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.

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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.

English and How To Improve It

This was a speech I wrote for a contest back when I was in high school. Posted a blog about my experience. Here goes nothing:

We all that English is a language used by many countries around the globe. Our country, the Philippines, is one of those. We consider it as our second language and therefore, as Filipino citizens, we should be able to know and use English well. So how do we improve it? How can we be able to use English well?

One way of improving English is by giving importance to it and finding time to study it. That is the reason why we have it as one of the major subjects in school. But just because we only have almost an hour in studying English doesn’t mean that’s the only time we should study it. Studying doesn’t end in school and knowledge does not stop after graduation.

Another way is by using the language itself in communicating with other people. We do learn by experience. We could learn a lot just by speaking to other people or maybe in the internet.  We could chat with people around the globe.

By taking down notes about English, we could also learn the language. We could reread it when we get confused or puzzled. And also when we hear or read a word or a phrase we do not know, we should note it so that we could gain knowledge, more knowledge about English.

There are probably a lot more ways on how to gain more knowledge about English, on how we can improve it. We all should know how important it is to us, and be able to understand what it means to communicate to everyone in the world.