Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Met with H, and I still don't have a clear feel for the direction we're going with the English hour. It seems mostly to be spot-checking: I notice an error and work with her on it, or she brings issues to my attention and we deal with them. This is okay, but I want to think that a more driven, goal-oriented approach is possible.

And in the course of the Korean hour, have clarified my purpose somewhat. My homework this week is to learn to complain. "I don't know! I don't understand! This is difficult! I'm tired!" It's easy to get bogged down in grammar; it's easy to get bogged down in phonology. But I'd like to have some prefabricated chunks of language under my belt, so that when we dive back into grammar & phonology, there's a reference point.

Why am I studying Korean? Mostly, because it's there. H wanted help with English but couldn't afford to pay me, so we're doing an exchange. That's the ad hoc reason, sure, but in order to direct my language acquisition I need something sturdier.

And let's face it, pure theory bores me. I don't want to sit my native speaker down and examine syntactic oddities for the sake of a thesis. I want to be able to communicate fluently. Because it's useful, just in principle.

"Because it's useful, just in principle" is a vague motivation. Motivations that have worked: 1) got to pass the class! 2) will sink & drown without it! "Because it's interesting" just ain't strong enough. So if I'm going to make this hour of Korean effective and useful, I need to invest more into it.

More on that later. I'm not sure how.


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