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30-Day Speaking Korean Challenge Home Base


Welcome to home of the 2013 Summer 30-Day Speaking Korean Challenge!

Consider this page your “home base” as you undertake the Challenge this month. Below you can find the schedule for each week of the Challenge (updated weekly) with links to each Daily Challenge (updated daily). There is also a FAQs section and a place to sign-up for the Daily Challenge newsletter.

Daily Overview

Each day of the Challenge will include each of the following:

  1. Inspiration or Motivation (usually in the form of a video or story)
  2. The Challenge (what you should do)
  3. Hashtags (to share your progress)
  4. Resources (phrases, grammar, and/or vocab that may pertain)


  1. I will try to make each Daily Challenge post “live” by at least 8am every morning (some mornings will be 8:30 or 9, etc).
  2. I will try to send out the Daily Challenge newsletter around lunchtime every day.
  3. If for any reason I miss either of those “deadlines,” the times will be pushed back as follows: 8am, 12pm, 5pm, 10pm.

Finally, feel free to take a day or two to do each Daily Challenge. There is no penalty for postponing a Challenge or two if you are busy or don’t have the resources to do it “today.” (Plus, some people will be traveling for the summer.) The reason these are called Daily Challenges is because they will be updated on a daily basis.

However, the real goal is the pot of 30 Challenge Completions at the end of the rainbow. Keep your eye on that prize, and be ready to impress us with your list of Challenge accomplishments.

Week 1 (The Foundation)

Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23
#DayDateTitleChallenge #k2korean
0ThursJune 20Guidelines and Preparing Properly.Take a photo or video to show off your Korean Challenge materials. #k2k300
1FriJune 21Step out of your Comfort Zone.Make a self-introduction video entirely in Korean (in front of someone else). #k2k301
2SatJune 22Change your Reference Levels.Speak Korean with at least 5 people today. #k2k302
3SunJune 23Try, practice, FAIL, succeed.Try out at least 3 new words, phrases, or grammar structures on 3 different people today. #k2k303 #fail2succeed

Week 2 (Famous People)

Monday, June 24 – Sunday, June 30
#DayDateTitleChallenge #k2korean
4MonJune 24Josh Kaufman: Prime your brain for greater memory retention.Read a Korean book (or part) and use the new words you learn 5 times today. #k2k304 #brainpriming
5TuesJune 25Jackie Chan's mutli-disciplinary approach.Watch a (Korean) subtitled movie or TV show and take notes. Then use what you learned. #k2k305 #languagebyTV
6WedJune 26Michael Phelps and the science of small wins.Answer the question (in Korean): 어떻게 한국말을 아주 잘 배올거예요? #k2k306 #smallwins
7ThursJune 27Arnold Schwarzenegger's language leaning mindset.Avoid English today. Have a 20-minute conversation with someone in Korean. #k2k307 #turnofftheTV
8FriJune 28Sam Hammington's language learning Confidence.Meet at least 2 new people and (confidently) start a conversation. #k2k308 #getoutBconfident
9SatJune 29Read like Abraham Lincoln for better memory & confidence.Record a video of your oral reading of a story 3 times. #k2k309 #readlikeLincoln
10SunJune 30Lee Byung-Hun and pronunciation practice.Ask a native speaker to coach your pronunciation. #k2k3010 #perfectpronunciation

Week 3 (Specific Skills)

Monday, July 1 – Sunday, July 7
#DayDateTitleChallenge #k2korean
11MonJuly 1The importance of vocabulary acquisition cannot be overstated.Make a list of vocab to study. Learn 10-50 per day for the week (50-350 total). #k2k3011 #vocabMaster
12TuesJuly 2The best way to learn grammar is to USE it.Choose 5-10 grammar rules you've studied and write 10 sentences EACH in your notebook. #k2k3012 #writingmygrammar
13WedJuly 3Proper spelling enhances vocabulary, memory, and reading ability.Practice spelling words or phrases you hear from a friend or students. #k2k3013 #spellingGenius
14ThursJuly 4Dictation improves Listening, Writing, Reading, AND Speaking.Practice dictation with audio, then proofreading it, and re-reading it aloud. #k2k3014 #dictation
15FriJuly 5Proper Korean word spacing can save lives!Write an essay with a TOPIK prompt using the spacing and Wongoji guidelines. #k2k3015 #wordspacingWiz
16SatJuly 6Learn to text message like a native.Have a 20 sentence texting conversation with a friend using slang and emoticons. #k2k3016 #SMSfun
17SunJuly 7Improve your Korean with longer passage memorization.Choose a resource listed and find something to study and memorize. #k2k3017 #KORmemorization

Week 4 (Fun & Games)

Monday, July 8 – Sunday, July 14
#DayDateTitleChallenge #k2korean
18MonJuly 8Learn new expressions and solidify your memory with Children's SongsLearn 1-3 children's songs and sing them in a video. #k2k3018 #kidssongs
19TuesJuly 9Learn a pop song and sing it in the 노래방. Go sing Korean in 노래방. #k2k3019 #kpopstar
20WedJuly 10Why and how you should Mimic native speakers.Record a video of you watching TV and mimicking what you hear. #k2k3020 #noaccent
21ThursJuly 113 Korean word games to test or increase your vocab.Play one of the three word games and record a video of it. #k2k3021 #wordgames
22FriJuly 12Increase your enjoyment of Korean with a dialect (사투리).Have someone teach you the local dialect. #k2k3022 #dialectsarefun
23SatJuly 13Improve your Korean flow and fluency by remaking a TV advertisement.Choose an advert, study and learn it, then record your own voiceover for it. #k2k3023 #ImOnTV
24SunJuly 14Practically practice Korean by reviewing Korean movies (in Korean)Watch a Korean movie and review it in Korean. #k2k3024 #moviecritic

Week 5 (Practical Skills)

Monday, July 15 – Sunday, July 21
#DayDateTitleChallenge #k2korean
25MonJuly 15Learn to read Korean food labels.Compare the nutritional differences between 2 competing products on video. #k2k3025 #healthinspector
26TuesJuly 16Ordering food in Korean is mindblowingly awesome!Call for delivery and record your phone call (and success!) #k2k3026 #baedalmaster
27WedJuly 1736 Tips for talking to Korean Taxi DriversRecord (or later paraphrase) a conversation with a taxi driver. #k2k3027 #taxitalker
28ThursJuly 18Find a language exchange partner for better practiceFind a language exchange partner and record a conversation with them. Also plan a regular meeting. #k2k3028 #languageexchange
29FriJuly 19Why reading aloud and dramatizing your speech can help improve your Korean.Dramatize a story or dialogue aloud. Try to match a native's pronunciation and fluency. #k2k3029 #voiceactor
30SatJuly 20Giving a foreign language speech is the ULTIMATE test of your language ability.Find a venue, give a speech in Korean, and record it. #k2k3030 #speakKing
BonusSunJuly 21What to prepare and expect on the TOPIK test date.Take the TOPIK and PASS!~ #TOPIK #TOPIKlevel_


1. What inspired the 30-Day Challenge?

Benny Lewis, the Irish polyglot and his TEDx talk: Speak from Day 1, along with his blog: Fluent in 3 Months inspired this Challenge. (Here’s my first blog post on the subject.)

2. Why create the 30-Day Challenge?

For a number of reasons:

  1. The 31st TOPIK test is exactly 30 days away (July 21).
  2. It’s summer vacation time where I have a little more free time to study and practice.
  3. We wanted to start a Korean Kafe free-speaking club, and this seems like a good time to start (and include that in the Challenge).
  4. Doing this together is so much better (and more motivating) than doing it alone.
3. Why are you doing the 30-Day Challenge?
  • For starters, I’ve registered for the 31st TOPIK and I want to ACE it! (초급 level)
  • Secondly, I hate speaking Korean. That’s not in my Comfort Zone. In fact, it’s well outside my Comfort Zone. Speaking Korean with my wife, in the comfort of my own house, destroys my comfort. But I want to change that. I want to learn how to speak Korean well, so I must practice.
  • Finally, my goal is to eventually get a job not teaching English in a Korean company. That’s never going to happen without becoming comfortable with speaking Korean. This Challenge is an effort to take significant steps toward my final goal in a short(er) period of time.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them below!



4 thoughts

  1. This is helping so tremendously! I’ve been looking for a structured timeline of what I should be learning because it seems like I have hundreds of books and no clue about where to start. Your challenge guideline is so helpful in that regard. They say the hardest thing to do when achieving a goal is starting. With you blog I feel like I can make that first step from being overwhelmed to practicing leveling up my Korean TODAY! Thanks again! ^_^

    1. Excellent! Glad this Challenge is helping~ I’m also starting up a totally NEW Challenge this month (continuing for the next 120 days) to try to Level Up for TOPIK by October. I’ll create another page for that soon. But for now, if you’re interested, here’s the first post.

  2. This is pretty useful! I would like to add that attending language exchange meetups around your area would be great practice as well.

    If you don’t have any Korean meetups in your area, you should try Parrot ( You can pair with Koreans to video chat one on one multiple times a week and practice 7 minutes of Korean and 7 minutes of English so it’s a win-win for both parties.

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