Studying Korean: Recipe for Learning

The worst way to approach revision is to think of it as a chore. I also find that it’s very difficult to remain motivated if studying alone. Instead, this should be an interactive, fun, and social activity that you actually look forward to rather than dread.

As we have our end-of-term exam this Wednesday (eek), the lovely Nitsy and I got together to revise, and had the best of times along the way. Here’s our recipe for learning success:

Korean Pyjama Party

Ingredients:

A friend / some friends
Delicious snacks
Your tipple of choice
Korean text books
Paper
Pens (particularly brightly coloured)
Cute stickers
Pyjamas
Bedding

Method:

1) Formulate a plan- list out what you definitely need to revise, and what your goals for the evening are.

2) Relax, have some brain food and a drink to get you talkative and motivated.

3) Pyjama time! Get into your PJs for the ultimate comfort and relaxation whilst studying.

4) Practice some dialogues. These are a great, practical starting point for revision.

5) Write out the dialogues, or any key words or questions that have come up. The act of writing alone will help you to absorb and remember the information.

6) Discuss sentence structure and grammatical rules with your partner / study buddies, ensuring a deeper and better understanding of what you are learning.

7) Test yourselves and each other. This can include spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, and be both written and/or spoken.

8 ) Wind down. It’s important to chill our after your revision. Watch some tv, read a book, have a chat. You can browse your notes / discuss your revision, but

9) Bed time. Get a good night’s sleep 🙂

10) In the morning, go over everything again. You’ll be surprised at how much you remember. It’s important to keep repeating your revision too.

Top Tips:

1) Take Breaks

If you overload yourselves with non-stop intense study, you’ll probably crash and burn pretty early on. Instead, take regular breaks to get snacks, drinks top ups, and have a natter. Time out will break up the evening, and keep you engaged and calm.

2) Laugh

During the exam itself, you will be in serious silence. So don’t let your revision sessions sound that way! Remember to enjoy yourselves and have a laugh as you go.

3) Make notes and post in familiar spots

Write clearly, and use colours. Then you can place your notes in prominent places- in the kitchen (so that you can read while you wash up), around the mirror, by your computer at work, etc.

4) Get into character

When reading out dialogues, act them out and get into character. This will help generate the aforementioned laughter, as well as improve fluency and understanding.

5) Mnemonics

Think of funny and interesting ways to remember meanings. It’s down to whatever works for you, but obviously, the more memorable, the better. For example, to remember that 멀다 (“molda”) means “far away”, we thought of a little mole in the distance (unbelievably cute). We’ll never forget that one now!

6) Rewards

You’ve been working hard, so reward yourselves. Set yourselves targets, and then treat yourselves when you achieve them. Breaks can be rewards in themselves. We also used glasses of fizzy wine and adorable stickers as incentives to study well.

Get revising!

The main thing to remember is not to be daunted. Learning a language is a rewarding process, and something that should be enjoyed. Relax, and find a revision style that suits you, and practice with  a positive, enthusiastic attitude. You’ll be sure to see an improvement in no time.

Find your unique revision toolkit

Alternative revision tactics:

  • My mum always told me to eat a square of chocolate just before the exam, to stimulate the brain!
  • I’ve also heard that you should eat fish on the day, as “brain food”.
  • Put your revision notes under your pillow the night before the exam. This is a superstition that I have, but it seems to work! Maybe the info magically infiltrates the brain, maybe the placebo effect is a confidence booster. Whatever you do, don’t forget to retrieve your notes if you need to use them that day!

Best of luck everyone, 화이팅! ^.^

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