Even as a beginning Korean learner in Korea, I remember being complimented frequently on my Korean. In fact, it seemed as though no matter how good (or poor) my Korean was, I would get compliments. In the beginning, this was very motivating to me, as I felt I was truly improving. However as time went on I started to feel that Koreans simply are surprised to hear any Korean - they're not as picky as I thought at first. It seemed that most native Korean speakers loved to hear when I was trying to speak their language. The compliments only started becoming less frequent as I became able to have full and natural conversations.