Monday tips : Learning a new language

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hello friends and new friends. How is your Monday so far?  A little update for you about my experience attending my first concert, It was a great experience, I made a new friend and I was really having fun. He, Lee Min Ho, is totally a good looking flower boy in real :).

Alright, today I decided to post a Monday tips instead of my usual a little thought on Monday. It kinda of long post but I believe to be useful. So if you have time to read the rest you can grab a cup of coffee, if not then you are welcome to always come back anytime :). 

Some of you might know that I am currently learning Korean language, I feel it is a good things to share with you how I motivate my self and avoid procrastination. This tips is not only for learning Korean but can be applicable for learning any languages. I use 3  practical tips and 2 quick tricks on how to learn a new language and be persistent on it.

Tip 1. Finding a truthful reason.
I always believe we should have the right reason for doing or achieve something; it leads us for having a right attitude too. You might think why it is so serious, if only what you want to do is to learn a new language. But regardless learning a new language for fun or preparing an IELTS exam, what you want to achieve is a good result or to be succeed in it, no?

I started to have interest in Korean language with a very cliché reason as majority of K-pop fans did, I watch their drama and listen their song, captivated by few of Korean artist and I am motivated to learn. However, after I did some research of the language, I became interested in the language it self. Hangul (Korean Alphabets) has been existed since 1400 and a language spoken by over 70 million people in this world, I am enthralled with the history of the language.  Yes the initial motivation counts, but the intention to ascertain a new knowledge is far greater motivation. Be always sure you have a good reason to learn a new things, so it makes you persistence.


Tip 2. Finding you best learning styles
As an instructional designer, it is my job to understand the learners and design the most effective method for them to achieve the learning outcome. You shall know your own learning style pretty well too. So decide on the method that works well for you and in the same time identify the factor that turned you off.
A face -to -face courses is not so convenience for me. So I decided to self learn. I gathered few website that suits my style, installed few apps and subscribed to Korean You Tube channels. You should have a few varieties of learning avenues if you decided to self learn. I tell you why?

Why? For me it can be a bit lonely process sometime so varieties is important, also, I often get easily bored over monotones routines (that is why I always drop off face to face courses :p).  Thus, this is what I did, after I read a few website, I selected one that makes me comfortable to learn from it. I decided to learn the hard way and it is always better that way (personally). I started with learning how to read 한굴 (Korean alphabets) then follow by the grammar. Many people hates grammar, don’t you? But learning grammar makes the rest of the new language learning process easier, because we have a strong foundation.

Beside the serious stuffs that I am talking about previously, I also installed few apps that help me to build my vocab and listening skills.  I subscribed at You Tube; a very fun channel of learning about Korean cultures, pop style, and language.  To learn the language therefore it is important to learn the culture as well.
I rotate my learning routine within these avenues, it keeps me going and motivated.
(I include the site, apps and channel in the end of this post)

Tip 3. Conditioning your self to the learning topic.
Self learning is also consider a life long learning. No matter what takes you, you still have a desire to learn. However, we often feel lonely in the process of doing it, me either.

English is not event a second language back in my country, Indonesia. I was in my early 20s when I seriously learned the language, I took the course and as predicted I dropped off half way because I bored with the routine, so I applied the job in the language center that I previously studied as a school admin. I learned better as I interacted with the native teachers in a daily basis. When I moved to Malaysia almost 8 years ago, I by no choice learned the Malays language, Malay language has a huge similarity with Indonesian, so it is my advantages that I can converse well in Malays pretty quickly.  And somehow for an unknown reason or may be not motivated either, I never pick up Cantonese language, my husband mother tongue.

With learning Korean, it is  a bit different, it is like learning my English, I am totally into it. Even it is harder because I have no classmate or pals to practice, I continuously finding my way.  And back to the topic of conditioning, what I do is I involve my family, I speak with my daughter in a few simple Korean sentences, she response well, I sing three bears song in Korean with her haha… she might be confuse in the beginning but she can understand them now. I also insert few vocabs when I talked with my hubby and he become accustomed with it. 

I make friends on Twitter (please be selective, add only those who is genuine), they are mostly native but understand English well. They are friendly and very helpful. Once in a while we tweet in 한굴 (Korean Alphabet). I sometime turn on the Korean TV program while I am studying, even what I mostly understand for now is only the ending of the words ( 니다 or 요 ) but I feel  more engaged with the subject when I have people speaking in Korean as my background. In leisure or when I do my workout, I listen to K-pop songs. I constantly connect with the topic. Can you relate what I am trying to say? If they are not surround you, create to be within you. 

Ok? let's stop! and 2 quick tricks for next....

Two Quick Tricks:
1. Effective way to learn your vocabulary
I use ‘post it’ to create a flash card for memorizing noun and verb, each piece for one noun or one verb (in 한굴 with English translation, I did not memorize the Romanization words) and stick on the nearby object that represent the meaning.
For example; I stick a word pillow, blanket, bed, to sleep, to get up in nearby my bed wall.
With this method I will be able to memorize better, I chunk the enormous vocab bank per location where I am at that moment. For now, most corner of my house is full of ‘post it’, but it wont be long till I remember them .  

2. Learning on the go
With technologies, we now learn without boundaries, even though time is a limitation. With great apps and capability of doodling using my smart phone, I can now learn whenever I want to. I doddle my writing practice or listening podcast on my mobile device while waiting for my appointment, I watch my subscription at You Tube Channel while I am so happened having lunch by my self. As an instructional technology specialist, I practice what I preach.

I guess that's it. I hope it is useful and  Happy learning :). 

Website that I use regularly:
1.    Learning Korean  language – serious stuffs at here, if you want to learn your grammar in a proper way
2.    Korean class 101 – it is more fun site, paid subscription, incorporate podcasting and materials are downloadable
3.    Sweet and Tasty – You Tube channel, words of the day, culture, pop style, funny and fresh
Apps that I use  (from Play store for Android devices)
1.    Dictionary – I used mostly to listen to the pronunciation
2.    TengGo Hangul – very easy to learn basic Hangul using this apps
3.    Learn Korean numbers – to learn Pure and Sino Korean numbers
4.    S Note on Samsung Note2 - for doodling 

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