Trying to get back into the routine of blogging and studying. The blog has been badly neglected and I had wanted to spend available free time on actually “studying” instead of writing about how I’m studying and learning languages. Then again, I was reminded that this blog is very much an integral part of my learning journey and it shouldn’t be sacrificed just because “I have no time”. So yep, trying to carve out a good balance in my life.
I am also making a conscious effort to go beyond my comfort zone. It’s easy to become lax with my studies, as I don’t really have any issues comprehending/using Korean in a daily situation or when I’m watching dramas etc. In some ways, there’s no urgency or impetus to improve. I don’t even need to use the language in my daily life. So I’ve made a few goals for myself just to get myself some motivation and impetus to study 😛 Honestly, I don’t know if these goals are viable or if I’m setting myself up for disappointment again, but I’ll just see it as positive motivation to keep myself going. I think it’s better than being overly satisfied and comfortable in my current state. (yep slightly vague, but you get the idea?)
On some tangible short-term goals:
- improve ability to read and understand Korean news articles and also news broadcast
- improve reading stamina
- expand vocabulary
I’ve been very focused on reading Korean news articles. Mainly the politics and economics section for now, as I’m boosting my vocabulary bank in these topics. It’s a good way to keep abreast of news and yet practice Korean. I’m planning to use commute time for it, but as of now, I still find it difficult to do so on the way to work (I need to space out…). 😛 During weekdays, I’ll usually just read the news and lookup new vocabulary without writing them out. It’s a faster method, which allows me to read more and focus on improving reading skills. On weekends, I’ll take out my language notebook 🙂 The progress will be slower, but I feel like I retain the new words better when I spend more time processing them.
When it comes to writing down notes, it’s really not the notes that are helpful. The act of copying and writing down is to allow more time to process and internalise the words, instead of having the tendency to just take a quick look and then move on to the next word. For me, it’s a mechanism for me to slow down and process, which is why I never bother with re-visiting my notes. I’ll rather spend the time to read another article instead. That’s a better “revision” method. But as always, this is what works for me. Everyone learns differently and if you see value in my methods, go ahead to try. If you have something else that works for you, great too!
While I used to read an article and then stop, I’m also now “forcing” myself to read several at one go. Reading in a foreign language can be quite mentally taxing, but it’s important to build that stamina to be able to read for long. Currently, I’m trying to read 4-5 news articles at one go, before taking a break. At this point, I’m still reading in details, but moving on, I’ll want to learn how to scan through an article and still pick up the main gist (which I see as the next stage in proficiency haha).
(wow this article is longer than expected)
If you are curious, I’ve been mainly reading Yonhap news, because I like the layout (lol).
I may have mentioned this before, but a way to study Korean is to also just read the news headlines / titles. Trust me, that’s harder than you think it is. 🙂 I may write a post on it next time!