Korean resources?

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Korean resources?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:38 pm

I have checked the numerous threads and found links to online resources, e.g. Talk to me in Korean, KoreanZero and Koreanclass101.

Now, which physical courses would you recommend? What I find in the main online bookstores (in Sweden) are the usual suspects: Colloquial, Teach Yourself and Living Language.

Are they any good?
Which use hangul?
Which use romanization (RR or others)?
Which use both systems?
Is there a resource with particularly good audio and/or content?
Too much English audio?
No English audio?
What should we avoid?
Which gives the most bang for the buck?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:41 am

THIS POST HAS A FAIR AMOUNT OF TEXT. I WILL BE FORMATTING IT AND MAKING CHANGES TO IT. WITH A VIEW TO CONSERVING IT, I WILL POST IT AND REOPEN IT SEVERAL TIMES.

A Dilettante Replies
During a brief period, I dabbled in the Korean language as an stimulating distraction from the other languages that I had and have been pursuing. Although, owing to a lack of serious application, I did not make much progress in Korean, during the period when my enthusiasm for this language was at its highest, I developed a short list of materials that seemed to have some potential for the independent learner. Please note carefully that, while I found that there existed strong support for these materials, I have not used most of them myself. Having learned just enough Korean to elicit a polite, if condescending, smile from a native-Korean acquaintance of mine, I am merely providing a list of possibilities.

Speaking Korean – Francis Y.T. Park
The most recent description on Amazon reads as follows: “This book is intended primarily for those English speakers who wish to acquire a good knowledge of spoken Korean. This is the first of four volumes in an entirely new type of textbook series for students of Korean. This book has several unique characteristics to it, qualifying it as an important development toward a more integrated approach to the study of the Korean language. This new approach develops a new method of learning rather than simply a method of teaching. The structural-linguistic approach avoids simply repeating, changing or substituting sentences. Instead, the devices are used by the learner to achieve the goal of self-expression. This book has several unique characteristics and focuses on a more integrated approach to the study of the Korean language. It is the standard textbook used by most universities in the United States.” Despite the foregoing, many people would remark upon the similarities between the method employed in the original edition of this course and the “audio-lingual method” of instruction. As was typical for the latter method, the accompanying recordings were extensive; in this case, they were sold as a set of 31 audio cassettes. While the original textbook is now out-of-print, used copies can still be found on the Internet. A revised edition was published as a slightly pared-down version of the original. Under the false impression that the audio CDs accompanying the revised edition contained all of the original audio recordings, I purchased a copy. To my dismay, the CDs contained only a very small portion of the original recordings. Given that a "similar-to-the-audio-lingual-method" was used/retained in the revised edition, it seems to me that the absence of the original audio recordings renders these materials less suitable for self-study. However, some users report that revised textbook could be used successfully for self-study if accompanied by the original recordings. It is possible that fellow members PeterBeischmidt and G.Maximus might be in position to direct you to a library where the original audio recordings could be obtained.

Myongdo’s Korean - Myongdo Language Institute, Franciscan Friars
My increasingly unreliable memory informs me that this course was developed in the 1940’s by a group of Franciscan Friar Missionaries to Korea. I believe that a revised version of the course may have appeared circa 1978, although this may have been only a reprint of the original. My understanding is that the course did not employ the audio-lingual method per se, which likely would have been unknown to its authors; however, the materials would seem to have mimicked the audio-lingual method to a certain degree. This course has been recommended by Professor Arguelles and by many other serious independent language-learners (we should bear in mind that the professor has a fondness for older language-learning materials (which I share)). Although I have never seen the text, I believe that it would be safe to assume that it employs a rather formal register of speech and that at least some of the language is now very quaint, if not completely out-of-date. About a year ago, I attempted to purchase the 47 audio cassette tapes that were recorded to accompany the latest edition, as they seemed to represent an interesting opportunity to acquire massive audio recordings however dated they might be. Unfortunately, my communications with the Amazon Vendor were never completely resolved. It is possible that fellow member PeterBeischmidt pursued this project to successful completion.

FSI Korean Basic / DLI Korean Basic / DLI Korean Refresher
As for the FSI and DLI basic courses of the late 1960’s through the 1970’s covering other languages, these U.S. Government language schools’ respective Korean Basic courses employed the audio-lingual method, the materials were presented in voluminous course books and included many hours of audio recordings the majority of which were various types of sentence-pattern drills. Please consult the HTLAL for reviews of these materials. The strengths and weaknesses of these materials and of the underlying approach to learning have been discussed to the point of exhaustion. No, that’s not quite true! Only very recently, in this very forum, yet another unresolvable debate was launched.

College Korean - Introductory & Intermediate – Michael Rogers, Clare You, Kyungnyun Richards
This series of university-level courses has received wide praise from teachers and students alike. Although conceived for use in a classroom setting, some independent language-learners have reported having made good progress using these materials. You can purchase the textbooks on the Internet and a goodly portion of the audio, if not all of it, is freely available online.

Elementary, Continuing, Advanced Korean - Ross King et al
Generally speaking, this series seems to have well-received. Nonetheless, the great differences of opinion (strongly in favour versus strongly opposed) perplexes me.


KLEC Korean Textbooks - My Korean 1 & 2 - Monash University
XXX


Pimsleur Korean / Michel Thomas Start Korean
The Amazon Customer Reviews for both of these all-audio methods are, as always, examples of hyperbole as to the results that can be achieved with these extremely basic A0 level courses. Then again, I must admit that they are absolutely superb for building one’s self-confidence at the introductory level. The Michel Thomas course has the advantage of having been published only recently; however, it is quite short and consequently very limited. My only serious complaint with the MT courses that have been published since the demise of the series’ creator concerns the continued presence of the students’ dramatically poor and irritating mispronunciation of the L2; no other reputable publisher would even think of including such examples of pronunciation in their language courses. As far as I understand, the Pimsleur Korean course has benefited from a recent revision; comments from users have been very positive. In addition, the course is also now available in Levels I and II. Having used the Pimsleur courses for all of the languages that I have studied (up to the highest level available at the time), I have come to the conclusion that the maximum benefits of this method – in terms of the efficient use of one’s time -- are achieved in studying Levels I and II, after which, I would recommend that the independent learner progress to more in-depth materials, irrespective of the availability of higher level Pimsleur courses. The debates surrounding the utility of these materials will continue to the End of Days … and likely beyond.

Living Language: Korean Complete & Spoken World Korean
As you are probably already aware, the Living Language Spoken World Korean adopted the same approach and format of the publisher’s intensive Ultimate Basic-to-Intermediate series. Customer Reviews on Amazon and numerous discussion threads on the HTLAL extol the virtues of both of these series: realistic-for-the-beginner situational dialogues in the formal register of speech, additional vocabularies, concise-but-clear explanations of grammar, two complementary sets of audio CDs, somewhat dry, very demanding but effective up to A1+, perhaps approaching A2. Although the Living Language Complete series predates the Ultimate/SpokenWorld series by many decades, it survived the latter’s withdrawal from the market. The Amazon Customer Reviews for the Complete series have been almost unreservedly positive as have been the comments on the HTLAL. A couple of years ago, I expressed an opposing point of view on the HTLAL to the effect that, from my perspective, the Complete series was adequate at best, would take the learner to A1 and no higher, that they were not very impressive in comparison to, say, the publisher’s own Ultimate/SpokenWorld series, to the Assimil line of products, to Linguaphone, et cetera, and that the expansion of the number of audio CDs from four to nine in the latest edition was achieved not by the increase of the L2 audio, but by the inclusion of massive amounts of English voice-overs. My comments, which were based on my recent purchase and quick review of the Complete series for Spanish, French, Italian, and German, were rebutted (rejected) by many HTLAL forum members for whom I had, and continue to have, the highest respect. I recall one HTLAL member having expressed particularly high praise for the Complete Korean course.

Assimil le coréen sans peine
The Assimil method needs no introduction in this forum. Broadly speaking, ratings on Amazon.FR of the entire Assimil product line are quite high. So, I was rather surprised by the lower-than-average rating of the “Assimil le coréen sans peine” course. Although, quite often, I have found Customer Reviews on Amazon.FR tend to be limited to rather terse comments expressing no more than the reviewer’s like or dislike of a product, in this case, a few reviewers have taken the publisher to task in greater detail. Nonetheless, having read and re-read the negative reviews, it is not clear to me whether or not the reviewers were actually aware of the challenge that learning an Asian language represents for a native speaker of an Indo-European language. That is, while the reviews are indeed negative, it is possible that the individuals associated their difficulties of learning the Korean language with the Assimil method itself and concluded that their lack of progress was due to the approach adopted by this highly-respected publisher … qui sait? I would assign more credence to a review submitted by an experienced independent language-learner on this forum than some unknown individual whose first attempt at learning a foreign language may have debuted with Assimil Korean.



Korean courses from a German base
This is truly a "long shot", but you might try sending a Private Message to forum member PeterBeischmidt who seems to have an interest in Korean courses from a German base. Although he used to be a fairly active member on this the forum, he has not posted many comments recently. Still, it's worth a try.


more to come!
Last edited by Speakeasy on Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby piosza » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:31 am

Hi. First thing - study Hangul from the very beginning and forget about all those romanization schemes. They are completely useless here. Also, if you are very serious about learning Korean than you should go beyond typical teach-yourself manuals. They won't bring you far.

From my experience the most useful and systematic in their approach are the following study materials:

1. The series of handbooks authored by Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon. It includes "Elementary Korean", "Continuing Korean" and "Advanced Korean". Jaehoon Yeon is also one of the authors of a very useful and highly recommendable manual "Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar". I like how organized and methodical the presentation of the study material in those books is. The grammar is explained at length and in an orderly fashion.

2. Two grammar exercises books penned by Andrew Byon: "Basic Korean" and "Intermediate Korean". Straightforward, but not overly simplistic explanations accompanied by a plenty of exercises (with the answer key included) make them a great resource for all kinds of Korean language students.

3. If you know German than you should definitely take a look at "Lehrbuch der modernen koreanischen Sprache" by Wilfried Herrmann. It might be difficult to come by, but it's definitely one of the best Korean language handbooks out there in terms of how systematic and orderly the presentation and introduction of the study material are. Also, it follows the North-Korean orthography rules, which makes it even more interesting. The book was published by Buske Verlag in 1994 and has never been reprinted ever since. The same publishing house has released a number of new Korean handbooks recently, however. I haven't check them out yet though and thus cannot say how useful they might actually be. You can have a look yourself on their website: https://buske.de/catalogsearch/result/?q=koreanisch

4. Another great but in the same time difficult to come by study material is "A Historical, Literary, and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language" by A. Arguelles. As the title implies, it focuses more on the cultural knowledge than training your functional skills in the Korean language. Also, it teaches you some basic Hanja and studying Hanja, in my opinion, is a prerequisite for reaching more advanced levels in Korean. A. Arguelles authored a number of other very useful study materials for more advanced students of Korean. You can check them on his website: http://www.foreignlanguageexpertise.com ... tions.html

5. After reaching the intermediate level you should pay more attention to expanding your vocabulary. "Handbook of Korean Vocabulary: A Resource for Word Recognition and Comprehension " is indispensable here. The morphological approach adopted in this book will make studying the vocabulary much easier. You can check it here: http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-85-9780824818159.aspx

There is also a huge number of really good study materials published in South Korea. The ones for elementary and intermediate students usually have some English annotations. My favorite series include 서울대 한국어 and 연세 한국어. There are at least two different study courses developed by Yonsei. Both are six-part. The recent one adopts the communicative approach, whereas the older one employs the audio-lingual method. In each case a parallel series of graded readers was developed to accompany the main course. They are also highly recommendable. The Chinese edition of the older course, which I happen to possess, was supplemented with a series of separate books containing the translations of all the drills included in the main coursebook.

You can easily check the details of the study materials published in South Korea on the website of one of the bigger Korean bookstores, for example here: http://www.aladin.co.kr/shop/wbrowse.aspx?CID=49908
If you need to order them, I recommend Gmarket. They ship worlwide: http://global.gmarket.co.kr/Home/Main
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Arnaud » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:42 am

http://www.darakwon.co.kr/koreanbooks/List.aspx (to dowload the audio, use Internet Explorer)
It's a publisher specialized in Korean, their books are expensive. You can take a look at "practical korean 1", it's hangul + english translation or "Korean Made Easy for Beginners " (that's the one I have, but it's sleeping on my shelve, never read: I can't say anything about it)
The problem of Assimil is the font (too little to read confortably), the level of politeness and the no progressivity of the method.
Tuttle is also making Korean courses.
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Xenops » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:26 pm

The Korean Grammar in Use books have sparse, but good reviews on the U.S. Amazon site: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=korean+grammar+in+use
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:07 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies so far! This is really a job-related topic - our library doesn't have a course for Korean, so I got a purchase suggestion yesterday (English as the teaching language is OK, and preferably a course including romanization). Anyway, I see that the Elementary/Continuing/Advanced series is also available, as are Korean for Beginners (9780804841009, incl. CD-ROM :? ), Read and Speak Korean (9780071768719, also with CD) and a couple of others. If Elementary Korean (or TY Korean or Colloquial Korean - has anyone here used either?) seems to be good enough, I think we'll get it. Not everyone is a hardcore polyglot and we try to adapt our purchases so that they match demand.
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Chung » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:27 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Thanks to everyone for the replies so far! This is really a job-related topic - our library doesn't have a course for Korean, so I got a purchase suggestion yesterday (English as the teaching language is OK, and preferably a course including romanization). Anyway, I see that the Elementary/Continuing/Advanced series is also available, as are Korean for Beginners (9780804841009, incl. CD-ROM :? ), Read and Speak Korean (9780071768719, also with CD) and a couple of others. If Elementary Korean (or TY Korean or Colloquial Korean - has anyone here used either?) seems to be good enough, I think we'll get it. Not everyone is a hardcore polyglot and we try to adapt our purchases so that they match demand.


To some embarrassment I've picked up a bunch of Korean courses through Amazon and eBay and they'd probably overwhelm the Korean language learning section at most public libraries. Since you're thinking of a general audience, I'll limit myself to commercial courses which are a combination of text and audio. For the record, I've been using "Korean Language for a Good Job 1" and "Korean Made Simple 1" for a while now while the others languish.

*Common to all of the following is that the first few units or the introduction of the book for beginners (e.g. "Volume 1") focus on pronunciation and learning Hangul. The usual set-up of chapters with a dialogue or two followed by notes, exercises and vocabulary lists begins after.*

1a) Elementary Textbook + CD (King & Yeon)
1b) Elementary Korean Workbook + CD (King & Yeon)
1c) Continuing Korean + CD (King & Yeon)
1d) Advanced Korean + CD-ROM (King, Yeon et al.)
- 3-part course with the elementary set comprising textbook, workbook and CD. "Continuing" set is a book with audio CD while "Advanced" is a book with a CD-ROM containing a supplement in .pdf for learning Hanja ; no audio there.
- I'd say that "Continuing" and "Advanced" are more suitable for a classroom than the independent learner even though there are answer keys to the exercises, and audio for "Continuing". "Elementary" is a little more useable independently because of the workbook that provides extra practice which could be hard to arrange outside a classroom, but it still isn't as great for learning on your own as you might gather from the reviews of the 5-star brigade on Amazon.
- A big drawback for me is that the vocabulary lists for every chapter in the books are quite long and it's a lot to remember when you're a beginner. Some of the explanations of grammar are a little long-winded, not to mention somewhat quirky by taking an unusual approach to teach conjugation which appears formally starting in Chapter 7 of the "Elementary" textbook. A tutor or teacher would be helpful here in particular.
- Romanization and IPA are in the first few chapters of the elementary textbook (these deal with pronunciation), but when you get started for real on Chapter 5 of that volume, then it's Hangul only.

2) Colloquial Korean (Pyun & Kim)
- Typical course in the "Colloquial" series with dialogues, notes on grammar and culture, exercises and answer keys.
- All dialogues are presented in Hangul, Romanization (*blech*) and translation to English
- Lengthy introduction introducing sounds and Hangul, a fair bit of grammar thrown about in every chapter which would be less intimidating if one already has a bit of background or a tutor/teacher.
- Not enough exercises for my liking.

3) Teach Yourself Get Started in Korean + CD (Yeon)
- This is rather like most "Colloquial" and "Teach Yourself" courses but goes a little more slowly. It also doesn't cover quite as much as the other regular Korean courses in those series.
- Romanization in the notes on grammar and vocabulary lists.
- Answer keys in the appendix
- Each of the 10 chapters is focused on a theme with notes on grammar following the dialogues, and then exercises.
- I liked the dialogues and the variety of exercises, although I somehow couldn't get things to stick as I moved through the course. It could have been the sequence of how the author introduced grammar and vocabulary. Maybe someone else would have more success.

4) Living Language Korean, Complete (Roh)
- Each chapter is divided into chapters, divided into phrases or wordlists to memorize as in the first part of the "Beginners" volume interspersed with notes on grammar and exercises, or containing a theme (e.g. shopping) with an introductory dialogue followed by notes on grammar and exercises. Answers to exercises are provided in footnotes below the exercises rather than in an appendix
- Romanization is used in the first 5 chapters of the beginner's volume adjacent to the Hangul - very distracting for me. It's Hangul only afterwards.
- I stopped using this course after a while because the pace was far too low and in many ways I felt as if I were being taught through a phrasebook augmented by notes on grammar.
- Audio for exercises, phrases and dialogues, as well as audio that's similar (but not keyed identically) to textbook which is rather nice since you have to think a little outside the box while still having a chance to figure out what to say or what's being said because of how it's just a variation of what's taught in the books.
- Exercises include translation, fill-in-the-blank and substitution.
- Informal polite register is taught for the most part although honorific variant of this register is introduced early on.

5) Living Language Spoken World Korean (Roh)
- This is arranged rather like "Colloquial Korean" (and of course like other titles in the "Spoken World" series) with each chapter focusing on a theme containing a dialogue followed by notes on grammar and culture, exercises and finally a (sometimes long) list of vocabulary.
- Half of the audio (first 3 CDs) contains the dialogues and exercises in the book while the other half (next 3 CDs) contain material that's just different enough that it forces you to apply what you've learned without frustrating you. Part of the challenge is that it's merely based on rather than taken verbatim from a given chapter.
- Romanization used for the first few chapters.
- Answer key in the appendices.
- It really could have stood to have had more exercises in each chapter; I felt overwhelmed by Chapter 3 and so stopped using it.

6a) Korean Made Easy for Beginners (Oh)
6b) Korean Made Easy for Everyday Life (Oh)
6c) Korean Made Easy - Intermediate (Oh)
- Not that expensive on Amazon ($20 - $30 per volume)
- Sleek-looking set of books with "Beginners" and "Intermediate" divided into chapters each comprising a couple of dialogues followed by notes on grammar and culture, and then some exercises. Each book has a CD with the audio of dialogues and the listening/speaking exercises, but the audio for each volume can also be downloaded without charge or password from the publisher's website.
- "Everyday Life" is set up into two parts. The first part is divided into 10 units comprising 5 phrases each. Each unit then has a few short dialogues showing those 5 phrases in action. The second part is divided into a couple dozen units demonstrating various situations (e.g. asking for directions, ordering at restaurant) containing dialogues, notes on grammar, and a few exercises.
- All books come with keys to the exercises.
- No Romanization.
- Rather fun to use, with dialogues containing useful phrases and not overly-long lists of vocabulary per chapter, but not quite enough exercises.

7a) Korean Language for a Good Job 1 (Lee)
7b) Korean Language for a Good Job 2 (Lee)
- Not that expensive on Amazon (~ $30 USD per volume)
- Each volume is arranged similarly to "Korean Made Easy for Beginners" or "Korean Made Easy - Intermediate" with chapters consisting of a couple of dialogues followed by notes on grammar and culture, and then some exercises. Each book has a CD with the audio of dialogues and the listening/speaking exercises, but the audio for each volume can also be downloaded without charge or password from the publisher's website.
- All books come with keys to the exercises.
- No Romanization
- Rather fun to use, with dialogues containing useful phrases and not overly-long lists of vocabulary per chapter, but not enough exercises.
- Unlike most Korean textbooks these days, both volumes of "Korean Language for a Good Job" start off by teaching the formal polite register of the language and this goes on for the first several chapters. In contrast, the rule is to start off by teaching the informal polite register. In my experience (and that of Billy Go, the author of Korean Made Simple 1-3 (q.v.)), starting off with formal polite is a little less taxing mentally because its endings don't set off changes to the stems which complicate the learner's job; the beginning learner already has his/her hands full.
- Despite the title insinuating instruction for work purposes, the work aspect comes out in the dialogues where the protagonists are usually co-workers at a Korean firm, and their interactions outside work (e.g. shopping, going for noraebang). You don't actually focus on Korean workplace jargon. In short, it's totally fine for someone like me who just wants to learn for the hell of it.

8a) Korean Made Simple 1 (Go)
8b) Korean Made Simple 2 (Go)
8c) Korean Made Simple 3 (Go)
- Usual set up of chapters with dialogues, notes, exercises and (unfortunately long) lists of vocabulary
- Notes are written in a fairly conversational and non-technical style
- Answer keys to exercises
- Audio is for dialogues only
- No Romanization
- Each chapter has fairly short sets of exercises, which are dominated by translation exercises (basically 10-12 sentences where you translate 5-6 sentences into English and then 5-6 sentences into Korean). Basically I think the author got lazy on designing exercises and he just decided to go through the motions here.
- Like the first halves of "Korean Language for a Good Job", "Korean Made Simple 1" focuses on teaching the formal polite register rather than the informal polite one.

9a) Korean from Zero 1 (Trombley, Bullen et al.)
9b) Korean from Zero 2 (Trombley, Bullen et al.)
9c) Korean from Zero 3 (Trombley, Bullen et al.)
- Similar layout and prose to ones in aformentioned "Korean Made Simple 1-3".
- Answer keys to exercises
- Audio is for dialogues, example sentences and word lists, which means that there are many MP3s to download, and this is a pain in my view. When I downloaded the .zip with the audio, each word in the vocabulary list was assigned its own track. Thus a chapter's audio folder can contain a few dozen tracks, many lasting no longer than a couple seconds. This makes for very tedious navigation on my .mp3 player, and I'd have to stitch many tracks together in Audacity to make navigation of a chapter's audio folder tolerable.
- Sets of exercises by chapter are more varied than in "Korean Made Simple" by making the learner rearrange jumbled sentences, translate to Korean, answer captioned drawings in Korean, and do a bit of reading comprehension.
- It's better to work with the text and audio offline rather than through the online course. The textbooks (free download of .pdf for volume 1 only) contain exercises which are not found in the online courses.
- No Romanization outside the introductory section on Hangul

10a) Listening Korean for Beginners (National Institute for the Korean Language)
10b) Reading Korean for Beginners (National Institute for the Korean Language)
10c) Speaking Korean for Beginners (National Institute for the Korean Language)
10d) Writing Korean for Beginners (National Institute for the Korean Language)
- Each volume is quite cheap on Amazon (~ $20) and audio for "Listening" and "Speaking" is available in .mp3 for free download from the publisher, Hollym.
- Each book is divided into chapters comprising a few dialogues or reading samples, followed by notes on grammar and culture, exercises, and fairly short lists of vocabulary. Answer keys are also available in the appendix of each book.
- These courses are much more suitable for a classroom despite the presence of answer keys and free audio. Plenty of exercises call for group work or working with a partner while the books don't overlap when it comes to themes. For example the chapter on shopping in the "Writing" volume doesn't fit that neatly with the one in "Listening" volume since the vocabulary is a little different. A competent teacher or tutor would be very helpful in integrating the material presented in each books so that one practice all of the advertised skills coherently while staying on topic.
- The exercises assigned in each volume reflect the focus inherent in the title. As exmaples the "Writing" volume is full of exercises of fill-in-the-blank and writing short paragraphs while the "Speaking" volume has exercises where one makes up dialogues and practices them with a partner.
- I found the least frustrating way to use these books independently is to work through a chapter in the "Writing" book first, and then move onto a chapter with the same or similar theme (if applicable) in the "Reading" book. From there I'd move onto the "Listening" and "Speaking" volumes again looking for a chapter whose theme most resembled that of the respective theme in "Writing" and "Reading".
- The "Listening" and "Speaking" volumes focus on the informal polite register while the other two volumes focus on the formal polite register.

If I were in charge of your library's inventory, I'd try to get at least "Elementary Korean" (workbook, textbook and CDs), and both volumes of "Korean Language for a Good Job" when it comes to courses that lend themselves best to independent study. When it comes to burning extra money in the budget for a second round of purchases, I'd have the most reservation with the series by the National Institute for the Korean Language because of the four-way split and the less-than-perfect thematic overlap between the books while the other titles would be safer choices. I like the suggestion for "Korean Comprehensive Grammar", "Basic Korean" and "Intermediate Korean" as grammar-focused works for learning on your own, although none has audio.
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Xenops » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:01 am

Speakeasy wrote:
Pimsleur Korean / Michel Thomas Start Korean
As far as I understand, the Pimsleur Korean course has benefited from a recent revision; comments from users have been very positive. In addition, the course is also now available in Levels I and II. Having used the Pimsleur courses for all of the languages that I have studied (up to the highest level available at the time), I have come to the conclusion that the maximum benefits of this method – in terms of the efficient use of one’s time -- are achieved in studying Levels I and II, after which, I would recommend that the independent learner progress to more in-depth materials, irrespective of the availability of higher level Pimsleur courses.


Could you please provide links for these reviews? I couldn't find them with a Google search. I had tried the earlier version and tried speaking to a Korean lady, and she couldn't understand anything I said.
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Speakeasy
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:39 am

Xenops wrote: Could you please provide links for these [Pimsleur Korean] reviews? I couldn't find them with a Google search. I had tried the earlier version and tried speaking to a Korean lady, and she couldn't understand anything I said.


Should I succeed in locating the reviews once again, I will insert them in this post.

As to your experiences with the earlier version of Pimsleur Korean, I seem to recall that the major concerns of some users centered on the formality of the language used in the lessons, the inclusion of some less-than-current vocabulary, and the possible literal translation from English to Korean.

As to your experience with the Korean lady, lacking additional information, it is not clear that the Pimsleur lessons were the primary source of your difficulties in being understood. That is, there are several possible reasons why she was unable understand you. You might wish to schedule a few lessons with a Korean Tutor with a view to assessing and correcting your pronunciation, syntax, et cetera.

As an example of the importance of good pronunciation and the effects of making seemingly minor errors, even though I adopted French as my primary language some thirty-odd years ago, every now and again, I will stumble over what-should-be an easily pronounceable word, causing my interlocutors to ask me what I'm trying to say. Often, the problem involves nothing more than a single syllable that I have either pronounced incorrectly or on which I have placed incorrect stress. Anyone making frequent errors of this type is likely to experience difficulties in being understood.
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ilmari
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Re: Korean resources?

Postby ilmari » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:21 am

Thanks for the interesting review of Korean resources.

I would also add the KLEAR Textbooks in Korean Language series published by the University of Hawai'i.
https://uhpress.wordpress.com/books-in-series/klear-textbooks-in-korean-language/
http://kleartextbook.com

It is divided into five levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced intermediate, advanced, high advanced (2 volumes for each level + workbooks for beginning and intermediate levels).
It is also accompanied by a number of supplementary volumes: Korean Composition, Korean Language in Culture and Society, Korean Reader for Chinese Characters, Readings in Modern Korean Literature, A Resource for Korean Grammar Instruction, Selected Readings in Korean.

Although oriented for classroom use and university students, the series can also be used for self-study.

Audio and slides are available online and can give you a good idea of the content.
http://kleartextbook.com
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