This semester I am taking 4 courses- a total of 15 credits. One of these courses include the Intensive Korean Language course. It is 6 credits, and we meet 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time. The course runs entirely in Korean- it can depend on the level you test into, but for the most part, instructors will be speaking in Korean.
There are 6 levels- 6 being the most advanced. On the first day of class, there is a placement test which will determine which level you will be taking. It consists of two parts: (1) writing/reading and (2) listening/speaking.
If you’ve taken the TOPIK test before, the writing/reading section is quite similar. There are roughly 12 pages of questions. Most people are not able to finish the entire packet, as each section increases in the level of difficulty. I was only able to complete about half. I did feel a little discouraged, but after talking with my friend, I found that she was only able to finish a few pages as well, so it’s normal not to be able to complete the entire thing.
The listening/speaking part is conducted through an interview. The proctor will ask you a series of questions (i.e. where are you from, what year are you, what do you study, etc). The duration of the interview really depends on the proctor. My interview only lasted a few minutes. I was surprised that it was so short, but I guess it went well.
Luckily, I was able to place into level 3. It’s challenging, but not overly so. I can understand most of what the instructor is saying in class, so I’m quite happy with where I am.
There are 2 parts to the course: (1) Grammar and (2) Listening. Grammar is covered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We go through 4 new grammar points and roughly 10 to 15 new words each day. Depending on the instructor, homework can be optional and typically includes making sentences using the new vocabulary and grammar.
Listening is covered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We read 2 articles- usually 2 pages long- out-loud each day. My instructor recommends reading through the articles a few times before class, which is extremely beneficial, especially if you are like me and can take a while to process the contents of the reading. Homework includes the reading practice as well as listening to Korean music and watching Korean movies/dramas.
This is my favorite homework assignment. When my instructor explained about this, I was very excited. I love watching Korean movies/dramas and listening K-pop. Doing this has helped me a lot with learning Korean, so I highly recommend it, even if you don’t particularly like to watch the dramas or movies. There are useful expressions that you can pick up.
Overall, the workload outside of class is not too much. It does depend on the student. For me, I have to spend a bit more time, because it does take me a few times going the material to fully understand the meanings of the articles and how to use the new vocabulary, etc, but it is necessary to improve my language skills, so I don’t mind spending a little extra time.
There are regular Korean language courses as well, but I would recommend taking the KLI course. The class time can be inconvenient (4-6pm Mon thru Fri) and the workload is heavier, but it will definitely help with your Korean language skills.
Thanks for reading. I will be posting more about the KLI Intensive Korean Language course in the future, so please stay tuned.