First part of the level for beginners in the KLEAR series of Korean textbooks
Integrated Korean: Beginning 1 by KLEAR!
I cannot even begin to comprehend how lazy I am… Anyway, one more review to add to the list.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you are planning to use it as a textbook for a student of yours. No, if you’re a self-learner.
A little profiling to be done for these two books :3
This volume is the 2nd edition of Integrated Korean, Beginning 1, published in 2009. It is currently used by more than seventy universities and colleges in the English-speaking countries around the world. It is also part of the IK series developed by the Korean Language Education & Research Center (KLEAR) with the support of Korea Foundation. Published and printed as an University of Hawai’i Press book. The textbook also comes with a set of accompanying CDs to be purchased separately. Otherwise, the audio files can be found online here: http://kleartextbook.com/category/b_beginning/.
ISBN of textbook: 9780824834401
ISBN of workbook: 9780824834500
The contents page, with the copyrights page on the left. I was kinda surprised that there were only eight chapters so I figured that this textbook was designed for one entire semester (about 4-6 months long). It was neat and I loved the typography of it. :> The font size was perfect too and made me want to continue reading.
The structure of each chapter. Honestly, it was a tad bit too confusing for me and this was where things started to get awry for me… It was the month of June in 2013 then and I had very little knowledge of certain terms such as vowel contraction, etc. Still, it was relatively well-structured but there were times where they gave too much information (for my liking) in one sitting.
SO USEFUL. The pics above are snapshots of the introduction portion of the textbook, which is the highlight of this textbook series. It was extremely detailed, especially for the introduction to the phonetics of the Korean language. It is very linguisticky though, so it might throw a lot of self-learners off upon their first read. Introducing the six types of speech levels that early in the textbook is also an extremely useful (perhaps even life-saving O_O) move because it really is very taxing on the mind should one learn it late. The introduction is extremely well-explained and I had loads of fun analysing it, hehe.
Another plus point of this textbook: The culture points. While it is still much more effective learning about Korean culture in Korea itself, having little bits of information about the culture here is extremely helpful. The textbook is not only effective in teaching Korean vocab and grammar, but in the teaching of culture as well.
This is the part where it got too fast-paced for me. @_@ Sometimes they would add in a few pages of rules, which did not exactly correlate much to the chapter it belongs to. The sudden transition from a grammar point to counting rules would throw me off, especially since it didn’t really make much sense for the counters to appear right after an unrelated grammar rule. Not too fluent. >_<
Each chapter has two dialogues and an occasional monologue. I couldn’t stay focused following the pace of the chapter because it was so… disorganized to me. >< Or rather, it just didn’t match well with my train of thought.
- Typography was lovely, font size was large enough and the size of the textbook was perfect
- Extremely detailed explanation of Korean phonetics
- Informative sections on culture
- Awesome appendix LOL. Very well-organized and interesting
- Audio files are uploaded online and FREE *_*
- Explanation of grammar points could use more examples of the way a certain idea is expressed, instead of focusing on the way it was used in the dialogue
- No answers HAHA
The workbook is a very complementary companion to the textbook, so if you’re the sort who likes to practise, I recommend getting the workbook to accompany the use of the textbook. You will find that there are many exercises asking you to translate English into Korean, vice versa. Important for those looking to be interpreters or translators one day, because it is one thing to be good at understanding but another to be just as good at producing. Very nicely arranged. I loved the feel of my pen on the paper LOL.
Lastly, I would like to end off by praising the aesthetically pleasing aspect of the textbook. The cover is very pretty and enticing. The size of the textbook is just right for me and oh, the paper! *_* It is of good quality and it has been a joy writing on it! The typography is awesome as well, and it livens up the atmosphere. Learning with this textbook has been quite a joy and really, it hardly ever gets dry. Never underestimate the power of an well-delivered execution. Overall, I like this series and I like it even more for the free audio clips that they have online. :> It helps with dictation and can act as listening exercises. I wouldn’t recommend it for self-learners though, unless this two books are used with a supplementary guide (mentor, teacher or even another textbook).
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If you had to choose one, which Korean textbook would be best for self-learning?