People who have been reading Hangukdrama know that I’m sometimes a little too opinionated when it comes to language learning methods. While most of the time I acknowledge/understand that certain methods can work for others (even they are not for me), some methods I absolutely abhor. And topping the list is: vocabulary lists
Books like “10000 vocabulary you should know”, “24000 words for TOPIK beginner” or phrasebooks with lists like “occupation / kitchen” shouldn’t exist. Being published kind of gives the book / method some authority(?) and language learners who see such books will probably think that such lists are helpful. NO. Unless you are one of those people who have a photographic memory, I can’t see how lists work.
The main reason why I hate them? Vocabulary doesn’t exist in vacuum.
I think I’ve talked about this in a long-ago entry before, but words are used in sentences. Meaning that certain vocabulary are used with certain verbs for example.
Take for example, 전화 (telephone/call)
If you see this in a list, you are unlikely to know which verb to pair it with. In English, we will say “make a call”. So are you going to do direct translation and say 전화를 만들다?
Another example. You will unlikely know that 술 can be used with the verb 먹다 (to eat). Such as 어제 술 먹었어?
Similarly, if you learn verbs in a list (the horror), you won’t know which nouns they can be paired with.
If you are learning vocabulary, why not do it by READING. You see the word in a context, you learn how to use it, you improve your reading ability / speed and you (may) learn something new from the passage. See, you can do soo many things at one go (and more efficiently). Compare this to using vocabulary lists. Are you even sure that you can remember the word?
If you have any vocabulary list with you, throw them away.
When I’m talking about vocabulary lists, I mean those that do just list the word and perhaps the meaning.
Heck, even those that has example sentences don’t work too. Unless you tell me that learning vocabulary by reading the dictionary works for you. Then I have nothing to say.
Every time you learn a word, remember that you have to learn it in context, know the meaning, and read through at least ONE more example sentence.
PLEASE DO NOT EVER PREPARE FOR TOPIK BY GOING THROUGH “ESSENTIAL” WORD LISTS.
Finally, if you are a strong advocate of vocabulary lists, I’ll like to hear from you.
P.S. If you need a “context”, buy this book hahahahaha