Bouks wrote:If you determine what level you're at (newbie? Great, don't knock it!), and stick to it consistently, I promise you, you'll get results. Yes, it means admitting defeat, and not looking like hot stuff, and being patient. But I'd rather see people use 20 newbie words/expressions everywhere they go, than one-and-a-half intermediate ones, and give up.
You might think it wouldn't hurt to take a word or two from intermediate/advanced, but trust me, it's total brain overload. It throws you off track. Your mind needs more zen than that, to get a language. Just like a muscle...you can't go from lifting 5 pounds to lifting 80 in the same week with the same biceps. It literally takes years.
as you said, everyone learns differently. i guess i am exactly the oppositte - for me, the more korean i can get my hands on, the better. i constantly watch korean tv without subtitles and listen to korean talk radio shows just so that i'm always hearing korean (and i have done this since i learned how do say 안녕하세요). the way this works for me is that later, when i do learn a new grammar point, i have heard it before, even if i didn't understand it. and there will be times where i have all this information in my head that sort of makes a little bit of sense (even though i couldn't use it properly), then one day i'll learn something else and all of this other half-information will suddenly make sense. for me, if i waited to learn all the basics first before learning the stuff after it, it would take me that much longer to learn. i probably wouldn't be half as far along as i am. even now there is a bunch of stuff that i sort of understand, though i'm not confident enough to use it (just to have some sort of idea of what people are talking about) and i certainly couldn't explain it to anyone else, but i know that i'll find the missing piece sometime, and it will all make complete sense.
i'm not saying this method is going to work for everyone either, as you've said, you have found a method that works for you. i just wanted to reiterate the point that everyone has a different way of learning. don't give up! if you are not learning at the rate you would like, try a different method.
but remember that everyone has a different capacity and ability to learn languages in the first place. for some reason, learning languages comes very easy to me (in comparison, i can't even read numbers straight, let alone do math). and i have some friends that have studied spanish for 5 years and can't speak two sentences. so don't compare yourself to other people - it will only discourage you entirely.
all in all, language learning should be a fun experience. if you are not having fun, then taking a break might be what you need to realize how much you love it. i don't want you quit! but korean is addicting - i am confident that you won't be able to stay away ^^