I’m Tall?

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Apparently, I am tall. This story is based on a real-life talk I recall from Korean class last term. The story is clear so I will just provide an English translation with the text and illustrations.

English Translation of page 1:

EighthStorypg1IMtall - 복사본

 

 

 

July 19, 2018

Last term, I took a Korean class that had many women in it. In one lesson, we were talking about adjectives. The teacher had us describe each other using adjectives. The women described me as tall. I was really surprised. A little later, when I told Sunmi the story, she was also surprised.

I don’t consider myself tall. In fact, in school, I was usually the shortest boy in the class. But in this Korean class, I was on the tall side.

EighthStorypage2IMtall - 복사본

English Translation of page 2

When I heard that, I smiled.

Every time I think of it, I smile.

Am I really tall?

That depends on your perspective.

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Turtle Story

Here is another way to internalize language. I captured a memory with my wife, Sunmi, via a short story and a hand-drawn image. Little activities like this go a long way towards reinforcing vocabulary, structure, and other key elements of language learning. An English translation is provided in the captionow.

FourthStoryWaterTurtle - 복사본
Sunmi and I crossed the Tacheon Stream on stepping stones. Right after stepping onto the first stone, Sunmi spotted a (water?) turtle. I didn’t see it.
It was sitting on a small rock. Sunmi looked at the turtle and the turtle looked at Sunmi.
Then the turtle swam followed the current downstream far away from us.

 

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Internalizing Structure & Words

4thpoemMarch22nd2018 - 복사본

This was one of the first Korean illustrated poems I did in my notebook to internalize learning. At first, I had trouble writing the simple past tense. Although I could say it and recognize it, I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it. Then I thought of trying to recall a real experience using a simple verb. I remembered walking outside the day earlier and enjoying all the spring leaves so I decided to use the verb ‘to see’ or ‘보댜 (boda)’ along with a term I had seen in a textbook meaning ‘as many as’ or ‘나(na).   By looking at the characters, even if you don’t understand Korean, you can probably point out the past tense of the verb ‘see’ as well as the term ‘as many as’.

Here is an English translation of the entire poem:

Leaf

Yesterday I walked outside
I saw many leaves
I saw really many leaves
I saw as many as 100

I saw some in the trees
I saw some on the ground
I saw as many as 100
Really
Really
Really

This short poem contains many elements of language learning. First of all, it is personalized, meaning it is something of my own creation. This makes it both meaningful and memorable for me. Secondly, it has images that also facilitate improved memory.  Finally, there is a lot of repetition which is very, very important when learning a language or anything. How many times have you heard a teacher say, ‘Do it again?’. I will discuss this in more detail in future blog posts.

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Korean Speech Contest Winner

I’ve mentioned repeatedly the importance of internalizing language. Last Friday, I won a Korean speech contest. I spoke about my learning disability. A fellow classmate took photos and I have also included a scan of the original cartoon story I used as a visual aid. It was a wonderful experience.

 

 

dyslexiacartooning
This cartoon starts with me in grade 3 elementary school and ends with me nowadays.
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Names of Objects

MEMlockeddoor

Have I mentioned before that the real world is a great source of vocabulary? I’m sure I have and I will, without a doubt, state it over and over and over and over as it is extremely important when learning languages and other subject. The real world is the key to learning.

The attached image shows an activity I did on April 2 of this year. I wanted to learn the names of kitchen objects because, by doing so, I knew I would have the chance to learn a lot of descriptive language such as the material objects are made of and their shapes.

Where did I go for such a task? I went to the nearest Daiso Korea Seongnam. Daiso Japan, of course, is a big Japan-based bargain franchise with many branches here in S.Korea.

This page shows the first half of the activity. I walked throughout the aisles and wrote down the names of as many objects.  Of course, I also picked each object up and held it in my hands for a bit. I was able to determine easily the name of many objects simply by looking at them. Some objects were the same, but perhaps different shapes. For examples, once I learned the term for a square storage container, I immediately recognized the name for a round one so there was no need to check a dictionary a second time. Some objects also had names in English as well as Japanese and Korean.

FirstPostDaisoKitchenItemsPage2

The page below shows the second half of the activity.  Basically, I selected some new terms and drew picture labels to help me remember the terms.  If you look at this page, you can probably determine that ‘chubang janggap’ (주방 장갑) is the Korean equivalent of ‘cooking gloves’. Similarly, a funnel is ‘ggaltaeki’ (깔대기).FirstPostDiasoKitchenItemsThis learning strategy can be applied to other themes as well. I have tried it with a few different themes and will post them later.

My Other Learning

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Drawing and sketching are not only fun; they are also great ways to commit information to long term memory. Since I started learning Korean again a few months ago, I have been drawing like crazy.

Telling a story can be difficult but Brittany Fannning did a fantastic job telling mine on her Facebook page, Blank Face Studio. Brittany is an incredibly talented artist and acquaintance also residing here in South Korea.  The entire interview can be found at the link below.

 

Featured

Internalizing Structure & Words

4thpoemMarch22nd2018 - 복사본

This was one of the first Korean illustrated poems I did in my notebook to internalize learning. At first, I had trouble writing the simple past tense. Although I could say it and recognize it, I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it. Then I thought of trying to recall a real experience using a simple verb. I remembered walking outside the day earlier and enjoying all the spring leaves so I decided to use the verb ‘to see’ or ‘보댜 (boda)’ along with a term I had seen in a textbook meaning ‘as many as’ or ‘나(na).   By looking at the characters, even if you don’t understand Korean, you can probably point out the past tense of the verb ‘see’ as well as the term ‘as many as’.

Here is an English translation of the entire poem:

Leaf

Yesterday I walked outside
I saw many leaves
I saw really many leaves
I saw as many as 100

I saw some in the trees
I saw some on the ground
I saw as many as 100
Really
Really
Really

This short poem contains many elements of language learning. First of all, it is personalized, meaning it is something of my own creation. This makes it both meaningful and memorable for me. Secondly, it has images that also facilitate improved memory.  Finally, there is a lot of repetition which is very, very important when learning a language or anything. How many times have you heard a teacher say, ‘Do it again?’. I will discuss this in more detail in future blog posts.

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Introductory Remarks

Hello and thank you for taking the time to view my blog. I will be using this blog to summarize and share my language learning experiences here in S.Korea. For almost 30 years, I have worked as an English language instructor and, during that time, I have also played the role of language learning.

During my 19 years here in S.Korea, I have made several attempts to learn Korean, but quickly lost interested. Nowadays, however, I am really, really into it and intend to keep my motivation level high. One reason is because I am combining my hobby, drawing, with learning. Since I started taking class almost four months ago, I have included original sketches throughout my notebook and have even filled one from cover to cover.  I will talk more about this later.

My objective here is not to provide Korean language lessons, but instead, provide ideas on how to learn. I repeat, this blog will focus on learning strategies. Therefore, I will not be providing expressions that you can use at the post office to send a letter, although some posts may have relevant content.

 

 

 

Internalizing Structure

Here is another way to internalize language. I was struggling with a Korean connector that functions as ‘when’, or, ‘and then’ or perhaps ‘as’. Basically, one action is interrupted by another and, at some point, both actions may overlap for a short time.

I decided to write a series of sentences, using the same verb, to watch/see and other actions that I have experienced. I also sketched the corresponding image.  My teacher made one correction in the very last line.

SeventhStoryWhileWatchingTV - 복사본

English Translation:

I was watching a movie in the living room when the phone rang.

I was watching television and then studied Korean.

Last night, I was watching a movie when I fell asleep. (OR Last night, I fell asleep watching a movie.)

On Sunday afternoon I was watching television and then did my homework.

On Sunday morning I was watching television and then went to church.

Yesterday, I was watching television in the living room when I got hungry and ate a sandwich. (OR Yesterday, I got hungry while watching television in the living room and had a sandwich.)

 

Turtle Story

Here is another way to internalize language. I captured a memory with my wife, Sunmi, via a short story and a hand-drawn image. Little activities like this go a long way towards reinforcing vocabulary, structure, and other key elements of language learning. An English translation is provided in the captionow.

FourthStoryWaterTurtle - 복사본
Sunmi and I crossed the Tacheon Stream on stepping stones. Right after stepping onto the first stone, Sunmi spotted a (water?) turtle. I didn’t see it.
It was sitting on a small rock. Sunmi looked at the turtle and the turtle looked at Sunmi.
Then the turtle swam followed the current downstream far away from us.

 

Korean Speech Contest Winner

I’ve mentioned repeatedly the importance of internalizing language. Last Friday, I won a Korean speech contest. I spoke about my learning disability. A fellow classmate took photos and I have also included a scan of the original cartoon story I used as a visual aid. It was a wonderful experience.

 

 

dyslexiacartooning
This cartoon starts with me in grade 3 elementary school and ends with me nowadays.