Although I am not fluent nor an expert (any time soon), I am still (yes still) amazed at how much I have learned and what the brain can do when it wants to learn a totally new language (willingly without 'resistance'). The experience differs from that when I was in school “struggling” with my Chinese, which somehow improved (dramatically), both in written and spoken, after I graduated (no more stress and mindless learning/application). It might have been the system (of just mindless/meaningless memorizing and regurgitating out everything), the teacher(s), myself, or just a combination of all the above that caused the roadblock in my Chinese learning journey.
With Korean, it is slightly different - it is something I decided I wanted to learn and not forced upon me in an unpleasant manner (especially that psychotic teacher who terrorized poor 9 year olds till they developed phobia for the language. Well, she did get kicked out in the end... but still… the damage was done). But it’s much better now, thanks to variety shows and dramas (heh). But I digress...
Of course, learning from a private institute just means you have to get your money’s worth. And with that, I am at the stage where I have managed to level up to the next level (Basic 3) for Korean, with a new teacher to boot. 박산생님 would no longer be able to continue teaching us. (╥﹏╥)
Hence, we were assigned a new teacher with some new classmates as well. Both teachers’ teaching methods are vastly different and it takes some time to get used to the new teacher’s methods. There is one good thing (ok, maybe two): this first is we get to save money off the workbook and the second would be that she really makes us speak and focuses on the pronunciation; something that 박산생님 was not so particular about. The offset is that the new teacher speaks very fast and has handwriting so 'neat', it takes time trying to figure get used to it (to know what she is writing). It does not really help that the sentences she writes on the board are not exactly straight, which makes it a tad more challenging (hence more interesting, I just have to be disciplined about my revision ᕙ(`▽´)ᕗ).
Some of the classmates were missing 박산생님's “gentler” teaching methods just one lesson into it. I just think it’s a matter of time for us (and the new teacher) to adjust to each other (learning and teaching styles). ☺ It is a good thing after all if I learn how to speak up more (using that brain to form and speak sentences), and pronounce it like the natives do (hopefully).
They (classmates and school) say that after Basic 4, you would be able to take the TOPIK. Of course the (short-term/intermediate) goal would be to understand Korean dramas/(entertainment) news articles without the need of subtitles/translation (that seems to be the majority’s goal so having no goal of my own per se, I’ll just 'adopt' that haha)… but it doesn’t hurt to get a certified certificate that I could 'use' in the future for other things. ≧◠◡◠≦✌