Sejong Korean Language School Lesson 1 Review

This week, I had my first lesson in Sejong! I was so excited to be back in class to learn Korean. As usual when I do reviews, I will be as fair and brutally honest as I can. There is nothing worse than a biased review yes? That’s why I am hiding behind a letter ‘J’, where I can be honest and anonymous. =)

Class size: a maximum of 15 students. My class had 13 or 14? students.

Textbook: The school compiles their own textbook. 100x better than Cambridge’s. It’s in colour! So far I don’t have any complaints about it, afterall, it’s my first lesson. I do not have to pay for the materials and I like it. There is homework to do!

Teacher: A teacher makes or breaks the class. Thankfully, this teacher is pretty humorous. Speaks to us in Korean (stress!). She is a native speaker.

Activities in class: We started out introducing ourselves since this was our first class. Then we moved on to some new vocabulary words. We had to repeat them a couple of times but it helped with pronunciation. Next, we moved on to same example sentences/questions using the words we had just learnt. Repeated them 1 or 2 times then had a few minutes to practice with a partner. (I like this opportunity to practice)

We also covered a grammar item (particles… my love hate). We were a little confused with the pronunciation but the teacher explained when we asked. No biggie. We read a couple of examples as a class.

The last activity we did was to convert a couple of English sentences to Korean. I like this activity.

Overall, I enjoyed the first lesson at Sejong. It is 1.5 hours long as compared to the previous 2.5 hours where I was deadbeat and tired after 2.5 hours of class after work. I was wondering how it was possible to keep to a similar pace as NEX. Looking at the textbook, I realised that they do not teach students how to use formal honorific sentence structures. E.g. 습니다.

I was quite concerned as I wanted to take topik but looking at the past year papers, I realised that topik uses the polite form they are teaching. So Sejong does adequately prepare students for topik. Anyway you don’t really use much formal terms when in Korean for holiday.

Cost: 360 for 12 lessons if I’m not wrong. 120 per month and my pocket is pretty happy about it too.

Korean classes in NUS Extension (NEX)

For readers who are still searching about NEX. I am sorry to inform you that NEX no longer offers Korean classes. I do believe that the tutors started a Korean language school in Orchard. They are using Sogang textbooks and I think classes should be as interactive as they were in NEX.

I will give my reviews on my language school that I am going to attend after a couple of lessons. I hope it is going to be good!

J is picking up Korean again!

“Big Bang, Big Bang, is back again one more time, say no way, no way…”

Haha sorry if you are confused by that. That song just rang in me when I was typing about my Korean comeback! Yes, J is back (almost)! I am finally picking up Korean again, formally. Next week I start lessons again, not at nex but another language school. This time I have a friend studying together with me! (Motivated)

I flunk the placement test of the language school but decided to advance and not back track. Taking the test after studying for 1 hour and considering my Korean haitus for 1.5 years. I thought the score was still relatively ok (48/100). I totally died at the 30? (Or 20?) marks essay section.

The 선생님 advised that I should study the particles. Other than that, my present and past tenses were still some what intact. Vocab was quite a hit and miss. Oh well, target for topik next year! Hope I can finally hit it.

Fun Korean Lesson Trip 2013

Good news everyone! The dates for 2013 are out! (think it was out earlier but I just found out! >.< ) You can find more information at the visitkorea site.

년도 Number Season Dates
2013 1st Winter January 13, 2013-January 19, 2013
2nd Winter January 20, 2013-January 26, 2013
3rd Winter January. 27, 2013-February.2, 2013
4th Winter February. 17, 2013-February. 23, 2013
5th Summer July. 28, 2013-August. 3, 2013
6th Summer August. 4, 2013-August. 10, 2013
7th Summer August. 11, 2013-August. 17, 2013
8th Summer August. 18, 2013-August. 24, 2013

Korean Classes

I read online that a new Korean school was set up by a few lecturers from nus extension a few months ago (okay, I’m slow) . I’m so tempted to join in the classes. I realised that I don’t have the discipline to self study. Sigh! Big sigh!

At the same time, I don’t think I have the financial means and time for the class as I’m thinking of taking a cert for professional development. Stuck! I seriously don’t think I’ll be ready for TOPIK by 2013! Hate that feeling! Any tips to kick start self studying? Anyone?

P.s.: is TTMIK really sufficient to prepare me for TOPIK or give me a good grounding? What level must I be at to even consider TOPIK?