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Here is the situation:

  • I have now been learning French for two months.
  • I will start to stay in South Korea for one month.
  • After staying in Korea, I'll stay in France and attend language school for three months.
  • After that, I'll be back to Korea and attend language school for three months.

And I wonder which language to learn while in Korea for a month. Specifically:

  • Learning French makes living in France smoother (and can likely start the course at A2), but losing the opportunity of using Korean in the local country for one month.
  • Learning Korean can take advantage of getting immersion, but at the sacrifice of starting the French course at lower level as well as gradually losing it maybe.

My goal is to reach at least B1 in both languages within seven months. The current level is A1+ in French and not even A1 in Korean (but better than nothing as I learned Hangul and some of basic phrases).

In this case, which language to learn makes reaching the eventual goal faster and/or with higher success rate?

  • @AML Yes I understand your first point. Sorry if my question is unclear, but if I choose French for the first month in Korea, I won't actively learn Korean and don't expect my Korean to improve even a little. My question is concerned only about the final goal (in seven months). – Blaszard Jan 26 at 8:28
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    I think your best chance is to simply focus on the local language. It's going to be very hard to get to B1 in such a short time without extreme focus. Thus, in Korea, do Korean and take advantage of all the native speakers. Practice ALL the time and every day. And same for French while you're there. – AML Jan 26 at 12:39
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Being in-country only helps if you take advantage of it. It's totally possible to be in the target language country but barely learn anything. Thus, you should focus on Korean while in Korea, but it's no problem to study French a little bit each day. You could easily spend 30-60 min on Assimil French while in Korea and still remain immersed (i.e., speak only Korean) while in Korea, and vice versa.

I think your best chance is to simply focus on the local language. It's going to be very hard to get to B1 in such a short time without extreme focus. Thus, in Korea, do Korean and take advantage of all the native speakers. Practice ALL the time and every day. And same for French while you're there.

To be even more specific:

Next two months (at home?): Do half French, half Korean. At least one hour each. Every day.

One month in South Korea: Immerse yourself (i.e., speak only Korean) for 95% of your day. Work through Assimil French (or something similar) for the other 5% to maintain/improve your French.

Three months in France: Immerse yourself (i.e., speak only French) for 95% of your day. Work through Assimil Korean (or something similar) for the other 5% to maintain/improve your Korean.

Three months in South Korea: Immerse yourself (i.e., speak only Korean) for 95% of your day. Read French novels, since your level should be higher now, for the other 5% to maintain/improve your French.

Change the percentages as you see fit, but the principle holds: while in-country, take full advantage of the resources (i.e., the native speakers). Speak the L2 each day until your brain is about to explode. Anything less and you're squandering a tremendous opportunity.

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