[Review] Hanok Korean Class (Singapore)

28 January, 2013

My new project! Everyone has been asking me for recommendations on where are the better places to learn Korean in Singapore (besides self studying) and I was also curious about the increasing number of Korean classes/schools/institutes that we have here! So I have the idea of basically inviting myself over and sit in for a class in exchange for a  free review of the classes! Hopefully when this series take off, I’ll be the one getting an invitation 😛 All opinions are MINE and I’m not being paid to say nice things.

Hanok Korean Class was the first on my radar, one of the reasons is that it is located in the west (many schools seem to be located in the East). Conveniently located opposite Jurong East MRT station, it is easily accessible and I was surprised at how cozy the place was when I first stepped in.

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The place is small and there’s only one “classroom” behind these shelves. But the whole place had a welcoming feel and it felt like a good learning environment, instead of tuition centres where there are a few enclosed classrooms. My eyes zeroed on the bookshelves and it’s a mini library where students are allowed to borrow the books home! As for their collection… I’ll leave it to you to find out! 😛

The school currently offers basic classes only, from Basic 1 – 4, with basic 4 classes between equivalent to a “70-80% score on a TOPIK  Level 2”. They use their own materials for the lower levels and switch to Easy Korean books later on.

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The lesson I attended was the 2nd lesson of their Basic 1 classes. Obviously it was totally too simple for me, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the class! During the class we learned the more complex vowels such as 야, 얘, 예 and also the complex consonants like ㅋㅌ (aspirated consonants) and ㄲ ㅉ (the reinforced ones).

As usual, scroll down for a summary!

The Teacher

Super friendly lady, with a bright and loud voice. I loved that she will conduct the class in Korean + English, giving simple instructions in Korean and adding on in English for the more complicated stuff. She focuses a lot on pronunciation, which is damn awesome in my opinion. We were learning the basic pronunciation and I love how she will ask the students to watch her mouth movements etc and there is no reliance on romanization!!!!! Awesome. I like how she introduces the pronunciation rules in the 2nd lesson already.

The environment

There were 11 students in the class and I believed that the class can’t sit more than 15 anyway. As seen in the photo, the class had a few tables and each table sits 3, so there’s always a lot of interaction going around with the students. There are group activities, games and the teacher will walk around to help each group. The students were encouraged to voice questions and it seems like the students are already very comfortable with doing so, despite it being the 2nd lesson only. (:

The students are encouraged to practice out loud and I really like the whole ambience! The teacher will correct your pronunciation, which is good. I hate it when teachers just close one eye.

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Group activities were fun and I like how these cards are given to each group! I think it helps that students can really have some hands on learning, instead of staring at a book the whole lesson!

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The book

Had a look at their learning materials. I like what I see in their level 1 materials. No romanization! (which is always welcome in my opinions) There are pretty good explanations of the pronunciation rules, short dialogues, short notes to explain certain rules and they cover decent ground, including grammar points like 도, 안, 을/를, 이/가, 보다, 더 etc. Not bad for a basic 1 class!

Generally, I like how the teacher incorporates other materials to the classes too! One of their homework includes an exercise with the Sogang Online Program!

p.s. I was there early and I caught the end of their Basic 4 class. The class was conducted in Korean and basically I like what I saw! 😛

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What I like:

  • decent materials
  • good and friendly teacher
  • focus on pronunciation
  • cozy ambience and good attention paid to each learner
  • ample chance to practice, with group activities etc
  • engaging lessons
  • good pace, not too slow and not too fast!

What can be improved:

  • would have appreciated a short 5 min break in the 2hr lesson xD

For the prices they charge, I think the classes are really decent and worth it! (:

If you are interested in finding out more, go to their website here

p.s. If you happen to sign up for classes after reading this review, do me a favor and just let them know that you heard about their classes from the Hangukdrama blog? 😀

p.s.1. Let me emphasize again that this is an honest review

16 Comments
      1. Not at the moment. I always know that I’m better at learning stuff rather than teaching.

    1. hey, it sounds like my korean class at nus extension! we also had those cards haha and the teacher didnt allow us to use romanization from the 1st lesson. she would make us erase it if she saw it in our texts lol! i think she was the pioneer of korean classes in nus extension; too bad she went to australia alr!

      1. oh wow that’s really good. Most classes will just use romanization to make things easier for the students :/

    1. Hey, found your blog about a month ago and have added it to my top sites! This review is very informative and give the impression you are sitting right there in the class so you’ll know what to expect. Your frank testimony gives a realistic impression about what the students’ expectations should be. Good Job!!

      1. thanks! (: Yeah I was sitting in for that one lesson, at the back 😛 So I could observe a lot of stuff. Glad you liked the review!

    1. I wish there was a free Korean class around here that I could attend. My university added a Korean class in like my last year of college. Foreign languages weren’t required for me, and after talking to a teacher about what the class would be like, I decided it probably wasn’t for me.

      Even if It’s just really basic things, I think it would be very interesting to sit in on a Korean class in real life.

      1. ahh what did the teacher say about the class? Yeah, going to a class and meeting fellow students is a different experience and it’s good to have a teacher to guide you too!

      1. yes! hahaha, i believe it’s her in the picture above. she’s super friendly and bright! i was taught by 완쌤 for my whole basic classes for all 4 levels!! but she doesn’t teach the intermediate classes. but the other teachers are fine too.

    1. Would really like to join a Korean class and your blog review helped me make my decision! So thank you for that!

    1. Hi, happened to chance upon your blog and the information are really useful.
      Just wondering do you have any other recommendation on any other place to go for Korean class as I am staying more of the north east side. The west side is out of the way for me 🙁

      1. Hi Melody! You might want to consider Sejong Korean School which is in Tanjong Pagar. Should be considered as quite central right? (:

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