Posted in books, Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Making study plans

These past few days I’ve been planning on making myself a new study schedule specially for this long break I’m currently on. Even though I get to study a lot these days I keep having this fear of wasting my time away. You know how sometimes you got nothing done during a long break because you keep thinking ‘Oh, I have plenty time so it doesn’t matter if I don’t do it today’? That’s the fear I keep having, even though I know that I am studying more than usually.
To avoid this, I am currently working on a new study schedule so that I can get to at least do some specific things, and then just study as I feel like it outside of those things.

I have decided to take on the TOPIK 2 (my mock test was less tragic than expected but nevertheless still tragic.. Sigh..) in April, so there’s no way that I will let this break go to waste!
Here’s what I have decided for now:

Everyday goals:
– Go through 1 article from ‘News in Korean’, by TTMIK.
– Go through 1 article from Naver.
– Go through 1 story + assignments from ‘Korean folktales and Aesop’s fables’, by TTMIK.
– Listen to a TTMIK Podcast (grammar or 이야기).

– Go through 2 grammar points from ‘Korean in Grammar intermediate’.
– Review 2 previous grammar points from ‘Korean in Grammar intermediate’.
– Complete 2 assignments in my TOPIK 쓰기 book.
– Complete 2 assignments in my TOPIK 읽기 book.

Weekly goals:
– Complete 5, 1 hour sessions with my italki teacher.
– Study with a practice TOPIK test from my ‘Pass new TOPIK intermediate’ book.
– Read one chapter in ‘작은 아씨들’.
– Write a short review of all finished chapters from ‘작은 아씨들’, using the narrative form.
– Go through each written review with my italki teacher.

End-of-break goals:
– Finish ‘Korean in Grammar intermediate’.
– Finish ‘News in Korean’, by TTMIK.
– Finish the 9th level of TTMIK grammar podcast.
– Finish ‘작은 아씨들’.
– Improve with 3-5 points on listening and reading in a TOPIK 2 mock test.

All of the things mentioned above is obviously just my lowest goals, and the more the better. Outside of these goals I will also be continuing my plan to surround myself with Korean, which so far is going very well!
Also, I got some other pretty awesome news today. Apparently the office at my soon-to-be workplace made mistake so I will be adding an extra week to my break. I can’t even believe my luck!
I made myself promise not to waste any time, so I’ll end my blog post here and return to my books!

Posted in Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

When things are looking brighter

Okay, SO MANY things has happened lately and I’m not quite sure where to start, so I’ll just stick to the most interesting points. First of all, as I mentioned in my last post I finished 어린 왕자, and was pleased to see that I had underestimated my abilities once again. That’s always a lovely feeling!
However, when I decided to move straight on to 크리스마스 캐럴 my confidence sort of faded. Holy cow guys. Despite knowing the general plot (I have only seen the movie once as a child, though.) I find myself feeling lost quite frequently. I look up the words I don’t know, but in several cases I still don’t seem to know the actual meaning of the sentence. That is one of the feelings I hate the most when studying. Sigh..
Anyway, I’m not giving up. I’m sure that I can finish it without being lost in the end, but there’s no doubt that it’ll take a lot longer time than first expected. Luckily I’m not in a hurry! 할 수 있어요!
The next update is that I just bought 4 new e-books from TTMIK. That’s always a good way to start the week! Also, in case you don’t know, they are currently having a 40% Christmas sale on their e-books – Don’t miss it! I bought: Korean Folk Tales & Aesop’s Fables, Korean in Action, Street Korean Ep. 4 and Street Korean Ep. 5I can’t wait to begin! It’s not like I really NEED anymore materials right now, but how could I possibly resist?

My third update is about my TOPIK goal. I was planning on taking two Mock Tests this weekend, but due to my IT exam, that wasn’t possible at all.. However, the actual exam will be tomorrow 11.20, and it only takes 30 minutes, so I since I’m finally finished preparing for it, I’ll be studying for at the rest of this evening, and I’ll have most of my day tomorrow available for studying as well!
The fourth and last thing I want to share for now, is about the promise I made to myself in a previous post. Remember how I promised to try harder to use Korean in my conversations with my good friend, even though he’s fluent in English? Well we talked all Saturday (from around 9AM to midnight – Yikes), and much to my friend’s surprise, I only wrote 4 English sentences during that time. The first two was in English because we were talking about something very serious and personal, and I didn’t want to risk creating any misunderstandings. The other two sentences were in English because I made some mistakes and he needed to know what exactly I meant, so that he could correct me at accurately as possible.
The next day (yesterday) we talked again most of the day, this time with no English at all! Needless to say, I’m quite satisfied with myself!

I believe that was the most interesting Korean related things that happened. Ah.. I can almost hear my Christmas vacation calling my name~ Things can only become better now, right?
Now its time to eat Christmas cookies and watch the last episode of 사랑하는 은동아  study!


Posted in Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Study update

So the last 3 days have been quite hectic and I haven’t felt this exhausted in a very long time. I suppose that’s just the way things are when it’s time for your exams.
Anyway, despite being super tired I have been studying diligently. Most of my studying haven’t changed but I did successfully finish  어린 왕자 yesterday, and I am so incredibly happy that I decided to give it a try. I didn’t feel lost and even though I spent way too much time on looking up words, I still finished it a lot faster than I thought was possible. 아싸!
It just feels like such an accomplishment! After this post I’ll watch another episode of 사랑하는 은동아 and if everything goes as planned tomorrow, then I’ll start reading 크리스마스 개럴. I haven’t made any goals with this one as I seem to read more than planned anyway, and these chapters are a lot longer, so I’m not sure what goal to set.

I have an exam paper that I need to finish before Sunday. My goal is to finish it by Friday and if I succeed then I’ll be taking two TOPIK mock tests over the weekend. I want to see if I have made any progress since the last test, but I also want to try a TOPIK 2 test. It’ll be my first try with TOPIK 2, so I’m sure it’ll be interesting 😉
I’ll also be reviewing a lot during this weekend and hopefully write an essay. That’s my extra goals for the week.
I’m looking forward to the 18th when my classes ends, and I’ll have a lot more time on my hands.

Posted in books, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Korean day

Yesterday I woke up to an email from my teacher, saying that she had gotten sick and as a result my classes for the day had gotten cancelled. What an amazing start to my Thursday! Since I was already wide awake, I decided to just stay up and start studying Korean. I had to enjoy the early and quiet morning, right?
I started with my usual routine and after studying for a little over an hour, I decided to take a break. By then, my boyfriend had woken up and was about to leave the house, so I figured it was a good opportunity to be productive. Being productive in this case meant putting on my favorite Kpop songs and getting some cleaning done. With the cleaning out of the way, I felt like I was able to focus again, and I returned to my books. I honestly felt like I was on a roll yesterday, and when the postman knocked on my door, I realized that I had been sitting by my desk for over two hours. Yikes!
I unpacked my new books – excited as ever – and after looking through them all, I laid down on my couch and watched not 1, not 2, but 3 episodes of 사랑하는 은동아.. I can’t remember the last time I had time enough to binge watch a drama!
While making dinner, I was reviewing TTMIK’s grammar podcast, and after dinner I returned to the couch with my laptop, and started reading my second article that day. Normally I don’t read too many articles each day, as I find myself getting frustrated quite easily, but I just felt like I had all the patience and motivation in the world, and how could I possibly pass on such a rare feeling?
Later in the evening my little family (My boyfriend, the two long eared fluffies and me) all sat down to eat Christmas snacks and watch Pyrus (Old Danish Christmas TV Calendar), and once the episode was over, my boyfriend continued to watch a movie, and I picked up where I left with 어린왕자.
It wasn’t until I went to bed that I realized, that my day had truly been full of Korean. And what a joy it was!
During the day I was talking to one of my LP’s as well, and he was helpful and entertaining as always!

Today on the other hand, I have been insanely busy and haven’t read one single word of Korean.. Sigh.. Can we just go back to yesterday? No? Okay then..
Well it’s okay. My dinner is ready soon and after that I have my second Italki session this week. 아싸! After my session I will watch the 4th episode of Pyrus and then start my usual studying. And guess what! I have no plans and no homework this weekend! I’ll be working extra hard now that I finally have the chance!

I bought all these books during November, and actually, I also pre-ordered TTMIK Level 3 (Surprise!), so that’ll make it 8 books in total (Let’s not talk about the e-books, haha!). Whoops. I regret nothing! I might need a bigger desk soon though..


Posted in books, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Preparing for TOPIK

Lately I have been thinking more and more about TOPIK and I have been trying to figure out how i can prepare myself in the best possible way, without boring myself by working to much with the same materials, and I think I have found a decent balance.

Basically I have decided that the best way to prepare is to expose myself to as much Korean as possible. Reading, writing, speaking, listening – you name it. At the same time I’ll be studying with a variety of books.
I finished my last two TOPIK 1 mock tests with a decent result, and I’m currently in the process of deciding whether or not to take both TOPIK 1 and 2, in April. I know I won’t be able to make a decision any time soon, but I also know that even if I decide to only take TOPIK 1, then my TOPIK 2 preparations will never go to waste. I WILL take TOPIK 2 eventually, and preparing for TOPIK 2 will only make TOPIK 1 seem easier, right?

Anyhow, this is how I have been studying for the last few days!
I go through 2 grammar points from my Intermediate book, as well as review the two previous grammar points. At some point all this grammar will hopefully stick to my brain! This book has a quiz after each chapter, in the same format as the TOPIK test, so that is definitely a plus in my book! (I’m working on a few reviews, so more on that later!)
After that I go through 1 article from the TTMIK news in Korean book, which also has a quiz after each article, in the TOPIK format!
The next book I work with is my TOPIK 쓰기 book. Here I make sure to make at least one assignment every day, and I get my answers checked by my language partners, through the native speakers on italki, or by my italki teacher.
Lastly I continue reading 어린왕자 and articles on naver. All these things are improving my reading skills, my vocabulary and my grammar skills as well.
When it comes to listening, I’m using a variety of materials as usual. Most of the time I listen to kpop, watch tv shows, dramas, movies and listen to different podcasts. Whenever I travel or exercise, there will be something Korean in my ears.
When writing with my language partners I make sure to challenge myself over and over again. That’s the best way to make the grammar and vocabulary stick properly.
My weekly italki sessions are continuing as usual.

This is how I am studying right now, but as soon as I feel a bit more comfortable with TOPIK 2, I’ll start using my other two preparation books for 쓰기 and 읽기. Also, I have ordered 7 books so far this month, and since only two have arrived, there will probably be some changes. I ordered the PASS NEW TOPIK books through TTMIK, and I’m currently trying to decide if I should buy the Video Course as well. I mean I WILL end up buying it, but I think I will wait till January, since I have plenty to work with right now. We’ll see.

Here’s all the books I’m using or is about to use, featuring 토끼 because he follows me everywhere.. And yes I named him 토끼.

24 november 1

Posted in books, Selfstudy, Uncategorized

Making myself feel better

So yesterday I ended my toughest week in a very long time. I had to finish my exam report and then attend my schools open house, where I had to present our project a billion times for different judges and guests. It was a ton of fun, but around noon I started to feel unwell and when I reached the end of my 12 hour school day, I was feeling really sick. I was hoping that I was just feeling sick as a result of a really long and stressful week, with no sleep, so I went home and straight to bed.
Sadly that wasn’t the case so there I was: sick, tired and really in need of something to cheer me up. So how is the best way to make myself feel better? Well if you know me just a little, then you probably already know that I immediately turned to my Korean books!

Today I started my day by opening up my TTMIK Level 1 grammar book. I ordered it when the pre-orders started, simply because I wanted to support the people who made my Korean journey possible, and because I really wanted to have a signed copy of the book! To be honest I didn’t buy it because I thought it would be useful to me, since I’m currently about to start Level 8 of the TTMIK podcast, and I have listened to the Level 1 podcast several times as well as read through the PDF and finished the workbook.
However when reading through the book, I immediately started to feel better, because I realized that I was actually right. The book didn’t teach my anything that TTMIK hadn’t already tought me back when I started. I already knew it all, and it seemed so easy and logical, unlike when I went through the Level 1 curriculum the first time!
This experience is more than enough to make me feel better about everything!

After reading through the Level 1 book, I decided to continue reading  어린왕자, and I then realized that I am already more than halfway through chapter 3, which means that when I finish this chapter (I’ll read the last two pages as soon as I finish this post), then I will have doubled my weekly goal, despite having an awfully stressful week! I don’t think I need to explain how happy that makes me feel!
I also realized that the 인디고 books are placed in the ‘advanced’ category at twochois, and even though that doesn’t really mean anything (let’s be honest here. A persons ‘language level’ is an extremely individual thing and we all have different ideas of when someone is a beginner, intermediate and so on.) then it still made me feel really good, because I am doing surprisingly well. I just recently started to think of myself as an intermediate learner and this my first try with a book that isn’t made for learning purposes, so that makes me feel even better. Even though it takes quite a while to read (compared to anything I read in Danish or English) and I sometimes have to look up many words, I actually CAN read it. I do NOT feel lost.

These two things aren’t big accomplishments in any way, but they made me feel so much better, and they really made me realize that you should never underestimate yourself or your small accomplishments for that matter.

Anyway.. It looks like this post turned out to be more like a rant, than an update, haha! Now I’m going to make myself a cup of 유자차 and lay down on the couch with my book. Since I recently ordered ‘크리스마스 캐럴’, it would awesome if I could finish 어린왕자 before the middle of December as the latest!
여러분 화이팅!

Posted in books, Selfstudy

Underestimating yourself and new goals

Yesterday my newest Korean book arrived. For a while I have been looking at the 인디고 아름다운 고전 시리즈, as they truly are beautiful and the series features many of my favorite stories as well as a few I only know by name. However, I seemed to convince myself that I wouldn’t be able read them anyway, and therefore shouldn’t buy them. That’s what usually happens in my mind and I’m working hard on removing that thought, because I know I’m underestimating myself. In the beginning of my Korean learning journey, I was afraid of buying the TTMIK workbooks because I thought they would just prove that I didn’t understand anything, however it turned out completely opposite. Then I was afraid of joining HelloTalk, because I was terrified of making mistakes and I knew that I couldn’t even make a full sentence, but after doing it anyway I got over my fear in just a few days, and even though I was right about my sentence skills, they improved so fast that some of my language partners – and myself – was shocked. There’s no way I would have come so far without joining HelloTalk. After that, I was afraid of trying Italki, but this has also turned out to be one of my best decisions. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this, so I’ll end it here.

Having gone through this process so many times in my head, I finally decided to just give the books a try. I found a list of all 23 books (I’m not sure if they are still adding more books to the list, so it might grow bigger) and then I just decided to start from book one, and read them as they come. I’ll post the list in the end of this post as well as a few random pictures of the book, for those who are interested.

Anyway the first book is 어린왕자, which is one of the books I only know by name, so I’m looking forward to learning more about the story. My plan (as I mentioned in my previous post) is to read at least one chapter pr week. The books are small and adorable, and each chapter is about 4-6 pages long The amount of text on each page variate, so I was wondering how to make my weekly goal more stable and specific, but in the end I just decided to not make it more difficult than it is, and just read as much as I can or feel like, with one chapter pr week, being the minimum. Having this goal keeps me motivated to continue, and it gives me the feeling of having accomplished something, which in general is the reason why I love making goals, but more on that in another post!

Here’s the list if you’re interested:

1) 어린와자
2) 작은 아씨들
3) 이상한 나라의 앨리스
4) 빨간머리 앤
5) 눈의 여왕
6) 피노키오
7) 오즈의 마법사
8) 아라비안 나이트
9) 백설공주
10) 키다리아저씨
11) 하이디
12) 오페라 의유령
13) 비밀의 화원
14) 플랜더스의 개
15) 호두까기 인형
16) 버드나무에 부는 바람
17) 피터팬
18) 로미오와 주리엣
19) 에이번리의 앤
20) 80일간의 세계일주
21) 크리스마스 캐럴
22) 메리포핀스
23) 거울 나라의 앨리스