Building effective study habits.
Hi. I've been studying around 1 hour (50-100 xp) per day. I've been trying to complete the lessons slowly and consistently until I can see the patterns (rather than just memorizing everything). As a result, I've only made it through the first 7 circles in the past couple weeks. Is this wise, or should I approach learning a different way?
Additionally, how proficient should I expect to be given mastery of course material? (All circles.)
From what I've read on the subject, your doing it right. Meaning and context make stuff stick; rote learning does not. Some other tips from APA: http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2011/11/study-smart.aspx
How confident are you with hangul? Even though you are past those 3 circles, I would recommend going to a supplementary course on youtube. There are several good ones, but http://www.conversationalkorean.com/page 2 is my favorite.
If you spend one of your study days going over the 3 basic videos pertaining to the alphabet and pronunciation (45 minutes all told) you will be very comfortable with the basics, the building blocks, of the language, and thus able to be more productive. We all have different ways of learning, but it seems like it would be more productive and more enjoyable to go a little faster with periodic reviews. Have you converted your keyboard to hangul? That is a must.
With regard to your proficiency at the end of the course, you will have had a good introduction, and been introduced to nearly 2000 words, but you won't have any conversation experience. If the total time you have to devote to Korean is only 1 hour, you might consider half an hour with "Talk to Me in Korean" or "How to study Korean" or "Go Billy" or the one already mentioned and a half hour with DL. Check each of them out to see which would work the best for you, They are all excellent.
Yes, I think that's the way to do it as well. I always make sure all the ones I have completed are back to golden before pressing forward to any further circles. Constant repetition and making sure you understand what you learn is important.
As to your second question, am just about 2/3 of the way through all the circles in the Korean course. From what I can see, my guess for the level after mastering all the content is probably a "high beginner" level. Possibly "low intermediate."