The 6th Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge

The training has been really intense over the past couple months of the Couch to Korean Challenge, and I blew through the 400-hour mark without noticing.   But I can see Seoul’s 123-story Lotte World Tower in the distance, which means the finish line is near.  So today I’ll take a short rest and summarize the progress since the 5th water stop.   It has been a little over a year since I kicked off the Couch to Korean Challenge with the goal of learning as much Korean as I could, using only freely-available resources.  In the 79 days since the last water stop, I logged a total of 130.50 hours of Korean study, bringing my total study time to 434.25 hours.  The full breakdown by category is shown in the table below.

In this latest phase, I shifted the focus to conversation, and I have been talking with native Korean speakers regularly.  I also continued the training regimen of reading, vocabulary review, and grammar study.  Below I give the breakdown by category where I spent study time during this phase, with the current status of each category.

  • Language basics and resources:
    • Time during this phase: 2.5 hours (40.75 hours total to date)
    • Progress and Status: I continue to try out and evaluate Korean language resources, though I haven’t had time to write any recent reviews.
  • Grammar:
  • Vocabulary: Studying word lists and flashcards to learn new words
    • Time: 15 hours (118.25 hours total to date)
    • Status:   Vocabulary review during this phase consisted of short study sessions with my Quizlet flashcard deck, regularly updated with new words encountered while reading.  I also took another review pass through the 3 Memrise sets I had previously studied.
  • Listening comprehension: Listening to instructional recordings, news, and other Korean audio sources to build aural comprehension
    • Time: 9 hours (43.5 hours total to date)
    • Status: Listening sources during this phase consisted of daily Korean news podcasts from BBC News Korean.  My comprehension of spoken Korean is improving but has a long way to go.
  • Reading comprehension:
    • Time: 58.25 hours  (100.50 hours to date)
    • Status:  In this phase, I did a lot of Korean reading, primarily books and news sources.  I also spent time working through the 1000+ Korean sentences on Clozemaster,  a fun app for practicing reading/grammar/vocabulary using fill-in-the-blank questions.  By the time I had worked though the full Korean set, I had climbed to second place all-time in the Clozemaster Korean standings.
  • Conversation:
    • Time: 23.50 hours (23.50 hours to date)
    • Status: I finally got to the conversation phase, and I spent a lot of time talking with native Korean speakers via conversation exchange apps like HelloTalk.  Conversation will be the primary focus of the final phase of the challenge.

Lexplorers posts during this phase related to the Couch to Korean Challenge:

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