Thursday, September 22, 2011

A bookworm's way of learning Korean

I'm starting to develop this love hate relationship with this person i'm language exchanging with (an actual person from Korea, not that bear above in a hanbok). No. Not the 애인 love hate. It's more like the dreaded hate that you get when you have to meet up with your teacher for a one on one lesson every week. Focus. Upright seriousness. Straight to the book. Then there was tonight's skype session. My liking for the guy has shot up for what he has done with me.

See, he comes across as a bookworm to me. From his voice, down to what he says when he gives his sample sentences and just everything thus this far points to it. I'm going to say it, even if i sound rude, immature and/or ungrateful. He comes across as quite a boring guy. However, despite his lack of a huge personality i think he passed down a method of his for language learning tonight. It made me open my eyes towards him for what he has done to have attained the level of English he is at (he's pretty advanced). It's beyond my imagination on what i thought i could do. So in sync with his bookworm persona of course, this method consists of....

Memorising the whole entire reading for one of the chapters from Yonsei Reading 2.
How. on. Earth. is. that. possible?
This mean remembering words to words, sentences after sentences... PARAGRAPHS of Korean writing. How is that even possible right? i'm barely at an intermediate level. I'm lucky if i remember one of the crucial sentences structures that i haven't came across before~

Lucky for me, this weeks reading was rather easy compared to the previous weeks reading. Nonetheless. Remembering it all? i know he's good at it, but for me? 좀 어러워요...

Then i remembered, back in my Chinese school days, ages ago, and not for that long of a period. I use to memorise and learn like this in the classroom. I guess, with that in mind, i went along with it. Maybe, it really is the way to learning another language.

Surprisingly though, i can remember more than i thought i ever could with the Yonsei reading. I struggled hard of course, but the guy doesn't give up. It really does help, having this language exchange partner leaving me little choice but to try harder each time i fail. I mean, if he hasn't given up on your ability, how can you give up on your own ability, right in front of him? (metaphorically speaking - he wasn't exactly in front of me) Thinking about it now, in his presence i don't even think of giving up. It's doesn't cross my mind. I just give it my best shot and at least give things a try because his there ready to push me, if i start to slack of. That's how effective this guy is to me.

Up until now, i had little regards for him, in the same way that you kind of just don't think that highly of your teacher. I mean that in the sense that you don't necessarily think of the teacher as your role model/hero because when you're at the learning end, and all you can think about is what they're putting you through. Like a sulky student ignorant of what's good for you.
But, tonight i can see that - like a teacher - he is quite an inspiring guy who's helping me to learn beyond what i'm able to comprehend and appreciate every aspect of. Respect for a bookworms. lol 미안해요 exchange partner for calling you a bookworm!

Anyways, this post might come across at an unbalanced exchange of language but it really is a lengthy piece of writing already. I just wanted to capture my learning end of our experienced as to the whole entire picture of our exchange. Don't misunderstand. I'm an awesome teacher too ^^ hahaha

I hope this post serves as a don't give up and hang in there with your language learning. You're able to remember more than you realise if you just push yourself. In my case, i have an exchange partner that helps me push myself because i'm lazy/lucky.

Side notes: Memorising words to words like a bookworm might seem tedious but i think you start to grasp the overall text a little better, as you have to remember the order of what happens, in order to, bring yourself to verbalise each sentence out loud, from memory. Everything starts to fall in place. This is exactly what i'm in need of at my level of learning. I owe it to him for showing me me a method i probably would never consider on my own.

Anyways after all that has been said and done, i'm curious what level of dread i'm going to feel towards our Wednesday night language exchange session with him from now on prior to the actual exchange on the night. He expect me to recite the whole text on my own to him next Wednesday...

PS anyone thinks my photography skills are getting better? lol
My friend got me that hanbok bear keyring when she went to Korea. Hopefully i can take it back to it's country one day for a visit.


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