Posted in Personal, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

New beginnings and a boost of motivation

Today is in many ways a very special day to me. There’s a few sad reasons, a few neutral reasons and some really good reasons as well. Isn’t it fascinating that one can experience so many emotions at the same time? While the sad reasons are.. well. sad. I feel like the positive reasons manages to over-shine the sadness of today. As for the neutral reasons, I had a bunch of new experiences that made my day feel special, but they didn’t really add any good or bad vibes to my day.

However, this evening I had an amazing experience which made me go straight to the blog, even though I really should be getting ready for bed (Working weekend – again).
You see, today was the start of something new (cues High School Musical) and very nerve wrecking to me! Today I had my first Italki session with my new teacher/language partner. Whenever I speak in Korean I feel way more nervous than I should and this causes me to constantly switch back to English, and to be completely honest I feel like I never really put in my full effort when it comes to sticking to Korean. As a result it makes me feel really nervous when talking to new people – especially native speakers. I believe this is actually quite common, but nevertheless it means that it takes me a long time to feel comfortable enough to speak freely – with or without mistakes – and that just makes me even more nervous. I don’t like to waste time and I hate feeling like I’m not doing my best.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I entered this 30 minute session while thinking of it as starting fresh on a blank page, and with the intention of doing my very best and make sure that at least 70% of what I said would be in Korean.
Much to my surprise my nervousness disappeared almost immediately and I was able to follow along just fine (though honestly, understanding usually isn’t an issue. Saying something myself on the other hand… Yikes) and somehow we ended our 30 minute session without using any English at all. How on earth did that happen? I’m really not sure. I was definitely more determined than I have been in a very long time, and she made me feel comfortable almost immediately. When I got stuck I just took a deep breath and that was usually enough for me to regain control over my Korean, and when I felt completely lost I simply rephrased my thoughts so that I could either say it completely or at least say something similar enough for her to understand me easily and then learn the correct way from her. Even when I couldn’t remember the meaning of a certain word, she explained the meaning of it in Korean instead of giving me the translation.
She was super patient and I didn’t feel like those deep breathes of mine, were awkward at all. She has a lot of the same good traits as my previous teacher, so maybe that’s why I felt so comfortable? Or maybe she’s just one of those people who have a calming effect on people? I honestly don’t know.
Generally I have always preferred casual conversation about whatever we feel like, but she seems a lot more structured than me. I new this from the messages we exchanged before making the session, and she likes to have a specific topic prepared beforehand so that we both can prepare diligently. While this is not usually what I prefer, I actually think this will be very good for me (which is exactly why I choose her – It was supposed to be a new beginning after all) and I suddenly feel amazingly motivated and proud of myself. I did something that I had no idea I could, and I can’t wait to improve even more!
I just requested 5 new 1 hour sessions, and hopefully she accepts them so we can make me speak even more.

Now, I really need to go to bed – BUT! Tomorrow I will be home earlier than normal and there’s no doubt that I’ll be using my hours wisely! MUST STUDY!

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

Italki Language Challenge – January 2016

It’s finally here! As some of you guys already know, I have been wanting to try joining an Italki Language Challenge ever since July and I almost signed up for the one in October, but in the end I had to be realistic and accept the fact that I simply didn’t have the time. However I also made myself the promise that I would join the next one for sure, so when I saw that the countdown for the next challenge had started, I immediately signed up before I could change my mind.

I believe they have changed a few things since the last challenge, but since It’s my first time to join then I’m not really sure. You can go read about it here 🙂

I’m not really sure what goal I want to reach. Obviously the 30 hour one would be awesome but 30 hours is a lot of time and money. On the other hand I will be have 4 weeks forced vacation from January 15th (That’s a looong story) and the challenge is from January 16th to February 29th, so it matches perfectly! I mean come on, who knows when I’ll be able to put that much time aside for a challenge? Plus I’ll be taking TOPIK  1 (and maybe 2) in April – That would be an amazing thing to add to the list of preparation plans, right? 아.. 어떡하지… I think I’ll talk to my italki teacher on Monday and see what she thinks!

I’m feeling really excited already, haha! It’ll be fun! I’m positive.

Anybody else joining this time?