Practice by yourself

I just watched Rob Julien’s video “The Key to Korean Fluency (Chapter 7, video 2).  I want to say, Rob is one smart guy!  He has me pegged for what I am not doing that I should be. I had my moment of enlightenment as I squirmed uncomfortably listening to the video, knowing I was not actually doing what Rob was sensibly outlining as a process for learning.

Rob explains it better, so go watch his video, or better yet the whole “Key to Korean Fluency” series.  I will make an attempt to describe it as I wrap my brain around it.

Rob’s process is to understand the underlying way concepts of the language.

This is different than just memorizing a set of sentences.  Admittedly, that has been my focus.  I entered the sample sentences from KDA class into my Memrise flashcard deck and kept working them over and over until I had memorized particular sentences, but when it came to making the sentences themselves, I was inexperienced and slow.

Here is what Rob is suggesting.

  1. Memorize the vocabulary.  Become really familiar with them.
  2. Understand the concept being presented.
  3. Use the vocabulary to practice the concept over and over again.  Use the practice pages.
  4. Write sentences down on a piece of paper.  Tuck it into your pocket and pull it out whenever you have a free moment through out the day to look at and practice saying to your self.  You don’t have to wait for someone to practice with.
  5. Don’t proceed to the next chapter until you understand and can use the concept automatically because you practice, practice, practice.

Three things are missing for me.  I have not spent enough time with processing the information Rob has presented.  I have not spent the time writing out the practice sentences.  I do not practice those sentences a lot before proceeding to the next chapter.

It is like being a kid who picks up a baseball bat for the first time, swings the bat once, goes “OK, got that concept, next please.”   I am not fast at producing Korean because I have not exercised the skill .  I have not built up the muscles until it is muscle memory that takes over.  It is still a slow, in-my-head, struggling to remember process.  I need to swing the bat.  I need to practice.

I’ve been like the kid who doesn’t study hard enough and tries to skate by with minimal effort.

Skipping the step where I actually wrote down the sentences is my mistake.  I was just looking at the answer sheet, uploading the answers to Memrise, and memorizing full sentences.  It didn’t necessarily mean I could make the sentences myself.  I thought I understood, so skipped this important step in my studies.

Cumulatively, it led me to a state where I was not fully understanding the material or able to do the practice tests, but then going on to the next week’s new material.  No wonder I got so confused and overwhelmed by verbs!

Sheepishly, I realize the blatantly obvious.

I will only learn if I do my homework.

I will only get better if I practice.

Thanks, Rob, for knowing me well enough to point that out.  You are such a smart man.  I need to put the time in every week to studying more than just memorizing the vocabulary.

 

 

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