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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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! 😛
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