12 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean textbook reviews

[Review] Ewha Korean 1-1 Textbook / Workbook

I’ve been raving about Ewha Korean textbook series (이화 한국어) ever since I got my hands on them a few years back and this is the series I recommend to all Korean learners – whether at the beginner, intermediate or advanced stage. With the study guides for levels 1-1 and 1-2 published, it is definitely a great series for self-learners who need that extra guidance.

I’ve reviewed the series several times (see below for links) but today I’ll like to do a detailed one on the level 1-1 textbook and workbook.

See also:

[KOREAN TEXTBOOK REVIEW] EWHA KOREAN LEVEL 1 & 2 이화 한국어 (short review)

[REVIEW] EWHA STUDY GUIDE 1-1

[KOREAN TEXTBOOK REVIEW] EWHA KOREAN 4 이화 한국어 4

[KOREAN TEXTBOOK REVIEWS] EWHA WORKBOOK 4 이화 한국어

As usual, skip to the end of the post for a succinct summary!

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Detailed introduction of Hangeul

Some textbooks just have a cursory introduction over a few pages, so I’m particularly glad that this book has a chapter devoted to Hangeul.

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The study guide goes one step further by introducing the mouth shapes and pronunciation tips for each vowel, with longer explanations for the basic sentence structure of Korean.

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It’s easy to work on the chapter with the extra help from the guide.

Good Coverage

Unlike other textbooks that is a single book for level 1, Ewha chooses to split it into 1-1 and 1-2. While perhaps more expensive overall, I quite like that they don’t overwhelm the learner, choosing to take things slightly slower.

Content covered in 1-1: 은/는 (subject markers), 이/가 (topic markers), 을/를, formal ending 습니다/습니까, demonstrative pronouns, directions, time etc.

Pretty comprehensive I would say.

Structured

Choosing to focus on grammar structures first allows learners to grasp the concepts before looking further at how they are used in a dialogue. The explanations in the textbook are rather skimpy, so that’s where the study guide comes in handy.

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For the self learner, it might be daunting to see that romanisation is not used in the book but I thought it’s great that the book forces you to be familiar with Hangeul.

Great graphics, fun for the self learner too

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Visuals, while not affecting the content directly, is a huge determinant of how good a textbook is. Nobody likes a dry textbook with lengthy texts, we are all attracted to fun and colourful visuals. In that aspect, Ewha textbooks did a great job. The visuals are also there to reinforce concepts and would help you remember words easier too!

Good link with workbook exercises

Workbook exercises are well-designed, and gives you the impression that you are applying what you have learnt – which is great. There’s a mixture of exercise types – fill in the blanks, linking words, circling the right options etc. Good reinforcement of concepts learnt without being too boring. Answers provided.

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Only disadvantage? Workbook instructions are all in Korean – can be difficult for beginners.

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So is it suitable for a self learner?

That’s probably the question on everyone’s mind.

The answer: yes, especially if you get the set (textbook, workbook and study guide)

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I like how the study guide is a separate book that you can refer to whenever you need extra guidance. Having everything in one book would be too cumbersome and this set of textbooks was meant for classroom usage in the first place.

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The workbook is a nice addition and is a great help to assess yourself to see if you have grasped the concepts.

That being said, I don’t recommend learners to be overly reliant on just one textbook. It’s best to use a few resources concurrently, such as TTMIK or the Online Sogang Program. If you are keen on even more resources, I quite recommend the Integrated Korean series too (available in public libraries in SG).

If you think you need loads of help on the Hangeul, check out Simple Korean – an entire book just devoted to teaching Hangeul.

Overall comments:

A great series to own and highly recommended as your ‘main’ textbook! Getting the entire set (textbook + workbook + study guide) is a good deal as each book complements the other, making self-study fun and less daunting to the new learner.

Get them at Twochois.com, my preferred choice! 😛

For those who own these books, please share your thoughts and comments with the rest too! ^^

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara
    5 January, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    These books are really amazing!
    I’ve just started the first book and I really thing that it’s good. What I don’t like about it, is that each chapter starts with the grammar and not with a diaolgue or a text. The comprehension that begins through a global approach is very effective. It was already proven. I don’t know why they use this method…

  • Reply
    melinda
    8 February, 2016 at 1:03 AM

    hello
    do you know is this ewha book also been used for the 3 weeks korean language program? or they have different book for it?
    thank you

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      8 February, 2016 at 2:31 PM

      Mm not too sure! Best to email the program coordinator ^^

  • Reply
    pabotayyl
    30 March, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Hello! I’m thinking of getting this book now after reading your reviews but I noticed that only the lower levels (levels 1 and 2 only i think) have an english version. Is it possible to be able to understand the instructions and everything from the textbooks of the higher levels after we study 1 and 2? Or is the study guide for the higher levels in english?

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      1 April, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      The study guide would be in English but textbooks for higher levels will entirely be in Korean. I believe that once you reach that level, it would be ok (:

  • Reply
    Taneisha
    30 April, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Hello! Just out of curiosity, would you say it’s essential to buy the workbook with the set overall? I’m considering buying both the text book and study guide, but I’m unsure about if I also want to get the workbook. I’m currently starting to learn Korean, and while I have a lot of online resources I want to start having physical books to learn from as well.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      30 April, 2016 at 4:57 PM

      Mm I would say it’s helpful but not essential? Hahaha it’s hard to comment though, just like how the study guide is also not strictly essential bug nevertheless helpful? Haha the workbook is great to work through even on your own though (: so I’ll still recommend it

  • Reply
    J
    3 October, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    So I just recently bought all the Ewha 1-1 books (textbook, workbook, study guide) thanks to your lovely review! I’m currently in love with the Ewha books! The study guide complements the textbook really well and I love how they add pointers on when to use a certain phrase on certain occasions and on when to use the particles. The workbooks were lovely as well!

  • Reply
    asmaa
    4 November, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    I really want to get those textbooks and workbooks but there is no place in my countery Tunisia sell it 🙁

  • Reply
    Aia
    6 March, 2017 at 3:14 PM

    Which do you prefer better: TTMK’s Level 1 textbook and workbook or Ewha’s 1-1 textbook, workbook, and study guide?

    • Reply
      Mariela
      6 March, 2017 at 8:11 PM

      If its possible the textbook and workbook. Thank you very muchh ???

      • Reply
        Hangukdrama
        6 March, 2017 at 8:31 PM

        I really don’t think there’s a fixed answer to this, seeing how it boils down to personal preference and learning style (:

    Leave a Reply to Sara Cancel Reply