Received a question from a reader and thought I’ll share my thoughts here through a post!
hi Shanna, how do u know if u r right or wrong in yr sentence structure/pronounciation/use of phrases since u do self study? How do u motivate yourself to write essays? I noe my weakness is sentence structure & essays but I just couldn’t start writing
Firstly, the answer is that you probably won’t know. Self studying means you are studying on your own and hence in that strictest sense of the word, you won’t get active correction when it comes to sentence structures etc. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. You just have to open your eyes and ears more! Personally I also didn’t start out writing perfect sentences (I’m still not perfect, but a lot better). The key thing is to OPEN your eyes and read. The more you read, the more you will get used to sentence structure and use of phrases. Reading doesn’t mean blindly reading for the content, but really looking at how certain set phrases are used in sentences, how certain particles follow certain words etc.
Although self-studying means you don’t have a teacher, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find people to help you in your Korean! The whole world is your teacher (kinda?). Go to lang-8.com! Write your entries there and Koreans will help you correct them (return the favor too please). Maybe you can start tweeting in Korean too 😀 Anything works.
I don’t particularly need motivation to write. I think once you are learning a language, you will just want to use it naturally. The sense of satisfaction that comes with writing in a foreign language is immense and it’s just something enjoyable (: Start with just short sentences / phrases. There is no need to start writing long passages. Even a single tweet in Korean or a personal memo / checklist in Korean is a great way to start out 😀
The more you write, the more familiar you are with the skills needed, and the longer your writing will get.
If you never start, you will never be able to write. Writing is a skill that requires practice. You can get really good at reading Korean / listening to Korean, but if you never start, you probably can’t write anything much even though you are supposedly of a “good proficiency” in other areas!