100 Days to TOPIK

100 98 days to go before the next TOPIK exam!

Was originally planning on starting my preparation 2 days ago to make it a total of 100 days but have been sick since new year, thus wasn’t able to make any progress at all.

I’m still sick today and even the slightest movement really tires me out; however, since I no longer have fever and starting to get bored watching dramas all day long I’m starting to study Korean again today.

This time I’m going to use TOPIK Essential Grammar 150 Intermediate, TOPIK in 30 Days, 살아있는 한국어 and previous TOPIK papers.


D-98! 고고씽!

32nd TOPIK 중급 Study Log # 2

Since I wasted my evening crying over someone I shouldn’t be thinking, I must work double time on my TOPIK preparation today…

But I’m such on a lazy mood right now that it’s too tempting to watch my dramas instead. I’ve been a bit behind in Master’s Sun, and I’m starting to forget where I left off from The King 2 Hearts and my mom’s getting ahead of me in Dad, Where Are We Going? (I watch this drama twice. No substiles by myself, then with English subtitles with my mom. But since she’s getting ahead of me, I’ve seen two episodes with English subtitles with her. 안돼! I must continue watching without subs first! ㅠㅠ). And even if TEN 2 is starting to bore me, I’m still way too curious to see the next episode. I’ve finished re-downloading Me Too, Flower and looking forward to finally finishing it (accidentally deleted it while I’m in the middle of watching it a few months back ㅠㅠ). Now I’m so tempted to re-watch What’s Up Fox? too and My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (for the nth time!). And there are new recommendations I wanted to start on Flowerboy Next Door and Protect The Boss.


Must finish my goals for today for TOPIK first!

I’m almost done with the reading part of the 18th Intermediate paper. Hopefully I can finish it in less than an hour. Then will do a run down of all the new words and grammar patterns I encounter in the 18th paper and input them on Anki. Than I’ll go over the entire 18th paper once more. After that I can watch some dramas. And then try the 18th paper one more time before moving on to the 27th paper. Hmm… 그래 할 수 있지?

But I think I’ll watch just one episode of TEN 2 first… ㅋㅋ

TOPIK Study plans

So, this time I’m serious I want to be serious! Since there’s still 168 days before the next TOPIK, I want to use these remaining days wisely. I came up with a 15-day study plan for every TOPIK paper.

  1. 어휘 맟 문법. Input all unfamiliar words to ANKI; Review ANKI
  2. Study 어휘 맟 문법 1 – 10; Review ANKI
  3. Study 어휘 맟 문법 11  20; Review ANKI
  4. Study 어휘 맟 문법 21 – 30; Review ANKI
  5. 쓰기. Input all unfamiliar words to ANKI; Review ANKI
  6. Study 쓰기 31 – 40; Review ANKI
  7. Study 쓰기 41 – 44; Write essay; Review ANKI
  8. 읽기. Input all unfamiliar words to ANKI; Review ANKI
  9. Study 읽기 31 – 40; Review ANKI
  10. Study 읽기 41 – 50; Review ANKI
  11. Study 읽기 51 – 60; Review ANKI
  12. 듣기. Input all unfamiliar words to ANKI; Review ANKI
  13. Study 듣기 1 – 10; Review ANKI
  14. Study 듣기 11 – 20; Review ANKI
  15. Study 듣기 21 – 30; Review ANKI

Repeat for the next TOPIK paper.

At this rate, I can study at least 10 TOPIK papers before the 30th TOPIK – or more, if I have more time.

Yes I’m back with ANKI. Just to review and help me NOT forget the words that I’ve encountered on the TOPIK papers. But I don’t memorize the words. I still use Naver Dictionary, Google search and my drama transcripts to learn new words. I also just recently compiled lyrics of my favorite songs into one html file and added it to my drama transcripts html files so that I can also CTRL + F my way through song lyrics! 🙂

I would like to stick to this plan. After all it’s not that time consuming anyway. Of course it’s not the only things that I’ll be studying for the next 168 days. I’ll pair it with other lessons or textbooks if I have time (for now I’m working on TTMIK lessons). But will make sure to study the ‘required lessons’ of the day even if I will be very busy.

On Hiatus

어머, 시간이 벌써 이렇게 됐네!

I only have less than 5 weeks before the end of the semester. And end of semester means paper deadlines, exams and projects. 어떡해? 어떡해?!!!

I guess I have to put down my Korean lessons for the meantime. I’ve been so addicted in studying TOPIK papers these past few weeks and before I knew it my schoolworks have piled up. I also need to work double time to save for school fees next semester. ㅠㅠ

Well, as always, I will not really stop studying (that is just unforgivable and unacceptable! ㅎㅎ). I just won’t delve into TOPIK papers or textbooks and spend hours writing down notes and making sentences (and drop my dramas for now). But I will forever be listening (active or not – just like what I am doing right now) to the audio clip I’ve compiled. To help me remember new vocabs I came across with while answering TOPIK papers, I look for them on my Kim Sun Ah dramas, then rip the scene’s audio where the new vocab was used (there are times that I cheated and included even those words that are not really new to me just because I like a particular scene 🙂 ). I have already compiled about 40 minutes worth of audio (for the 어휘 및 문법 part of the 18th TOPIK). I think that’s enough to keep me company while preparing for exams, writing papers and going to and from school. Want to hear a sample?

What I like most about listening to dialogues is that I don’t only get to study the new vocabs and grammar I’ve encountered in the TOPIK paper/s I’m reviewing but I also get to pick up more words and grammar points from the dialogues even if I’m not intentionally trying to remember them. It also improves my listening and, hopefully, speaking skills. I mimic the dialogues once in a while too.

I will still also bring with me the TOPIK paper that I have murdered with notes so that I can read and review them when I have free time.

And will still sleep with 내 이름은 김사순 book by my side so that I can still practice reading at least a paragraph or so a day, before going to sleep. That is, if I’ll still be sleeping in the next 5 weeks. O.o

And still fangirl! But no dramas for now. Just read news about Kim Sun Ah, if any (yes, if any! ㅠㅠ I miss her! But it’s kinda okay since the least I need at the moment are distractions).

All I think about now is that once this semester is over I’m free!!! Yey (at least before the next semester starts)! And I can study as much Korean as I want, blog as often as I want, watch as many dramas as I want, and fangirl to my heart’s content! Can’t wait!

Random Weekend Ramblings

Yey! Finally it’s weekend again. Last week was quite tiring (despite the fact that all I really did was laze around while praying I’ll survive all my classes).

After finishing my paper (if that’s how we can all it) on ethnolinguistics and basically spent the rest of my week studying for my Mandarin midterm exam, attempting to read assigned readings for my linguistics classes and studying for Korean in between (which is what I really wanted to do in the first place).

Yesterday was supposedly my oral exam in Mandarin. My schedule was early and I live far from our university so I woke up really early and arrived really early. But my exam was postponed O.o. I’m quite happy because I’ll have 4 more days to prepare for it, but I really wished I slept some more. Anyway I just used the time to go to the library and hoarded collected assigned linguistics readings.

I also had time to finally meet my 선생님. I copied video lectures from her and we managed to catch up with each other a bit. I love talking to her because she will never NEVER EVER talk in English (despite the fact that her English is perfect!) with me.

I also inquired about TOPIK registration since I’ve been receiving inquiries from interested TOPIK takers (thus my previous post). Then she asked me yesterday if I am still studying Korean. I said yes. Seems like she doesn’t want to believe me (since I was too busy to show up for the past few weeks), thus she asked “How?”. 😀 So I showed her my notebook that I bring with me all the time (so that I can review it when I have some free time in between classes or while waiting in line or during commute). She browsed through it and said, “열심히 공부하구나!”. 😀 선생님, do you think I will fail you? Nah-ah-ah! XD XD XD

Was a bit shy because there were tons of sample sentences from my Kim Sun Ah dramas that are written all over my notebook. Things like: 내가 이연재 씨 한테 감정은 게 있어서 그러는 건 절대 아니니까 오해는 하지 말고. And worse: 이 자식이 고개를 돌리고… 이 자식이! I really hope she didn’t notice them… O.o

I also had lunch with my good friends – my 수업mates (a name we coined for ourselves at at time when we still don’t know what 반친구 is, but we know what수업 means) in our Korean classes few semesters ago.

Not everybody were there, but it was fun to see most of them again. My Korean classes were the happiest classes I had! We used to spend (a lot of) time with each other everyday after our classes. But now we have different schedules and some of them have graduated already so it’s difficult to find a time that matches everyone’s schedule. I hope before some of them leaves for Korea, we can get to have a mini reunion again.

I also heard an annoying news before I left the campus. Something Korean related but I’d rather not talk about it here. It totally pissed me off. Good thing I was really tired and sleepy when I get home last night, thus I fell asleep the moment I touched my bed. I had a good sleep and I’m feeling better this morning (but still a bit annoyed! haha!)

Later me and my aunt will go to my grandma’s birthday party. 今天下午我要去外婆的生日酒会. I wrote this without using any dictionaries (I hope I chose the correct characters though). I know this is a very simple one, but I’m happy I can finally say a sentence in Mandarin on my own. At least a week’s worth of effort have some results.

A random photo. My little study corner. I don’t have a desk (oh well, I ‘technically’ have one but I don’t use it), so I study in my bed (not recommended! It’s prone to make you sleepy!). Here I have a bunch of colored pens and highlighters (the OC me can’t study without them), a cup of coffee (coffee makes me sleepy! But recently I found out that black tea keeps me awake! Happy!), linguistics books (and I need to finish reading some many chapters this weekend), Mandarin and Korean notes plastered all over my wall (not so pretty, but it does helps me a lot), some photos of me and Kim Sun Ah (to keep me motivated! ㅎㅎ), my whiteboard (right now it have Mandarin prnunciation cheats and my never ending to-do lists), my Chinese character practice sheets (inspired from a post from Dorian Wacquez), underneath were my Korean notebooks and my ever reliable netbook (currently reading Hangukdrama‘s recent post)

So after my grandma’s birthday party I’m just gonna hibernate in my room for 4 days and attempt to do the following:

  • memorize all our Chinese character set
  • review for my postponed Mandarin oral exam
  • study Mandarin in advanced
  • start writing my second ethnolinguistics paper (I don’t want to cram anymore!!! ㅠㅠ writing my first paper was a traumatic experience)
  • finish at least 4 pages of TOPIK paper
  • review TTMIK lessons (level 3 and 4. I badly want to start level 5!)
  • finish my assigned readings for my linguistics subjects (!!!)
  • start reviewing for my linguistics theories class (I’m starting to get nervous for the finals next month!)
  • study and review for biology (!) (I barely passed my midterms, I can’t lax!)
  • start on our paper about semantics
  • blog! 🙂
  • finish re-watching Scent Of A Woman
  • write a reaction paper for Mandarin class
  • make a storyboard for Mandarin class final project
  • write letters
  • answer emails
  • study Sogang 3A
  • finish decorating my planner ^^
  • update my pc and cellphone playlist
  • WORK!

4 days seems very long but considering the things I need AND want to do, I’m afraid 4 days may not be enough. Well, I’ll do my best and let’s see what I can finish.

Happy weekend!

24th TOPIK

I was about ready to give up on the next TOPIK. I have killer subjects next semester. And will have to start on a new part-time job too. And as expected, I spent most of my summer vacation fangirling and watching dramas, instead of studying.

But tonight I received an encouraging and motivating message from my 선생님. She’s asking me if I’m going to take the next TOPIK (and if I’m going to apply for the exchange student program). She said that if I can get a 3급 she can recommend me to a Korean training program. She didn’t mention exactly what kind of training program but nonetheless it made me feel flattered.

I don’t care whether I’ll pass or not. And whether I’ll qualify for whatever training program it is. My 선생님’s message is just so touching that I want to do my best. It made me feel guilty for just playing around this vacation instead of seriously studying Korean.

So, I told her I’m not confident but I’ll take the exam. I’ll probably have to review with her. What should I do? It seems like I have forgotten most of the things she taught us last semester ㅠㅠ. I don’t think I can face her if I’m like this.

I still have a few days left before school starts. I guess my playing around will have to stop today. Tomorrow I’ll be more serious in studying, working and trying my best to finish my to-dos before school starts again. 아자!

Study Plan – Summer ’11

With the end of my Korean classes, I’m back to self-studying again. I’m anxious because I don’t know how I can handle it this time. I didn’t do well for the past 3, 4 years. I really think that had I been more serious in the past my Korean could have been way better than how it is now. I have no problem exposing myself with the language. I was consistent with it all these years. With tons of dramas to watch, unending loops of Korean songs on my playlist, keeping in touch with Korean friends, participating in Korean forum boards, keeping an eye on news about my Suna Unnie, I don’t think I’ll ran out of “Korean things” to do everyday. However seriously completing a lesson – I have never done that all by myself. I’m also afraid that I’ll start to loose all the things I’ve learned in school for the past year.

However I’m more serious and more motivated now. I’m also inspired by a lot of fellow Korean learners who shows a lot of passion in learning.

I’ve been trying to make a study plan for the past few weeks, but my summer schedule has been sort of a roller coaster ride. Thankfully it has pretty much settled now (hopefully there won’t be any changes). So probably I can layout some good study plans.


I want to take the 23rd TOPIK (중급 ) on September. I want to finish the Sogang Korean Program. I want to finish all (of) my (few) Korean books at home (most of which I have started but haven’t finished). I want to organize my Korean Lessons folder in my laptop (got dozens of stuff I’ve download/written in the past which I haven’t read/reviewed). And I want to make sure I’ll never forget my old lessons.

I want to be able to finish the Sogang Lessons before a new semester starts in our university. And then finish the rest by September. Afterwards I can make a new study plan.

I got myself a new notebook for my summer lessons. I usually start the day reviewing vocabs (thru Anki). Then dedicate at least 2 hours studying my Sogang lessons. I spent the rest of the day doing random things (fangirling, house chores, running errands, more fangirling, blogging, completing a term paper, facebooking, and more fangilring). My entire evening is for my part-time job *sigh*. Then midnights to early morning is either some more Korean studying or a lot of fangirling/spazzing and dramawatching). Once I’m done with the Sogang lessons, I can start finishing my unfinished books and answering old TOPIK 중급 papers.

Setting these goals and laying out a study plan is rather easy. Whether I can keep up with it would be my biggest challenge. Let’s see how far my determination will take me this time.

For starters, I’m NOT allowing myself to rewatch My Name Is Kim Sam Soon until I’m done with the Sogang Korean Program. EVERYTHING on the Sogang Korean Program. I’ve been itching to have a re-watch of my favorite drama of all times. I haven’t re-watched it since I started my Korean classes in the university. As I watch other dramas, I’m pretty amazed with how my comprehension has improved over the past year. I’m sure when I watch My Name Is Kim Sam Soon again, I’ll be surprised with how I can understand more of it now. But I want to complete at least Sogang’s lesson first and surprise myself even more.

Avoidance Strategy – Guilty!

I’m currently reading “Understanding Language” by Elizabeth Grace Winkler. I’ve read about it from Shanna’s blog Hangukdrama and Korean. And I’m loving it. I dove into Linguistics last semester a bit unprepared and was overwhelmed with advanced reading materials. Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy the readings, but some stuff are just so difficult to comprehend. It actually would have been better had I come across this book before I started taking Linguistics classes. Nonetheless, it’s still very helpful now. It’s an easy read and I didn’t realize that I’m almost halfway through it.

I came across the chapter about language acquisition earlier and I can’t help but see myself doing the avoidance strategy – all the time! Instead of using new grammars introduced in class, I have a tendency to use simpler grammar that I’m more comfortable with. And sometimes, when feeling lazy, I resort to answering 안니에요. 없어요. and 몰라요 instead of trying to express my real thoughts. I also tend to avoid using irregular verbs, as much as possible, so that I wouldn’t have to bother on how to conjugate. I’m such a lazy student, aren’t I? This unhealthy practice needs to change – right now!


Also, just a few minutes ago, I received a text message from my Korean professor. She told me that I was chosen as one of the finalist in the Korean Speech Contest in our university. I should be happy. But, I don’t know… I somehow expected that I’ll be a finalist (because I’m the only one from the Upper Beginner class, I think, that joined, thank you dear classmates!) that’s why I actually started memorizing my speech last week. But somehow, now that it’s confirmed I’m sort of feeling pressured and stressed already. I only have less than 30 days (26 days to be exact) to prepare. And aside from that I have a lot to do for my other subjects. I have to memorize 150 languages (names and provinces), short play dialogues, 3 major papers, tons of readings and finals are fast approaching as well. I don’t really wish of winning the contest. I joined simply because I think this is the best opportunity for me to finally improve my speaking skills. But of course, I don’t want to mess up and make a fool out of myself either.

I thought I can stay at home the entire day tomorrow. But I have to go to school tomorrow to meet my professor and my coach. I’ll probably just take advantage of the time and go to the library tomorrow and start on my papers. Life!

Listening to K-dramas

This started as a comment in Hangukdrama and Korean blog’s Learning Languages – a revolutionary approach entry. And after clicking the POST COMMENT button, I was surprised that it was really long and that it looks like a blog entry itself. So why don’t I blog it anyway? (edited some parts)

I watch Korean movies and dramas, and started listening to Korean songs (mostly Drama OSTs) on my computer, ipod and cellphone. I listen to podcast lessons too, if I have time.

And just recently, I decided to LISTEN to Korean dramas. I just went back to school and, although Korean classes are part of my current curriculum, it still means lesser time to study self-study Korean. AND lesser time to watch Korean dramas (sad!). I usually have my music on whatever I do (review for an exam, reading readings, writing a report, going to and from school), so I thought, why not listen to dramas instead? I extracted the audio of my favorite drama (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon and later on will listen to City Hall too – yey!) and I listen to it while studying, and while on my way to and from school. Sometimes even during classes if I can sneak it.

At the moment, it doesn’t matter whether I understand everything or nothing at all. I just familiarize myself with the sounds, intonation, expressions, speed. I get to pick up vocabs and grammar patterns too as I listen, intentionally or unintentionally. At the same time I get to enjoy listening to Kim Sun-Ah‘s voice. And I also get to memorize some lines from the drama too.

Recently I started studying the scripts too. My Korean is still not good that’s why I’m still lost with a lot of grammar patterns that I don’t know. So I’m focusing on vocabs for the mean time. It’s fun when you get to recognize a pattern you just learned as you listen. And it’s also equally fun, when you are in class and a new grammar or vocab is being introduce and you remember it from the drama. For me it makes my remember grammar or vocabs easier – especially if it was Kim Sun-Ah who said it! 🙂

Of course this method will only work for some people. It may sound really boring, but since I’m so addicted to a My Name Is Kim Sam Soon and City Hall. I wouldn’t mind listening to it over and over until I memorize all the lines. ㅋㅋㅋ

Funny thing though, I was told, about 3 times already, by 3 different groups of Korean friends, at 3 different times, that I sound very much like Kim Sam-Soon. Hmm… would I sound like Mi-Rae when I start listening to City Hall?

So I guess it’s a proof that you’ll get to pick up something from listening. I was not mimicking Sam-Soon at all. I don’t even know how to mimic her. It just came out naturally.

And this is exactly my concern when I start learning Japanese next semester. I am not exposed at all to Japanese. In my lifetime, I think I’ve only seen 2 Japanese dramas, 1 anime series and no more than 20 Japanese movies. I have 6 Japanese songs out of my 500+ Korean songs in my netbook (and no Japanese song in my ipod) and I don’t remember the last time I played any of them. ㅋㅋㅋ My only motivation: Kim Sun-Ah speaks fluent Japanese. So i guess I just have to watch video clips and interviews of her speaking Japanese over and over and over. 🙂