5 In Korean learning journey (:/ korean textbook reviews

[Review] Yonsei Academic Korean Reading – Advanced Level

Yonsei University Press publishes such great Korean reading textbooks. Blogged about the Yonsei Korean Reading Level 6 book in 2011 (9 years ago omg?!) and till date it’s still one of my favourite textbook series for reading.

(As an aside, time to refresh that blog post – I was still relying on Photobucket back then!)

Introducing another great reading book from them, which is part of the Yonsei Academic Korean (대학 강의 수강을 위한 한국어 시리즈) series. As you can see, they offer dedicated speaking (말하기), listening (듣기), writing (쓰기) and reading (읽기) books in 3 different levels – Intermediate I (중급I), Intermediate II (중급II) and Advanced (고급).

Introducing another great reading book from them, which is part of the Yonsei Academic Korean (대학 강의 수강을 위한 한국어 시리즈) series. As you can see, they offer dedicated speaking (말하기), listening (듣기), writing (쓰기) and reading (읽기) books in 3 different levels – Intermediate I (중급I), Intermediate II (중급II) and Advanced (고급).

Today I will be introducing 대학 강의 수강을 위한 한국어 읽기 (고급) book. I have another one in the series (should be a listening one..), will leave that to a separate review.

As usual, scroll down to the end for a succinct summary – and avoid my long-windedness.

Wow I love it. I often get asked why I’m still so “reliant” on textbooks when studying a language (and even after fluency). First, the language geek in me loves to examine language textbooks so this will not change no matter my level of fluency. Next, it’s true that I do better with the “academic/textbook” route when learning a language – this is a learning style. Thirdly, a good textbook is complementary to the so called “native materials”.

In particular, I lovee reading textbooks. I can read novel, news articles etc but a good reading textbook is a compilation of a variety of text types in different topics which I may not think of reading on my own. And through reading textbooks I can discover new authors, books and more importantly, gain new knowledge. A good reading textbook “forces” you to go beyond your comfort zone and read something different. I first got to know about 우리들의 행복한 시간 through the Yonsei Level 6 series and it went on to become my favourite movie and also one of the first full-length Korean fiction I’ve read. I’ve also bought a couple more books / searched up articles based on what I’ve come across in reading textbooks.

Oh, back to the textbook review.

Yes, I love it.

The focus of this book is on academic Korean and I thought it was a splendid compilation of texts with the right level of challenge for the advanced learner.

10 chapters, different themes

Each chapter introduces 3 pieces of text revolving around the same theme – about 2.5 pages each. The first two are main texts, where there would be guiding questions along the margins, as well as a list of key vocabulary at the end of each page.

I love the guiding questions on the margins! It’s a good way to test reading comprehension, and what’s best is that they come with answers at the back! Unless it’s open-ended questions asking for your opinions, I hate it when textbooks doesn’t come with suggested answers. Not sure if this is somewhat influenced by the number of “assessment books” we had to do as kids – fellow Singaporeans would get it 🙂

The vocabulary list is a great idea too. The book doesn’t spoonfeed you answers (go search up the meaning yourself!) but it’s great that they highlight what are the key new vocabulary introduced. Thumbs up.

Exercises after each main text

A mix of open-ended and MCQ questions to test your understanding. Helpful!

Additional Reading Text (더 읽어 보기)

I love how each chapter introduces 3 different texts. The texts are well chosen too – ranging from slightly philosophical in nature to factual articles. A good range of text types that you are likely to come across in academia.

The texts are pitched at an appropriate level too. I always believe in attempting texts that are slightly above your level, so would recommend it to those at the upper intermediate level. Even after 12 years of learning Korean, I am still learning a couple of new words every page from this book. It’s easy to read (for me), but I can still learn a few new words.

How I used this book

I like to read by paragraphs – Korean texts can have rather lengthy paragraphs cos each sentence is so long lol!

  • Read the para (or two) once through, and highlight new words – I don’t pause even if I don’t quite get a couple of sentences
  • Search up each highlighted word and write down the meaning and sample sentence. If there’s enough space, suggest to write in the book itself so it’s easy to refer to.
  • Re-read the part again which I didn’t 100% get it (cos of unfamiliar words etc) to make sure I now fully understand the text
  • Repeat for remaining paragraphs
  • Answer the questions in the margin – check against suggested answers.
  • Do the exercise – check against suggested answers.

(This is a new blog format, do you think it helps that I share how I use the book? Let me know in the comments)

What I like:

  • Good choices and variety of texts
  • Length of text is just nice!
  • Comes with suggested answers
  • Doesn’t spoonfeed you the glossary
  • Exercises are helpful

What to improve on:

  • Nothing. Publish 고급II? hahaha



Buy it at Twochois.com (direct link to page)

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  • Reply
    28 May, 2020 at 12:22 AM

    Even though I have some 연세 읽기 books to get through, I’m liking what I see in this one. It seems they kept a good bit of their old format and added in things like the questions on the side which I like because you can keep track of what’s going on.

    I feel saying how you used the book is definitely helpful. It helps give some study tips and shows using books like these isn’t about just reading once and answering a few questions.

    It’s really been 9 years since that 읽기6 review! Where is the time going? Haha.

    • Reply
      28 May, 2020 at 12:24 AM

      Oh, how I missed these review pics lol. Great review!

    • Reply
      30 May, 2020 at 9:00 AM

      Keisha!! ♡ Miss you! Yes I really like this format too, the guiding questions were really helpful. I’ve been writing reviews for 10 years hahahah.

  • Reply
    David Givens
    28 May, 2020 at 12:34 PM

    Even though my second language learning ability is pathetic, I find that studying Korean grammar is fascinating. I never tire of searching for and finding out the meanings of new grammar patterns. Most Korean people that I interact with want to learn English by focusing on conversation. But, I am primarily focused on learning Korean by reading.

    (제가 한국어(韓國語}를 공부{工夫}할 때 중요{重要}하지 않은 사소{些少}한 일을 가지고 꼬치꼬치 따지기 때문에 그래요.)
    That’s because, when I study Korean, I split hairs.

    May 28, 2020
    David Jack Givens

    • Reply
      30 May, 2020 at 9:02 AM

      Hi David! hahaha how could you say your learning ability is pathetic, you seem to be really good! I love studying grammar too, it’s somewhat like solving a puzzle. I am also primarily focused on reading for Japanese but I found that it really hindered my ability to speak despite being able to read quite well. I barely can string a couple of sentences together in Japanese even though I read quite well. ><

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