In-Depth 2021 Blog Post #1

What skill have you chosen to learn?

Hi, my name is Brian Cheng and for In-Depth 2021, I have chosen to learn the language of Korean. By the end of this project, my goal is to have developed a solid grasp on both Sino-Korean and pure Korean counting, accumulating a basic pool of everyday Korean vocabulary, and being able to hold a very basic conversation with another Korean person. I also hope to be able to read and right Korean to a basic level. My final goal for this year is to become more fluent in my pronunciation of Korean characters.



Over the summer I developed an interest in the genre of K-pop, and I became fascinated by the Korean language. Music has always been an integral part in my lifestyle, so I tend to sing along to songs I recognize and enjoy listening to. As time progressed, and I listened to more Korean songs, I wanted even more to be able to sing along and understand the language. While learning Korean to a fluent level is definitely not achievable within the period of time allocated for In-Depth, I hope my journey this year will provide a solid foundation for future improvement and learning.


How are you going to learn this skill?

Learning a new language requires constant practice and development over long periods of time. I will learn Korean through looking at online resources, keeping organized notes, practicing multiple times a week, and referring to the guidance of my mentor. In order to learn how to read and write Korean characters, I will pick out words from my vocabulary pool and keep a writing journal with dates to compare my progress. As well, I will keep dated audio recordings of my pronunciation after every week. I will be practicing newly learned words/concepts multiple times every week. Asking for advice from my Korean speaking peers will also aid in the learning process.



  1. I plan to learn 25 new Korean characters by the end of each week.
  2. By the end of the 2nd week of In-Depth, I plan to have learned to count in both numerical counting systems of the Korean language.
  3. By the end of the 3rd week, I plan to have learned a basic/essential set of conversational vocabulary and attempt to hold a basic conversation with my Korean-speaking peers.
  4. By the end of the 4th week of In-Depth, I plan to have accumulated a basic vocabulary pool containing 100 basic terms.
  5. By the end of my 5th week of In-Depth, I plan to have proficiency in reading and pronouncing the Korean characters of the vocabulary I learned from week 4.
  6. By the end of the 6th week I plan to have a general grasp over writing Korean characters. Specifically, the vocabulary I learned from week 4.


The number of objectives I have may increase over time, but as of right now, these current objectives provide a good starting point for me to envision what direction my project will head in.


What can others do to help you?

For this project, I will be referring a lot to the guidance my mentor is able to provide me. This year, my mentor will be Gleneagle’s Korean teacher, Janet Kim. The encouragement and support of my peers will help me throughout this learning process, especially if I receive advice and constructive criticism from my Korean speaking peers.


Progress report:

Admittedly, I did not work much on In-Depth over the break. I looked at videos where people shared their experiences of learning Korean as a non-native speaker, and tips for areas where they found learning difficult. I also asked my Korean speaking peers for a few basic vocabulary terms and ended up learning how to count from one to ten in Sino-Korean, as well as a few everyday items such as fruits and beverages.