16 Jun 2019

I'm Learning Korean on Twitch (Open Source Learning?)

Over the past 10 years or so there have been a handful of difficult skills I’ve picked up along the way: drumming, programming, drawing, and gymnastics/calisthenics.

Get good at anything and eventually you’ll get the inevitable questions like, “Hey I’m thinking about learning ${skill}. Got any tips?”

I’m all for avoiding wasted effort in the early stages but more often than not a lot of people simply don’t know how to get started. Most people don’t know how to learn.

When it comes to drawing or calisthenics, I’ll point them towards some resources I’ve used or tell them to check my Instagram to see my progression over the past few years.

But recently I decided I want to take an entirely different approach with a completely new skill by learning a foreign language—Korean. More importantly, I’m going to be doing it all publicly. For lack of a better term, I’m “open sourcing” the entire learning process.

Rather than learning a new language on my own and then publishing a blog post or YouTube video about the process once I’m fluent detailing how I did it, I’ve decided to livestream the entire process on Twitch.

I’ll be learning publicly and failing publicly. Live.

I like this approach for a few reasons.

Collaboration

I imagine many people tuning into my stream will either know Korean already or be interested in learning Korean if they aren’t already learning it themselves. With this approach, Korean speakers will be able to give me feedback through chat (which has already happened), people who are already learning can share resources with me (also already happened), and people who are interested in learning can see my approach and borrow resources from me.

Accountability

Doing this publicly will make me more disciplined about learning Korean. I’ll not only want to keep my audience happy by continuing to stream my process but publicly stating a goal puts your name and reputation on the goal. It worked for self-publishing my first book so I figured it can’t hurt to do it here either.

Novelty

I don’t know of too many people who are livestreaming themselves learning a new language from day one. Someone in my Twitch chat has already asked, “Is this something people do? Stream learning a language?” Nobody could direct them to another streamer doing this so maybe I am.

So many people are scared to speak their new languages, if they even pick one up, so maybe Twitch will help with this as well. I’ll have near daily experience with struggling through vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, grammar, and everything else that goes with learning a new language in a public setting.

Transparency

Whether it’s experimenting with different resources, describing how I memorize or break down certain grammatical structures, or detailing how I go about studying Korean both on and off stream, my goal with this project is to be as transparent as possible. I’ve picked up difficult skills in the past and I know I can do it again but it’s usually been in relative isolation. Now it will be broadcasted live to anyone who cares to watch. I can only hope this level of transparency has a positive impact for someone else.

Find me on Twitch

If you want to follow along, feel free to follow me on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/clo5ure. I stream almost daily but even if I don’t stream, I find the time to study Korean everyday.