Wednesday, 13 March 2013

EngPost - How do I revise?

It is simple - I surround myself with the target material.

For me, that is pretty much living in a cave of Korea and Japan while I live in England. It is hard - after hours of revision, it is *not exactly* fun to watch a drama if you are frustrated! But the amount of words I accumulate this way is ridiculous. Some words, I didn't even know I knew until I was asked.

I am an auditory and kinaesthetic learner I think, so watching a drama and working out how grammar works, using it (I talk to myself far too much) while I walk around and do other stuff, then trying to place it in the form of written notes was my original method.

However, if you are in a textbook based course, the above method may not work unless you have a really good audio CD that accompanies your textbook. I don't like the audio CD that came with our textbooks quite simply because it uses English for the instructions. I don't like to confuse my brain too much! I am used to the Japanese CDs that are completely in Japanese.

So this is my approach to our Korean textbook.

1. Learn the words first

I can't stress the importance of this enough. If you fall behind with this section, all other sections suffer. Some 2000 words are introduced in Elementary Korean and Continuing Korean with only 21 or so actual chapters. Most of those words are important and basic - you need them!

If you are a student who will enter SOAS soon to do a BA in Korean, I highly recommend learning some of the words beforehand. Grammar is harder to grasp because you need professional teaching which SOAS can later provide but elementary vocabulary is solely the learner's responsibility in my opinion.

Suck it up - they do need to be memorised.

2. Do the exercises 

Do this part as you read / after a quick read through the explanation for the target grammar: If you know the words, at this point all you would be doing is conjugating!

Don't revise all the grammar and then do all of the exercises - that is way too much at one go. Just concentrate on one grammar point at one time. The rest falls into place as you listen in class and do other class exercises and things. 

3. Mark your common mistakes (vocabulary, grammar points, syntax etc.).

Put them on a sheet of paper in some sort of neat order. It is always advisable to put words you can't quite remember within its context.

For example, if you can't remember 술 (alcohol) and 값 (price), it would be better to learn them together in a sentence like

술의 값은 늘었어요.

The price of alcohol increased.

(Don't worry, it hasn't!)

4. Look at that paper everyday for about 2-3 minutes. 

You could do this right before you sleep, right after you wake up or while you snack or something - what is important is that you see it a couple of times every now and then. 

5. You deserve a break now!

I would watch a Korean drama at this point. 

Currently, I'm watching Jeon Woo Chi - I am a big Cha Tae Hyun fan and I almost forgot that until someone in class mentioned Speedy Scandal.


He is so funny! :)

Then, finally...

I make my own grammar notes to consolidate all the topics covered in a lesson.

They start out neat and colourful - this dwindles to the basics later on. I am not a visual learner in the least except for shapes of words for spelling which is pretty useless in Korean, so I start for funsies, then give up when I am out of time or get bored. 

Here are some examples from when I did a full revision of all topics covered up till now in the new book.


*Photo Credits*

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