Monday, December 9, 2013

After the Immersion course - After M4 fly to Seoul!

I embarked on my Korean language learning journey with Ebony Bae in 2012. Ebony offers 4 modules from M1 to M4 and each level comprises of 14 hours of lessons. After 56 hours of lessons with Ebony, I was armed with essential grammar rules and vocabulary for daily conversations and essay writing.  Whilst my reading and writing skills improved throughout the course, I continued to struggle with my conversational skills. Unfortunately for some of us, we do not have many native Korean friends in Perth and it started to prove difficult for some of us to advance and improve on our conversational skills outside of classes.

Fortunately for us, Ebony was able to organise an immersion course for us to further our studies in Korea. More importantly, we were able to immerse ourselves in an environment where we would be required to speak and communicate in Korean only.

In October 2013, 8 of Ebony’s students were enrolled in Easy Korean Academy in Apgujeong, Seoul. Our primary aim for the trip was to improve on our conversational skills and yet at the same time have the opportunity to explore Seoul. Classes were held daily for 3 hours from 10am to 1pm. We sat for a writing and speaking placement/assessment test on our first day and most of us were placed on either Level 3 or Level 4.

I was placed on Level 4 class with 6 other foreign students. Students were each given an Easy Korean Academy textbook and additional notes were given during lessons. I was familiar with most of the grammar rules that were taught during lessons. We averaged 1 to 2 grammar rules per day and there were numerous opportunities to speak Korean with my teacher and classmates during the lessons. As my other classmates were foreigners as well, our mode of communication amongst ourselves had to be in Korean only!

The teachers at Easy Korean Academy are wonderful. Prior to the start of each lesson, my teacher engaged all of us in a short conversation exercise on various topics. We were each given the opportunity to speak for a couple of minutes each day prior to the start of the lessons. During lessons, we had interactive activities and we took turns around the table going through those activities.

We were given daily homework and occasionally we had to sit for a test on grammar rules that were taught. Admittedly I did struggle with my listening skills during lessons as I was unfamiliar with the extent of some of the vocabulary used having never attended Easy Korean Academy Level 1 to 3 classes.

However, I took comfort in that I was placed in Level 4 mid-way during the course after only 56 hours of lessons with Ebony as compared to my classmates who would have taken a couple of months at Easy Korean Academy to reach Level 4 and having to attend daily lessons that would quite possibly total an average of 140 hours from Level 1 to 3.  As for me, I only had 2 hours of lesson per week with Ebony. I may not have understood the vocabulary used at times but I understood most of the Level 4 grammar rules at Easy Korean Academy.

We had a blast in Seoul and it was made even more memorable having spent it with my fellow Perthian classmates… Thamanoon Chiranakorn, Tammie Tan, Valentina Kueh, Amanda Leong, Sebastian Davies-Slate, Samantha James and Alicia James. Thank you Ebony for this wonderful experience.

E., 29 November 2013
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