How to use “Learning with Texts” to learn Korean

스크린샷 2012-12-12 오후 12.02.21

Learning with Texts (LWT) is a great program for reading and breaking down more difficult Korean texts. LWT allows you to go through a text and identify what words you do and do not know and attached definitions to words. Once a definition is attached to a word, you can just click on the word and easily get access to it’s definition. Also, you can rate the difficulty of the word and LWT will highlight the word in a different color. After you’ve been using LWT for awhile the program will learn the words you know. And then when you first import a new text into the program, you can see how difficult the text is by seeing how many words are highlighted as unknown.

Audio can also be added into the program, making this program very similar to LingQ. It’s essentially LingQ without the monthly fee or the nice community, growing avatar and database of reading/listening materials.I did use LingQ for several months and enjoyed it, but I just didn’t have time some months to use it enough to justify the monthly fee. So this free Learning with Texts program is a great alternative.

Installing Learning with Texts for Korean

However, this program is definitely not the easiest to set up. It uses PHP scripts, so you either need to upload the program to a webhost to use it or set up a local server on your computer. The LWT website goes through how to do this. Once you have the program installed, then the program must be calibrated for use with the Korean language. To do this go to the “My Languages” area and click on icon under the “Actions” column. That will bring you to this page:

I changed the dictionaries the program uses to Naver Eng/Kor and Naver Kor/Kor. Here are the links I used:

  • http://endic.naver.com/search.nhn?isOnlyViewEE=N&query=###
  • http://krdic.naver.com/search.nhn?kind=all&scBtn=true&query=###

Then you must replace the RegExp Split Sentencesfield with this:

  • .!?:;。!?:;

Lastly you must replace the RegExp Word Characters field with this:

  • 가-힣ᄀ-ᇂ

How I use Learning with Texts

The majority of the time I like to read texts that also have audio. So I might go to a website like Daum TV Media. The majority of these are news videos with the accompanying script posted order the video. The script is not always exactly correct, but it’s still great. I’ll find a video I want to read and listen to and I will use a program like Audio Hijack Pro on the Mac to record the audio while the video is playing. Then I will copy the script into LWT and read through it while attaching definitions to any words I don’t know. Then I will attach the audio file I recorded from the video. I will listen and and read several times. And then possibly go onto other techniques like transcribing the audio or shadowing the audio. I might also make physical flash cards of some of the words I’m having difficulty remembering right away.

  1. Find a Korean video/audio source with accompanying script (Like a news broadcast, lesson from a book or a short portion of a movie that you have the script to)
  2. Download the audio or record the audio using a program like Audio Hijack Pro on the Mac
  3. Import the audio and script/text into the program
  4. Read through once and add definitions to any words you don’t know
  5. Read/listen to several times

You might still not understand after listening and reading several times, but don’t worry… time is your friend.

I use techniques like transcribing the audio and shadowing the audio in order to further my listening and pronunciation skills.

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