What I’ve been studying update #2 | Korean Studying Resources (Feb 2017)

(Estimated reading time: 6 minutes)

As we approach the end of the month, I’m here to give some updates on what I’ve been studying in February 2017! If you haven’t checked out last month’s, please do give a read. I covered Naver webtoons and Naver blogs, some textbooks and italki in the previous post.


Online Resources

1. Snackbook 스낵북 – 맛있는 웹소설 (High-intermediate and up)

Recently, I was looking for online/web short stories to read and I chanced upon this while searching on the App Store. Most of the web novels are free on this website, though some of the “premium” web novels require some sort of coins (코인). I suppose coins are like credits that you can purchase to read the premium novels. I haven’t actually explored Snackbook in detail yet, so I can’t say for sure. No worries, though, if it’s any good, I’ll be sure to review Snackbook. I believe that there are other web novels sites (웹소설) out there. Just a quick search and seems that Munpia is the first result that came out. I’ll check that out next! For now, if you’ll like to read out loud (like what I do for my speaking practices here), you could definitely consider checking web novels like Snackbook out.

2. 유인나의 볼륨을 높여요 (Mid-intermediate and up)

Yoo Inna, an actress in Secret Garden, You Who Came From The Stars and Goblin(!) just to name a few, actually had her own segment on KBS Radio Cool FM. It discontinued in May 2016 but there are over a thousand episodes. Note, though, that because Yoo Inna is still a human (though I would like to think of her as a goddess…) so she needed breaks and there were replacement Deejays. Nevertheless, the replacements are not too bad. I still prefer Yoo Inna’s voice, of course, who wouldn’t? But I digress…

Anyway, this has been a great listening practice/ear candy for me over the past few months after discovering this. Long story short, I was looking for Korean podcasts/radio talk shows that were interesting and not too difficult to understand and after some time, I chanced upon Yoo Inna’s show. Her voice is clear, sweet and her pronunciation is really on-point. There’s never once where I couldn’t make out what she said and I think that’s a really important point when listening to native Korean speak for practice. So if you’re looking for a sweet and appealing voice talking about daily life topics, you could possibly consider listening to this.

You can listen to the episodes on iTunesPodbbang and YouTube!

You can also read about how podcasts help with listening skills in this blog post.

3. italki (All levels)

Took a total of 4 lessons in February 2017 and I must say, it really helped me a lot. Although I’ve only tried two tutors so far, both of them are awesome – patient, knowledgeable and punctual (very important!) were just some great traits of these two community tutors. If you’ve actually tried looking at italki and contemplating whether you should take up a lesson or not, I suppose you’re kinda stuck between community tutors and professional teachers. I cover that in last month’s italki article. I’ll be writing another italki blog post soon, talking about other aspects of italki that I particularly like… and not like.

In a nutshell, italki is great for any language learner seeking to improve conversational skills or just want a cheaper alternative to get access to a tutor/teacher. Prices range from US$8~US$25/hour, which is really cheap compared to taking lessons at a language centre. I don’t want to discuss too much about italki here, so be sure to read that article once it’s up.

All I wanna say is, italki has been working great for me so far and I’ll definitely be writing more blog posts and reviews about italki. If the response is good, I would try to start recommending tutors (of course, I’ll seek their permission so don’t worry about approaching them when the time comes).

4. Reddit – /r/Korean (All Levels)

I know, you might be thinking: Reddit?! Yes. Reddit’s /r/Korean subreddit is actually quite a huge and helpful community. In fact, the redditors of /r/Korean would frequently post some goodies and have discussions about the language. Building a community like /r/Korean is definitely one of my long-term goals for LSK but I guess, for now, it’s one of the best we can ask for! There are natives and fluent non-natives over there who are more than willing to help with any questions. And if you’ve read my recent posts about the differences and similarities between commonly confused grammar expressions, you would realise that I referenced Reddit.

You can read them here (~어/아/여서 VS ~(으)니까) and here (~지만 VS ~(으)ㄴ/는데).

Offline Resources

5. Seoul University Student’s Book & Workbook 4A 서울대 한국어 4A @ Daehan Korean Language Centre (All levels)

So my classes at Daehan started! I was really looking forward to taking classes again just because I love being a student. It’s my first time taking classes from a new female teacher, probably because I’ve always stuck to one teacher (Mr Harry :p) for the longest time. The new female teacher (Ms Goo Hara; no… She’s not KARA’s Goo Hara… but still quite pretty, I must say!) is way younger than many other teachers at Daehan. I’m surprised at her enthusiasm in teaching, though! I always had my qualms about young teachers but Ms Hara is quite upbeat in her classes and it helps that she’s been living in Singapore for some time. I think it’s important for teachers and students to have some sort of common ground in terms of culture. That would be beneficial for both the teacher and his/her students.

Anyway, lessons are great and gotta love homework. I would consider myself to be quite disciplined but homework just forces you to be even more disciplined. Love that she would give every student in the class a chance to give their answers, especially important for open-ended questions where everyone’s answers would be different. The biggest perk of taking classes is that you’ll get attention from a dedicated teacher (most Korean teachers I’ve met so far are enthusiastic and sincerely want their students to do well). That’s probably something we can never get if we were to stick to self-studying. Of course, it’s not necessary for you to excel but it will speed up your progress. Teachers would also have a tip or two to help you overcome certain steep points of your learning curves.

You may read this previous blog post about self-study vs taking classes!

You can get the books at Twochois (with CD-ROMs for listening practices):

Quick update about the Webtoon I’m currently reading (언터처블, a story about a modern vampire that sucks spiritual energy instead of blood): Currently at episode 83! Read A LOT over the past month just because the story got me hooked :p.

Be sure to stay tuned for next month’s update! Until then, Let’s Study Korean 한국어 공부하자!

Important links

Related LSK blog posts

1. Study update #1 | Jan 2017
2. On Naver Webtoons
3. On Naver Blogs
4. On podcasts
5. On italki
6. On self-study VS taking classes
7. ~어/아/여서 VS ~(으)니까
8. ~지만 VS ~(으)ㄴ/는데

Studying Resources

1. Snackbook 스낵북 – 맛있는 웹소설 (High-intermediate and up)
2. 유인나의 볼륨을 높여요 (Mid-intermediate and up)
3. italki (All levels)
4. Reddit – /r/Korean (All levels)
5. Seoul University Student’s Book 4A & Workbook 4A (All levels)

Other mentioned links

1. Munpia (free web novels)
2. LSK Speaking Practices
3. Yoo Inna‘s radio show on iTunesPodbbang and YouTube
4. 언터처블 (Naver webtoon series)

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