During the holidays I had time to think about my life and language goals. I realised that I have 2 big dreams – become fluent in Chinese and Korean. For some reason (maybe because of watching those Youtubers who studied in China), I kept thinking that I need to travel and live in China and Korea in order to achieve that goal, because that’s what all normal language students do – they travel to the country, study there for some time and come back enlightened and fluent. So I thought “even if we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I can still research on how to do it” and so I dove into Google looking for recommendations on the best ways to do it, schools and accommodations.
As I was researching, I quickly realized that this plan was going to be very hard to carry out for several reasons:
- We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and nobody knows when it’s gonna end
- It would be verry expensive to pay for rent in areas where schools are located and study fees on top of it
- I hate classroom learning, I think it’s very outdated, inefficient and time-consuming
- I still have a full-time job so I’d have to juggle this with language school
- My husband doesn’t want to go to a language school so I’d have to do it by myself
- Visas can be tricky
So my perspective changed a bit over these days I’ve been considering and looking into it. I also thought – why would I want to travel to another country just to attend language classes? Wouldn’t it be much better to learn the language beforehand and then travel to actually explore the country and enjoy my stay? After all, I have learned Chinese to HSK 3 level and Korean to a pretty decent level all by myself, without going anywhere, why can’t I just continue learning here, why do I think I need to travel somewhere else to learn the language to fluency?
So with this mindset I decided to try to recreate the experience of studying abroad. I know that it is a big challenge because I’m already investing so much time in Chinese (about 40 minutes a day) and if I add Korean on top of it I’m afraid it will turn into something too time-consuming, but I want to try anyway at least for this month, while there’s not so much stress at work and the weather is so cold and grey I don’t feel like going outside at all.
So I set the following language goals for January:
- Chinesepod – 15-20 minutes every day
- Memrise – 15-20 minutes every day
- Italki – one session every 2 weeks (I reduced italki this month because of my Chinesepod marathon that I mentioned here)
- Watch C-Drama – every day
- Memrise – 10 minutes every day
- Indonesian Zoom class – one hour a week on Fridays
With Korean it is quite hard to actually set goals because I don’t want to reduce my time I spend on learning Chinese, so I need to add it into my routines on top of what I’m already doing with other languages. I was lucky to have found a great language exchange partner, we had our first call yesterday and it went well (one day I should write a separate post about it). So I will try to set these goals, but I’m not sure I will be able to achieve them, let’s try and see how it goes:
- Memrise – 5 minutes a day
- Journal in italki – once a week
- Read Webtoon – once a week
- Language exchange call – twice a week
- Chat with friends on Kakao Talk – every other day
Let’s review together after one month 🙂