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Jet lag cont'd / background checks / STUDY PLANS

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January 5, 2012 | 08:58am
Mood: thoughtful

You guys, I still can't sleep through the night. I went to bed at 10pm last night. Woke up at 1am. Fell asleep at 2. Woke up at 4:30. Since then I've been up eating and studying and wondering why jet lag is such a bitch.

Maybe I'll make it through today without taking a nap.

It's only 8:30am but I already intend on preparing dinner tonight. I'm going to bake cookies and make a pasta dish of some sort.

Yesterday my background checks finally arrived. It's official: I still don't have a criminal record. I probably had enough time to stay in Korea and renew my contract at my old school, but frankly, it's best that I've moved on.

I've completed chapter 1 of my Korean textbook. Okay, so.

My goal is to complete Sogang textbooks 2A and 2B before I return to Korea. This is entirely possible; I did the second half of 1B in two weeks.

Plan (using the last few days as an example):
Day 1: type up vocabulary. Review vocabulary two times. Introduce the new grammar.
Day 2: review vocabulary two more times. Complete textbook grammar/reading.
Day 3: review vocabulary. Review grammar. Do listening exercises in textbooks. Review grammar from the previous unit(s).

This means each chapter can be completed in 3 days, or two chapters a week (about nine chapters a month). This is a good ratio. I've also downloaded flashcards for the first year Yonsei textbooks. This is another set of textbooks that I've discovered covers very different vocabulary than the Sogang books. I intend on learning 5-10 words a day using these books until I have caught up.

I have to say, I am feeling far more confident and stronger in my Korean skills at this time than I have felt in any of my other languages after an equivalent amount of study. Thanks no doubt to Anki, my vocabulary base is very strong. I am capable of producing basic grammatically correct sentences with little effort. I am by no means fluent but I am very strong in my language skills and this makes me happy.

According to the FSI Language Difficulty Scale, Korean requires approximately 2200 hours of study to become fluent to a very high level. I'm studying approximately 3 hours a day. If I maintain these study goals through January/February, that will equal about 200 hours. Not a lot in the scheme of things, but it'll get me a step closer.

There are some other things I intend on doing to improve my Korean skills. My long standing goal has been to be able to sing various songs in noraebang with little to no difficulty. I'm going to keep practicing the same songs until I have them down pat. I will also explore the Korean music scene and hopefully find some bands that I enjoy ALL of the songs by, not just the singles. I also plan to watch Korean TV. We get KBS here so I'll watch as much as that as possible and I also want to try to find a drama that doesn't make me want to gag. I have to say, I'm not a fan of Korean dramas/reality shows. I hope I can find a few that I enjoy.

These are my plans through the end of February. I don't think I'll be able to maintain this pace indefinitely, but my big goal is to complete the equivalent of third year Korean by June. I've noticed based on my own experience and the experience of others' that once you hit the third year of a language you are speaking fluently. Maybe not accurately, but you are able to get your point across and understand most topics of conversation. When I am at this point I will join a club of some sort with only Korean people (photography maybe, or cooking) and hopefully make some friends who don't speak any English. My goal for the year is to read an adult book without needing to look up every other word in the dictionary.

I think that my plans are grandiose and hard to attain but, well, that's the sort of goal I work hardest toward achieving. I am certainly capable of all of this, but of course the main issue is maintaining my enthusiasm/motivation. As long as I continue following this study plan (with future amendments to follow), I think this is entirely possible.

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