Year in Review – 2010

I’ve been meaning to write a post on my year of korean language learning for the last couple of weeks but I wanted to see if I could organize what went wrong, what went right , etc etc but I don’t have the energy to try and do that so here’s my rambling thoughts on how it went this year for me.

Honestly….not well.  Maybe it’s the fact that your first language is the hardest…but whatever it may be it seems that everything I could do wrong this year i did it.  At one point during late summer I almost gave up and didn’t study for a whole month.  Oh I watched korean tv and movies but the weeks went by so fast I had to make a  decision if I was going to continue.  It was one my lowest moments in my l2 studies.  But I made the decision to trudge forward, but things had to change.  What were some of the things I felt I was doing wrong….

AJATT has to be some of the most inspirational stuff to get one fired up but….for the life of me I couldn’t seem to get the sentence method found on his japanese learning site to work for me.  I had many a moments earlier in the year where I still tried using the method but as I posted about before it had it’s share of problems.

How in the world you collect sentences from real life sources…put them in your SRS and learn from them was just a bust.  Learn from them…just let it soak in….it’s real language so it’s the best thing…well it was crap for me.  And I mean it for me as if other’s got it to work well good  for them…but I just was burnt out from times when the reviews got to be so much I couldn’t handle it.  I would drop down but still down from adding to my decks but the big thing for me I didn’t seem to be learning anything.

Definitely this year I tried finding that method that I could use to apply to korean material’s but as many as I read on places like how to learn a foreign language forum and other’s it was tough.  I probably like most korean language learners have a ton of korean learning books but it mostly makes you want to slam your head against the desk if you try to follow it as it’s written.  I knew that already but references I found on the web occasionally to having a method outside and above those materials is what I was after.

Some other things I tried this year such as trying to get 20 – 30 new words in my srs decks lasted only so long.  Again I was trying to get my vocabulary higher so I could understand more sentences but it got to the point again of being lopsided.

Tools like subs2srs seem great but once again I couldn’t put together the meaning of the sentences.  Also using memory techniques like putting sounds for english words that are linked to the korean word you are learning is SLOW as can be when you want to learn more than just the occasional word.

Anki srs seems and to me works the best to memorize something.  I wanted to keep using this but it would take some guts to shake things up.  I basically deleted everything I had in my decks and started over.  I’ll try and talk about that in my next post.

Let’s see other things I felt I did wrong.  Listening to korean content all the time basically amounted to zip for me.  I love reading about stephen krashen’s thoughts on language learning and comprehensible input and getting ton’s of that but as a beginner where do you get that comprehensible input from?  Children books can bring me to my knees as I try to decipher the sentences and listening to meaningless sound all day I felt didn’t add up in terms of benefit when i would occasionally hear a word or sentence I could understand.  Also trying to sleep listening to korean kept me up most of the night as I’m a light sleeper : )

Well I certainly feel like I did plenty of other stuff wrong but I want to write my next post so I can try and put down some stuff I feel for the first time I may be doing right.  I hope 2011 will be a better year.  I would like to be able to speak korean before I turn 70 in another 30 years or so……………………….


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