You know how each new drama you watch seem to be better than the last one which you swore was the best?
I feel the same way about the new edition of 서울대 한국어 textbooks. I knew I said that Yonsei textbooks were my favourite, and then I said Ewha was really awesome and now I’m going to say that the Korean textbooks by Seoul National University are excellent!!
Thanks to Twochois, I got to use the 5B book and I’m surprised by how much I can learn from the book, given how I’m supposedly already pass TOPIK 6 blah blah.
It has that right balance of interactivity, fun content, useful exercises, challenge, great graphics that somehow manage to mash together to form a truly great textbook.
Kudos to the team who designed and created it!
Onwards to the review (although you should just click the ‘put into cart‘ button already)
I haven’t gotten soo excited over a generic Korean textbook for a long time. As I worked through the book, I could see the rationale of every single exercise, the way the book is structured and the amount of effort being put in to carefully craft out and design the textbook.
And that is the hallmark of a good textbook >> well thought out and well designed.
Being an Apple user, I couldnt make full use of this interactive CD-rom but it looks like there is a lot of good content in there and would be great for self-learners. Apple users like me can still download the mp3 files and reference docs (word bank, grammar etc).
Transcripts and MP3 files
I love how they have mp3 files for both the main dialogue, reading exercise and other listening exercises. Particularly, they did not have the main dialogue transcript printed in the chapter, but rather have an appendix of transcripts. This forces the learner to listen and not rely on the transcript right from the start and it’s a good way to improve. Often, learners are too reliant on transcripts.
The focus on listening is evident in the textbook and it makes working through the book a lot more fun too!
Another reason why I love this book. You can actually DO the exercises. It’s suitable for self learners and classroom learning. Even for those more classroom discussion type of exercises, they include quite a lot of details that somewhat it feels like there is something to learn or take away from those exercises, even for self-learners – a first.
Details, many details
The textbook is FAR from boring. There is so much details packed into the book, different things to learn and look forward to in each chapter ^^ I love how it seems like one is not just learning a language, but rather picking up other knowledge along the way. And that is how I see language learning.
Usually, I just gloss over the glossary (hah) because I find it rather redundant and it’s supposed to be what the learner should do on his/her own – check the dictionary, write it down etc. BUT I love how the SNU glossary is sooo detailed that it includes the word + hanja (if relevant) + Korean and English meaning + example statement
WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW I DO MY KOREAN NOTES.
I love the team who designed this book <3
What I love:
- excellent graphics and good paper quality
- fun and engaging book
- great content, never boring
- a wide variety of topics
- relevant exercises
- a lot of listening practice
- great, detailed word bank
- easy to learn for both classroom learners and self learners
What to improve on:
- strangely, not a lot of details on grammar points (simple explanations included)
- book is too heavy to bring around (I’m nit-picking)
- longer reading practices (seeing how it’s a 5B book)
Overall, a highly highly highly recommended book! I am so curious to find out how the book fares on the lower levels. 😀 I think this book is suitable for a TOPIK 4 person or so, but even advanced learners have something to learn from it.
I love receiving packages from Twochois because of their awesome service and 서비스 ㅎ They usually include a free magazine like High Cut with your order. If you get the Dec 2014 High Cut Issue and you don’t want it, please give it to me! My double B. ♥
I have the 5B workbook which I’ll review another time!