Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Last goal of 2016

The year is slowly coming to an end and as I do every year, I have been thinking about how to end the year in the best possible way. I started thinking about this last week and decided that I wanted to end 2016 with a feeling of having accomplished a lot in my language learning journey. And to enhance that feeling, I decided that my last goal of 2016 should be to finish 5 of the books that I am currently studying with. I’m always studying with a ton of books and e-books at the same time, because I just can’t wait to get started, when I buy something new. So this way I can put away 5 books from my ‘books-I-am-currently-studying-with’ shelf (Yes. I do actually have such a shelf! It’s on my desk!) and move them to my ‘books-that-I-have-already-finished-but-keep-near-by’ shelf (Yes that’s real too).
I decided to finish these 5 books:
1. 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 – I only have 1 chapter left in this book as well as a few pages I want to review, so I guess this wont be too difficult to accomplish!
2. 백설공주 – I still had 7 stories left in this book when I made the goal, but since my reading pace is slowly becoming decent and the stories are pretty short, this too wasn’t very difficult. I read the last story yesterday! Success!
3. 빈도별 토픽 – This will be one of my bigger tasks since I’m only about 70% finished with the book. However the book is very easy to understand and doesn’t have a lot of assignments compared to my other books, so it is definitely doable!
4. Korean Q&A sentence patterns – I only need to finish 3 chapters in this one, and it’s pretty easy compared to what I usually study with, so this will be doable as well.
5. Korean folk tales & Aesop’s fables – I’m not sure why I never got around to finishing this book but I guess now was right the time! I only had 4 stories left and I finished them all this week.

So 2/5 books have been cleared and I have a week left. It’ll definitely take up a lot of my time, but since my holiday break started today, I am quite OK with that! I will also be visiting my home town next week, which means that I need to entertain myself for the 2×5 hour train ride – Perfect timing! Not to mention that I will be staying with my sister who has work everyday til 4pm, so I’ll have plenty study opportunities there as well.

Time to fix those loose ends before the year ends! Wish me luck!
Merry Christmas guys!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

100 days of productivity?

Today my vacation is officially over and I am back with my original internship. Even though I now have less time available, I actually still have quite a lot of time compared to my last internship. Lately I haven’t been doing my best when it comes to studying, and I don’t even have a ‘proper’(only oneself should decide what a proper reason is) reason. I just simply haven’t had the energy or focus to work hard. I feel like it’s important to be honest to oneself with things like this instead of making up reasons to why you haven’t done your best. Things are definitely looking better know, but I have been thinking about how to give myself an extra boost of motivation to do my best again. I have some exciting things coming up and I want to prepare myself in the best possible way.
My first plan was to join the Italki language challenge again but I even though I really liked it the last time, I don’t feel like it’s the way to go this time. I don’t have nearly as much time as I did back then and 효진쌤’s schedule isn’t very flexible either. And since she is now back in Korea, we also have to match it with the time difference. Honestly, just having 1 session a week can be more than enough of a challenge!

So what else can I do? Well, I have seen the 100 days of productivity tags on many blogs and especially on Tumblr and Instagram and I thought that maybe I should give it a try. Making a challenge out of it is always a good way for me to motivate myself and it will probably fit the timeframe for my next projects and goals. It will probably also be a good opportunity for me to learn more about my own study habits.
My goal is to study for an average of two hours pr. Day. My normal daily average is around 1,5 hours (only around 1 hour for the past two weeks) so it’s not really that big of a change, but it’ll get me back on track as well as give me the little extra feeling of a challenge.

I won’t be posting a lot about it on the blog, but I will be updating daily on Instagram and twitter.
So that’s what’s going on right now! I’m starting the challenge from today and I’ll be having the last day on December 20th. Not a bad timing if you ask me! I will be having a few busy weeks (week 38,45 and 50) but I’m sure that won’t be a problem since I adjusted the rules to my personal needs.
My rules are pretty simple.
– As long as my final daily average is on 2 hours, then it doesn’t matter how much I study each day.
– I must study some Korean every day.
– I’ll give a short update every day.

And that’s it!
I’m feeling way more excited about this than I should!
Have a great day guys!

Posted in books, Guides, Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

REVIEW – Korean Q&A sentence patterns by TTMIK

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This is a book that just recently joined my growing collection of books, and since it is one of my current favorites I decided that it was more than worthy of a review on the blog.
The funny thing about this is that I actually bought the e-book when it was published, but because I prefer physical copies I never quite got around to using it. I usually force myself to read e-books since not all books will come out in paper format, but it does take me a lot longer to work through them, which is why I currently have 2 other e-books on standby.. I will get to them soon, I promise!
Anyway let’s get to the review!
As usual I will go through the setup, good points and bad points, my general opinion and lastly my advice for studying with this specific book.

Setup
The books starts out with a short but thorough introduction to the content as well as TTMIK’s own advice on how to study with the book. This is followed by the table of contents and then we get to all the fun stuff.
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The book contains 10 categories, which each has 5 main questions. All of the main questions are followed by 3 similar questions, a main grammar point, a sample answer as well as 3 similar answers.
The book provides vocabulary lists, study notes, a real life answer from a TTMIK teacher as well as a sample dialog.
Lastly there’s a blank area for you to write your own answers in.
The book comes with downloadable audio files.

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Good/Bad points
The good – in no specific order:
– Visually pleasing.
– Realistic and interesting topics.
– Easy to review due to study notes.
– No romanization.
– Can help you improve listening, speaking, reading as well as writing.
– Can help you gain confidence by giving you knowledge about basic patterns as well as expected questions/answers in certain situations.
– Clean design that allows you to focus on the actual content.
– Perfect travel size.
– Answers from real people.

The bad – in no specific order:
– I always write answers on a separate paper and never in my books, but if I did then I would like a bit more answer space.

My general opinion
As mentioned in the beginning of my post, this is one of my current favorite books to study with, and I keep finding more and more ways to study with it, so personally I would recommend this to anyone who is beginner or intermediate. It’s a great way to improve your conversational skills and take a step towards talking Korean more freely, which is what I am currently working a lot on.

My advice on studying with this book
– Go through all the main questions. If you can answer them with confidence then you can move on to the next one. Sometimes you might learn something unexpected and even if you don’t, the book is made in a simple way that allows you to read it all quickly without feeling like you’re wasting your time. Not to mention that confirming your skills might give you a boost of confidence!
If you cannot answer with confidence then work through the assignments provided.
– Make sure to write your own answers to the questions. You can easily skip it or copy one of the sample answers, but practicing is really important if you want to really learn how to use these patterns. Also, writing your own answers forces you to really think about the question and the patterns and in many cases you will also have to look up words that are relevant to your specific answer, which will bring you even more knowledge about the topic.
If you find it very difficult, then start by writing your answer on a separate paper in your mother tongue. This will remove any barriers in your thinking while answering as well as it will give you a guide to what words and grammar you need to look up before answering in Korean.
– Avoid practicing wrong things. Make sure to get your answers checked so that you can learn from possible mistakes instead of teaching yourself something incorrect. You can ask friends, language partners, teachers or get help from websites like italki, lang-8 or apps like Hellotalk and HiNative (Reviews are coming for all of these).
– Use the audio files to practice both listening and speaking. These short files are perfect to imitate and practice pronunciation and intonation.
– Study with a language partner or friend if possible. I’m going to use the topics for my future italki sessions, and I’ll use the book to help me prepare for each session/topic.

I hope you guys found this helpful!
Let me just end today’s post by telling you guys that TTMIK is currently having a chuseok sale so now is a really great time to invest in this book! You can buy it HERE

Posted in Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

This week 07.08.16

Hi guys! I’m a bit earlier today than usual, but I figured that since I already have gotten quite a bit of studying done, and I probably wont be doing more today, I might as well write about this weeks numbers, now!

Monday – 1st of August
– Reviewing words and adding them to Quizlet, for about 1 hour.
 Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday – 2nd of August
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
– Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Wednesday – 3rd of August
–  Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
–  Reviewing words and adding them to Quizlet, for about 1 hour.

Thursday – 4th of August
– Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
– Reviewing words on Quizlet for about 30 minutes.

Friday – 5th of August
– Worked with SURE magazine for about  1 hour.
– Worked with an audiobook for about 20 minutes.

Saturday – 6th of August
– Italki session for about  1 hour.
-Worked with an audiobook for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
– Reviewing words on Quizlet for about 40 minutes.

Sunday – 7th if August
– Worked with TOPIK 듣기 for about  1 hour.
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1 hour.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour.
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 40 minutes.

This makes this weeks total 16 hours and 45 minutes. I’m feeling quite satisfied with this number, though I must admit that I have been completely slacking on my 쓰기 skills, compared to my original plan. So that will be my goal of the new week. I’ll finish the TOPIK mock test that I started today (I only had time enough to do the 듣기 part), and hopefully my 쓰기 will not be too horrible!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

This week 31.07.16

Good evening guys! This week was my last day at my internship, but even though it was quite hectic, I still got some studying done. Here’s my numbers from this week!

 

Monday – 25th of July
– Worked with a podcast (1st half of an audio book) for about 1 hour.
 Worked with SURE magazine for about 40 minutes.
– Worked with a podcast (2nd half of an audio book) for about 1 hour.

Tuesday – 26th of July
– Worked with a 만화 for about 20 minutes.
– Worked with 빈도별  토픽 for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Wednesday – 27th of July
Nothing.

Thursday – 28th of July
Nothing.

Friday – 29th of July
Nothing.

Saturday – 30th of July
– Italki session for about  1 hour.
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about  1 hour and 40 minutes.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 (YES I FINALLY PICKED AN EBOOK TO READ) for about 30 minutes.

Sunday – 31st of July.
– Worked with SURE magazine for about  1 hour and 40 minutes.
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 20 minutes.
– Worked with 덕혜옹주 for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

That’s a total of 11 hours and 10 Minutes. Not to bad when I had a forced 3 day break! I now officially have (almost) all of August to myself and I’ll make sure to enjoy all of my time and get a lot of studying done!

I hope everybody had a great week just like me!
I’ll be back in a few days with a review!

Posted in Resources, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

My current plans and trying to decide

On Friday I have my last day of work with my current internship. This will be followed by vacation and even when that vacation ends, I’ll still be having a lot more free time on my hands – which of course means that I’ll be studying a lot more!

I currently have 2 projects that I will be pouring my heart and soul (and time and money) into. The first one is still in the beginning stages and isn’t quite certain yet. And the other one is of course TOPIK! I’ll officially start working towards that 4급!
Even though I still have 4 days of long shifts, I’m already thinking about what I want to do with all this new free time, in order to accomplish that goal. While nothing have really been set in stone yet I did make one plan, which is to read a Korean book. As you guys know, I have read quite a few by now but they have all been books translated into Korean, and 효진쌤 urged me to read an actual Korean book and enjoy the language in it’s most natural form. So that’s what I will do!
I’ve been looking at ridibooks.com and trying to decide what book to buy, but I just can’t seem to choose. I don’t really have any criteria for the book which means the selection is quite big. Ah what to do.
I have bookmarked a few by now – maybe I’ll ask one of my Korean friends to choose one for me. That seems like a good solution!

Another thing that I have decided is that I will work diligently with the magazine that my friend sent me last week. I’ll read every note, every article and every add, and make sure to write down the unknown words. And there’s quite a few of those! I already filled a few pages with new words and I only worked my way through a few adds and the table of contents! Since I feel like this might just be my kind of magazine, I really enjoy working with it. I feel like I might become addicted to reading it regularly and since shipping is so expensive I should at least use it to study diligently while enjoying the articles!

I’m looking forward to make more plans for the next few weeks!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

This week 24.07.16

Hi guys! Since it Sunday today I decided to take a break from the blog post I was working on (I have a few updates) and write my weekly update!

This week was intense! Due to some unplanned issues I practically haven’t been home which means that I haven’t been studying like usual. However, due to my new study diary I don’t really feel that bummed about it, since I can see the result of last week, and I have still been able to get some studying done.

Monday – 18th of July
Worked with an article for about 1 hour.
 Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 40 minutes.
Worked on translating a song for about 20 minute.

Tuesday – 19th of July
– Nothing.

Wednesday – 20th of July
–  Reviewed new words for about 20 minutes.

Thursday – 21st of July
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 50 minutes.

Friday – 22nd of July
– Italki session for about 1 hour.

Saturday – 23rd of July
– Added new words from my italki session, to Quizlet/reviewing for about  1 hour.
– Talked on the phone with a new LP for about  1 hour.
– Worked with a magazine for about 30 minutes.

Sunday – 24th of July.
– Worked with magazine articles for about 2 hours.

So obviously this is a lot less than last week, but it’s still 8 hours and 40 Minutes where I DID get to study. Not bad at all! I feel like this coming week is going to be a lot more quiet and free, so I’m really looking forward to next weeks numbers!

I’ll be back with my updates tomorrow!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

This week 17.07.16

Last Monday I started something new in order to hopefully stop myself from certain negative thoughts. You see, I feel a need to study a lot which in itself isn’t really a problem, however it seems like I automatically start on a completely new page each day. Actually. Its more like a whole new book. If I for some reason don’t get to study a lot one day, then I will feel very frustrated with myself and feel like I’m not doing my best – even if I have been studying for over 4 hours on the previous day. It’s like the other days of hard work just disappears the second I go to sleep. Also, I try my best to take a lot of breaks during my study sessions as I know its good for my head, but when I have a lot of short sessions, I loose track of my overall amount of studying which again leaves me frustrated.

I think I have become way too addicted to these long therapeutic study sessions, and now when my schedule simply doesn’t allow a lot of those, it causes me to feel stressed even though I really have no reason to.

To stop all of that stress I have decided to start keeping track of my studying. More precisely I time my study sessions, even when it’s just for 15 minutes and I add it all up at the end of the day. I also added a few notes on what I have been studying with during the day. I figured that it could help me regain overview of my studies, and surprisingly enough it has reduced my frustrations quite a lot. Therefore I have now decided to keep doing this for 5 weeks and see how it affects me and my way of thinking, and I’ll update on the blog each Sunday so that I can look back at my overall progress. Here’s how my week went by!

Monday – 11th of July
Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1 hour.
– 
Practiced essay writing for about 1 hour.

Tuesday – 12th of July
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 50 minutes.
– Worked with useful Hanja words for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Wednesday – 13th of July
–  Worked with useful Hanja words for about 1 hour.
–  Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 1 hour.
–  Worked with Korean grammar in use (advanced) for about 50 minutes.

Thursday – 14th of July
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 3 hours.

Friday – 15th of July
– Italki session for about 1 hour.

Saturday – 16th of July
– Going through corrections from my essay for about 30 minutes.
– Worked with 서강 한국어 쓰기 1 for about 1.5 hours.

Sunday – 17th of July.
– Worked with 빈도별 토픽 for about 1 hour.

 

Today I actually woke up with an awful headache and I didn’t really feel like doing anything what so ever. However, I got out of bed in decent time, I went jogging for the first time in 6 months and then sat down to study. At this point my headache became worse despite painkillers and I decided to stop studying. Normally I would feel really frustrated by studying for only 1 hour on a Sunday with no other plans. These days its so rare that I have that much time on my hands so I would definitely feel upset over wasting that time.
But today, I was totally fine with it because not only can I see right here and now in my notes, that I have been studying for over 14.5 hours this past week, but I can also see that I have been studying such a variety of things. I have been working on my grammar, I have been practicing writing, I have been reading, I have been talking and listening and I have practiced specifically for TOPIK (which I will be taking again in exactly 364 days from now – if you were wondering!). The fact that I am not able to use my Sunday in any efficient way, does NOT in any way mean that I have wasted my time or that I’m not doing my best. I’m working my butt off.

It feels really good to see everything over a larger period than just one day. If you – like me – feel frustrated over these so called ‘wasted’ days, then try to keep a small diary like me, over a longer time period.

My Sunday is almost over and as soon as I have published this post I’ll lie down on my couch and probably play some random game on my phone, without any regrets or thoughts of wasted time.

I hope everybody had a great week!

Posted in korea, Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

TOPIK, new goals and changes

I already told you guys about my TOPIK experience and I also shared the fact that I passed level two as hoped (and expected) which of course means that I need new goals. I’m definitely the type of person who need a lot of specific goals in order to thrive and I also feel that my studying becomes a lot more organized when I’m working towards something specific. So what’s my new goal? Well. TOPIK 2 was definitely not a challenge for me, but my 쓰기 skills are lacking a lot more than I want to admit and that combined with the rest of my Korean skills means that I am still not good enough to pass level 3. I’m in a frustrating place somewhere in between everything and nothing. Sigh. But it’s OK. There’s only one way to get past this place and that’s to continue to work hard, right? Anyway, to make sure that I actually challenge myself I set my next goal to be Level 4 in July. I feel like it’s a very suitable choice for me!

Now some of you might be wondering about July, because TOPIK in July is only in Korea – right? Yes, correct. My sister and I decided go to Korea in July instead of May, due to some personal reasons. My sister also really wants to celebrate her birthday in Korea, so when we discovered that it would fit perfectly with the TOPIK dates, we decided to just change all the dates! So far our plan is fly on the 13th and return on the 31st(July 2017)! We will be finalizing the rest of the details until September 1st, where we will buy the tickets and everything will be official! I can hardly wait!

I have a few other goals in mind as well but I’ll be keeping them to myself a little longer!

On another note – On Friday, I’ll be having my last session with my lovely Italki teacher. Her schedule will be changing so she will no longer have time for italki which is something I can definitely relate to. It’s going to be odd though! We have been talking on a regular basis for almost exactly a year now and we have gotten to know each other so well. According to my Italki statistics, we will be having our 70th session on Friday! That’s crazy! She have been following me from so early in my journey. We already talk through Kakaotalk outside of our sessions and I’m sure we will continue like that!

I though about taking a break from Italki too instead of looking for a new teacher, but I just feel like I might regret it later. These sessions have been such a great help to me and even though I know that I don’t try nearly as hard as I could (and should), I have still improved a lot since my first session and I want to try a lot harder when it comes to sticking to Korean, in the future. I have looked at a couple of available teachers and even scheduled a trial session with one of them. Let’s see how it goes!

In general, I guess there’s just a lot of things going on right now.
I am working on a new study schedule that fits my current situation and as usual I’ll keep you all updated!

Now I’m going to go outside in my sunny garden and do some work, while listening to my newly found podcast! Enjoy your Monday guys!

Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

My first TOPIK experience

Last Saturday I finally took TOPIK 1 (whoa, it already feels like it was ages ago!) and surprisingly enough, my sister and I actually found our way to the Korean Cultural Center without any trouble!
When we got there we waited outside for a while, not really sure whether to enter the building or not since we were there pretty early, but soon other Korean lovers joined us and we all got invited inside by one of the employees. After waiting for a while in the waiting area, we all had to get our registration slips and then we got to go to the room where we had to take the actual test.

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My first impression was that it seemed just like a normal written exam just like back home in Denmark! I walked in to the dark room and had to find my seat. All desks had names and registration numbers, so you had to find the one with your name. Not too long after finding my desk, the supervisors joined us and started to collect our phones while explaining the structure and rules of the exam. As I mentioned in my last post, I actually had an anxiety attack right before I found my desk, but at this point I was starting calm down and this actually ended up being my favorite part of the exam. Why? Because the instructions were mainly in Korean. Only a few things got translated to English and somehow I just found it so incredibly satisfying to actually use my knowledge and be able to understand what was going on! Honestly, that’s probably the reason why my anxiety started to fade away. At that point I had already considered quitting and just leaving the room before the test started, but I knew that I would regret it SO badly! Passing level 2 in April 2016, has been my goal and a big part of my motivation in 10 whole months! Not only would I be incredibly disappointed in myself, but I would also leave the Korean Cultural Center with a really bad memory filled with anxiety and I might never be able to get over that. So I decided that I would skip TOPIK 2 (which was just a bonus since I was already there) and stay for TOPIK 1 no matter what. And I did!

After waiting for a while, we got out TOPIK pens (I have read about many people keeping these pens as a souvenir, but I never understood why until I got mine. I had no idea that the pens where made specifically for the exam!) and soon after we got our papers too. Soon after, the exam finally started but sadly it didn’t last for long. We started with 듣기 but our audio player kept stopping in the middle of the tracks. I felt really sorry towards some of the other test takers. Some of them where really nervous and had been sitting with their books, cramming, until the very last moment, and these unexpected technical issues obviously made them more nervous! After a few tries we were told to jump straight into 읽기 while they tried to find another cd player. This is my second favorite moment of the exam! You see, there was no clock in the room so I had no idea whether I was behind on time or not, which was quite stressful. Also, I haven’t taken a TOPIK mock test since September, and I had completely forgotten how much time we had and how many questions there was. I literally had no idea what I was doing so I just tried to focus on the current question in front of me. At some point one of the supervisors pokes me on the shoulder and asks “You ARE aware that you need to fill out the answers on that separate paper, right?”… Oh boy! My face must have been priceless! I DID know that had to do that because they said so in the beginning and I DID understand it. However, I have never used that separate answer sheet at home and after my anxiety issues I had just put all of my focus into the test and had almost forgotten that I was NOT home in my own living room and I was NOT just taking a mock test! Having no idea how much time I had to fix it, I semi panicked and tried to fill it out as fast as possible, which obviously caused me to accidently mark a few answers wrongly. At the exam you are not allowed to use your own pen or correction tape, so I had to raise my hand and wait patiently for the supervisor to bring me the tape. I got it corrected and finished the last few questions and then while I was thinking about what a silly mistake that was, one of the supervisors declared that we now only had 10 minutes left! Turns out I had more than enough time! This brings me to my point: This is my second favorite moment! As mentioned above, I haven’t taken the test since September and back then I just barely passed it + I had to skim through the last 3 questions in order to answer them in time. This time I was able to read some of the questions several times, I could fill out the answers twice on different papers, erase a few answers and then correct them, and still be able to finish with 10+ minutes to spare. If that’s not progress, then I don’t know what is!

After the 10 minutes had past, they gave us two extra minutes to finish up, since we had to start the 읽기 so sudden. We then picked up where we left with 듣기 but the new player also seemed to be against us! Once again I felt really sorry towards the other test takers, and the supervisors too! They were definitely worried about what to do if it didn’t start working properly soon! It the end one of the supervisors just had to stand by the player and be ready to restart it if it stopped, and that worked out perfectly.
In the end we finished without too many problems and I left the room smiling and feeling really good about myself! Like most of the other test takers, I brought my pen back home with me. It now has a special place on my desk (aka my favorite study place) and it will stay there to remind me of my first TOPIK experience, and motivate me to study for the next!

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I have already thought about my next TOPIK goal, but I have decided to just study without a goal, until May 26th, where the results from the 46th TOPIK will be published. I can’t wait to see my result and I can’t wait to learn more Korean and see more progress. Things have been a bit hectic since I got back from London, but it should be back to normal now. Hopefully that means that I can spend my long weekend with my first post-TOPIK study session!

Have a great day guys!