, but when I do I benefit from each session. I walk away, not feeling bogged down and hazy, but remembering everything I just went over and I can talk about that day’s lesson the next day and the day after.

That’s how you should study. You have to pick a schedule that works for you. If you need 2 days a week and 10 minutes each of those two days, then that’s fine. Everybody learns differently and everybody moves at a different pace.

Be honest with yourself!

Are you struggling learning on your own? Are you having problems in your classes or tutoring sessions? Are you in anyway feeling left behind because you’re stuck at a particle point? Maybe it’s with conjugation or maybe it’s a Grammar lesson that you just didn’t understand, whatever it is, you have to be completely honest with yourself on your progress. You won’t get further along if you’re pretending like you understand something when you don’t. It’s okay to be confused. And it’s also okay, when you’re confused, to reach out for help.

It Is Okay To Ask For Help!!! 

I will say again. It is Okay to Ask For Help!! If you are struggling and you’re in class, find time to talk with your professor, teacher, or any supplemental instructor. Or maybe there’s someone in your class who totally understands this, ask them! If you’re studying on your own, reach out to sources like italki, youtubers who teach Korean, websites that offer assistance (legitimate ones), or even me! I am more than willing to be a resource to anyone who needs help in learning Korean. I have been asked by people in the comments plenty of times about word definitions or Grammar principles, I don’t mind being assistance at all. And if there’s a topic that even I struggle with or don’t know, we’ll figure it out together because two heads are always better than one!

And just think, if you ask a question in the comments, there may be someone else who is struggling with the same topic and will benefit from any answers you receive. So not only have you gotten help but you’ve helped someone else just because you weren’t afraid to ask.

Remember, this journey is yours and yours alone to take. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one year or five or 10-15 years. However long it takes for you to learn is not what’s important, what’s important is that you put forth effort, you studied and you did your best.

So remember,

  1. Set Realistic Goals
  2. Set a Schedule that works for you
  3. Be honest with yourself on your progress
  4. Ask for help when you need it

That’s all for today!

New WOTD and Grammar of the Week next week! And maybe a special make-up/culture/art/etc. post tomorrow… I don’t know yet. Don’t hold me to that!

Foreign Language Tip #9 | Write Down What You Don’t Understand When It’s Said

“…sometimes, even if they do speak slowly, you still aren’t quite understanding. Maybe they’re using words you’re unfamiliar with or maybe you’re catching the familiar words but can’t seem to put the sentence together…If you’re in a position to ask this, i.e., “tutoring session”, “with friends”, etc. then request this if you’re still not understanding.”

It may seem a bit ridiculous to ask someone to write down something that you didn’t fully understand when they said it. No matter how slowly it was said, how clearly it was pronounced, or even how many more words added to help you grasp the meaning of the sentence, sometimes there are things said that we don’t understand when said but understand when we see them written down.

Even in your native tongue, you may have noticed that there are times you have to see things in order to understand what it means. Maybe someone pronounced it differently than you do. i.e., “Gyro” or they said it incorrectly and you need to see it in order to understand what was said or maybe you’ve never even heard that word before! Whatever the reason, it’ll be helpful to ask to see it first.

Take for example this sentence: 그치 | “Right; Am I right?”

I saw a video of this where people literally had no idea what was actually being said. They thought it was something entirely different. But when it was spelled out, it made the word make a lot more sense.

나는 불고기 와 소주 를 원하는. | “I want some bulgogi and soju.”

If you can only understand a key word in this but not all of it, though you could theoretically guess at the meaning, it may not be 100% easy to understand what was said to you. If the speaker is in a position to write it down so you can see it, ask them to do so.

The point is, you want to be able to understand but sometimes that means writing things down as well to get the point.

So keep practicing and don’t get discouraged!