Whimsical

What*s Up?

A couple of random things:

FIRST—I’m thinking about going to Ghana in 2014.

While thinking about that and while looking at videos on Africa, I found this gem. I want to learn how to make proper, well gorgeous, videos with my DSLR like this.

RWANDA from MAMMOTH on Vimeo.

SECOND. I passed my Korean test (TOPIK) with the score I wanted, a 4!

How I passed: I watched Korean TV for at least 1.5 hours a week for an entire year. I studied a little bit every 3-4 months (no more than an average of 20 hours a month, including TV time). I crammed during the month of the test.

Despite my waffling in posts here, I am a visual learner. During the last two weeks before the exam, I learned more than 875 words—yeah, it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had—which probably made all the difference in the world. About 200 of those 875 terms were learned two days before the test. After that, I just reviewed to make sure I was retaining them. I was. My retention rate was 97%.

Most of those words were rather technical (e.g. nuclear energy, division between rich/poor, low birth rate) but I’m always happy when I can expand my vocabulary and they appear often enough in the news. Moving forward, I hope to do a lot of reading. When it comes to language learning, I’m all about input (reading + listening) as it makes for a strong foundation. The rest seems to come fairly naturally.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Kristine February 5, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Congrats on passing the KOREAN test, Chantelle! Your hard work has paid off. :) Just curious, what do you plan on doing in Ghana?

    • Reply chantelle February 5, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Thank you! I hope to volunteer there for about 10 days. :)

      • Reply Kristine February 5, 2013 at 8:01 am

        Awesome! Please do blog about it when you go to Ghana. I would love to hear about your adventures there. :)

  • Reply Faith February 5, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Ghana! That’s so awesome. I hope you do it and post lots of great pictures :) I have wanderlust for Africa, and Ghana is one of my top picks :)

    Congratulstions on passing that Korean test! It sounds like you had a strategy that really worked out for you! I talk to lots of people who plan on watching television to help them learn a language, but they end up not following through, so good for you!

    • Reply chantelle February 5, 2013 at 1:18 am

      Thanks. :) I think you’re giving me too much credit, though. I didn’t actually watch TV to learn Korean. I watched the same program for a year because it’s my favorite show. Having it improve my Korean was a side effect. I probably need to make that clearer.

  • Reply Clem February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Congrats on the Korean test! That’s really impressive. Your dedication to learning Korean is inspiring.

    Going to Ghana sounds amazing. I hope you make it there. That video is absolutely stunning – it would be awesome if you could make something similar documenting your trip.

    • Reply chantelle February 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks. :) I hope to go but nothing’s for sure yet.

  • Reply Amy February 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Congratulations on your score! I don’t know how you can remember all the different characters; I’m not a visual learner at all, more aural (although I have a really good instinctive grasp of spelling for Latin-based languages.)

    Ghana would be amazing. I know somebody who volunteered there for three months and loved it. You wouldn’t be interested in going for longer?

    • Reply chantelle February 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you! Chinese characters aren’t as difficult to remember as people might thing. Most are made up of similar parts, but in Korean they’re not used often so I don’t have to care about them (yet). :)

      As for Ghana, I don’t think I’d be able to stay for longer and what I hope to do is going to be out of my comfort zone so 10 days seems like a fair amount of time.

  • Reply Amanda February 6, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Congratulations on passing your test! I know how much learning Korean means to you, and I think the effort you put in is amazing.

    Ghana would be amazing. Do you think you would look at visiting anywhere else in Africa at the same time?

    • Reply chantelle February 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you. :) I try, but I always feel like a slacker with Korean. As for Ghana, I’d like to see other places but I’ll probably be taking off from work/school so I won’t have time to go elsewhere.

  • Reply Manda February 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Congrats on the Korean test! I’ve never been to Ghana, but I think it would be awesome to go. Tanzania is the only country in Africa I’ve been to and I loved it. I’m sure Ghana is incredibly different but just as amazing. Would you consider going elsewhere in Africa as well?

    • Reply chantelle February 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you! I probably won’t have time, so I’ll be stuck in Ghana, but (hopefully) I can return to Africa later.

  • Reply Stephanie February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Congratulations on passing the test! I hope that you retained most of the vocabulary that you learned!

    That video made me cry. If you make a video like that, I will watch it, beginning to end.

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