Posted in Books and Reviews, Korean Learning Log, Reading, Weekly/Daily Goals

May – The Month of Reading

May the Fourth be with you!

My time as a college undergraduate is pretty much over!  I graduate this Sunday, but I’ve already moved most of my dorm stuff back home and am in summer mode.

April was a decent month studying-wise.  I studied Korean 16 out of the 30 days, with an average of 26 minutes per day that I studied.  Now that it’s summertime, I’m hoping to really buff up my studying and be more consistent on a daily basis.

Specifically, my goal this month is to really focus on reading.  Reading is a great way to build up your vocabulary, whether it’s a foreign language or your mother tongue.  I’d say that I have a better English vocabulary than most, and I blame it all on how I gobbled up books as a child (and still do, honestly).

I want to read at least a little bit every day this month (or almost every day – I’ve already missed a few days while packing up and moving back home).  Right now I’m in the middle of a children’s book called 준비물 챙기기, which is roughly translated as “Preparing Supplies”.  It’s what I would describe as a children’s fictional self-help book – it has three short stories about an elementary student named 연두/Yeondu and the travesties that befall her when she forgets to pack the art supplies or gym clothes she needs, etc.  The storyline is pretty cute, and there are also lots of illustrations.  I’m in the middle of the second story, and I’ll hopefully be finished by the end of the month.

준비물 챙기기

My theory is that I can build up my vocabulary just like a normal kid would – starting with kids’ books, and working my way up.  I tried reading the second Harry Potter book in 2015, but even that was way over my head.  Of course, I’ve built up 2 years worth of vocabulary since then, and I’m hoping I can return to Harry Potter by the end of this year.  In the meantime, I have 3 children’s books to plow through and hopefully pick up a lot of vocabulary.

Besides 준비물 챙기기, I also will hopefully read through several of Talk to Me in Korean’s Iyagis, and I also want to go through and read some Kpop lyrics, too.  That way I’m not only buffing up my literature-based vocabulary, but am also able to work on my conversational Korean vocabulary as well.

Along with building vocabulary, I also am hoping to see a big improvement in my reading speed.  Hopefully I’ll see some tangible progress in both of those areas by the end of the month.  🙂


3 thoughts on “May – The Month of Reading

  1. Congratulations for your graduation!
    I do agree with you. Reading a lot when I was younger helped me a lot too with building up vocabulary, remembering the correct spelling of words and so on.
    Plus, it might be motivating to see that you actually understand a book that is not written in you mother-tongue!
    Good luck for this month too and happy studying~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So what is the exact strategy? Are you looking up words as you read? After you read? Only when’s it bothers you?

    The good part about the lyrics there might be translations out there so it can save you time from looking up individual words in the dictionary. I always look up 和訳 just in case on exists

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The exact strategy varies a little bit, but usually I sit down, read a couple of paragraphs, and then go back and look up words that I’m not familiar with. Most of those words go into a Quizlet flashcard set that I can later flip back through to remind myself of what new vocabulary I experienced.

      As for songs, I print out a copy of the lyrics because I like to have a physical copy haha. It’s also nice to have if I feel like trying to memorize the lyrics. I usually read through the lyrics once, just seeing what I understand and highlighting the words I don’t recognize, then I go back through and look those words up on Naver. Then I sometimes look at a translation of the song last to make sure I understand all of the context. With most songs, I usually know 80-90% of the vocabulary, so looking up the individual words isn’t that cumbersome of a task, and I like to see the sample sentences on Naver so I can get a feel for some other contexts in which that word is used.


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