16 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean textbook reviews

[Review] Ewha Study Guide 1-1

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:

  • None

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 😀

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  • Reply
    17 October, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    It so happens that I just ordered all these three books from twochois in order to start learning Korean. It’s already been two weeks since I ordered them and tracking them online I find they are still in Korea. I don’t even know how soon I will receive them. It’s so frustrating. And I have paid some $20 for transportation fees alone. It’s really so frustrating. I don’t think I will be buying anything from them again. Do you know of any other online stores for Korean textbooks?
    Thank you for your lovely review.

    • Reply
      17 October, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Hi Stathes! I think you should drop them an email (twochois@twochois.com)! They didnt ship during the Chuseok period and only started taking orders from 29/9 if I’m not wrong. If you have received a tracking number from them it probably means that the package is on its way and might have been delayed by the post service. >< Hope you get your books soon! ^^

  • Reply
    20 October, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    Thanks for the review.

    So I totally want to go and buy all three books (textbook/workbook/guide) right now!!! Sadly would cost me in the region of $60-$70. 🙁 Have added to ever-growing wish list.

    • Reply
      20 October, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      Hello! 😀 I guess it’s always expensive to buy from outside the country. But I think it’s already cheaper to get online rather than local bookstores that import them >< hehehe I have a long list to to-buy / to-read books too!

  • Reply
    20 October, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    Hey Shanna,

    thanks for the review this series looks very good. How would you say it compares to GoBilly’s books? I’ve already got it but I am also looking into other books! Which would suit a self learner further more proficiently?

    Thanks for any input!

    • Reply
      25 October, 2015 at 1:54 AM

      Excellent question. I was wondering that too as I have the first GoBilly book. Was also wondering what kind of level it ends on by comparison to others. 🙂

  • Reply
    10 November, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Hi, they only released STUDY GUIDE for 1-1 and 1-2 books?That is quite disappointing because if I buy the whole series it may not be enough only with their textbook. Or you think that it is enough without study guide? I also wanted to ask whether it is okay to use level 3 book onwards which has no english explanation in it after completed their level 1 and 2 books?
    Waiting for your reply. Thank you.

    • Reply
      10 November, 2015 at 9:31 PM

      Hi! Currently I believe they only have it for level 1. I think by the time u reach level 2 or 3 u should be good enough with the basics to make do with the textbooks! (: and definitely level 3 without English is fine

  • Reply
    Emerson Recto
    6 December, 2015 at 5:20 AM

    안녕하세요! I just wanted to thank you so much for making this website, and specifically, the textbook reviews. I am a freshman in high school and I am trying to find a good series to self-study Korean, since I can’t really afford classes, and because I want to study abroad in Korea next year. Thanks to you, I think I’ve found a perfect beginners series! I am asking for these books for Christmas, hehe. I am so grateful for you reviews on different textbooks, and aspire to become fluent like you. Thank you again!!!

  • Reply
    7 December, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    I am one of your fans and I really like reading your posts however your recent update of the blog layout makes it really hard to read your recent posts.
    I am starting to think it is a problem only I have and that this layout does not appear to you and the others. If not can you please make you recent posts appear in your home page, that way I can read every post

    • Reply
      7 December, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      Hello! Thanks for liking the blog! mmm can you tell me what did you see on the home page? (: When I read it on my mobile, it’s also all the recent posts at one go

  • Reply
    2 January, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Hi.Just to inform you that ewha korean study guide level 2-1, 2-2 and level 5 books are out!! But I don’t understand why level 3&4 are not out yet@.@

    • Reply
      2 January, 2016 at 8:15 PM

      woohoo i heard too! 😀 Oh well probably will be out soon (:

  • Reply
    14 March, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Thanks for introducing such an excellent series! The design of the covers won me over instantly even before looking at the content. The guidebook really makes a whole lot of difference for a self-learner. In the end I bought the level 2 set. Am waiting for the level 3 guidebook to be published before shipping it over again.

  • Reply
    20 May, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    Hi, do you think the study guide is necessary for self-study? do you think buying only the textbook and workbook will be enough? Because buying all the series will be quite expensive in the end…

    • Reply
      20 May, 2018 at 6:09 PM

      I won’t call it necessary, it’s up to you. If you find that you are ok with the content on your own, need not purchase. Or you may want to consider a textbook and study guide instead.

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