Looking for some fun ways to practice your Korean language skills? Here, Severn, MD Korean tutor Keulin H. shares some fun and effective study methods to practice speaking Korean…
Learning Korean can be daunting for beginners. Of course, working with a Korean teacher will help you get started with the alphabet and correct pronunciation of the different letter combinations. From there, practice makes perfect! So how can you practice? Here are five fun ways to practice speaking Korean.
1. Work With a Native Speaker
There’s no better way to learn a new language than working with a native speaker. A native speaker can provide immediate feedback, and correct improper usage or pronunciation.
The Korean language has a number of difficult-to-pronounce vowels, as well as some very small, but important differences in consonant pronunciation that vary based on the word. These differences won’t show up in writing, so it’s helpful to have a native speaker to point out these discrepancies.
2. Sing! (Then Sing Some More!)
Korean Pop (K-Pop) is one of the best (and most fun) ways to practice your pronunciation. With a variety music styles, you should be able to find at least a few songs that you like – or at least a few that you find silly and entertaining.
Once you’ve found one or two that you like, search for the lyrics online. It is also helpful to get the translations for the lyrics so you can understand what they mean. Listen through the song a few times while reading along, and then try to sing along. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself memorizing the lyrics, and your pronunciation will naturally improve.
- Here are four popular K-Pop songs to help you get started.
3. Read News Articles
This may be a little less exciting than singing K-Pop, but it’s still an excellent way to practice. When you do this exercise, make sure you’re reading out loud so you can practice your pronunciation. The best thing about reading the news is that you’ll have new material to read every day!
You may also be able to find videos with transcripts, which are also great learning tools. Practice reading the articles aloud until you can read through them without any unnatural pauses. If you find some words you don’t recognize, write them down so you can review them with your Korean teacher during your next lesson.
4. Record yourself
It’s difficult for us to hear our own voices. Sometimes we think we sound great, but other people may disagree. Record yourself reading a passage aloud, and then play it back. It’s helpful if you use material that has an accompanying audio or video recording, so you can compare yourself to the native speaker.
Do you have friends or family members who are also learning Korean? You can work with them to practice speaking Korean. If you don’t have any friends who are studying Korean, you can enlist the help of a native Korean speaker to be your partner.
Use a conversation passage from any Korean textbook, or write one of your own (bonus studying). Take turns acting out the conversation with your friend/Korean teacher, alternating roles each time. Repeat this activity until you can get through the conversation without stopping unnaturally, or stumbling over difficult pronunciations. This will also help you build confidence in your Korean conversation skills.
Use these study methods and you’ll be well on your way to speaking Korean like a native! With so many different options and resources available online, it shouldn’t be hard to find something that interests you and matches your learning style. If you need a little guidance, find a Korean teacher near you, he or she will be happy to help!
Keulin H. is a Korean language instructor in Severn, MD. He teaches in-home and online lessons. A native Korean and English speaker, he graduated from Inha University and spent four years as a Korean tutor for English speakers in Seoul. Learn more about Keulin here!
Photo by USAG-Humphreys