Have you dreamed of a day when you will be able to watch a Korean drama without having to read the subtitles or jam to your favourite Korean playlist without having to search for its English translation to understand the meaning of the lyrics? Well, with some effort and practice, we all know that it’s entirely possible. People often think that learning Korean seem like an insurmountable task because of its unique sound and structure, but with the right mindset and study tips, it can not only be easy but fun as well.
One of the factors that make learning new language challenging is the need to memorize sets of completely new words that every language has. For English speakers, learning Korean words can be extra difficult due to the little overlap between the vocabulary of the two languages. But fret not, as we are here to share 5 effective ways to effectively expand your Korean vocabulary.
1. Identify your learning style
Everyone has a different way of learning things, even languages, so it’s important to know and follow your way of learning so you can maximize your effort and time spent studying. Some people learn effectively by listening to conversations regularly, while others prefer the traditional reading and taking down notes, and others also find reading Hangeul and visualizing the words spoken at the same time helpful.
Whatever way you find most suitable, remember that there’s no right or wrong way to learn. Before you dive in directly and start learning, it’s recommended to pause and assess your strengths, focus, and learning style because these factors can help you progress your way through learning.
2. Set study goals
One of the most effective ways to get motivated and keep track of your progress is by setting goals. This helps you gain a helpful sense of urgency in your learning process while also allowing you to identify whether your chosen learning method is effective or not. Having goals help you determine which areas you can consider your strengths and which areas need more time.
To start, you can list down your actual achievable goals on a piece of paper. Start by writing the reason why you wanted to learn the language in the first place – it can be preparing for a trip to top-rated tourist destinations in Korea, having a Korean friend, or a language exchange program. Remember to focus on this goal and start setting smaller goals, such as learning basic conversations that you might be using, then try to tackle the complicated parts once you’ve mastered the basics.
3. Studying the language the way you love it
Finally, you can say that your hours of binge-watching k-drama isn’t just wasting time but actual studying. However, we caveat this by encouraging you to be deliberate about noticing the vocabulary, sentence structure and even slang (if you are observant enough) as you enjoy the momentous plots of the drama. Honestly though, we’ve all had friends who have picked up Japanese from watching anime and Korean from enjoying their weekly dose of k-drama. Studying isn’t just relegated to books and boring memorising – any method that we can use to reinforce our learning while enjoying it is always a plus in our books.
4. Follow the right techniques
While it’s true that learning or improving your vocabulary requires time and effort, what makes learning it effectively is a simple matter of strategy. How you incorporate this strategy into your learning routine is the basis of its output: it can be a fun way to learn the things you want to say, or it can be a boring exercise that serves to only frustrate you. It can’t be emphasised how important it is to learn the right techniques and incorporate them properly in your study session.
You can start by reading a list of words per day and wait until you encounter the words that you want to learn. Search for 50 words in your Korean dictionary and write them in your list. You can also watch Korean movies or dramas and listen to songs and choose words that you can add to your list. Lastly, engaging in conversations is the best way to learn – our teachers here in Sejong Korean Language School will help engage students with conversational practices in class!
5. Enrol in a Korean language program
While it not only equips you with the right techniques and proper materials, a mentor can easily point out errors or teach you essential tips and tricks they’ve seen other students utilise that you can adopt for yourself. But more than that, you find yourself a community to encourage you and keep you accountable in your journey to pick up the language.
The most important factor in learning a new language easily and quickly is by following a strict and right study method. Following the best way of learning that fits your way of learning delivers the results that you want in a given time frame and organizes your thoughts more fluently. A good program offers certain lessons that you need to master, has an efficient tutor that explains well, has a well-structured syllabus, and most importantly, is fun and enjoyable.
Learning the Korean language is indeed a challenging task – there may be days when you get frustrated and feel like you’re not learning anything new. And that is why finding different methods, ideas, and like-minded friends who push us forward is equally important.
If you need the guidance of an expert, Sejong Korean Language School is here to help. This Korean language school offers fun and practical lessons for everyone who wants to learn the language – whether you are a newbie that wants to pick it up or a long-time learner that wants to improve, you’re welcome here. Feel free to call us and join in one of our sessions and see how much further you can go in your Korean language journey.