An Award in Korean Class

I enrolled to a Korean class last January and it ended last month, April. I was told by a friend that out of 25 students, only 5 of them were able to pass the course and it made me nervous.

Along with not wanting to fail, I was silently competitive. Korean language class removes my stress away and I wanted to do good in it. I did not tell anyone but I was trying to learn more than I should and tried to get high scores on our class activities so as to not fail the class.

Thankfully, all my hard work paid off. I passed the final exam in Korean class.

Although my only goal was to pass the class, on the 21st of April, a day before the graduation, I received a text saying that I was chosen as one of the best students in our class.

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Korean Final Exam!

I took Korean classes from January 2017 until April 2017 in the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines. We had our exam last April 20th and it was nerve-wracking. I did not study a lot during the week break we had and I could not sleep the night before. Thankfully, I was able to review a bit before the exam started.

I thought I would not be able to answer the reading and writing parts, but I did! I would like to thank my The Listening part was confusing and I had to guess the answer for about three or five questions.

The Speaking part of the exam was done after the three. Each of us were called out (mostly volunteered) and I was really nervous. I kept thinking how bad my pronunciation was and if I could actually answer the questions — well, I did. I did answer all 10 questions but wasn’t sure in a few of them, but I did!

When I was done, I went out of the room and talked to the other classmates who were yet to be called. I got a few seconds of happiness when a classmate told me my Korean pronunciation was good. Another classmate agreed with her, telling me the same. They said I was great in speaking. I remember going home feeling good about myself.

When I got home, though, I started overthinking and thought I was never going to pass because of the Listening exam. I thought I would fail the whole course.

But I didn’t! I passed the course and got an award as well!

See: An Award in Korean

Taking Up Elementary Korean

I started taking Korean language classes in the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines last year in May. I first took the Basic Korean class and it had shed some light. I did not plan on studying furthermore as my main purpose was only to find out how to pronounce the letters right but figured halfway through the basic class that this would give a wider range of opportunities for me.

The basic class I took ended in August and the next term started the next month. I planned to take a class then but they were sold out too fast for me to be able to get a slot.

In January 2017, I waited for the registration for the 1st term of the year. It was supposed to be open by 10AM on the 13th of January but were pushed back twice because of the heavy traffic the site was getting. I was nervous the whole time but thankfully was able to get the class I wanted to enroll in.

The classes went on from January till April. I took the Tuesday/Thursday morning classes. My college schedule clashed with it, making it harder for me to concentrate during the afternoon classes I had in school. I had to travel from the Korean class to my college for about an hour. It was exhausting. It was most difficult when I had major exams. I take a bus and a jeepney to school from the Korean class building.

Our teacher was Teacher Kang and she had a good sense of humor. She told a lot of jokes although she was somehow shy as well.

My seatmate looked a bit intimidating on the first meeting but she was really nice and I enjoyed talking to her. We were able to talk a lot about the classes and my school and her work. And like any other ate, she gave out advises for my future job and even allowed me to put her as my Character Reference on the resume I made.

The first three classes were alright. We talked about Hangul so I found it boring. The teacher was interesting though. The next few chapters were okay as well. But when we got to further into the book, it became harder to understand, much like getting the information to stick to my brain. There were times I could only laugh at how hard it was to understand. My seatmate was in it, too. Some days were days we all went ‘did you understand?’ ‘no I didn’t’ ‘me, too’; more often than it should.

Throughout the term, we studied about two chapters per meeting and we finished the book by the first week of April. We only had 4 quizzes — two vocabulary quizzes and two reading and writing quizzes. I wished we had more.

Coming from Basic Korean class to Elementary 1 was a lot easier than going straight to Elementary 1. Most of my classmates did not take Basic Korean and so had a more difficult time with reading and writing, as well as keeping up with the lessons. So I do suggest enrolling to Basic Korean first before continuing on to Elementary 1.

The part of the lessons wherein I had a difficult time with was using the -bnida/-seumnida rather than using the -yeyo/-ieyo, which we studied in Basic Korean so I suggest taking time to keep them in mind. Nowadays, I am more used to the former than the latter.

See: Korean Final Exam

I passed the subject, by the way. I plan on taking up Elementary 2 by May.

See: An Award in Korean Class

All in all, I had a good experience in the class. I used to compare my former teacher to my current teacher but I shouldn’t have. I like them both. I am now able to translate a few sentences and can also express myself in Korean. This was fun. I want to learn more and hopefully one day, I would be fluent in the language.

An Orientation and An Exam

On the 21st of January, we had an orientation for the language class I enrolled in at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines. Classes were to start the following week.

I attended the morning orientation as I had classes in the afternoon. I arrived to the building 30 minutes early although I missed my stop. I walked in and most seats were already taken. I chose a seat by the isle as I knew it would be hard for me to look out front when the orientation starts if I sat somewhere farther.

The orientation started around 10:10AM. The vice president gave out an opening speech a d proceeded to main part of the orientation. Aside from the new classes and facilities, most of the topics discussed were the same from the last time I attended their orientation.

I admit I did not pay attention during some points of the discussion. After the last topic, the library, was discussed, the emcee announced that they were going to raffle a few books. I opened my phone and did not give any attention to the announcement of winners.

As I decided to open Blossom Blast, my name was called! I won a book. I did not know what to do. All I wanted was to sit down and hope that I do not do anything embarrassing but I was called out front to receive the prize.

I got the book and was about to return to my seat when the photographer asked for my photo to be taken. I had to go on stage. I was internally crying and hoping no one would remember me.

Did I mention the whole hall clapped when my name was called? It was embarrassing.

I won a book about K-Drama — yes, K-Drama that I am not especially a fan of, but this might count as a sign.

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A few others were called after me. My heart was still pounding but I was also happy.

The orientation was done and we were asked to proceed to the language classroom for the release of the books for the term. It was a bit irritating as there were no instructions whatsoever yet there were lines for specific classes. I did get mine after a few minutes and met someone while doing so.

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We went out of the building and went home (or for me, to school). While on the way to the bus stop, I asked the lady whom I’ve met during the book release about her name. I told her that mine was ‘Bessie’ and she said ‘Oh! You’re famous!*’

* Nowadays, ‘bes’ or ‘bessie’, sometimes spelt as ‘bessy’, has become a popular ‘call sign’ between friends and colleagues alike. It is a shorter form of ‘best friend’ yet is has been used casually by everyone to everyone else. To me, it is annoying. I believe I wrote about some of the reasons why on a previous blog post.

I tried to wait for a bus but none was stopping at the usual stop. I found out a few classes later that the bus stop has changed the other side of the road to lessen the heavy traffic.

I used the alternate route that a classmate gave me a couple of terms ago. I rode the bus and a jeepney to school.

I arrived a few minutes late. I had an exam. I was crying. I haven’t gotten a hold of every topic yet and I still needed to study.

Thankfully, we used the first half of the time (our Saturday class starts at 1PM and ends at 7PM) for lecture and was told to be taking the exam on the second half. I had time to study.

A new lesson was taught and I couldn’t get a few parts but the seatwork did help.

We were given half an hour to study and we somehow did. We also did the take home quiz we did not finish.

Another half hour was extended as the classroom we usually use was not available that time.

The exam was…tough. It took three hours for me to finish. I wasn’t even sure if any of the stuff I wrote down was right. I only kept on writing.

I did get to answer them, though, and I guess trying my best was enough. On most days, I don’t get anything and continue on to cry for the next couple of exam hours.

I went home feeling good that day.

I cannot remember what happened afterwards but I’m thankful to have been able to enroll to a Korean language class again and was able to answer exam questions.

Korean Language Class

This has long been in my drafts. It would be it’s first anniversary in June. I have to publish this.

I never got to write about it, but I enrolled to a Korean language class in the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines last May 2016. I tried out the Basic Korean first, as it’s always best to start with the basics.

It was okay at first, I knew hangeul and I already had it memorized. My only problem was the pronunciation. When our teacher taught us the pronunciation, it was like the light has shined upon me. What I thought for years as ‘right’ was wrong all along. Most of the Hangeul I knew were pronounced differently than how I used to pronounce it. It felt good to finally understand the difference of (o), and ㅓ(eo) as well a few other vowels I have been pronouncing incorrectly.

We talked about it in three sessions and then continued on to the common conversations and the grammar. It was fun, until we had too many vocabularies to memorize and sentence structures to follow. It became harder every session and, because I was still in school, it was harder to follow everything. I was tired most of the time and had more than Korean language to study.

But I wanted this so I did not give it up.

I had a hard time with listening to the CDs. Our teacher then played the CDs and let us answer the questions on the book. It seemed easy when you know the words, but as the lessons went by, they kept adding vocabularies we did not study — or I forgot. We had to translate what the voices on the CD said and I hated it every single time. It was hard, but I was thankful to have a lovely seatmate who always helped me with them.

I was able to survive the twelve sessions we had, a total of 36 hours. We had our graduation on the 20th of August and I was half an hour late to the graduation if I correctly remember. It was sad because we prepared a video and I was unable to watch it. We did win 2nd place to the video presentation/competition and won a 3000-peso worth of gift certificate to a Korean restaurant.

We were given a certificate and had our photos taken. We ate after the graduation ceremony. It was nice. The food was delicious and I had a good time with my classmates. We became closer.

Overall, it was hard but definitely fun. I had a hard time with the classes as I had school from morning to evening from Mondays to Fridays and Korean language class every Saturday morning but I was able to graduate. I learned a lot with teacher Kim and I thank her for teaching us a lot about Korea aside from just the language.

Today, I am able to understand a few sentences that I hear from Korean shows. I still have a lot to learn, vocabularies to memorize, sentence structures to permanently put in my head (their particles kills me).

If you can try learning another language out, I recommend doing so. It feels great to be able to learn and study another language and it feels like there’s a kind of connection to the country when doing so.