Maybe you have decided that this year will be the year that you learn Korean (or maybe another language!). While learning a new language can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial, it can also be a difficult endeavor. Though I am not a language learning expert, here are three simple tips for Korean learners that have helped me along my journey.
1) Do something language study related every single day.
Whether it’s five minutes or fifty minutes, do something every single day that can help you progress. For example, I typically try to spend around thirty minutes each day studying Korean. But let’s be honest, sometimes that just isn’t possible!
To help myself stay on track, I utilize the Duolingo app, and here’s why; On days I don’t have a lengthy amount of time to study, I can do one or two quick lessons, or even just a simple review. Even those small increments of time will make an impact, and can help you along your language-learning journey.
2) Use a variety of materials.
I am what most people here in the USA would call a ‘traditional learner’, which means I learn well from textbooks and workbooks. Don’t get me wrong, textbooks are great, but they cannot teach you everything. So it’s important not to limit yourself to just one learning method. I previously mentioned that I use the Duolingo app as part of my studies, which includes listening practice and translation.
But these are just two examples! There are countless ways you can learn Korean, including passive learning. You can listen to K-pop or other Korean music as a way to learn passively. And then afterward, you can look up the lyrics to your favorite songs and use that to practice, as a way to transition into active learning.
3) Use social media to your advantage, and use it to challenge yourself.
Social media can be a fantastic component to learning Korean. Follow some of your favorite Korean artists, actors and actresses, Korean content makers (such as YouTubers or TikTok creators), teachers, or any friends you make along your language learning journey. Then, when you see posts on your feeds that are in Korean, challenge yourself to try to read and understand what the post says BEFORE hitting that translate button. Eventually, you may surprise yourself at what you are able to understand!
BONUS - Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Everyone makes mistakes. Even native speakers! I am a native English speaker, and I still get things wrong sometimes. Be easy on yourself when you make mistakes because they’re part of the learning process. Mistakes can be an opportunity, so treat them as such!
Good luck to you on your language learning journey - you can do this!