Received a question in one of the comments on how I am studying advanced Korean now. Frankly speaking, I still feel that I’m lost somewhere in the abyss of the ‘crossing over’ stage. I think I’m over the intermediate stage but still not quite there yet to call myself an advanced learner.
Contrary to ermm public belief (?), I don’t study very hard for Korean. Nowadays at least. I did remember a period of time when I will spend hours and hours poring over textbooks, resources etc and those were the good old days where I could still give my very best.
At the ‘advanced stage’, there is no good book (none that I found) to study with. Without a book and a clear structure, it becomes very hard to self study. Self studying requires a lot of discipline, structure etc and without a textbook, it just doesn’t seem right. I don’t feel very anchored to my studies and sometimes I just feel lost, confused and unmotivated.
Out of the several methods I’ve been using, I’ll just touch on one of them: READ REAL ARTICLES.
Most foreign language learners tend to get very very dependent on textbooks. Especially for intermediate learners, many of us seem to be unwilling to go beyond our textbook and to try to attempt something harder and more challenging. People tend to be contented with being able to read the prescribed texts and even up to an advanced level, they are still reading from the textbook. It’s a good thing that most advanced textbook have texts taken from external sources, but it is still not a real reflection of the language.
I suggest looking at REAL articles. News articles, blogs, texts, novels – anything and everything.
The interesting part comes with blogs and user generated content. Most of such content are less formal and they tend to contain language elements that are unfamiliar to the ‘structured language learner’.
The colloquial expressions may not be ‘correct’ from the viewpoint of pure, academic Korean, but this is how language is used in real life.
I myself is still very weak in terms of colloquial expressions etc.
I always subscribe to the belief that learning a language means picking up everything. By everything I mean jargon from all disciplines, all types of speech styles etc.
By reading real articles, we get exposed to the real language.
It’s also time for me to start to develop my own stylistic preference in writing Korean and looking at real articles give me a chance to look at how people are phrasing their sentences and I’m beginning to slowly pick up some kind of stylistic preference too. I’m not asking you to mimic a particular author etc, but picking up the nuances of the language.
Here’s preview (or rather an example?) of my next method!