Thirty-day Korean Challenge: Week Two

End of week two!

I’m incredibly pleased to say that I’ve consistently studied Korean every day for the past two weeks. I wanted to write a short update about how I went about studying this week and some challenges I noticed.

Time Management Fails

So the first week of this challenge was a rather opportune time to take up a new commitment, as I had practically no homework. State testing had freed up my evenings, and I could study for as long as I wanted. This week was, as I had anticipated, a bit different.

I had already shown a tendency to study Korean pretty late at night during week one, and this week was considerably worse in terms of time management. By the time Friday rolled around, I was really desperate to sleep more.

Finding the willpower to study after finally finishing homework is not only difficult, but also incredibly annoying. If you’re like me, you find yourself getting frustrated by the fact that you’re forcing yourself to concentrate longer even though you could be done for the day, mindlessly watching a kdrama. Studying becomes less enjoyable. *Sigh* But hey, this is what I signed up for.

I tried to work on time management. I really did. Some days, I would study during school whenever I got a few minutes of free time or escape to the library during lunch. Other days, I’d make myself study Korean before completing the rest of my homework. As you can probably tell from the table below, it wasn’t a very successful endeavor. Most studying still happened at night.

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 11.18.41 PM

However, I didn’t miss a single day! And at this point, that’s all I really care about.

Studying

Most of the resources I used to study were the same ones from week one, but I did experiment with listening to other longer podcasts, like Lee Hong Ki’s Kiss the Radio. The episodes are typically about an hour and a half, and there’s a new guest every week. I liked the length because I didn’t find myself needing to play another episode every few minutes like I did with Talk To Me In Korean’s Iyagi podcast. On the other hand, Iyagi is a podcast made for Korean learners, so they explain (in Korean) concepts that are predictably unfamiliar to foreigners.

Another one of my goals for this week was to somehow make listening practice active. Instead of only listening to things in the background while doing work, I wanted to practice writing down words I’d never heard, looking them up later, and entering them into my ever-growing Quizlet set. This, as you might expect, was very time-consuming and not exactly enjoyable. Was it an effective method to practice listening? Yes. Did I stick with it? Not really…

The last thing I want to mention is the beginning of my new journaling habit. After absorbing so many new words and grammar points in the last two weeks, I was so eager to use what I’d learned and receive feedback. And I did! It felt super rewarding, so I definitely see myself continuing journaling through next week, primarily because next week’s focus is writing and also because it’s fun. For any other self-studiers also looking for feedback, definitely check out the apps HiNative and HelloTalk and the website Lang-8. You can use these to ask native speakers questions and have them correct the sentences you’ve written.

Total Time Spent Studying

Total active studying time: 471 minutes, about 7.85 hours

Total passive studying time: 200 minutes, about 3.3 hours

Total: 11.15 hours

That’s it for this week. Please check back next week for another update!

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