8 Best Korean Textbooks for Beginners 2023

Hello and welcome to our blog post about the best Korean textbooks for beginners! If you’re interested in learning Korean, but have trouble finding the best Korean learning textbook for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. After researching and testing various Korean textbooks, we’re excited to share our top picks with you.

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or have some basic knowledge of Korean, these textbooks will provide you with a solid foundation to build upon. So, let’s dive in and discover which Korean textbooks are best suited for your needs!

Importance of Textbooks in Korean Learning

Textbooks is usually a trusted language learning resource. They are used my many language learners as the primary learning resource. Why is this?

Textbooks provide structure and organization to your learning process. They offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of the language, such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading and writing skills. Additionally, most textbooks come with exercises and activities that allow you to practice and reinforce what you have learned. So you can feel assured by following a good textbook, especially at early stages of Korean learning.

Textbooks are mostly designed by professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in teaching Korean as a foreign language. Therefore, they use effective teaching methods and strategies that cater to different learning styles and levels. A good textbook also include culturally relevant content that exposes you to the Korean lifestyle, customs, and traditions, which enhances your overall understanding of the language and its context.

However there are also things that textbooks cannot teach you. For example, real life conversations, listening skills, immersion, etc. It’s better to combine textbook with other forms of learning like watching movies or dramas in Korean.

So using a textbook to learn Korean is absolutely a good choice! But how to choose a good Korean learning textbook?


How to Choose Korean Learning Textbooks

Firstly, let’s debunk a common misconception – higher prices do not necessarily guarantee better quality. Don’t be fooled by flashy book covers and exorbitant prices. Do your research and read reviews from other language learners before making a purchase.

Next, it’s important to know your own learning type. Are you a visual learner or an auditory learner? Do you prefer hands-on activities or reading texts? Knowing your learning style will help you choose a textbook that caters to your individual needs. Try reading a chapter or two of the textbook before purchasing to see if it aligns with your learning style.

Before making a final decision, take a look at the curriculum provided in the textbook. Does it cover all the necessary topics for your desired language proficiency level? Make sure the textbook covers grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking to ensure a well-rounded learning experience.

Lastly, use up-to-date learning materials if possible. Korean language textbooks that have been recently published will likely include the most current vocabulary and grammar rules, making your learning experience more relevant and applicable.

8 Korean Learning Textbooks for Beginners

Integrated Korean: Beginning 1

The first textbook we recommend is the top-notch Integrated Korean: Beginning 1 by Klear. The revised version of this classic textbook incorporates plenty of authentic materials and real-life examples to help you learn in context. You’ll also find a good balance between building your skills and using them right away. Grammar explanations are also clear and easy to follow, which is great for beginners. Plus, there are tons of exercises to practice what you’ve learned.

Yonsei Korean

Korean textbooks: Yonsei Korean

Yonsei Korean is a textbook designed by Yonsei University for beginners to learn the Korean language. They provide an online course on Coursera. There are 6 levels in total corresponding to the 6 TOPIK levels.

For beginners, this Yonsei Korean is a great place to start as it focuses on teaching you how to read and write Hangul proficiently. Along with this, the book covers the basics of sentence structure and syntax, allowing you to apply the grammar rules in use.

The textbook also provides plenty of practical phrases and expressions for different situations. However, like most textbooks, it is better to complement your learning with immersive methods like watching movies. By completing the Yonsei Korean textbook, you can hold conversations in Korean with confidence and have a strong foundation for further Korean learning.

Ewha Korean

Korean textbooks: Ewha Korean

Ewha Korean published by Ewha Women’s University in South Korea is a popular textbook for learning Korean, used both in Korea and abroad. It consists of six levels of fluency with a focus on all four language skills.

The textbooks are well-structured, step-by-step guides that make learning Korean fun and approachable. Rather than dividing up sections based on linguistic aspects like grammar and tenses, this book is written according to real-world scenarios like dining out and journaling. It also incorporates recurring characters and illustrations together with a narrative flow to teach you Korean in an immersive way.

Korean Grammar in Use

Korean textbook: Korean Grammar in Use

Authored by three experienced Korean language teachers who specialize in teaching foreign students, this textbook is perfect for those who want to study Korean grammar systematically and intensively. It covers the grammar taught in the first and second grade of textbooks used at Korean universities and institutes.

One of the best things about “Korean Grammar in Use” is designed in an approachable format. The authors  have designed this book to make learning Korean grammar engaging and rewarding. Each lesson is presented in a clear and concise manner, with ample examples and exercises to ensure that you understand the material thoroughly. The book also includes helpful tips and notes, making it easy to navigate even complex grammar points.

Another great feature of this textbook is its emphasis on practical usage. Rather than simply memorizing rules and structures, you’ll learn how to use each grammar point in real-life situations, helping you to communicate more effectively in Korean.

Talk to Me in Korean

Korean textbook: Talk to Me in Korean

Talk to Me in Korean is a popular Korean textbook among Korean learning communities. You might have heard of their podcasts or other learning materials before. It’s a decent choice if you’re an absolute beginner without a teacher or other learning resources. The sample dialogues and exercises are easy to do on your own, so you can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule. The book also includes audio files, grammar lessons, and exercises for practice.

Note that the focus of this textbook is on spoken and conversational Korean, which is the best for those who wish to communicate orally with native speakers. You can also download free MP3 files from their website or buy a copy of the workbook for more practice.

Living Language Korean, Complete Edition

If you’re looking for a comprehensive Korean learning package, Living Language Korean is a great choice. With glowing reviews, Living Language Korean offers more than just the basics. It takes you from beginner to advanced level in one convenient package: 4 books, 9 audio CDs, 46 interactive lessons, and a “Language Lab” with extra quizzes, games, and flashcards to help you practice Korean skills.

What sets this course apart is its ability to break down complicated grammar and vocabulary into bite-sized and easy-to-understand pieces. Plus, the techniques used in this textbook have been tested over time, so you can trust it to be effective.

Let’s Speak Korean

Whether you are a K-Pop/K-Drama fanatic or just someone trying to pick up some useful expressions before going on a trip to Korea, this book surely will be a great resource! Let’s Speak Korean covers over 1,400 daily expressions from 21 different topics and situations. It’s designed in a way that anyone with no knowledge in Korean can learn and use right away, through simply listening and repeating the expressions.

This textbook takes a more natural approach of teaching, with no formal grammar sections. It’s especially useful if you wish to travel to Korea. It has a dedicated Traveling to Korea section to get you familiarized with Korean culture, etiquettes, travel guide, etc. The textbook also include audio to hone your listening and pronunciation skills.

Organic Korean

If you already know Hangul and have some basic knowledge of Korean, then this textbook is for you. As the name suggests, Organic Korean focuses more on conversational Korean, with useful phrases and expressions you can use right from the beginning.

This Korean textbook has 8 units and 50 lessons in total. Each unit has a specific topic with 40 relevant vocabulary. It’s easy to follow along and understand new words in context. Apart from that, Organic Korean also covers 1 grammar point in each lesson. This helps you to understand grammar rules gradually as you progress, and better retain information.

It takes about 50 to 100 hours of learning to finish this book.

Textbooks vs Other Resources

Congratulations on reaching the end of our Korean textbooks recommendation! Did you find one you wish to use? Let us know in the comments.

Textbooks offer a structured approach with detailed explanations and exercises, they are a great resource on your Korean learning journey. Apart from textbooks, you can also use podcasts or apps to learn Korean on the go conveniently and with more interactive features.

Learning Korean is a fun and rewarding experience with the right tools. A good textbook or a good app like LingoDeer can help you a lot on your journey. With dedication and practice, you’ll be speaking Korean fluently in no time! Happy learning!


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