How To Win Any Language Learning Contest
On this week's episode of The Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, Sam Gendreau talks about what it takes to develop the right mindset for learning a language, developing solid pronunciation and using mnemonics the right way.
You'll find the full transcript of the interview below or download the full PDF to your desktop for easy reference. And check out part of Sam's award-winning entry to the KBS World Korean Speaking Contest.
Anthony: Sam, thank you for being on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast a second time. It was really great the first time. I am grateful for the opportunity to catch up with you again. Not so long ago you won something called the KBS World Korean Speaking Contest. What is the story behind how you got involved with that?
Sam: Well first of all, thanks Anthony. It is a pleasure to be here for a second time. Indeed, I won the KBS World Korean Speaking Contest in 2014 so it’s been a couple months now. The reason why I got involved in the first place is in fact I was just following an organization on Facebook.
I saw that they were advertising this new contest organized by KBS. For those of you who might not know, KBS is the largest broadcasting corporation in Korea. It’s the equivalent of CBC in Canada or the BBC in the UK. I just looked at that, and I thought that maybe I could have a good chance of winning if I were to apply to that contest.
The contest was split into three different parts. The first stage was essentially all of the applicants were submitting a video of themselves speaking in Korean for about three minutes and you had a particular theme around which you had to structure your video.
Following this phase, I essentially made it to the top ten. The second phase entailed the ten participants having separate interviews with a professional Korean radio announcer. You essentially had to talk over Skype with this announcer in Korean. They were testing your speaking abilities just to see whether, as opposed to just recording yourself, in a more natural setting you are able to hold a conversation. I made it to the top three.
The third phase was to submit another video in Korean. I finally made it to the first prize. I was invited to spend a week in Seoul, Korea. I was on the national radio. I visited the KBS headquarters. It was quite an experience and certainly a memorable one.
This year there is going to be a second KBS World Korean Speaking Contest so I encourage people who might be interested in participating this year to certainly register. There is a Facebook page so you can have a look at it and it should be a popular contest this year.
Anthony: What interests you in Korean in particular, and at what stage were you already when you entered the contest?
Sam: My interest in Korean was sparked when I was living in Australia over 7 years ago because I met some Koreans there for the first time actually. I really had never had any interest in Korean in particular, but then I made a couple of friends there in Australia.
That is basically just how it got started. I got to know about Korean food, about some Korean culture and eventually I started to learn the language very gradually. I just purchased one of these little phrase books that you find on the shelves of bookstores. Slowly I started to learn the language, the script Hangul and after a couple of years, I registered in classes in university. For the most part, I really just learned on my own. When I applied to the contest last year, I mean it is always a subjective thing to gauge your own level, but I guess I was probably at a C1 level, so a fairly advanced level at least in terms of speaking abilities.
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