The main reason I am abroad right now is to study. So I guess I should talk about what I am studying. I am currently a student at Seoul National University’s Language Education Institute. For 10 weeks, I will be learning Korean language 4 hours a day/ 5 days a week. That amounts to 200 hours of class time. Since this is my first time studying Korean, I am a level 1 student. The institute has six levels and there are many that complete all 6 levels at SNU.
Each level has two sets of books. The textbooks I am currently using are Student Textbook and Workbook 1A. In the second half of the semester we will get another set, 1B. Every week we cover two units in the textbook. We are already about halfway through the 1A books. The pace is a little fast but it’s still manageable. After we learn the two units for the week, on Fridays we have a Role Play and Lab Test. The Role Play is just a short script two people act out together. The Lab Test is a ten minute test to see our progress in listening, speaking, and reading.
The class I’m in has 14 students and 4 teachers. There is a teacher assigned to certain days of the week. This helps students get a variety of teaching and pronunciation styles. My classmates are from China (8), Kazakhstan (1), Canada (1), Indonesia (1), Taiwan (1) and Italy (1). There are 11 girls and only 3 boys, which make for interesting classroom dynamics. Thirteen of us (including me) are at least bilingual to some degree. In addition to English, I can understand and speak Vietnamese. Vietnamese is actually my first language. Many of my classmates can understand English and speak a little. There actually quite a few that speaks three languages. It’s amazing. As I get to know my classmates more it’s interesting where they come from and what they do before coming to South Korea.