Today marks the one-year anniversary of my current self-guided Korean language study program.
On March 6, 2006, I began Lesson 1 of Integrated Korean: Beginning Level 1. Since then, apart from the occasional hiatus between textbooks or while vacationing, I have been studying steadily. My goal is to work my way through all 10 semesters, to High Advanced Level 2, plus the associated readers and Chinese-character study guide, within five years.
At the end of my first 12 months, I am already well into Lesson 3 of Intermediate 1, which is pretty much where I should be. And I am certainly far more proficient with this fascinating, ornery language than I was at the beginning. But this is a long journey, and there is still far more of it ahead of me than behind.
Of course, I wouldn’t have made nearly so much progress without the diligent, thoughtful efforts of my teacher, Yi Young-ae, who has had the patience to answer my many questions, sit through my halting efforts at my verbal exercises and correct lesson after lesson full of fumbled Korean spelling (청수하다, 텐니스, 각도기) and grammar.