Well guys, Key To Korean is officially 1-year old on Tuesday next week (August 27). At least, that’s when the first year of our web registration expires (though planning for the site and classes actually began weeks before that). It’s definitely been an eventful year. So, below, I’ll give you a breakdown of what’s happened over the past year as well as a look at what’s to come in the next year.
The Birth of Key To Korean
- June 2012: My family and I head to America for a one-month summer vacation – broke.
- July 2012: While in America, I work HARD helping my parents out and discover Dave Ramsey, financial guru (who also teaches the value of hard work).
- July 29, 2012 (My brother’s birthday): I receive Dave Ramsey’s More Than Enough book in the mail and blow through it in less than a week (after reading Total Money Makeover in 2 days just a week earlier).
- August 1, 2012: More Than Enough inspires me to suggest to my (then unemployed) wife that she start teaching private Korean lessons to interested foreigners. I would develop a website with online support for her teaching and that would give students something to study/do while she wasn’t meeting them. She agrees.
- August 2012: We search for appropriate books and decide on the Sogang book and Korean Grammar in Use: Beginner (I already had TOPIK 150). Planning for the classes, the scheduling, time, location, pricing, and website begins (including finding a good WordPress template).
- August 27, 2012: I purchase the domain and secure hosting for the site (my host is Dreamhost). And the next week is filled with FILLING the website and getting it ready.
- September 6, 2012: I make the first “call for students” on Jeonju’s Facebook group for expats. We get 95 views the first day which tapers off to 21 or so the next day(s and months).
- September 10, 2012: The first classes start!
The Growth of Key To Korean
- September – October 2012: We post daily vocabulary videos for the Beginner class. But creating designs for a 6-church event in Jeonju (One Accord), University midterms, and sickness cause me to temporarily push “pause” on making videos. October 26 is our last video (Day 30).
- February 18, 2013 – April 11, 2013: We start posting daily Beginner vocabulary videos again and complete the daily vocab videos up to Day 70 (the end of the Beginner class).
- Beginning of March, 2013: I start studying Korean again regularly – the Low Intermediate class.
- March, 2013: I start sporadically posting extra material on the blog to increase traffic. The first post is Learn Korean Hangul Touch Typing (Part 1) (March, 21).
- End of April, 2013: I decide to start DAILY posting content on the blog to increase traffic. The first (regular) post is about Passion. The only exception to this was my summer camp in August when I took 2 weeks off because I was exhausted.
- June 20, 2013: I begin writing the 30-Day Speaking Korean Challenge in order to prepare for TOPIK on July 21. AND started the Korean Kafe (which may soon morph into a full Language Cast type event).
- July 21,2013: My first TOPIK test. I scored a 91.
- August 24, 2013: I changed the commenting system to Disqus. I have heard that some of you have had a difficult time leaving comments. Sorry! ^^;
Stats over the past year
Over the past year, we’ve:
- Taught between 35-40 students in classes or private lessons (and have an additional 10 lined up for Fall 2013).
- Prepared 7 students for TOPIK and seen 3 of them pass with higher marks than expected (the others have yet to take the test).
- Gained 142 Facebook Likes on our page.
- Gained 27 blog subscribers and 4 comment subscribers.
- Increased daily website views from around 4 (in November, 2012) to 288 (August, 2013).
- Have had a total of 22,486 views over the life of the site.
- Have seen a high of 699 views in a single day on August 21, 2013 (last Wednesday) when I published this article.
Classes we’ve offered
- Beginner: Sogang book ~30 students
- Low Intermediate: Korean Grammar in Use: Beginner ~10 students
- Intermediate: Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate ~6 students
- High Intermediate: TOPIK 150 ~1 student
- TOPIK Prep: Complete Guide to the TOPIK Basic ~4 students
- Cooking & Culture: Cookbook & fairy tales ~2 students
The Future of Key To Korean
(aka Goals and Plans)
- September – early November, 2013: Classes as usual.
- September, 2013 (first Saturday): We are looking into launching a monthly (or more frequent) Language Cast type event at a local cafe.
- September, 2013: We will launch Learning With Texts on the site so that registered users can upload their own texts to learn with.
- November, 2013: We’re expecting a daughter! Classes will temporarily be “paused” and/or converted to Skype. Daily blog posting should continue as normal.
- December, 2013: (possibly) Looking into completing a mobile web app for the site – not sure of the specifics yet.
- Winter break 2013: Update the home page – a main content slider, the latest blog posts, featured content, etc. Reorganization of content. Update the blog posting topics.
- February – March, 2013: Sarah will go back to school for a “Teaching Korean to Foreigners” certificate. Although she is currently qualified as a Korean teacher (double-major in English and Korean education), this certificate and program are specifically designed for teaching to expat learners.
- March 2013: We’ll do a big push for new classes, both online and on-site.
Additionally, I’d personally like to:
- Start making weekly videos of myself speaking/practicing the Korean I’m learning.
- Continue making grammar videos (we have made 4) and begin writing grammar specific posts (we get lots of hits on the grammar lists, but have nowhere to direct traffic afterward).
- Begin making more hangul-based designs (and writing about hangul/Korean design) because this is my area of education and my desired career path.
- Start creating lessons/tutorials in web/graphic design in Korean or related to Korean to combine the two skills I need (Korean + web/graphic design) to achieve my future career goals.