Thursday, August 08, 2013

Foreign Language

Sometimes I think my kids are speaking a foreign language to me... oh wait, they are.  We are learning to speak Korean together.  Danya, Gloria and I are all working our way together through Integrated Korean Beginning 1, which is a nifty little textbook designed for college classes, but written simply enough that almost any student could follow it.  I'm trying to stay about a chapter ahead of them.  We're also using the Talk to Me in Korean website's audio grammar lessons and videos.  Jordan is listening to those, too.  The other kids are mostly learning Korean words and phrases because we are using them when talking to them.

They can now understand me when I say things like, "come here, go away, please give me ____, sit down, yes, no, don't do it, don't go, follow me, I don't know" and probably a few others I'm forgetting right now.  Danya and Gloria are getting good practice translating when I say something more complicated in Korean and they have to translate it into English for their younger siblings.  Things like "Come to the kitchen to eat lunch" for example.  Just recently, I made them take a "test" of sorts.  We each had to tell an entire story in Korean.  I chose Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Danya did Snow White.  Gloria is still struggling with The Three Little Pigs.  I think she should have chosen a story that has more words we already know in it.  Seriously, how often will we really need to use the words "wolf" or "straw" in a sentence when speaking to a Korean person?  In the photo here they each wrote on their hands either the word "coffee" or "tea" in Korean as part of a challenge on TTMIK's Facebook page.

I'm also studying with a more advanced book called Korean Grammar in Use which makes my brain hurt, but teaches me huge chunks of information very quickly.  You may wonder why we are studying this language so hard when there are not that many Koreans in Colorado.  I'm planning to take Danya there, just the two of us, for a week next Spring.  Daniel says, if we like it, I can go every year and bring a different kid each year if they have studied enough to become basically fluent.  We're even toying with the idea of sending some of the kids to college there because it's incredibly safe there (compared to other countries) and the tuition is very low (like $2,000 per semester or less). The kids and I are really getting into the culture, watching lots of Korean dramas and singing along to their KPOP songs.  Just for fun, here's a video of the older girls singing in Korean!

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