In order to get an idea about the kinds of resources we’d like to provide in the future, here is a list of the things that I currently have running around in my brain. It’ll help me get (and stay) more organized, and give you something to anticipate for the future.
Near Future (within 1-2 months)
Learning With Texts is one of the most awesome FREE language learning tools I’ve ever discovered. The basic principles (and functionality) include:
- Copy-paste (import) a foreign language text you want to study.
- Upload (or link to) an MP3 recording of that text.
- Read through the text defining all the separated, highlighted words (you can use the dictionary in the lower-right frame to help).
- After all the words are defined, listen to the MP3 and follow along.
I’ve already got LWT setup on this blog for myself. I’ve been going through the TalkToMeInKorean Iyagi series – because they conveniently provide a full-text PDF of their radio conversations as well as an MP3 I can link to.
There’s just a little more I want to get straightened out before rolling it out to all this site’s logged-in members (that’s right, if you create an account on this site, you’ll be able to access LWT when I make it publicly available). Plus, I want to create a few tutorials for new users to enter the LWT world with ease.
Status: Go to Learning With Texts now!
Future (6 months – 1 year)
52-Week Speaking Korean Challenge eBook
The eBook I’m planning will be based off our original 30-Day Speaking Korean Challenge and will include all 30 of those previous posts. However, we will also update that Challenge to include 22 additional Korean speaking Challenges.
The reason for expanding the original 30-Day Challenge is because the original Challenges were very difficult to complete in a single day. Most people found that it was far more easier to read the initial blog post and set about the task of completing the Challenge during the following week.
The eBook will be divided into various sections (12 – one per month) and will progress from a lower difficulty to a higher difficulty. The goal here is to read the book in one year, completing the weekly Challenges as you go along, to help dramatically improve your Korean speaking ability during that year.
Tentative sections include:
- Building your Foundation
- Famous People
- Fun & Games
- Specific Skills
- Practical Skills
- Put Yourself To the Test
We will follow the same format as before by providing (1) Inspiration, (2) The Challenge, and (3) Resources to help you accomplish your Challenge. The Resource section will be expanded upon and included in a full Appendix at the back. There will also be an index of the references used throughout the book. And I will personally design the layout (since I’m a graphic designer by heart and education).
Status: In development
Farther Future (3 months – 2 years)
KeyToKorean smartphone apps
This semester, I’m teaching a programming class to high school students and I think their brains are probably ready to learn a bit of smartphone app programming. Therefore, we’ll be going through the Harvard Extension School’s CS-76 Class about Building Mobile Applications.
This will also give me a chance to learn the basics of smartphone programming and create some applications for this site. Here’s what I have in mind so far (though unsure yet of the timeline to completion):
- An HTML5-based web app for our resources and lessons
- A Learning Hangul finger-tracing app (like these)
- A flashcard app with our vocab that also allows input of your own vocab
- An n-puzzle game for Hanja characters (one of the projects in CS-76)
- A Korean hangman game (possibly based on Evil Hangman from CS-76)
**Side note: What exactly is Evil Hangman?**
Evil Hangman looks like an incredibly cool (and incredibly challenging) game of Hangman. The computer basically plots against you as you play. A CS site I found at Stanford explains it well:
Normally, when writing a computer to play Hangman, the computer picks a single word and accurately represents it as the human player tries to guess all of the letters in the word. In Evil Hangman, the computer instead maintains a list of every word in the English language, then continuously pares down the word list to try to dodge the player’s guesses as much as possible…
For example, if the word list is ECHO, HEAL, BEST, and LAZY and the player guesses the letter ‘E’, then there would be three word families:
- E---, containing ECHO.
- -E--, containing HEAL and BEST.
- ----, containing LAZY.
Once the words are partitioned into equivalence classes, the computer can pick the largest of these classes to use as its remaining word list. It then reveals the letters in the positions indicated by the word family. In this case, the computer would pick the family -E-- and would reveal an E in the second position of the word.
I’m not entirely sure how that might work with Korean and Hangul, so I might just go with a regular Korean Hangman game (of which I believe none are currently available on any app store). This project may take considerably more time, but it would be a lot of fun to finish.
Status: On hiatus
All this work will take a considerable amount of time and effort. If you’re intrigued at all and would like to see some of these projects take flight a little more quickly, perhaps you’d consider donating a small amount to help support us?