“Shadowing” or How to Improve Korean Listening and Speaking Skills with VOA’s 영어 교실

One day it occurred to me that perhaps I could learn Korean from sites that teach English to Koreans, and that’s how I found VOA’s English Classroom (영어 교실) which is an English education program from the Korean section of  Voice of America.

(English Classroom, I Love English, Pop English, VOA Real English, and Welcome to America.)

The whole script or text of the radio broadcasts are displayed on the site so you can check it while listening to the audio. (Sometimes the announcer ends a sentence with different ending than the text, or she adds few words).

How to train your Korean listening and speaking skills with VOA’s English:

1. Check the hangul text/whole script of the broadcast.

Check the Korean words you’re not familiar with, use dictionary to find the meaning of the words.

(I copy and paste the text to FLTR).

2. Listen to the audio file while reading the script on the site.

You can stream it from the website or download the file.

3. Take notes and memorize the interesting expressions taught.

Now you know how to say those English expressions in Korean. Maybe you can use them the next time you speak with a Korean.

4. Do ‘shadowing’ (=repetition at the same time).

“Shadowing” is an important keyword in the world of foreign language learning and training in Japan. It’s an act  of listening to a voice of a native speaker while following it with your own voice like a shadow.

“Shadowing” is a type of training that simultaneous interpreters do (동시통역사 dongsitongyeogsa = simultaneous interpreter). Have you watched the movie The Interpreter (starring Nicole Kidman)?

So training with “shadowing” technique means you will be speaking and listening Korean at the same time, but since you’re not aiming to be 동시통역사, at least not yet, you don’t need to translate, but only to repeat the announcer’s exact words.

First, “shadow” while looking at the script, and then do it relying only on your ears.

Repeat everything, every word, that the announcer says. Also try to imitate her intonation and accent. Notice where she takes her breath, pauses, and breaks her sentences. She speaks super fast (=natural speed) so it’s important to get familiar with all the words in the script.

But actually, don’t worry, just try to “shadow” as much as you can. No need to do it perfectly from the beginning. You’ll only get better with time. So just keep practicing. If VOA broadcasts are hard (well, they are hard!), try shadowing with other Korean audio material, for example, audio from your Korean phrase books. That way you can practice your Korean pronunciation on your own even though you have no Korean friends to practice with.

Let’s try with the latest show of “영어 교실 English with Yoo” : [have to do with]. Do you know how to say “have to do with” in Korean? Read the text here.

Download: [English with Yoo]


have to do with
= ~와 관계가 있다 ~wa gwan-gye-ga it-tta
= ~와 관련이 있다 ~wa gwal-lyeo-ni it-ta
= 관련되다 gwal-lyeon-doe-da

Key Expressions:

What does that have to do with it?
=그 일이 그것과 무슨 관계가 있나요?
geu i-ri geu-geot-gwa mu-seun gwan-gye-ga in-na-yo?

Yeah, but what does that have to do with you?
=그래, 근데 그게 너랑 무슨 상관이지?
geu-rae, geun-de geu-ge neo-rang mu-seun sang-gwa-ni-ji?

This is me practicing shadowing (27 seconds). Do you want to hear Korean with Indonesian accent? ^^

The text I shadowed from “English with Yoo”:
“저는 미국 중부의 미주리 주에서 사는 농부, 줄리를 만났는데요. 그녀는 지금이 추수철이라서 가장 흥이 나는 달이라고 합니다. 그리고 가을 철이면 기대되는것이 참 많다고 이야기했고요. 그럼 제가 줄리와 함께 대화한 것을 들어보실까요. 오늘의 영어 표현은have to do with, have to do with 입니다. 잘들어보세요!”

여기까지 봐 주셔서 감사합니다.
Thank you for reading.