I HAVE MOVED

Welcome to….

Yay! I’ve MOVED and so the layout is like a mess right now. BUT, all the past posts, content, photos, links, comments (everything) is in the new site. So if you want to post a new comment etc, please go over to the new site!

It’s stupid to have traffic (and comments etc) diverted between two sites. So please please please visit the new site!😀

[iPhone Cover Review] Stre-it!

Tags

, ,

Some time in May 2012…

Hey! What arrived in the mail for me?😀 :D 

OMG PRETTY iPHONE COVERS!

Damn the packaging is nice! Shall we open it? So tempted to take more photos..

Look at all these pretty angel and devil wings! Detachable and attachable to the covers!

Remember how I raved about my new phone cover a few months ago? I’m finally blogging about it!😀

It might seem as just another iPhone cover to you on first look (albeit a really pretty one). But on closer look, you will be surprised at the functionality and convenience it offers. This iPhone cover also have special meaning to me:

  1. The person behind the business and the design is my Korean friend
  2. I did/helped in the English product introduction / tagline!😀😀😀 – which explains why my friend sent these to me for freeee

These phone covers are damn good quality. I chose to open the angel wings! Although you can’t see in the photo, it’s actually of a shimmery, glittery and smooth material under the light! Not just plain, albeit pretty, colors.

See the 4 ‘buttons’ at the back? The wings are detachable! And re-attachable on all 4 buttons. Look at illustration below.

Pretty? 

That’s all not. It’s actually FUNCTIONAL. 

This is the default look. Don’t worry about it if you have a habit of putting your phone at the back of your jeans. It’s supposed to curve it a way that is the shape of your butt. (okay that didn’t come out right..)

My favorite way of using it! hahaha. Ever want to check a message or type something in class? Holding your iphone is blatant disrespect but putting it flat on the table makes it difficult to see the screen and type. Propping up with something else looks not very nice.  This cover is perfect. lol😀

Want to facetime with your friend but too lazy to hold it for hours? I used to prop it up against a pillow or something on the desk before I got the cover. Now, I can simply set it to this positon and Facetime is damn easy!! I can even lean back comfortably and the other party and see my face.

Damn nice right? hahaha. Just a little bit of detail. I met this friend through a language exchange site and he’s been a special friend to me.😀 And he’s super awesome. He designed the cases and conceptualizes the technology of the 4 buttons thing. And got it patented. How awesome is that? I always admire people who create things.

I met him in Seoul last year and he showed me the prototype! And I was super super happy for him when he finally launched it this year.😀 And also super happy that he sent me the covers. hehe gotten quite a few compliments from friends. I gave the black one to my friend!😀

If you are wondering why it’s Helsinki, he studies there right now! ^^ I know it retails at 28,500won in Korea. If you are from Singapore and really interested to purchase it, leave a comment. Who knows, if there are enough interest, I may bring it into Singapore lol.

Official Site | Facebook Page 

I started out this entry on 23th May and just completed it.ㅠㅠㅠㅠ I blame being in Korea for my non existent blogging. 오빠, 미안해요!!ㅠ

[Review] Advanced 3 Classes @ Singapore Korean International School

Tags

, , , , , ,

Background: I have been toying with the idea of reviewing Korean classes in Singapore and casually talked about this to a girl who was interning at SKIS. We worked out an agreement that I’ll attend 2 free lessons in the level of my choice and I’ll review it on my blog. So.. I ended up attending the highest level (Advanced 3) once but I ended up not being able to attend the 2nd lesson cos I was having a bad cough/fever. In a nutshell, I’ll review the ONE lesson I attended, which I think gave me a very good idea of what the lessons are like. Seeing how I’ve attend 2 levels (beginner 1 & 2) at its old campus wayy back in 2008.

I’m reviewing this to cater to everyone who’s interested in learning Korean, not just from my own perspective. ^^

————-

Now located in one of Singapore’s wealthiest neighborhood, SKIS may seem a little far off for most of us, but the school has shuttle bus services to and fro Newton MRT and Clementi MRT before and after the Korean language classes, which makes the school a lot more accessible.

Location aside, SKIS is one of the most established language schools offering Korean language classes in Singapore. I met up with the teacher in charge for the KLC (Korean Language Center), who kindly walked me through some of the major milestones of the school, its programme and also a school tour. The school tries to make its programme more interesting by having cultural activities and friendly competitions between different classes / levels at its end of semester ceremony. Past activities includes learning to play traditional Korean instruments, making bibimbap together etc.

The classes currently uses Kyung Hee University Textbooks, which in my opinion, are a little dry and boring. The good news is that the school is switching over to Yonsei University Textbooks (which I raved about HERE and HERE) slowly from level 1 onwards. I find Yonsei textbooks more challenging in all aspects compared to Kyung Hee, so it remains to be seen which classes are using what level of books. Each class has maximum 20 students, which as the level increases.. dwindles.

I was told that the Advanced 3 classes (currently using Kyung Hee Intermediate 2 textbook – level 4) have only 5 students. The advanced 3 classes are taught by an experienced Korean teacher, who used to teach Korean as a mother tongue to Koreans.

Lesson time! I was forced to give an introduction in Korean, which was kinda awkward (imagine seeing this stranger in your class one day lol). The lesson (7-9pm with 5-10 min break in between) itself was quite structured.

The teacher handed out a worksheet which was supposedly a review of the last lesson. We were given the English translation of the dialogue taught last lesson – and asked to give its Korean version. For the grammar points, we are given the English version of the example sentences in the textbook (which were covered in the last lesson) and asked to write the Korean version. The English explanations for this lesson’s grammar points and new words are also given.

Sorry for the disgusting handwriting. I was trying to stop myself from coughing all through the lesson. And of course my answers were wrong – I didn’t attend the last lesson.

We spent around 40 min on this revision. Students were encouraged to speak only in Korean (to each other and also to the teacher) and the teacher taught in 95% Korean, using English for difficult words that the students may not understand.

Apparently it was the tradition of the class for the teacher to give homework to a few students each class – where they will prepare something in Korean and then have to share with the class (as a form of speaking practice). That day, 2 of the students were tasked to explain about the Mooncake Festival – which is a traditional festival in Singapore that falls on the same day as Chuseok. The students were encouraged to prepare ahead but not look at their script while sharing the stories. It was fun listening to the students and we had a good time learning together.

The teacher would ask questions time and again and sometimes correct the students’ pronunciation and awkward phrases. We then moved on to a passage in the textbook, where each of us were to recite one line.

The teacher would then teach us the new grammar points, using example sentences in the textbook. And before you knew it, 2 hours have passed.

If you are wondering why the chairs look so small – this is the classroom for elementary Korean students in the morning lol.

Okay, so that was the blow-by-blow account of what happened during the lesson. Now for my comments. Even though I was kinda invited to the school, I won’t deliberately try to say only good things – as I want to be accountable to all of you who are reading the blog😀 I’m always honest, although I try to tone down my too honest opinions at times. ㅎㅎㅎ

What I liked:

  • the teacher bothers to correct the pronunciation of students
  • the teacher was really interesting, she made the effort to make the class more interactive, encouraged the students to interrupt her with questions any time and make the whole environment relaxed, fun and good for learning. She made the not-so-interesting textbook more interesting
  • everyone had the chance to speak up
  • lesson almost all taught in Korean

The teacher does correct the pronunciation of students, but she (and most teachers in other local lessons) is not TOO particular about it.

That being said, here comes a list of disclaimers lol.

Are the lessons suitable for everyone? No, or rather, it depends. Not all of us have the same goals in learning Korean. If you are someone who is really busy, but still want to make the effort of learning Korean in an environment that is well paced but not too stressful, and you are looking at considerable understanding but not like.. fluency, this will be the right choice for you. Not all of us want to have super challenging Korean lessons with loads of readings, writing practice, grammar study etc. Not all of us want to reach TOPIK 6 by the end of the course and not all of us have the time and enough motivation to want to study ‘hard-core’ for Korean.

Not all of us want to be damn stressed by being corrected when we pronounce / speak in a less than desired accurate way or being nick-picked about our intonation. Not all of us want lessons where we wont be able to catch up if we dont prepare in advanced. Not all of us want to study for final tests like it’s gonna be a huge deal if we score less than desirable.

If you are looking at Korean as a hobby, and prefer guided lessons that are available to a certain level, this is right for you. If you are looking for something relaxed/casual yet follows a curriculum, this is good for you. I think the lessons are suitable for working professionals or full time students who just want to pick up a hobby.

Like I have mentioned in a previous post,

There is a lot of difference between local foreign language classes and taking lessons in that country itself. The students you meet, the motivation and goals they have, the teachers, the curriculum, the expectations, the standards. EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

There, I quoted myself. To give you a better understanding of what it means to complete advanced 3 classes at SKIS, I’ll peg it to an equivalent of at most a level 2.5- 3 in Yonsei.

Of course, what you get out of the lessons and how good you are depends on yourselftoo, not just the lessons. It’s unfair of me to judge the lessons based on how poor / well the students speak. But I just want to set the expectations and what kind of proficiency level that you are likely to have by the time you have completed the 8 level courses in SKIS. Maybe next time when there are more serious learners in Singapore, the lessons will get more challenging? Supply depends on demand too.

That being said, it’s still one of the best places in Singapore to learn Korean (in a classroom setting). And everyone who asked me for a recommendation for a place to learn Korean in Singapore, I always say SKIS😀

Check out the school site here!

And like the Facebook Page!

 

p.s. I’ll be writing about a comparison between local classes (in general) and Korean lessons in Korea, where I’ll elaborate a lot more. If you are interested in it, keep a look out for it!!😀 ㅎㅎㅎ

p.s.1 I’ll like to thank everyone at KLC and SKIS which made this an interesting experience for me! ^^

If you have attended SKIS, share your thoughts too!

HANGUKDRAMA.COM – comin soon

HAHAAHAHA. This deserves a post on its own. Let me be happy.
It may not be anything big for you guys, but I’m like SUPER HAPPY.

My friend, who I’ve yet to met in real life, agreed to host hangukdrama in addition to selfstudykorean!!😀

More motivation to blog harder? Hahahahaha.

COMING SOOOOON.

Okay time to go for class….

[Study Japanese App] 일어한방검색

Tags

, , , , ,

Sometimes I wonder how many people will find such posts useful. Not a lot of English speakers that I know of who are studying Japanese via Korean. O.o But still, I want to share the good resources to learn!

Here’s a dictionary app that I’ve been faithfully using for the past few weeks! 일어한방검색

I love how they always start off with a quote when you open the app.

Search for a word and they will straightaway pronounce it! If you want to hear it again, either click on the speaker sound beside the word (that will give you the Naver pronunciation) or click on the speaker sound below the google logo on the right to get the Google pronunciation lol.

Why is this app called 한방검색? It’s because it allows you to search several dictionaries through one app!!! You get both the Korean-Japanese dictionaries such as Naver and Daum and you get the real Japanese dictionaries in full Japanese too!

For the Korean dictionaries, you can even choose to input it via writing!

If you would like to just use a few of the dictionaries, you can turn the rest off via the settings!

Love love love this app! I like to consult several dictionaries at one go because each dictionary can have its own example sentences and slightly different explanations.😀

I don’t own a paper dictionary and I have no intent to get one too. This is a great app to use when you are reading something on the go.

Which other good apps are you using? 

Download: Apple | Android 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 298 other followers