What’s the key to unlocking the door to learning a language? The hammer that can break through barriers and the fuel that’ll keep you moving forward? It’s motivation.
Apart from the different techniques and tips on what is the best way to learn Korean, it’s basically “motivation” that will push you to develop the skill to master Korean words and the alphabet. When you’re just starting to learn the Korean language, motivation comes easy since everything seems new and exciting.
However, the initial motivation you have will not last forever. As learning becomes more difficult, it becomes harder to see your progress, making you feel unmotivated. The best way to learn Korean relies heavily on keeping yourself motivated to move past being a “beginner” and reach the “master” level.
To help you achieve that dream, here are some tips on how you can keep yourself motivated while taking Korean lessons.
1. Socialize With Korean People
As you learn the Korean alphabet or learn Korean words and phrases, it’s natural to turn to a mountain of books and courses, assuming that’s how you’ll learn the language. Unfortunately, reading through books isn’t very motivating, and as human beings, it’s more interesting to connect with people directly.
By socializing with Koreans, you can practice speaking the language with other people besides your teacher and fellow classmates. Also, try to shift your focus and don’t study one resource so that you can proceed to the next one. Instead, concentrate on learning to gain the skills you need to speak the Korean language with real people in your everyday life.
If there are no Korean speakers in your life that can help you with language learning, try looking through online language exchange partners or tutors. Once you find Korean friends to speak with, you’ll see that your motivation to learn Korean fast will correspond to your closeness to those people.
2. Explore South Korea
Like you, Korean people have their own culture, which may not be something you expect. Do you love K-drama (Korean drama)? Or, perhaps you find yourself dancing to K-pop (Korean pop music)? This is a good sign that you’re curious and open to the culture.
When you don’t close yourself to something “foreign,” it’s easier to learn a language. Seeing new and unfamiliar things are a chance to broaden your horizons as a person. As the “Korean” side of you grows, you become more motivated to study Korean day after day.
3. Make Plans That Force You To Use the Language
As a beginner who wants to learn Korean, you may sometimes feel separated and think of “Korean learning” as something you do instead of a part of who you are. This is normal for those who speak only one language as it’s a force of habit. A great way to stay motivated and help you learn is to break that barrier and aim to make plans that’ll require you to practice speaking Korean regularly.
You can start by doing any of the following things:
- Joining local Korean culture and language meetups
- Shopping at a Korean grocery store
- Volunteer to help Korean exchange students and tutor them in your native language
- Travel to Korea or visit places where Korean native speakers are present
Setting plans that involve Korean people will naturally help you develop a genuine need to learn the language and culture.
4. Share the Journey With Other Language Learners
Language learning is never easy to learn, especially if Korean grammar and writing system only have few similarities to yours. It’s normal to be a little bit overwhelmed by the new language.
The best way to avoid discouraging feelings is to communicate and share your experience with other Korean learners. Interacting with people whose learning Korean at different levels can have unique benefits for your motivation, such as:
- Higher-level learners can be your role models and answer any questions you may have with your Korean lessons.
- Same-level learners can give moral support and some healthy competition that’ll push you to study Korean.
- Lower-level learners can learn from you, and you can help them overcome obstacles you may have already encountered as you learn the language.
Knowing more people who want to learn Korean who also have the same goals as you are, keeps you motivated to stay on the same path and keep pushing forward.
Control the Tide
Motivation isn’t something given to you—you have to look for it yourself. It can be present when you’re just starting to learn and speak Korean and gone the next. It’s one of the most elusive tools in a learner’s arsenal.
The four tips above can help you maintain your motivation to learn a foreign language. Hopefully, the tips above are able to help you create a deeper connection with other Korean learners and Korean people in general. Keep in mind that motivation is permanent and steady. But with the four tips above, you can somehow control the flow rather than let it control you.