Too hard on myself – Flawed learning process

I haven’t quite figured out how to study.  Maybe this is a process I will refine over time.

Here is how I am studying the Korean Digital Academy material.

  1. Watch the KDA videos.
  2. Write down the new vocabulary words in my notebook.
  3. Read the class reading.  (Korean sentences with English meaning)
  4. Remove all the English from the reading and import it to LingQ.
  5. Go through in LingQ looking up any words I do not know.
  6. Read it through once in all Korean, looking back to original document if I can’t figure out the meaning.
  7. Import the sentences into Memrise.  Match the audio files to the right sentences.
  8. Work my way through the Memrise deck.  For each sentence, create a “mem”.  Printscreen and save as a flashcard.
  9. Memrise forces me to see the sentence 4 times, the last time a race against the clock where I have to type REALLY fast.  The final type-the-whole-sentence does point out where I might not fully understand it, but it is also difficult to get it right because I can’t remember the exact form (politeness level, word order, whether the subject has been omitted, etc.)
  10. Return to Lingq another day and work the flashcards for the words I am learning.
  11. Return to Memrise another day, by now I have forgotten the exact sentences, and see if I can rearrange the words before the buzzer to make sentences.  This I prefer to do on my smartphone, since that doesn’t have the timer and doesn’t make me type the whole sentence.  Yet to do that means uninstalling, reinstalling, and downloading all the Memrise decks so it can recognize the new level I added.
  12. Try to use the new grammar concept in chats with Koreans.  Often find I can’t work it into the conversation.  Often find I have forgotten something and get it wrong.
  13. Record myself on audio saying the sentences.
  14. Skip the step of doing the practice pages, and go straight to reading the answers.  This admittedly is a weakness in my studying.  I find the practice pages too hard.  I usually have no idea how to answer them.  I suspect I am suppose to actually be LEARNING here.  This is the point where I am suppose to be applying the grammar we learned in the class, and I can’t.
  15. Write about the grammar concept in my blog or surf the net for other places where this concept is taught, to try to reinforce the concept in my brain.  Maybe make it into a game I can play.  This is where colorforms, felt, puzzle pieces, crayons, etc. come out.  My brain tries to work through the concept in play time.
  16. Online class where we cover using the grammar concept, and I stumble painfully through.
  17. After class, we are sent the slides, and I know I SHOULD review them, but mostly I shove them aside because I have moved on to the next week’s class.  I mean to get back to review later, really I do …

Quite frankly, the sentences in Memrise are a BEAR.  I create a flashcard deck that is too hard for me to complete, so it keeps presenting the sentences to me over and over.



My process is way too time consuming.  It is a bit fun making the Memrise deck, but it is too difficult to actually USE the Memrise deck.  As Level 2 progressed, I began using other people’s flashcard decks which only had the vocabulary words, instead of my process with whole sentences.  That makes more sense.  Learn the vocabulary, understand the concept, then you don’t have to memorize all the sentences in the reading, just a few samples.  Then the vast majority of my time isn’t sucked up by working my impossible Memrise deck, which only allows me to memorize specific sentences, but not really get the grammar concept KDA is trying to teach.

My learning process sort of sucks.

I am open to suggestions!  How do you do it?

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6 Responses to Too hard on myself – Flawed learning process

  1. almantina says:

    You use a lot. both Linq and memrise? I would write it down in notebook instead and then review or use only one of these programs. I like that you use what you learnt to converse with Koreans and record yourself speaking. Maybe you should focus more on these aspects and use less of flashcards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, I would like to say that what I write here is not criticism of you or your current learning ideology/method or anything else. I’m moved to write because I see so much of the thought process I had in beginning my first foreign language occurring here so, if anything, these criticisms are to be levied against my self from years back. The flashcard/SRS thing? Did that. Big time. Is it useful? In certain instances, YES. If you’re going through READERS, it’s fine to flashcard vocabulary from whatever extensive reading you’re doing to help you notice when you read through the reading again and again and again or if you’re hearing it in a dialogue or extended discourse. The vocab NEEDS context or it’s pointless. SRS is brilliant when applied to the correct situations. That being said, back in the day, I carded whole textbooks of sentences/vocabulary. Again, I wish I could go back and say to myself “quit wasting your time”, take all those hours and put them into activities that would give me REAL progress. Such as? Activities like Glossika audio method (NO cards). Shadowing audio like Professor Arguelles is GREAT. If you love reading, Extensive and intensive reading of long readers/essays/books you’re INTERESTED in. The catch with all these things? They. are. HARD. REALLY hard (at first). You will sweat and be frustrated and some days will not want to do them. But you WILL want to do them even though they’re hard because you will have REAL (and fairly fast) progress to show for your efforts. Finally, a word of caution: I see alot of time sinks in your current setup (making/reviewing tons of flashcards, scrambling exercises or something, etc.) A word from experience: these are huge risks for burnout (as you may be noticing) and do not economically repay your efforts! The flashcards will just keep building up and no one has the time to go through those (again, save for some specific instances). With that time you could listen to hundreds of GMS sentences and shadow pages of text and actually be acquiring grammar/vocab and improving pronunciation and listening at a native speed. TRUST YOUR BRAIN. It will work (much better) without electrocuting it with sentence flashcards 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jreidy17 says:

    Thanks for you comments. I appreciate the wisdom of someone who has been there/done that/ and lived to tell the tale.

    Glossika fell by the wayside when KDA Level 2 classes hit me with verb conjugation. KDA classes end in 2 weeks, and I plan to go back to Glossika Mass Sentences with renewed vigor. I really like GMS.

    Perhaps I should be selective about what I make flashcards for. Not 50 flashcards for almost essentially the same sentence structure, but one sample of the sentence structure should do, plus a card describing the grammar principle.


    • Yeah, just a sample sentence of the grammar pattern and then reinforcing by reading material/fluency training that contains it will save a ton of energy and time. Incidentally, the first language I ‘studied’ was Japanese so I can relate when it comes to verb conjugation (although allegedly similar, I’ve heard Korean takes it to a whole other level and has more irregular verb conjugations). That being said, sorry if my post came across as preachy. Thank you for having the courage to open up on the internet and share your journey with us! It’s really interesting and I’m sure you will succeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Diana Jeuda says:

    Really interesting. I have come from Memrise to LingQ but am still using Memrise. Need to review this in light of this exchange. Thanks


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