Meaningful content, compelling content, comprehensible input, these are terms that we often hear from people talking about language learning. Stephen Krashen points out that we learn languages when we receive messages that are important to us, that have meaning. These messages should be of interest and yet not too difficult. As we read and listen to meaningful content we gradually get used to the language we are learning.

The President – 프레지던트

I just discovered another reason why compelling content is important to language learning. Compelling content stimulates us, whets our appetite, makes us keen to learn a language. I experienced this recently while watching a Korean television drama together with my wife. The name of this 20-episode TV series is President.

Getting Back Into Korean Learning New Comprehensible Input: Netflix Dramas!

My interest in learning Korean had been flagging somewhat. I am now committed to learning Greek using our mini-stories. It has been going really well. Korean seems far away.

However, this drama series has brought me back to Korean. Not only was the subject matter interesting, but some of the characters stood out, and the acting was really of a very high quality for the most part. I particularly enjoyed the person who played the main role, Choi Soo-Jong. I enjoyed listening to him. He spoke clearly and has a pleasant voice. If I could find some audio recordings of his with transcript, that would really be great for my Korean learning. Korea has lots of media, which is great for language learners to consume. Of course you have dramas like the one I just mentioned but you also have things like K-Pop, Korean YouTubers, and podcasts.

Recent South Korean Election

It just so happens that Korea recently had a presidential election. The previous president, Park Geun-hye had been impeached, leading to new elections. The newly elected president Moon Jae-in seems to espouse some of the ideals advocated by the principal protagonist in the TV series President.

Getting Back Into Korean Learning New Comprehensible Input: Netflix Dramas!

Moon’s personal history is even similar to that of the leading protagonist in the drama. Both were opponents to the authoritarian rule of Park Chung-hee, father of the recently impeached former Korean president.

As a result of watching and enjoying this drama for more than a few nights in a row,  I decided to read a few newspaper articles about the election in Korean. I took advantage of the function in LingQ which automatically draws articles from newspapers in different languages to be included in the content feed that learners see every day.

Getting Back Into Korean Learning New Comprehensible Input: Netflix Dramas!

I even found myself leafing through some Korean books at home. My interest has been rekindled.

Meaningful content indeed. It helps us in so many ways.