“With your approach of self-learning, study with textbooks and internet only in your spare time, you will never be as fluent as people who learn Korean at school.”
Thank you. I’ve heard that and thought over it.
Here is my answer. Only to myself. Not to anyone in particular because I’m not defending myself. And because people who believe that statement above usually don’t want to know my answer. And I’m okay with that.
Here we go.
I learn Korean…
-not to be no. 1 at some famous Korean language school that I don’t have access to,
-not for grades, grades don’t matter in my real world,
-not to please a teacher in my class, because I don’t have one,
-not to pressure myself to fit into a curriculum decided by strangers, even though I like using Standard TOPIK for inspiration of what to learn next,
but I learn Korean…
-to navigate a part of my world where Korean is used,
-to improve quality of my life,
-to learn something new every day,
-to feel good about myself,
-and basically just to have a little fun during my time on this planet.
I learn Korean because I’m happy doing that. Everything schooly -goals, competition, others’ judgements, pressures- is just a distraction. Not helpful.
Who decides whether I’m doing well or not? Well, me. In reality, I will be as fluent as I should be, now. There’s no other way.
I have faith that I’m capable of learning whatever it is needed to navigate my life. Here, in Indonesia. I love it here. Not cold. I can see my family (my uncle has just passed away yesterday). I can learn Korean as a hobby, not a means of survival.
I sit and watch, and I keep seeing new resources appear to help me learn Korean. I see that the universe is on my side, it wants me to learn Korean. I remember my Korean learning journey started weirdly, with a death of a Korean actor.
I think I’m very privileged. I’m so… grateful. To life in general. Yes, go learn Korean and get enlightened. Just kidding.
Oh, and by the way, I have no loyalty to any method, any school, any theory, any language guru, or anything. I admire the unschooling mindset (un-schooling, the opposite of schooling) which inspires the way I approach my own self-learning but I don’t have loyalty to it, either, because I love using language textbooks and I read that unschoolers don’t use one. I have only loyalty to myself and my happiness. Wait, do I? Let me think about it again. Hmmm… Yes, yes I do. Myself. My happiness. Sounds good.
With that realization, I study Korean happily, and confidently, again, today. I can only get better. ###