Monday, December 17, 2007

한국어 배우기의 속보

Last Monday, a day after I came back from my overseas leave, I went back to SKS to collect my Korean Speech Contest's "souvenir pack". The pack comprises a DVD recording of the contest, a group photo and an appreciation note from our SKS's principal. I thought the DVD was a really good souvenir. Now, I can really keep my memory of the speech contest for posterity. Very much thanks to those SKS staff who put together this wonderful souvenir pack.

My souvenir pack which comprises a DVD, a photo and a note

While I was collecting the pack, I also took the chance to check with the SKS's admin staff on the availability of Advanced 2 next semester. To my great disappointment, she said no. I didn't know whether I should trust her words. She advised me to re-take Advanced 1 but I was quite reluctant to say yes. Perhaps, I should try to go for Advanced 3 instead but my teacher said she will only allow me to do so if I can get TOPIK level 4 pass. Logically speaking, if I can attain TOPIK level 4 pass, intermediate classes may no longer be relevant to me. She is always so stringent. Anyway, I will check on the options available. In the worst case scenario, I shall re-take Advanced 1. I don't think I can be too choosy when there is not more much opportunity to study Korean in Singapore. The bottom line is that I need to continue with my Korean study.

On the same day, I also went down to NUS Extension to collect my KLPT certificate. Besides getting my certificate, I was also interested to find out more about their new Intermediate Korean courses. I have gathered that there will be 4 Intermediate levels, i.e Intermediate level 1 to 4. According to 2008 course calendar, Intermediate 1 is scheduled from 2 Feb to 19 Apr. The course will be held every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. It will be 3 hours of lesson every week for 12 weeks. The price tag for the course is a whooping S$600. I heard that this course may be taught by a new Kyunghee teacher. But if I know NEX well enough, there is always last minute changes and someone else may end up teaching instead. Nevertheless, I am quite confident that Intermediate 1 will take off this time. It may also be over-subscribed since this is the first Intermediate course that is offered by NEX. Intermediate 2 is scheduled to start 3 weeks after Intermediate 1 ends and there is currently no scheduled date to start Intermediate 3 and 4. All Intermediate courses will be using the Kyunghee University's Exploring Korean textbook.

There seems to be more opportunity to study Korean beyond basic level in Singapore these days. But to me, I am still feeling kinda disappointed that I am stagnating due to lack of opportunity. Nevertheless, I will still find some way to ensure that I continue to study.

Now talking about the DVD recording of the speech contest. It actually took me a lot of courage to watch myself speaks. Frankly, after I did that, I don't think I spoke that well. I am not self-depreciating here. For a long time, I know I am weak in speaking, whether in English or Mandarin. I took a much longer time than others to speak these languages well. I always blame my inability to speak well on my "fat" tongue. A tongue which cannot roll; a result of recessive genes expressing their full characteristics. Since I know I can't speak fluently, I have always hope to give meaning to the words I say. I guess no one is the best in everything. You just have to find what you are good at and work hard on it.


  1. Hey equinox,

    i think i'll be transfering over to SKS for intermediate as NUS is really too expensive at $600/level.

    i heard that we'll have to take a placement test to enter SKS right?

  2. 환영합니다!

    Yes, you have to take a placement test. You should try to apply for Intermediate 2 if you can make it. My teacher will be probably be invigilating the placement test. To tell you a secret, she like to advise "switchers" to start at a lower level as she is very particular about foundation.

    Despite its high price, I think NUS will still be able to attract working adults who don't mind paying for its convenient location and its friendly time-slot.

  3. Hi. Our Advanced 2 term jus ended today. But from what i heard, seems like there wont be Advanced 3next term.

    There wont be Advanced 2 next term cos there are no Advanced 1 class this term.

    Sigh ...

  4. Is it? Oh... sound quite bad.
    Look like I may have to "repeat" Advanced 1. Grrr...