Sunday, January 1, 2012

Trying the TV Method

For anyone who's ever heard me talk about it, I'm going to try to use "The TV Method" to learn Korean. Basically, that means that I have to watch an INSANE amount of TV in the target language without subtitles, with the intent of learning the way that babies learn... by observing and understanding nothing for much of the first year. This, seems to have both its pros and cons.

  • I don't have to concern myself with grammar or even trying to understand. It supposedly just happens after awhile and starts making sense.
  • I already watch too many hours of foreign movies on Netflix. Might as well be learning.
  • The sounds and rhythms of the language become familiar to me well before I start trying to speak or produce anything myself.

  • I like to know what's happening in the story.
  • I fear that I may get bored of watching so many hours of incomprehesible conversation and just stop.
  • I love learning about grammar. Nerd.
Here's another article about why listening to many hours of a language before trying to produce it is a great idea: "Listen First". There is a language learning approach/theory called Automatic Language Growth (ALG) that runs on these principles.

So, if I want to take this approach seriously and give it a shot, I need to watch anywhere from 500-800 hours of Korean television. I'm going to count the first two dramas I've already watched, even though I watched them subtitled.

Playful Kiss: 17 hours
Boys Over Flowers: 27 hours
Total: 44 hours of Korean
Left to go: 456 hours

Fingers crossed that this works. Fighting!


  1. My coworker Esteban is Korean-Argentinian, maybe could become handy!!!

  2. Yeaaaaah... if he knows Korean, he would be fantastically handy!

  3. Would listening to just a bunch of Korean also help or do you need visuals with audio with the "TV Method"?

  4. I need visuals because that gives me clues to what the people are saying. Why?