I probably sound like a broken recorder repeating myself again and again, but I still want to emphasize on the difficulties of foreign language learning. It’s too easy to give up learning a language when its not even used in your country/around you. There’s so many hurdles to cross.
- can you keep up your motivation/passion or whatever reason that prompted you to take up the language?
- with no real exposure to the language, can you really be good in it?
- do you have the time to invest in it?
- who can you turn to when you have something you dun understand?
Korean is considered a more ‘convenient’ (for lack of a better word) language to learn in Singapore compared to… Russian? xD There are plenty of learning materials around, the Hallyu wave is strong.
But there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome, and I’m sure all language learners know what I mean.
This post is pretty random, so forgive me if I seem to be incoherent.
They say the best way to measure your language proficiency is an oral test/interview and I’m sure many of us are secretly pleased that this component is frequently missing in those foreign proficiency language tests. I’m sure many of us have enough worries over the 쓰기 component in the TOPIK paper (: That being said, I feel that talking on the telephone is a greater challenge compared to a face to face interaction. You can’t rely on gestures, eye contact, body language or anything else that can help convey your meaning. What you have left is your language proficiency and perhaps your tone?
It’s way harder to assess a situation with the reduced number of cues. And awkward silences are made even more obvious and awkward in a phone call. You can’t pretend to be looking at something else and you are not given the leisure of organizing your thoughts and typing them out in skype/msn.
That is why I tend to avoid telephone calls before I was confident enough in my Korean. Prior to the Korea trip, I have spoken on the phone once or twice. OMG. Awkwardness/nervousness to the max!
I would be urming and hmming at the person and I’m positive my face were red and palms sweaty. hahaha
The Korea trip seemed to did alot of good. I was able to talk for more than an hour on the phone (in Korean of course) and the awkward silences were reduced. Now that I’m back in sunny Singapore, my skills have somehow rusted alittle. But I’m pretty happy to say that I managed to hold a 25 min phone conversation with someone that I’ve never spoken to prior to the call!! Okay, I admit that there were some awkward silences on my side and the other person had to go 여보세요? once. hahaha.
I’m positive many of my Korean friends have been cheated by my ‘proficiency’ in written Korean hahahaha 😀 I shall aim to speak at least as fluently as I write! Mr. Speaking will have a hard time chasing after Ms. writing and Mr. reading will always be ahead! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Before I start spouting more nonsense, let me go back to my book! ^^