Today was a big review day of the previous 4 chapters we’ve been studying at school. We focused mainly on words and played some word games. The teachers have us help each other with the word meanings by explaining them to each other. And if we still have trouble with understanding the words, we ask the teacher to explain it. I’ve rarely had to use the dictionary while studying here at Sogang, and if the teachers see us using them, they tell us not to. The Sogang books have all the words with their translations, so I can easily look up words, but hearing an explanation in Korean helps to better remember the meaning. During my time at Yonsei, I would always use the dictionary to look up words. It was helpful, but I wish I would have listened to the teachers better with their explanations.
I had never studied another language unless you count the required 2 years of Spanish in High School. So I spent most of my time here at first not just trying to learn the language, but also how to study a foreign language. I’ve learned I need to speak and speak and speak and speak, and not worry about making any mistakes. And also try to make friends with non-English speaking students. This way we are forced to speak in the foreign language and it ends up helping each other. I can compare this to children learning their native language—they speak with each other a lot and don’t use dictionaries for every word they see or hear. And usually the only explanation they get for unknown words or grammar is from other people.
After class, on the way home, I got some various fliers from people on the street. This is very common, but most of the time they don’t give me any fliers because I’m not Asian looking (the people giving fliers out always give them to Japanese, or Chinese, or other Asian people). Well, for some reason today I got some fliers and one of them was a flier for the big English comprehension test here in Korea…. It seemed very odd for them to give me that, but I think those people get paid by the amount of fliers they give out.
I stopped by McDonalds and got a Big Mac to go and ate it at home. The McDonalds’ here are practically the same as in the US, except for a few extra menu items, like the bulgogi burger. Oh, and they also have delivery using the typical delivery scooter bikes that are everywhere here in Seoul.
I also went to language exchange today. I meet a friend at her flower shop that she owns with her mom. We usually study together Mondays and Fridays, but Monday’s meeting got postponed to today. We spend one hour focusing on Korean and the next hour on English. At first, it was very difficult, because she would speak very fast and use many words I didn’t know. I’m much better now at understanding her when she speaks, and probably understand 70% of what she says. She still speaks fast and uses words I don’t know, but I’ve found if I hear words I know, the speed of the talking doesn’t matter.
It’s a full day today and I have to go to do English tutoring tonight. The Thursday student switched to tonight to have her lesson. I think it’s because Korea’s 2nd World Cup game is tomorrow?