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Book reviews – Challenging and activating knowledge

From the very beginning of my language learning journey, I have been very clear and vocal about my love for reading. I started reading webtoons in Korean almost immediately and I continued with easy and short books not long after.
There are so many benefits, and in my case it has been one of the most giving methods for learning vocabulary and natural sentence structures, not to mention how it has been so incredibly helpful when it comes to my writing abilities as well.
And while I have absolutely no regrets and still a 100% urge everyone to read, I have noticed one frustrating thing about expanding vocabulary through reading, which is that it easily becomes passive knowledge. I can’t even tell you guys how many words that I can reckognize perfectly in an instant when I’m reading a book, but then when I’m trying to tell my friends or italki teacher about the amazing book that I’m currently reading, then I struggle so bad to recall those words that I have otherwise read and understood so clearly, so many times before. It’s so frustrating and as I have found myself reading a lot more this past year, these frustrations have been growing and growing while I have been trying to figure out how to activate all of these hidden gems in my brain.
But then, one magical afternoon when I was spending money on gmarket once again, the answer came to me! Well sort of anyway..
I knew that as with everything else, it mainly comes down to a matter of actually using what you learn actively. But honestly, I just don’t get to use words like ‘전과자’ (ex-convict) or ‘종신형’ (life in prison) that often.
So when I was ordering my new study planner and buying refill pages a while back, I discovered that this particular planner (Indigo Monster Study Planner) have other types of refill pages as well. They had some with games which I also bought, but way more importantly, they had refills made for book reviews! How absolutely perfect!
These pages comes with space to write a short review / other thoughts on the book you are reading, as well as a few questions like start/finish date, general rating, genre and most memorable sentence from the book. It’s a great way to sort of kickstart your thoughts on the book you have been reading. There’s also book wish lists and a few other goods to help track your reading if you are like me (obsessed with tracking I mean lol).


I’m basically just going to give myself this as homework for each book / story I read. Hopefully it’ll help me to actually sit down and actively think about what I have read and how I feel about it. It gives me a great opportunity to also use what I have otherwise only read, while alsobeing great writing practice at the same time.
Making such pages about movies could be a fun challenge too, so maybe I’ll try that too, but for now, I’m perfectly happy with my book reviews.
It’s time to activate this brain of mine and turn all of these words into active knowledge!

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