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How To Create A Korean Study Routine? | How To Self-Study Korean

Updated: Dec 6, 2022



Everyone wants to know how to become better at Korean and the answer is very simple - have a good study routine. A study routine is a routine that you follow - either strictly or loosely - in order to maintain consistency in studying Korean. We all know we need to be consistent but how? MY answer is to make a good routine, because with routine comes consistency and with consistency comes progress.


Here's a nice quote for you: If the plan doesn't work, change the plan, but never the goal. In other words if you have found a study routine doesn't work for you just change it. In fact, if you start to feel bored, unmotivated, or put off from studying just change the way you study. And yes I know it's not always that simple - sometimes you just need a day or two of not studying to refresh your mind and passion for learning. I will stop rambling and finally tell you how to create a Korean study routine that is not only effective but fun for you to do.



ESSENTIALS - Vocabulary & Grammar Acquisition


I always bring it back to the 6 tenets and you may already know where I'm going with this. Vocabulary & Grammar are like the trees but reading, listening, writing, and speaking are like the rain and the sun that water & nurture those trees and allows them to grow bigger and stronger. Hopefully that metaphor was not lost on you.


Basically, Vocabulary and Grammar are everything you need to speak fluently - whether they be acquired with little to no effort or with a lot of effort. Some people are able to learn through immersion and being thrust into a Korean-speaking environment, and some people learn through simple studying - both are ways to learn and both are effective.



LISTENING & READING

When you are listening or reading, you may not know it but you are essentially reviewing - or practicing for lack of a better word - every bit of grammar and vocabulary that you've ever learned throughout your entire Korean learning journey. Now no, not every word you've ever learned is gonna appear in a YouTube video or a podcast, but I'll give an example.


If you learned how to say "butterfly" the first month you studied Korean and then never heard it again until suddenly 6 months later you stumbled upon it in a random YouTube video or tv show episode, BAM! You just "reviewed" that word, it reminded your brain of it's existence.


And this happens all the time when you are listening to something or reading something in Korean - It happens with any grammar you have ever studied and any word or phrase you have ever learned. You forget it exists until something reminds you and you'll notice that you didn't forget it's meaning, your brain simply stored it away until you were reminded of it again. So if you've ever wondered "do I even need to read?" or "should I even practice listening/reading?", this is for you.


Reading is important and It also improves your listening skills. Vice versa listening improves your reading. In other words, do both. They will help your overall comprehension of the language, in other words, they will improve how much Korean you can understand.



WRITING & SPEAKING

It's the same process when you write or speak in Korean, except a bit different. When you are using Korean by either writing or speaking, you are forced to use all the grammar and vocabulary you have "ever" learned to create your own unique sentences. Being able to consume (or understand what you hear/read) Korean well or comfortably is one thing, but being able to use it is another. You have to be able to put out (or use) all the things that you put in (or learned) your brain.


If you only read grammar lessons or you only study flashcard sets is that going to help you speak Korean fluently or even at a basic conversational level? The answer is N..O.. that's not how it works. Yeah you're gonna know a lot of things, but will you be able to actually use those things you learned? If you want to speak well, you actually have to practice Speaking or at least writing. Writing is important and it improves your speaking skills.


When you learn new words or new grammar... use them! Writing is much easier than speaking (to me anyways) because when I speak in Korean sometimes it's hard to organize my thoughts. When I am writing in Korean however, It is much easier to slow down and think and say things I want to say. Plus It will force you to look up words or phrases that you don't know.


You don't even have to be correct either. You are practicing a skill, not necessarily the grammar itself but the skill of "using" Korean. Although, it's a smart idea to correct your sentences after you have finished writing or as you go - just use Naver like I always do. It's not always correct but it's better than nothing. When you correct yourself you will be able to recognize your mistakes and not make them as much anymore.



Making Time To Study - Actually Creating The Routine


Okay, we get it. We need to study grammar and vocabulary and practice them by reading, listening, writing, and speaking, but what's the best way to actually do that? I'm so glad you asked... technically you didn't but...I asked for you and I will answer it after I give some tips on making time in your day or week to study.


Now we know the 6 tenets and we know we have 7 days in a week and we know we have 24 hours in a day - phew a lot of numbers flying around. I want to task you with writing out your daily schedule and I mean everything. When do you wake up, what do you do at this time and that time, and etc. Analyze your entire day and find some time where you can study Korean. Maybe you can't study every single day, but you have time 3 days a week or even 2 days a week - let's use that time wisely.


I don't study everyday myself - I like to take the weekends off from Studying Korean (although I study Spanish on the weekends haha) Obviously if you study everyday for several hours you will learn more in a shorter period of time. Basically, figure out how much time you have daily and how long you can study for on those days. I would say at least 30 minutes is good. I'll give you an example before I move on to different study methods.


If you only had 45 minutes to Study Korean 4 days a week (Tues, Thursday, Saturday, & Sunday - random dates btw) then you could divide your studies up each day. 1 day for learning/reviewing grammar, 1 day for listening, 1 day for writing, and 1 day for vocabulary. Then the next week you could switch out listening & writing for reading & speaking. Or you could add 5 minutes of studying/reviewing vocabulary in each study session and replace that last day with something more fun like watching a show or movie (which could also count as listening).


There's almost no excuse when it comes to studying Korean, because you can always and I do mean always make time for it. Figure out your schedule and make a routine and once you have a routine studying becomes almost non-negotiable and that makes you much more consistent.



Actual Study Methods To Use In Your Study Sessions


GRAMMAR

> make your own sentences using the grammar you are studying. use Naver or Papago to check your sentences. you can also use HiNative (It's an app and a website) to ask Natives for feedback on sentences. Idk If it is sill as good as it was when I used it years ago, but It was very reliable.


> use the sentence replacement technique. find as many example sentences as you can using the grammar you are studying and then start to slowly replace the words to make your own sentences.


> get example sentences and put them into a flashcard app and study them. this is a lazy method I used to use to "review", but the best review is actually using the grammar.


> review often so you don't have to relearn things.


VOCABULARY

> All those words you take from the things you read or watch, put them into a flashcard app or make physical flashcards with them and study them.


> look up example sentences using the vocabulary. by doing this it will show you how the words are used in everyday sentences. I use Naver Dictionary & Translate app to do this.


LISTENING

> YouTube videos are one of the best things for practicing listening. you can watch videos on things that you are interested in and lots of videos actually have Korean subtitles already. if you have trouble with understand dramas then YouTube videos are much better for you, especially if you are a beginner. (Dramas are scripted and also are full of niche vocabulary words. Meaning if you watch a hospital or police drama they will have many words that you don't know.)


> Break down scenes from K-dramas and movies. Not to be hypocritical. Just 1-2 minute parts from a drama can be very loaded with vocab and phrases. Try listening to it without subs at first and do that a few times and then add in Korean subtitles and listen a few more times. (make sure it has Korean subs before choosing one)


SPEAKING

> set a timer for 10 minutes (or 30 minutes for a bigger challenge)and try to speak to yourself in Korean. record yourself or just your voice - don't skip this step. describe your surroundings, talk about family, friends, food, Korean, etc. It helps to look around the room and talk to yourself that day.


> download a language exchange app and speak to Korean natives or other learners in Korean. (HiLokal has teachers that host classes for all levels, Tandem is a good app for language exchange)


WRITING

> write a paragraph (or more) about your day. try to use grammar you are currently learning or already learned in your sentences. try to use vocabulary that you learned recently as well.


> watch a YouTube video or k-drama episode (no subtitles besides Korean) and write about what happened in it. (be detailed: names, places, actions, etc.)


> download a language exchange app and text native speakers in Korean.


> Instead of writing about your day, you can write about different things, I have a list of journal prompts HERE


READING

> For BEGINNERS: as a beginner it would be good to stay away from content that is above your level (meaning you can't understand at least 50% of it) I have many stories on my Instagram that you can use to practice your reading. I get most of those stories from an app called LingQ, It has tons of stories you can use to practice reading.


> For INTERMEDIATES: find blogs in Korean (I usually use Naver Blogs for Korean reading practice) on any topic that interests you and read through the first paragraph without looking up anything. If possible, read it several times and try to get the gist of that paragraph. now you can look up words, but not every single word - just enough to get a better understanding.


> I have a free practice with a few different stories you can use to practice. Just scroll down the list and you'll see it somewhere. I'll link that HERE


> If you are willing to pay for a good set of stories with the vocabulary and grammar listed out then this is the best book for you. It has 13 stories in total with English translations, 115 pages, and around 75 questions total about the stories provided to test your comprehension.


MISC.

> I have many more study methods in this book. It's called the "Korean Self-study Guide". I touch on methods to improve grammar, vocabulary and everything else even handwriting and reading faster. Check it out if you are interested.



 

This was a very long-winded post, but it was also chock-full of information. I just rambled a lot I think haha. Anyways, If you didn't know you can actually like this blog and comment below! If you want more tips/advice posts like these, be sure to let me know. Have a good day, afternoon, or night wherever you are.


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Billi Jean
Billi Jean
Jul 25, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for the great tips and informative article. I think you can learn on your own. But sometimes this is not enough and the qualified help of an experienced mentor is required. Therefore, I always use online educational services such as https://www.fellowshippersonalstatement.com/ where I can get help in writing complex academic content. This allows me to save time and study more efficiently. Such services provide well-designed and professionally written documents within the specified time frame.

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Thank you for the advice! This was really helpful!

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Very insightful and handy, thank You!

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