It is a rainy day in Vancouver. What else is new? Rather than feel sorry for myself I am going to study some Korean. I started Korean about a year ago and went at it quite hard for about 2 months. I bought three different beginner books with CDs. I listened to the CDs every day for about an hour, while driving, jogging or doing chores around the house. Then I read the texts and the vocabulary lists for each lesson. I skimmed the explanations of the structure. I went through each book quite a few times in the course of these two months.
After two months I could say enough to express some basic ideas and have very basic conversations with people. My knowledge of Chinese and Japanese obviously helped a lot since much of the vocabulary in all three languages is based on the same Chinese character words. The structure of Korean is similar to Japanese.
Then I let the Korean drop since I was busy with other things. Now I have decided to go back at it again. As I listen to the familiar tapes, I realized I have lost a bit of the vocabulary I had learned. But if I listen a few times and then read the books, it comes back quite quickly. If I stay with it for at least another three months I should be able to get somewhere. The problem is that all the textbooks have the most boring possible content to learn from.
I wonder why people who design textbooks think that learners are interested in folklore and festivals.