Here is my wish list:
- To have the experience of hearing Korean spoken and understanding it
- To have a Korean conversation
- To feel confident speaking Korean
- To think in Korean, instead of the slow process of thinking in English and trying to find Korean words and rearrange them into a Korean sentence
- To have pronunciation that I could be understood by Koreans
- To be able to type Korean in chats and have it be accurate 80% of the time
- To be able to read a simple Korean story
- To review what I have learned so far, and be impressed by my progress
I have never had a moment of enlightenment with Korean. I have never felt like I “get it”. I never feel like words flow from my mouth. Everything is a struggle. I feel like I am going backwards. Instead of growing more confident, I am less so. I have stopped trying to form Korean sentences in chats, email, or Mindpasta.
I am discouraged by my mistakes.
I feel like by this point, things should start to come together. What good is being able to work Memrise flashcard decks, if I can’t use the words in conversation? Level 2 Korean Digital Academy has been a struggle to get to the point where I can kind of conjugate verbs a little. Tutoring has made me doubt I learned anything, as I can’t seem to master the basics of pronunciation. I use to throw Korean words into English sentences, knowing I was a beginner who couldn’t make sentences. Now I feel like I should have enough knowledge to make basic sentences, but all my sentences written in chats are wrong. I just want to sit down and cry. I still can’t do Korean.
People who have learned second languages talk about the experience of being in a room where their target language is being spoken, and they can understand and even participate. Benny Lewis is inspired by having conversations with people. Fluent Forever’s author talks about the language processing machine in your brain kicking in so that you start to internalize grammar. Erik formed a group where only Korean is spoken, so others can experience the joy of being immersed in language.
I just don’t get it. I don’t understand. I don’t have good feelings associated with language learning. I only have growing frustration and shame.
I guess the biggest wish I have is just to have some positive feelings about the Korean language. I want to be able to USE it. I want a sense of accomplishment and pride.
It might be time to step back, get some perspective, start in a new direction. Return to what I was doing that was inefficient but I enjoyed. Drop things that push me too hard. Revisit all those things I wanted to do, but didn’t have time for before, to rekindle my interest.
New Years is coming. The time of resolutions and fresh beginnings. Since Santa isn’t likely to bring any of the items on my wish list, I will have to figure out how to proceed on my own to make language learning something I want to do again.