KIIP Level 5 Finished!


Obligatory studying picture.

Level 5 was a long seven weeks spent studying Korean every Sunday. This time class moved faster since we had to cover 50 chapters instead of 20 in less time. Albeit each chapter was only 4 pages long.

The worst part about class was definitely the length of it. This time class ended at 4:30 so it was a lot better than the other levels where we sometimes studied until 7:30 or 8 at night.  The best part of class was my classmates. We all came in every Sunday and greeted each other cheerfully. Some of us would bring snacks to share and munch away on as we listened to our lecture. Continue reading “KIIP Level 5 Finished!”

KIIP Level 4 Complete

Level 4 group picture. Our class was split in half two weeks in sadly. 🙁

       Since late last May I have been studying through the Korean Immigration and Integration Program. After successfully completing Level 3 I moved up to Level 4 in September. I really loved our new teacher’s teaching style and her bluntness. She was very adamant that everything we do should be in Korean. She specifically pointed out that if you are an English teacher you will have the hardest time to speak Korean due to being in a non-Korean speaking environment most of the day.

     So she made some suggestions:


  • put your cellphone in Korean
  • watch the news in Korean
  • read the news in Korean
  • watch Korean tv shows and movies
  • learn vocabulary in Korean

A lot of these suggestions I can do though it is more of a nuisance than I like. My phone is in Korean and I can use it just fine though sometimes I have to double check what something means so I don’t hit the wrong option. I hate reading news articles, but at least if I read the headlines I will know the major stories. As for TV shows and movies, I’m lazy. I’m an avid Korean drama watcher and I could easily drop the English subtitles. Yet, I watch it while I am relaxing so I don’t want to have to overthink it.  And for looking up Korean words in Korean, shoot me in the head. I’ve tried it and sometimes I get it.  But mostly, I still look everything up in English.

Level 4 in the beginning was hard for me as even though I knew half the class from level 3 no one was particularly friendly with me. The classes can be quite cliquey based on nationality. However, about half way through the semester the other students started to warm up to me more. We would share snacks and they would make small conversation. I even became friends with a really nice Uzbek Korean.  I really love the diversity in our class and we did a lot of fun things together like going to an event and having a potluck lunch party. Which had beer and lots of food from various countries!

The hardest part this time around was getting myself motivated to study. I really wanted to get an 80 this time in the class to prove to myself that I could do it. However, I wasn’t in the right mindset most of the time so it was really hard for me to stay focused during the 1o hour classes.  Luckily, I managed to get a 77. I’m not happy with the grade, but I know I did a lot better than many of my classmates.

Right now our program is on winter break so I am not ready to dive back in to studying.  But slowly I’ve been reading ahead and splitting the division of vocabulary with another friend I know who happens to be the same level at a different location. Level 5 will be a fun and interesting class. Its only 50 hours long and covers 50 4 page chapters about Korean society and history. Its a lot to absorb in 5 classes. I hope I have a good teacher as that can really make or break the class.  Classes are starting sometime in February and I can’t wait to see all of my classmates! I also can’t wait to pick up my certificate that shows I completed the language program!


Reflections on KIIP classes

Enrolling in the KIIP (Korean Immigration and Integration Program) 사회통합프로그램 in Korean has been a long but rewarding process. I missed the January placement test, so I was unable to enroll in Spring classes.

Me writing on the board during class.
Me writing on the board during class.

Continue reading “Reflections on KIIP classes”

Grammar Meltdown

We all have moments in life where we fall apart. Not huge moments, but little ones like we had as a child. The fleeting meltdowns of our early years. Well, yesterday happened to be a meltdown day.

Why? Grammar. It`s one thing to be frustrated in your own language, but when learning a new one the frustrations increase. Sometimes there are no meltdowns until you hit the glass door. Last night, in class we were building sentences based on words given to us by the book. It was just my teacher and I,  and the conversation was like this: Continue reading “Grammar Meltdown”

Korean Language Lessons

One of the goals when moving to Incheon was taking Korean classes again. There were classes being offered but they were further away so I opted to try culcom (culture complex) in Bupyeong. It was really easy to sign up via their website. I learned about Culcom through a friend and have found it to be a more informal setting. For now this is okay with me as it is pretty flexible. The one thing I did find so far is that the group I am assigned to are advanced students where I would classify  myself as intermediate. The problem becomes my listening and reading is higher, even if my speaking can be lacking in terms of elegant, fluid speech. I’m also lacking in grammar, but most of the people I have worked with think that I don’t need help with my grammar or I can learn it on my own quickly. Most of the other students in my class are enrolled at a Korean University and took the Advanced Topik test in April. I’m nowhere near that level yet, but when I took my time I received 6 out of 6 questions on my homework. I might have looked up 80 words on one page but if I am given the time I can perform at a higher level, which sometimes surprises me.

Continue reading “Korean Language Lessons”