Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning Korean

Next week are the final exams for my Korean class at Sookmyung University (숙명여자대학교).   There are lots of places offering Korean classes in Seoul, some for free and some not.  I started in free classes here and in addition took classes on Saturday morning at a church on the east side of Seoul.  While the obvious FREE-part was pretty sweet, the downside was that teachers and students changed often and it felt like there was little continuation from week to week.  I decided to look into paying courses, and in the end, signed up for Sookmyung's Summer Evening Program because of the price (it is one of the cheapest university programs at 450,000 won).  The class meetings are 3x a week (MWF) and books are included in the price.  I lucked out and the teacher was fantastic.  Even though my level is still beginner (1.2), I feel much more confident about my Korean studies.

There are a lot of good reasons to study Korean if you're a foreign teacher in Korea (even though many decide not to), but besides the obvious ones,  I have to say studying Korean has given me a much greater appreciation for my students and my co-teachers.  The two languages are SO different! When learning a Germanic or Romance language, there are a lot of similarities to build off of, but with Asian languages, you literally are starting from scratch again. As an English speaker, learning Korean is an option, but for Koreans, the pressure to learn English is intense and constantly there.  

Again, there are lots of options, so if you don't want to pay for classes, there are courses for free at lots of locations throughout Seoul (this link lists many of them) , and if you're not in Seoul or don't want to attend regular classes, there is also the online option.  Yonsei offers an online course for 100,000 won per level and of course, there is always the ever-popular Talk to Me in Korean website.

행운을 빌어요!

"I am learning Korean!"

1 comment:

  1. So impressive and major props to you for putting in the work!