How I Studied a Language as Part of My Degree

By Davine Lee

My reasons for deciding to study Korean as part of my course — Culture, Media, and Creative Industries — were threefold:

  1. Reconnecting with my Culture and Heritage

As a Korean who was born and raised in the UK, I have always felt slightly removed from my ethnic background. I had stopped speaking and learning Korean as a young child and grew up to gradually regret not taking advantage of my grandad and mother offering to teach me. Though my understanding skills developed to be stronger than my reading, writing, or speaking, it meant that my communication and connection with my grandparents and extended family members would always be limited. Attempts to learn through apps or by watching Korean dramas simply did not feel effective enough. The motivation to study it as part of my course and having a physical, engaging learning environment were just what I needed!

My first term of learning Korean has exceeded my expectations; with a range of different learning approaches (such as group or pair work, quizzes, 1-2-1 feedback, listening/reading/writing/speaking practice), every student in our class is able to feel confident and involved. Our teacher regularly checks to see if the learning style is working for us and what we would appreciate more or less of.

  1. Complementing my Course

South Korea is currently in the midst of a creative media and cultural boom, the effects of the ‘Korean wave’ have opened up many opportunities in the creative industries and thus the language ties in seamlessly with my course.

Balancing a language alongside my BA has not been a struggle in any way! It takes the same amount of time and work as any other module. Furthermore, I am also able to continue developing my skills in my free time through watching Korean dramas/YouTubers or reading Korean blogs.



3. Enhancing my Employability

Multilingualism has become an increasingly sought-after skill due to its ability to benefit organisations globally. Employers also find candidates who have been qualified in another language more appealing as other skills are developed in the process of learning a language.

Learning a language has also helped me to become a better student overall; it has made me more resilient and creative. I feel more conscious of how I conjugate sentences in English, and I feel that it has made me a more effective and attentive communicator. I am also excited for the opportunities that developing my Korean skills offers me, I now have the chance to consider jobs abroad and travel to South Korea solo. The most rewarding part of learning Korean has been seeing how proud my grandparents are when I show off what I’ve learnt!

The King’s Language Centre is open to all – whether you are a current King’s student or not. Find out more about our language classes


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