With the rise of Korean culture into the Western mainstream, people are wanting to expand their language barriers more than ever. Whether it's Korean food, music, shows, or skincare that sparked your desire to learn, don't feel too daunted by the prospect of a new language. Sejong the Great made Korean to be as logical as possible!
There are so many options when it comes to language learning books, so we've compiled a list of the 10 best ones we found. Everyone learns differently, so make sure you check out our buying guide for tips on choosing the right books for you. The best book we found was Talk To Me In Korean; this series has everything that a beginning language learner needs. Plus, the lessons are accessible in several formats, like Spotify and YouTube. Check out the rest of our list for more awesome options!
Whether your goal is to learn to speak as quickly as you can or slowly learn the foundations first, we've got everything to keep you going in your journey.
|Supplemental materials||Workbook, audio files|
|Focus||Writing, culture, history|
|Supplemental materials||Workbook, audio files|
|Format||Paperback, Kindle, audiobook|
|Supplemental materials||Audio files|
|Focus||Reading comprehension, culture|
|Supplemental materials||Audio recordings|
|Level||Beginning to high-intermediate|
|Supplemental materials||Audio files, workbooks|
|Focus||Writing, reading, history|
|Supplemental materials||Audio, flash cards, games, wall chart|
|Level||Beginner to intermediate|
|Supplemental materials||Speaking pen, keyboard sticker sheets|
Talk To Me In Korean
George Trombley, Reed Bullen, Sunhee Bong
University of Hawaii Press
Henry J. Amen IV, Kyubyong Park
Big Hit Entertainment
Talk To Me In Korean Level 1
Korean From Zero! 1
Korean Made Simple
2000 Most Common Korean Words in Context
Let's Speak Korean!
Korean Stories For Language Learners
Integrated Korean: Beginning 2, 2nd Edition
Korean For Beginners
Let's Learn Korean Kit
Learn! Korean with BTS Book Package
An Essential Guide for Korean Self-Learners
A Book With a Vocabulary-Focused Approach
A Comprehensive Guide With Cultural Tidbits
A Reference Book to Target Vocabulary
A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Speaking
Folktales For Intermediate Learners
A College Textbook Approach to Learning
An Educational Tool With a Humorous Approach
A Visual-Based Kit For Learning Korean
BTS' Comprehensive Guide to Korean
|Format||Paperback||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle, audiobook||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback, Kindle||Paperback|
|Focus||Speaking, grammar||Reading, writing||Writing, culture, history||Vocabulary||Speaking||Reading comprehension, culture||Grammar||Writing, reading, history||Vocabulary||Speaking, reading|
|Level||Beginner||Beginner||Beginner||Mid-beginner||Beginner||Intermediate||Beginning to high-intermediate||Beginner||Beginner||Beginner to intermediate|
|Supplemental materials||Workbook, audio files||Workbook||Workbook, audio files||None||Audio files||Audio recordings||Audio files, workbooks||CD-ROM||Audio, flash cards, games, wall chart||Speaking pen, keyboard sticker sheets|
So you want to learn Korean, but it can be tricky to sort through all of the language books available. We’re here to help you find the best match for you. After all, everybody learns in different ways!
Think about why you want to learn Korean. Your goals will dictate what kind of resources you should look into. For example, if you want to learn business Korean, the vocabulary and sentence structures will be entirely different from conversational Korean.
In most cases, we suggest going with standard Korean language books. However, if you have specific goals within business, industry, religion, or media, standard Korean will not be as specific to your needs.
Many textbooks will have some vocabulary lists and grammar practice. However, if you learn best through practice, you may want books that provide more practice tests and quizzes.
Consider is whether the book is example-heavy or more technical. If you are new to Korean, examples tend to be better for overall comprehension and even cultural understanding. Examples can be illustrations or different fill-in-the-blank sentences.
If you are considering visiting or working in Korea, you should look for a book with cultural explanations. Culture is a big part of learning a language, and you need to know what is and isn't appropriate!
Many textbook companies now include supplemental materials, like workbooks, audiobooks, or video explanations. Consider how you learn best to help you decide what supplemental materials to look for. Some learning styles are visual, auditory, verbal, social, and solitary.
If you prefer visual instruction, you’ll do best with picture examples and lots of writing practice. When looking for a textbook, make sure there’s an abundance of photos and illustrations as well as any possible supplementary workbooks.
Some people learn best from listening. Certain textbooks come with heavy auditory features, like podcasts, conversation examples, CDs, or audiobooks.
A benefit of auditory lessons is that you can play parts of the lesson as many times as you need. If it’s included with your textbook, then it will always be available for you to refresh your memory!
Verbal learners tend to learn best by talking things out. If you’re someone who needs to discuss various aspects of a subject, look for textbooks that provide an online community of tutors or forums. Access to a Korean-learning community can definitely make a difference in your language progress, especially if you are self-learning.
If you learn best through collaboration and groups, then a helpful tactic may be to join Korean learning groups or gather friends to learn alongside you. Some textbooks offer an online learning community or speaking partners! You can also opt to create your own community.
Between speaking, grammar, listening, reading, and writing, language learning can become daunting. It may help to consider which part of the language you are strongest and weakest at. Try buying books specific to your needs and mastering one concept at a time.
Some textbook apps or companies may have tutors or programs for grading your speaking assignments. If you need tangible progress and feedback, this is a great feature to look for.
If grammar is especially difficult for you, try looking for books that are example-heavy. There are entire books dedicated to grammar as well, which are great if you need extra support.
Books with supplementary podcasts or CDs will allow you to practice your listening comprehension. If you have trouble with discerning words audibly, then listening practice will be especially important. This listening practice also tends to be spoken more slowly and concisely to increase comprehension.
Some books have passages and short stories for you to practice their reading. Reading comprehension is a great way to test your reading ability. While it is relatively easy to learn how to read Korea, testing comprehension is important for developing your ability to understand context.
Since language books often come in levels, the book's passages are already curated to your ability and should not go beyond what you can comprehend. If you find the content too easy or difficult, try a different level.
Long response questions are important for developing writing skills. When you have more freedom in what to write, your language ability truly shines through. If you like to write, a book with open-ended questions and intensive vocabulary lists will be important for developing that part of your language journey.
Since we can't travel yet, our phones provide a way for us to experience cultures and language while at home. Take a look are our favorite apps that can help you improve your skills even more!
Even though there are many Korean language learning books, choosing one is actually not as overwhelming as it may seem. There are books suited to different learning behaviors and goals. Whether you're studying for fun or business, the right book will help you on your way to learning Korean!
Author: Karis Kim
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