A few of my peers and I compiled some advice about how to study, participate in class, take tests, and do homework in a way that will result in you having the most satisfying experience possible when studying at Sogang.
- A way to give yourself a leg-up on the vocabulary is with an app called “Memrise.”
- You have to search a little, but there are vocabulary lessons for just about every level of Sogang on there usually broken down into A and B just like the books.
- If you start learning these before you even get to class, you will find class to be a lot easier and much less stressful.
- The app is free though they will try really hard to make you subscribe to them.
- “Talk to Me in Korean“
- This site is also a great resource too.
- My housemate Monica learned on her own through this site before coming to Sogang and tested into level 3.
- Listen to Korean music
- For people like me, I have a hard time with rote memorization, but I can remember the lyrics to any song ever.
- Listening to Korean songs is a good way to learn vocabulary in a fun way. You can also remember grammar points too.
- If possible, listen to the music while following the lyrics for bonus learning.
- Watch Korean dramas
- Korean dramas are a good way to be introduced to lots of elements of Korean culture.
- They are also good for listening practice and for learning Korean intonation.
- Watch Korean variety shows
- Korean variety shows have much more natural, real-life dialogue than Korean dramas.
- Often times, they will subtitle Korean variety shows in Korean at the bottom of the screen. This is a good way to reenforce your listening.
- They will also frequently edit little text boxes and short thought bubbles next to people on variety shows. Most of the time, these are words for emotions, and are good vocab practice.
- Show up on time
- Don’t be late. Please. Just don’t.
- Your teachers will frequently stay at school until 7pm everyday, and they will have no pity on you if you are late to class when they know you have few responsibilities outside of school anyway.
- Ask friends—not your phone
- During class, it may be tempting to just quickly look up that vocab word you’re unsure about on your phone. However, it is extremely beneficial to ask your classmates next to you instead for multiple reasons.
- You must ask the question in Korean, which is obviously beneficial.
- Your classmate must explain in Korean, which is good practice for them too. And teaching someone really reenforces your own knowledge of the concept as well.
- Participate in class
- Raise you hand to answer questions every once in a while.
- When the teacher says to do work in groups, actually do the group work in a way that is more than just trying to get it done.
- Even if you don’t know how to answer in Korean, answer in whatever language you are comfortable with and someone in your class might know how to translate. This gives a good opportunity for your teacher to see that you’re participating and for your classmates to feel smart.
- Linguistically isolate yourself
- It’s tempting to sit with others who can speak the same language as you, but you must remove yourself from the temptation.
- Plus it’s a cool opportunity to learn about other cultures.
- Accept that you (and your classmates) will have an accent while speaking Korean
- Pronunciation is not a contest.
- Having an accent does not directly correlate with a person’s ability to speak a language.
- Concentrate on being understandable rather than having a flawless Seoulite accent.
- Besides, Koreans will know you’re a foreigner so there’s no tricking them into thinking you’re a native speaker anyway.
- Like your teachers
- It can be so discouraging if you dislike your teachers.
- Try to find something good about them so that you can enjoy going to class.
- Know there will be cultural differences
- Your class will be multi-cultural. Expect that there will be differences between your culture and Korean culture and your classmates’ cultures in ways that you didn’t think were possible.
- Be patient and keep this in the front of your head at all times.
- Do the homework
- There will be daily homework as well as sections of your workbook due. Do them.
- Consistently doing your homework is not only good for practice, but it is a big deal in the teacher’s view as it shows you are working hard and taking your time there seriously. And who doesn’t want to be on their teachers’ good sides?
- Order food in Korean
- When you go out to eat, try to order your food in Korean instead of pointing to something on the menu. Resist the temptation and study.
- After class, make sure you review a little of what you learned.
- This will be expected of you more and more as you move up the levels.
- The “Memrise” app that I mentioned earlier is a great way to preview for vocabulary.
During a Test:
- Go quickly
- One of the many problems that prevent people from taking tests well at Sogang is that they run out of time.
- For all of the tests, it’s best to go as fast as you can and then, if you have time, come back and check.
- People especially had trouble with finishing the writing tests within the time limit. If you feel stuck on one of the prompts, skip it and come back to it after you’ve finished the others.
- Another thing to do is to do give priority to the problems that aren’t multiple choice. Finish those first and then come back to the multiple choice ones last as you can think much faster about whether to circle a, b, c, or d than writing out a short answer.
Thanks to my classmates for helping me come up with things for this blog post!