At the beginning of the year (which seems like an eternity ago), I set several language learning goals that I hoped to accomplish this year (read them here). In hindsight, this was a rather futile quest since my interests and focus have shifted several times throughout the year. I thought it would still be fun to reflect on what my original goals for the year were and to compare those goals to what I actually studied and focused on.
Here is a brief list of the goals that I originally had and the level to which I achieved those goals:
- Finish my 재미있는 한국어 3 (Fun Fun Korean 3) textbook/workbook – Not even close. I did end up studying a couple more chapters at various points of the year, but I still am only about halfway through the book.
- Decide on a new textbook series and buy a textbook – Since I still haven’t finished my current textbook, I haven’t done much research about what I will be buying next.
- Renew my 이야기 (Iyagi) studying on a regular basis – This is probably the goal that I was the most successful in. My original goal was to study one every 1-2 weeks, and although I didn’t exactly follow that schedule (my studying came more in bunches — no Iyagis for a long time, and then studying multiple Iyagis in one week, sometimes even one every day), I ended up studying around 30 이야기/Iyagis this year. This works out to roughly the same amount of 이야기 studying if I had actually followed the 1 이야기 per 1-2 week schedule, so I’m calling this a success.
- Read through 3 Korean children’s books – I was fairly successful in this goal, too. I read two of the three children’s books that I had hoped to, 준비물 챙기기 and 어느 날 갑자기, which are pictured below. These books were written for young children and thus rather short, so this feat isn’t all that impressive haha. I easily could have made it through all three books (and more) if I had been more consistent with my reading routine.
- Study at least 12 News in Korean articles – Ha. No. The idea was to study one per month. I think I studied one article? Maybe two. I only studied this textbook at the beginning of the year, and my focus quickly shifted to more conversational study sources.
- Study Korean Grammar in Use – Intermediate – Didn’t do much here. I didn’t use this textbook much on its own, but I did occasionally use it as a reference to try and figure out unfamiliar grammar patterns, for which it was quite helpful.
- Write more with Lang-8 – I wrote a grand total of 3 posts on Lang-8 this year. I had hoped to write at least 1 per month. 3 is better than 0, I suppose.
- Occasionally review Mandarin and Japanese – There was a point this summer where I reviewed some of the katakana that I had already begun to forget, and I did meet some Japanese international students that I was able to exchange a few basic sentences with, but that was the extent of that. I’m sad I didn’t do more review.
While it may seem like I pretty much failed the specific goals that I set for the year, it was just a matter of my interests shifting from things like studying grammar and writing on lang-8 to other things, like speaking and vocabulary. There are two huge things that I did accomplish that weren’t on the goals list at all.
- I made real-life Korean friends! This means that I have native Koreans that I hang out with, study with, and eat with. Meeting these friends at least once a week throughout the fall semester meant that I was surrounding myself with real-life Korean conversations with people my age. While I wish I had spoken more in Korean myself, becoming friends with at least a small part of the Korean community at my campus is hugely beneficial for my Korean learning. (Read more about my friends here, here, and here.)
- I have a language exchange partner. I connected with her over Skype via italki, and it’s great to have someone I can practice my speaking with and whom I can ask random questions that I have about the language. (Read more about the language exchange here.)
Throughout the year I’ve also been watching k-dramas and listening to k-pop on pretty much a daily basis, so I’m constantly exposed to the language. I’ve also recently started reading webtoons, which are a fun way to get a little reading practice in and pick up some new vocabulary (especially fun are the onomatopoeia, like the sounds of footsteps or people gasping).