The Couch to Korean Challenge
The Couch to Korean Challenge is the first major language learning adventure that we are writing about on the Lexplorers site. During the Couch to Korean Challenge, David will be the guinea pig for an experiment with one simple goal: to start from scratch, with absolutely no knowledge of the Korean language, and then learn as much Korean as possible within 14 months, using only freely-available resources. He will share the experience as he progresses from a complete beginner toward the goal of being able to read, speak, and understand the Korean language. The culmination of the challenge will be a trip to Korea, where David will undergo an intense real-world test of his Korean abilities.
You can view the list of all posts related to the Couch to Korean Challenge, as well as the regular updates:
- Hitting the Wall and Running Through the Finish Line
- The 6th Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge (March 1, 2018)
- The 5th Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge (Dec 12, 2017)
- The 4th (and 3rd) Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge (Sept 22, 2017)
- The Second Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge (July 13, 2017)
- The First Water Stop in the Couch to Korean Challenge (May 5, 2017)
- Kicking Off The Couch to Korean Challenge (Feb 7, 2017)
- Korean Resources
The name of the challenge is a nod to the Couch to 5k, a program that encourages people to become more physically active. Couch to 5k provides inspiration and training plans to help people get off the couch and work toward the concrete fitness goal of completing a 5-kilometer race. Couch to 5k provides a direct analogy to the goal of getting off the (figurative) couch and working toward the mental fitness goal of completing a race to a new language. The comparison of language learning to training for a running race holds in many ways, such as first building a solid training foundation in miles (or words) and then working consistently to build up strength (or fluency) for the longer run. However, learning a new language is very different from completing a running race, primarily in the fact that there is no finish line!
Many runners keep extensive training logs, detailing mileage and courses run, weather and health conditions, equipment worn/used, and cross-training activities (e.g., cycling, walking, weight lifting). When training for a race, runners have good days and bad days, and the training log helps to document the progress along the way. David will similarly be keeping a Couch to Korean training log, including time spent studying different aspects of the Korean language, techniques and resources used, as well as “cross-training” activities like learning about Korean culture, history, and food.