Have I become lazy?

‘Have I become lazy?’ is a thought that has been appearing on and of throughout the last month or so. Lately I have found it quite difficult to remember all the things I go through in my books and especially in my grammar book. The thing is, my overall Korean skills are definitely improving in a decent speed, but when I compare my progress from ‘Korean Grammar in use – Beginner’ with the progress from ‘Korean Grammar in use – Intermediate’, it just isn’t working as well as before. I don’t find the jump between Beginner and Intermediate too big, so it’s not that Intermediate just happened to be a lot more difficult. These thoughts have been joggling around in my head for a while, and a few days ago, I started to realize that I have simply gotten lazy.

I’m not sure when it really hit me, but there’s definitely no doubt that I have found the cause of my change. I have been thinking about it a lot these past few days while preparing for my IT exam (Korean will always be more interesting to me ㅎㅎ) and I have come up with quite a few examples, so now I’ll share the most important with you all.

When it comes to my grammar books, I’ll try to illustrate the differences like this:

BEGINNER:
– I used to look up every word that I didn’t know, with no exceptions.
– When there was something I didn’t understand I would immediately look it up somewhere else or ask someone to help me.
– When I made the assignments after each chapter and I got something wrong, I would go back and reread it until figuring out what part I had misunderstood. If I didn’t know what to answer while making the assignment I would also reread it and then return to the assignments.
– When reading I would focus mainly on the Korean parts and pay full attention.

INTERMEDIATE:
– I only look something up if I’m lost. If I understand a sentence or situation through pictures or context, then I’ll move on without looking up the unknown words.
– When there’s something I don’t understand I move on and tell myself that I will look it up somewhere else later, that I’ll understand it when I make the assignments in the end or that I will ask someone at some other time (spoiler alert: It almost never happens).
– When making the assignments in the end of the chapter and I get something wrong, I’ll just correct it and move on. If I don’t know the answer to a question I’ll just guess without rereading (This part is something I started on deliberately. I’m using it as a way to test how well I can remember everything and obviously it isn’t working).
– When reading I don’t focus properly. I just sort of force myself through the Korean part and then rely mainly on the English parts.

Do you see what I mean? These things are the most obvious ones but there’s many small things that has changed as well.

However I also want to point out that becoming lazy isn’t always a bad thing.
Another lazy point of mine is when I’m reading. I used to be very strict when it came to my notes and I would always write ALL unknown words down like this:
Word – Wordtype
English meaning
Korean sample sentence

It worked fine but it was extremely time consuming and also quite demotivating when I could easily see how many words I had to write down.
When I started reading 어린 왕자 I stopped doing it like this and instead just looked  up the words and moved on. If I couldn’t  remember the words the next time I came across them, then I would simply look it up again.
This seems to be working so much better than the other method! Having to spell the word over and over again to look it up, has made it stick to my brain so much easier, plus I go through the books a lot faster and thereby feel more motivated to continue. There’s no way I’m going back to the other method – lazy or not.

So.. What am I going to do about my laziness? Well first of all, I am going back to looking everything up immediately if it’s possible. I’m going to focus on the Korean parts instead of the English ones and I have started working with some of my other books that only has Korean explanations. They are still way over my level, but I’m working my way through them and I’m already finding it easier to focus fully on Korean. Lastly I’m going to stop guessing the answers when I don’t know and instead keep looking up the grammar points (the Intermediate book’s assignments are designed in the TOPIK format and it often uses grammar from different chapters and not just the one you are currently reading, so you get to practice different parts of the book) – basically just as I do with unknown words. I have been doing this for 3 days and I already feel like I’m improving, so if this feeling continues, then I’ll work though my PASS NEW TOPIK books, in the same way!

Wow this really turned in to a much longer post than expected. ㅎㅎ

Before ending my post I also want to give an update on the Italki Language Challenge, as I know some people have been waiting for this, so here’s my final decision:
I’ll be aiming for the 30 hour goal! Woohooo, I’m feeling pumped already! I’ll discuss it further with my teacher tomorrow to see if she has time enough for me and her other students, and if not then I’ll start looking in to other teachers as well. Though to be honest I prefer to just continue with her, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. ^^

I’ll finish of my blog post with one of my favorite ‘background-music-for-studying-Korean/-relaxing’ songs (Yes, that’s totally a thing… I think..)

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