지난 월요일에 대사관에서 제가 한국 비자를 직접 해야 했어요. 그것을 진짜 미쳤어. 일요일 아침부터 다음 날까지 대사관 근처에 사람들이 주를 서고 기다렸어요. 일요일 아침부터 일요일 밤까지 저를 위해 다른 사람이 주를 섰어요. 그 다음에 저하고 제 남자 친구가 같이 대사관에 가서 다다음 아침부터 대사관 열리기를 기다렸어. 너무 힘들었어요 진짜. 그 다른 사람들은 도 짜증이 난고 피곤해써요.
KOR 4 started this afternoon! I had no idea that the medium of instruction would be almost completely in Korean! I had to do breathing exercises during the break because I was so stressed hahahaha. But! Our prof was very friendly and encouraging, and the atmosphere of the class wasn’t very tense. Most of my classmates are very good at conversation and are enthusiastic about the class, which I like even though it’s intimidating to a certain extent lol. However! I really am much much more comfortable with reading and writing, and I get very nervous during conversation, so you can just imagine how stressed I was today haha.
We had self-intros in the beginning. When asked about why I’m learning learning Korean/taking the class, I mentioned, among other things, that I get really shy and very nervous when speaking in Korean and even though I know the words and grammar, I almost always blank out. But…I’m here…ㅋㅋㅋ Our prof was super encouraging and even told us about how he got better through practice over time.
Even in English or Filipino, public speaking isn’t really my forte and I always always need to prepare a lot beforehand just to get things right. I know this class will be difficult and intimidating for me, seeing how it panned out today, but having no choice but to go through it this way will also force me into getting better somehow haha!
To my surprise I understood most of the class, even the jokes lol, and even got the courage to unmute and join in on the recitation parts. I remember feeling like this on the first day of KOR2/first ever formal language classes back in January, and I’m reminding myself that I’ll come out of KOR4 much much better if I just do my best and not beat myself up too much over mistakes.
I was very tired after the class, and physically felt my whole body unclench haha. I read somewhere that if you need to go through something but you’re scared, then just go through it scared. No other way but up!!!
I’m slowly easing myself back into regular study mode. Aside from work being super busy last month, I also felt that I needed a break from Korean learning. TOPIK and KOR 3 finals were only a few weeks apart and it was very tiring. KOR 4 starts next weekend, though! And I’ve gone back to studying off my grammar books this past week, so. That is where I am at the moment.
Some score updates! *drum roll* I promised myself that I’d be transparent and detailed in keeping track of my learning. I’m Na Heedo-ing myself into fluency!
Let’s start with my latest Sejong Institute level test which I took today to clear my head of adulting stress! This time, I tried the Intermediate placement test. Before this, I took the Beginner placement test in April and got a level 2A.
KOR 3 finals score 88/100. My goal was at least 90, aigoo! I gave myself a bit of a beating for this because I know I could have done much better had I been in a good condition during the test day, etc etc. All the reasons. (For context of my disappointment, I got a High Pass/the score for 90++ for KOR 2 haha!) But to be fair, KOR 3 was much harder. ANYWAY. I promise to work harder in KOR 4.
What’s funny is that I have never ever been grade-conscious in my life, but look at me now, sulking over extramural classes which I am taking mostly for FUN!
TOPIK I I got Level 2!
My final score was almost the same as my scores for the last few mock tests I took as review. My Listening scores for the last two mock tests were also higher than my Reading scores! I’m quite surprised because I struggle with the Listening exercises in class.
Since I started taking mock tests, I’ve consistently scored enough to get a Level 2, so this actual TOPIK score was expected.
TOPIK II …no level! Heh. The minimum score to get a level 3 is 120/300, which was my lofty goal. I’m kind of done being embarrassed with this score haha. I’m posting this for accountability!!! Let’s go back to this in a few months when I get a much better score and say look how far I’ve come!!! Haha.
As I mentioned before in my after-TOPIK post, the TOPIK II test was difficult and daunting for me despite my best efforts to prepare for it! I tried my best to study specifically for TOPIK II, but it goes without saying that fluency really does take time and a loooot of practice.
With my goal of level 3, I should have been comfortable answering the first 20-25 questions of each test category (I was not, lol). I recognized a lot of words, but the pace of the Listening was still too fast for me, and I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the grammar points yet.
My primary goal is to do better at the Reading and Listening parts. Writing is difficult to practice without a mentor, and the most composition I do at the moment is writing little notes and comments on my planner in Korean lol. Still, I do want to improve and up my grades. Maybe there’s something I can arrange with my KOR 4 prof next term so I can get better at writing.
There we go!
Apparently, there’s no scheduled October TOPIK test for the Philippines. They initially said there would be one in Cebu but I reached out to the Sejong center there to ask about registration and got no information whatsoever. No posts on their socials, too, so there really won’t be one I guess!
Based on the past schedules, the next test in the country should be in April 2023. I hope to be muuuuch much much better by then (I mean…dapat lang…).
In any case, I still feel kind of proud of myself for getting this far! I only started proper classes in January, and looking back, I used to be so nervous about attending class because before that, I had only been learning on my own with nobody to talk to or correct me. And as much as I want to devote a lot of time to learning, I’m only able to study on the weekends. But now! I can read most captions from the shows I watch and can somehow understand BTS Live videos even without checking Twitter for translations, heh. I also understand some of their jokes, too, so I can confirm for myself that they really are corny dorks a lot of times.
One foot in front of the other! I’ll be back maybe when KOR 4 starts.
P.S. Today was really stressful for me because I did some tax duties and it was a very frustrating and physically tiring trip to the BIR. Posting about something completely different (like Korean!) distracts me from wanting to cry haha ;_;