Yonsei, Ewha and SNU textbook series are my favourite Korean textbooks and it’s hard to pick a clear winner given that they are all pretty good.
With Ewha recently releasing their study guides for Level 1-1 and Level 1-2 textbooks, I think I can confidently recommend Ewha for beginner learners, especially for those who are interested in self-studying.
Review under cut! For those who prefer a video review, there’s a link below to my youtube video too!
Previously, I’ve briefly reviewed the Ewha Textbook Level 1&2 series so today I’m going to focus more on the study guide and how it complements the textbook. I might do another detailed review of the textbook & workbook another time.
To recap, I love the 1-1 textbook because:
- well-structured and progress is gradual and systematic (unlikely that you will feel overwhelmed)
- no reliance on romanisation, forces you to read Hangeul from the start
- fun and engaging, with ample illustrations
- introduces grammar points via short dialogues, followed by longer dialogue at the end of the chapter to review points taught
Points covered (not exhaustive list):
- Hangeul system
- 입니다/입니까, 은는, 이/가 아닙니다
- 습니다/습니까, 이/가, 을.를, 에
- 이/그/저,에, 하고, 과/와, ~세요, (으)로
- 부터~까지, 아/어요, numbers, days, time
- 에서, 안, 았/었, 도
- age, 만, 시
Let’s get to the review!
As a study guide, it does what it’s supposed to do – to guide you through the book, building on explanations there and acting as a ‘teacher’. The original textbook is designed to be used in Korean language classes taught in Ewha and hence is mainly for classroom use (although I think it’s pretty self-learner friendly on its own too). That being said, it’s true that explanations in the textbooks are very concise (almost like a summary) and that is perhaps why many are hesitant to self-study a language right from the start.
The study guide is labelled so that you know which page to look at while working through the textbook. As seen from the above, the study guide is a lot more expanded compared to the textbook. The area in grey in both books is an explanation of the N+에 grammar point and it’s clear that the study guide is a lot more detailed.
Looking at the textbook, there are 연습 (practice) sections where you might be asked to form a dialogue. Given that it’s classroom exercises which don’t come with answers in the textbooks, self learners might find them useless but now with the study guide, you get the answer key!
For those learners who still are not very confident with their abilities, the English transcripts of dialogues in the guide might be helpful too.
Each chapter ends with a checklist of vocabulary taught in that chapter. I’m not a fan of such checklists as I feel that they encourage rote learning and adds stress (you MUST know all these words to prove that you have learnt!!). But I can also see how they can be helpful to others.
Overall, I think whoever came up with the idea of the study guide is awesome and it really enhances the usefulness of the original textbook/workbook series. Ewha will now be the to-go textbook that I’ll recommend for new learners! 😀 Many thanks to TwoChois for sending the books over!
For those who are new to learning Korean, I will highly recommend this series and if you need extra help to complement the textbook + workbook + study guide series, here’s a few more links for you!
Here’s a video review!
What I like:
- Complementary to textbook, with ample explanations
- Well-structured and designed with the self-learner in mind
- Expanded section on Hangeul which is EXTREMELY helpful
To be improved:
If you are all ready to get the books, head over to Twochois.com now!
Do leave a comment with your thoughts if you have used the series before! I’m sure there are many learners who will benefit from your sharing too 😀