Hello! I would like to seek help in completing the first part of my KGSP study plan to improve my Korean before and after I come to Korea.
I'm ready for the KGSP
Acceptance in KGSP is more than just an achievement. It is hitting two birds with one stone - being able to study both the master's degree of your choice and the Korean language.
A soldier cannot come to the battlefield unprepared. I am proud to say that long before I found out about KGSP, I have already been studying the Korean language and already have some ongoing best practices before coming to Korea, should I become successful in my application for this scholarship program.
First of all, I am already taking extramural classes at either University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and have just finished Korean module 3 (equivalent to Korean Level 2A). Depending on the schedule of classes, I plan to continue studying at UP or transfer to Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines. I also periodically self-study using Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) as my main source of Korean language concepts.
I also try to expand my vocabulary by taking note of new words encountered in Korean song lyrics and TV programs. Listening to Korean songs and watching Korean TV shows also gauge how much I have learned in my past lessons. I have an ongoing "vacation project" which is to read a Korean novel I'd bought some time ago during the month-long vacations in between Korean modules. It is quite advanced for my current level, but I am always ready for the challenge because it introduces me to not just new vocabulary but unfamiliar sentence patterns as well. In a way, it is a form of advanced studying. There are just no words to describe what I feel whenever I encounter a familiar word or pattern in a new lesson.
Being proficient in a language is a two-way process. Being able to read and understand is not enough - familiarizing oneself in a language also means being able to express yourself. I have started to practice posting in Korean whenever I log on to SNS websites like Facebook and Instagram. Albeit very challenging and limiting, I also try to blog in Korean whenever I can.
Official validation of my language proficiency will also be helpful, so I plan on taking the TOPIK exam again in April again to see if my score improves. If realistically feasible, I actually would like to try taking TOPIK II this time. To prepare for that, I will use previous TOPIK exams legally released. This will also help me familiarize myself with different types of exams, especially with how the instructions are worded.
I was blessed to score 146 on my first take for TOPIK I, earning a Level 2 certification, but I am not stopping at this point. If my goal is to achieve TOPIK II Level 4 certification at the end of my Korean language course, I will need to continue my "lifelong learner" frame of thinking in order to succeed.
Just like students do with any subject, I commit to diligently review at home what has been taught in school. With that, I will continue some of my best practices from before coming to Korea such as reading TTMIK modules for supplementary knowledge. Being in Korea is a big advantage at this point since TTMIK occasionally has meet-up events for their followers; I definitely do not want those opportunities to go to waste.
I will also endeavor to communicate in Korean unless otherwise necessary. If the school/institute offers it, I would look for a Korean buddy who will help me practice communicating in Korean as much as possible. If there are one-on-one language exchange programs, both virtual and personal, I would also sign up for those, as long as my personal study time will not be compromised. I will also continue blogging / SNS posting in Korean.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, goes the old saying. I may not be a child anymore, but there still has to be a balance between school and leisure, especially now that I am an adult learner. I have to find ways on how to make learning fun and interesting. I think it would be a good idea to participate in any special interest groups such as cooking Korean dishes, playing any Korean musical instrument, paper folding, or any club that can deepen my understanding of the Korean culture while providing a temporary reprieve from the pressures of studying - again, providing that my studies will not be affected negatively in any way.
Any form of feedback would be welcomed. It is my first time to apply for a scholarship, so I am really struggling on how to properly compose my essay.
Thank you! :)
P, you make reference to already taking extramural classes in Korean "at either University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman..." When you say either, that means that there is another option for your classes. So it is either you are already taking classes at UP or, you about to take it somewhere else and you are choosing between UP and that other school at the moment. Did something get lost in translation for you while you developing the essay? I think you should edit the sentence to be more reflective of the fact that you are taking classes at UP period. That is, provided that is what you were really trying to say.
From what I can tell, you have tried to gain written proficiency in Korean. That is good since you will be writing papers in their language when you go there to study. However, you have not made any mention of having worked on practicing spoken Korean with others. Here is something that you need to know, being proficient in written Korean will not actually translate to proficient spoken Korean. You need to reflect that you have spent ample time developing both types of Korean language use in order to convince the reviewer that you will be able to participate fully in Korean based classes as well as the language lessons you will be provided with. It is not always that you will find someone fluent enough in the written and spoken aspects of any foreign language so if you can convince the reviewer that you are at least semi-proficient in both cases, then he may take a second look at your application.
My apologies for the very late response as I was busy with work. Thank you so much for your inputs and for pointing out unclear areas! :) The part about taking lessons in KCC was only a plan if the new cycle for the UP extramural classes wouldn't mesh well with my work schedule, so I think I will stick with the premise that I am already taking classes at UP to avoid confusion.