Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

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Will he make it?

Yes
40
74%
No
14
26%
 
Total votes: 54

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:28 am

leosmith wrote:#33 had about 350 unknown words, I didn't let this discourage me and I pushed on through. The good news is I finished it; the bad news is that it took me about 1.5hrs.

Today I tried #49, which is about pizza in Korea; another cherry picked topic that seemed to be one of the easier ones. This time there were only 210 unknown words, and it took 1hr 10min for me to read. Progress :lol: I'll do another round of beginner podcasts tomorrow, but I hope the next time I do an Iyagi, it will take less than 1 hour. If it does, I will say goodbye to beginner podcasts.

Tomorrow maybe I'll pick up the silly lingq "who is she?" series where I left off (half way through) and try to finish it. I really don't like it, but I hate to start something and not finish it. Also, the lessons are all pre-made and conveniently sitting there waiting for me.
1 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:45 pm

Time for an update regarding my Goals. Although this is a very personal and touchy subject, I find it useful to set short term and long term goals. I rarely write them down, but I'll make an exception for this log.

First, my long term goal. I think it should be C1 in Korean, and by that I mean I want my listening to be good enough to understand about 90% of 90% of the things I listen to/watch. That wasn't a typo. There are some things I'll watch, maybe a particular documentary for example, which I won't be able to understand 90% of. Oh, and to be clear I'm talking about understanding at the sentence level, not merely 90% of the vocabulary. To me this level of listening is the true hallmark of C1. Of course I want all the things that I normally obtain by B2 - excellent conversation, good reading, sufficient writing skills, etc. But those aren't the things that will make me continue to study the language for double the time. I don't expect this goal to be reached in the 1 year time frame. In fact, notice how I said "I think it should be C1"? That's because I have allowed myself to back off at B2 to pursue my wanderlust in other languages. Not smart, but it is what it is. I may write more about this later.

The goal concerning this log is B2 in 1 year, and my first post spelled out what I think I need to do to get there. So this is the long term goal I'll talk about here. Now for a shorter term goal. I expect to reach B1 by March 16 (6 months after I started). That's 82 days from now. Here is what I expect to have done by then:
260 hours of listening (109 so far)
read to a level of 10,000 known words on LingQ (1,700 so far)
80 hours of conversation lessons on italki (6.5 so far)

Questions:
1) Do you think that I will reach these levels by March 16, 2017?
2) If I reach these levels, do you think that in all likelihood I will be at B1?


Now some comments about shorter term goals. I set a lot of these, because they seem to help me stay focused and motivated. For example, I wanted to finish Pimsleur before a family member's birthday (Dec 20) because I knew all sorts of things start to happen near the end of the year, and I didn't want to break the end up into little pieces. For the same basic reason, I've been trying to get my first 10 hours of conversation in before the end of the year. These are the most intense hours of language learning for me, and having them out of the way, as well as having a good solid base in conversation, before the new year starts is a huge psychological plus for me. So I'm still working on that one. My next short term goal will probably be to go through KFZ1 again, as I'm finding things haven't stuck as well as they could. More on that later.
3 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:37 pm

I got a great Christmas present this morning - a small but definite breakthrough in my conversation skills. Today was my 10th lesson, and although I've only completed 7.5 hours of conversation (due to some lessons being 30min), and although I said the first 10 hours of conversation is the most intense and difficult time in my language learning plan, there is nothing fixed in language learning. I had a surprisingly good 3rd lesson, but seemed to pull back a bit after that. It wasn't until my 8th lesson that I started feeling a bit more pleased with my performance. More of the same for the 9th, and today was easily the best I've done so far.

I would say that after step 1, I should be A2ish lexicon-wise, but my conversation lags my other skills at that time. I'll probably still be catching up for maybe 10 more hours, then I'll feel well balanced progress in all skills; the power of synergy.
1 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:47 pm

Strange day today. First, the internet connection with my teacher was so bad we had to cancel. It's so discouraging when I can't understand anything due to the combination of my low level and not being able to hear every other word. So that was a bit of a disappointment.

This afternoon was the 2nd day I worked on Iyagi #42 "movies". My teacher from Saturday, the one who was so good, said he wanted to talk about movies next time, so I figured I'd try the corresponding Iyagi. It was 12 min long, and had 400 unknown words. Yikes! So I did it in 2 pieces, yesterday and today, and each one took about an hour. When I finished the lesson it turns out that only 200 of the words were truly unknown. For a 12 minute lesson I want 120 unknown words or less, so I'm making progress.

Tomorrow I have surgery, which will put a damper on things for a while. I have a lesson scheduled for the following day, so here's hoping that it won't be a total disaster. I'll be under general anaesthesia, so I hope my brain will function normally soon after too. I assume considering everything, I should be back on track in about a week. I'm not a fan of trying to catch up; the slack in my plan should allow for this surgery and other small unforeseen issues.
1 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:25 pm

One step forward, two steps back. Had my surgery yesterday, and the recovery has been harder than expected. I'm ok, but having trouble getting around, and definitely not thinking normally. I had my lesson this morning, and it went poorly as expected, but it wasn't a disaster. To complicate matters, his accent was quite different from what I'm used to; he combined words differently. Maybe someone here knows - is it because he's from 인천? Anyway, here's how I'd rate my lesson performances so far:
Day 1: A0
Day 2: A1
Day 3: A2
Day 4: A1
Day 5: A1
Day 6: A1
Day 7: A1
Day 8: A1
Day 9: A1
Day 10: A2
Day 11: OFF
Day 12: A1
0 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:41 am

What a difference a day makes.
My brain was still very foggy from the surgery this morning. Although I got about the same percentage correct in anki, I noticed it was taking me longer to answer. Then I had a really bad italki session. Not only was the teacher ignoring all my instructions, but the internet had a long delay, so it was a disaster and we called it quits after 30min. Then I hired an instant tutor, who was much better and had good internet, so that saved the morning, but I was still not feeling the earlier magic of my conversations. I guess the fog creeped up on me over the last 3 days, and I really didn't notice how bad it was.

My gut had been hurting since the surgery, painful gas (sorry for TMI) which I assume was caused by the dose of antibiotics they give us when we're under, so I decided to try a little potato starch which I know causes gas expulsion in both directions, as well as relieving SIBO. An hour later I felt the cloud lifting, and I started to understand my first drama much better (still not very much at this point of course). In the evening I did some vocab list reviews which went much faster, and finally I watched my second drama with significant improvement. I was able to catch my first plot twist that actually took some careful listening to figure out, and that made me feel great. Welcome back brain!

I have to plug the second drama I mentioned. It's an extremely popular crime drama called Signal, and one of the best shows I've seen in any language, which is saying a lot since I'm only understanding about 10% of the language used. Although I don't use any, I would recommend watching it with English subtitles even if you're not learning Korean.
1 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:07 pm

First, a little update. Yesterday I had a really bad class with my best teacher. It was due to the terrible internet (again, the teacher was in China). So we struggled through the lesson, but spent about half of the time switching systems (skype/kakaotalk/zoom) and asking each other whether we could hear. Incidentally, a former Chinese teacher of mine turned me onto zoom. It usually works very well with partners in China, even with video, but not yesterday for some reason. So you get good sound, good video, and there appears to be video recording options. It’s free, but shuts down after 40min if you’re not a paying member.

Anyway, after that dismal performance, I realized I actually did quiet well considering, and I experienced an hour or two of amazing clarity where my attitude was great and my memory was as sharp as a needle. In the afternoon I switched to Russian for it’s weekly maintenance and I was amazed at how well both the conversation and TV comprehension went. But when I switched back to Korean a bit later to watch my TV shows, I didn’t understand anything. Probably the closest to zero since I began watching. Sometimes I have problems when I switch from conversing in one language to another, but never anything near to this extent. I didn’t know what to do; my brain clearly wasn’t functioning properly, and I actually had blurred vision in one eye. So I just watched the show and concentrated hard on the words I “knew” but couldn’t remember. By the end of that first show, it seemed I was thinking normally again, and the second show went about as I would normally expect.

Everyone, myself included, experiences ups and downs in their performances. But what I described goes above and beyond that. While I appreciate the highs, I don’t want to experience lows like that again. I figure this has to be fallout from the general anesthesia; it’s been 6 days - hope it ends soon.

This morning I had my best Korean conversation ever. Definitely A2. This is the third time in my 17 lessons so far that I felt I was at A2 instead of A1. They’ve been pretty spread out. I predict that in another 10 hours or so they’ll be pretty common, and if I believe I’ll make B1 at 80 hours, then I need to predict I’ll make A2 at 40 hours.

Speaking of hours, the real reason I wanted to write this post was to admit that I’m doing a lot more study than step 1. I estimated 5hrs/day for step 1. I estimate 8hrs/day for step 2. Here is a typical breakdown (time shown for Korean studies only):
6am-7am conversation
7am-8am looking up, writing out lists and memorizing words and phrases from the conversation
8am-9am flashcards
9am-10:30am reading
3-4pm grammar
4-5pm TV show 1
6-6:30pm list review
7-8pm TV show 2

This means that while I spent about 450 hours on step 1, I will spend an additional 2150 hours to close out the year, for a total of around 2600 hours. I’ve only completed 570 hours so far, or about 22%, so I’m still at a very early stage in this spurt. Much more to come!
0 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:06 am

Just a quick little note to say I got some positive feedback on my listening today. I did the 3rd iyagi lesson (finally doing them in order from the beginning now) which is about 9 minutes and had around 200 unknown words before starting. First I listened to it with my eyes closed. I understood maybe 1/4 or 1/3. After I read it, I listened again with my eyes closed and was happy to realise that I understood well over half of it. I usually get a bit of a bump after reading, so even though this was a decent bump that's not what impressed me. I was happy about clearly understanding over half of it. :D
1 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

User avatar
leosmith
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Languages: English (N)
Actively learning Korean (~B1)
Maintaining Japanese (~B2), Mandarin (~B2), Thai (~B2), Russian (~B2), French (~B2), Spanish (~C1)
All but forgotten Swahili (~B1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5054
x 392

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby leosmith » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:18 am

Another nice surprise today that I wanted to record here. Today's conversation was by far the best I've had. Near the end of the class, I was getting ready to grade myself B1 for the session when the teacher surprised me and told me I was an intermediate speaker, not a beginner. No prompting on my part; just a coincidence. I'm not going to kid myself into believing I'm a solid or even a low B1 at this point, but having a single day like this is a sign of good things to come.
4 x
My Log: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year
: 4675 / 8000 Korean listening (800 hrs goal):
: 13540 / 24550 Korean reading (24,550 LingQ words goal):
: 1175 / 2000 Korean conversation (200 italki tutor hours goal):

Online
qeadz
Orange Belt
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:37 pm
Languages: English (N), Korean (beginner)
x 212

Re: Korean - from scratch to B2 in one year

Postby qeadz » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:02 pm

leosmith wrote:Another nice surprise today that I wanted to record here. Today's conversation was by far the best I've had. Near the end of the class, I was getting ready to grade myself B1 for the session when the teacher surprised me and told me I was an intermediate speaker, not a beginner. No prompting on my part; just a coincidence. I'm not going to kid myself into believing I'm a solid or even a low B1 at this point, but having a single day like this is a sign of good things to come.


Wow! How many hours worth of speaking have you had so far? Thats an amazing achievement.
1 x


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