1. I used a flip book while out on walks, on the subway and other downtime
Making a habit out of using that book even in just a few spare minutes really added up and kept the vocabulary words at the forefront of my mind until they were engrained and I didn’t have to think about them anymore.
2. Tell local friends to only speak Korean for constant practice
The problem (at first) was: most of them only spoke Korean!
That really encouraged me to learn as much as I could so I would be able to communicate with them. They were always so kind to me and I really wanted to know them but at first the language barrier was such a problem.
3. Join a Korean class
These classes really were helpful because I got to learn the language in a formal setting, which is really helpful for my learning style. We had homework each week so we had to make sure we were studying.
4. Befriend local people who are excited to help you learn
They loved hearing me speak Korean and wanted to speak with me more.
It was a good opportunity for more practice but the best part was it allowed me to meet and talk to people that I wouldn’t normally have gotten to know.
5. Listen to TV and focus in on words and phrases
I would watch my favorite Korean drama (‘The Heirs’ [상속자들] was a particular favorite!) and listen in for key words or phrases I would know.
6. Practice with school (or hagwon) students
My students were so excited when I would practice with them!
If they didn’t know a word in English, I would have them say it to me in Korean and I would translate it for them (not every time, but it happened more regularly as my studies progressed).
7. Necessity makes a big difference
Sometimes there are situations where you just NEED to speak the local language.