So What If I Don’t Have a Korean Teacher?


안녕하세요. 좋은 아침입니다.

It’s 7.30 in the morning and I have finished studying -ㄴ답시고 for my one-grammar-a-day-for-90-days challenge. I’m studying with this book: Korean Grammar in Use – Advanced from Darakwon. I notice that I can understand the audio without even paying attention and I can shadow the audio very easily. It’s not a struggle anymore! Why? I think my listening skill finally got to the so-called advanced level. I’m so happy!

Now, if only my writing and speaking skill will catch up… Hahaha.

Anyway, the reason I use this approach now -which is studying grammar one by one from a textbook- is because I never read anything that requires me to look up advanced level grammar. I don’t enjoy literary and historical stuff. I’m fine with celebrity news and popular novels which you can understand perfectly without knowing what -로 말미암아 is. But I want the TOPIK Advanced certificate oh so much -I don’t have a particular reason why, I just want it- so I need to familiar myself with advanced level grammar. And now that I’m doing it, I found that I enjoy it, otherwise I won’t do it.

Learning Korean is a hobby for me, it’s a stress reliever, if I feel stressed-out because I’m doing a hobby, it’s kind of weird and doesn’t make sense.

But I do feel frustration. I think it’s because I pay attention to my progress. And I don’t hate it. I don’t hate frustration because it’s a very useful thing, it’s a sign that something is wrong, whether I’m doing something wrong or I’m believing in something wrong so I need to fix it, I need to do something about it. Hopefully I’ll get to my destination more effectively and efficiently because I pay attention to my frustration.

When I learned English, I didn’t feel any frustration at all because I didn’t pay attention to my progress. I was such a stupid student who believed that my English teachers will teach me everything I needed to know. And of course they didn’t. It took me a whole decade to learn English. That’s a long time. I don’t want to spend a whole decade to learn Korean now (or is it 20 years because Korean is twice harder than English?). I cut it half to 5 years, which is still a very long time, but realistically speaking, TOPIK Advanced=5 years, sounds about right.

Now that I think of it, when I was 19, I was also surprised that my Japanese teachers didn’t teach me everything I need to know about Japanese, and I needed to work hard on my own even after graduating language school. Once I even wondered to myself why my Japanese teacher at the school didn’t teach me the word 植木鉢 (meaning: a flower pot) which is a very simple everyday word. I thought they were supposed to teach me EVERYTHING? (A stupid but common belief that is a result of years of schooling).

I’m 35 now (oh my God I’m old), hopefully I am a little wiser than from that time, and when some people told me that it was impossible to learn Korean without a teacher or a school and without living in Korea, I was very surprised. I really didn’t expect that people could get so angry at me just because I was (and still am) learning Korean on my own. Don’t they know it’s so simple: if you remember, you can use it? All I need to do is remember so I’m actually only dealing with myself… and of course, nobody can stop me from studying Korean every day and becoming a little better every day.

OK, then. 안녕~ Have a nice weekend! 주말 즐겁게 보내세요. ###

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