I realised that I’m more motivated to do reviews when people request for them 😀
The Yonsei Korean Reading series (연세 한국어 읽기) consists of 6 books (Level 1-6) and are used in Yonsei’s KLI classes together with the Yonsei Korean series that I’ve reviewed some time back. The following review is for the Level 6 book (the only one I own now), so some of the content may not be applicable to the other books (:
As usual, for a succinct review, scroll down to the bottom of the post! ^^
The ‘main text’ in the Yonsei Korean series are dialogues while in the reading series, they are really… long texts. It really trains your reading ability as you are confronted with long excerpts of texts taken from books etc. These texts are usually more challenging than those specially written for the foreign language learner.
I like how textbooks try to incorporate culture into the learning process, but some books just come off as… terribly boring. The Yonsei reading book is different, and I love the aspects of culture they bring into the readings. They have passages that introduces the famous mountains of Korea in the form of a travel log, the 길거리 문화 (street culture) of Korea, and passages on using movies to understand Korea. I really appreciate the effort put in to choose each and every passage. They vary the styles of the text too: argumentative essays, travel log, narration, poems etc. This allows us to get exposed to a wide range of texts.
Breakdown of a chapter:
- introduction exercise
- main text
- exercises on new vocabulary
- comprehension exercises
- additional related passage
Very neat and useful.
The one thing I loved about the book is the accompanied CD. They contain the mp3 tracks of all the main reading texts and I find that exceptionally helpful when it comes to familiarising myself with the intonation contours, the pronunciation of certain words, the stresses, the pauses etc. It also serves as a very good listening training tool. I’ll recommend that you listen to the track before looking at the text itself, and see how much you can grasp from the audio.
I don’t have much gripes about the book, but I feel that it might be a little difficult for self studying. I could feel the difference: completing a chapter with the 선생님 and completing a chapter by myself.
- interesting and relevant content
- neat layout and comprehensive
- CD is a big plus!
Some minor gripes:
- content heavy (not really a bad point though)
- may be difficult for the self-learner