School that happens wherever and whenever you want?
That was the childhood dream, and now, it’s all possible in the form of online courses.
And if you’d dreamed of learning Korean in an educational style that gives you the skills you want and works by your watch and wallet, online education may be the answer for you.
Yup, even if you’re not on campus, you can still learn Korean in a reliable, professional manner, minus the crowded classroom of whispering classmates and too-small desks.
How Online Learning Works
Online learning (aka e-learning or cyber education) is way easier than many might assume. Specifically for foreign languages, the resources offered with technology are incredible in quality and quantity.
Registration is often as easy as simply signing up. Make an account and—bang!—you have access to a plethora of resources to learn some serious Korean.
Once that happens, you’ll mostly be working at your own pace. Going solo sounds both thrilling and nerve-wracking, especially when we’re used to having teachers as our guides. However, self-directed learning has been shown to have plenty of benefits. With proper motivation and a good understanding of what you need, learning a foreign language like Korean can be made a much more genuine and enjoyable experience.
Online lessons are either structured or open, using preset curricula or allowing you to simply pick and choose what you want to learn. And if you’re worried about tests, don’t be—you won’t be having a face-off with the dreaded answer-sheet-and-pencil duo.
Online courses often let you review material with succinct quizzes or games that can improve your memory in an invigorating, entertaining way. Learning Korean has never been so entertaining!
The Perks of Learning Korean Online
There are plenty to list, but here are just some of the biggest reasons why you should take your Korean schooling to the net:
- Convenience and flexibility: Many Korean online courses don’t mandate any strict schedule for you to follow. Costly textbooks aren’t required either. With your laptop (or smartphone) and some time, you can just pop open a new lesson whenever you’d like.
- Comfortable learning environment: Feng shui has the right idea—your surrounding space really does matter. The right space can be crucial in optimizing your learning experience. With online courses, you’re in charge of your own classroom, whether it’s a cafe, the armchair by the fireplace or your bedroom. Learning something as challenging as Korean should most definitely be done in the space that suits you.
- Interactive: Online courses often provide you an immersive experience for your education, pairing textual resources with videos and audio to maximize your learning experience.
- Tailored to your wants and needs: You’ll often get the chance to pick your own lessons, so you can focus on the topics that matter most to you at the time, whether it’s getting the grammar right, learning the must-have vocab for business talk or figuring out how to ask for directions. There’s really no need to wait to learn something—the syllabus is up to you!
- Career advancement: The Korean language is likely just one of your many passions and priorities, and online courses know this. Cyber education gives you the time and space to do anything else you want or need, so you don’t have to worry about it infiltrating your career or leisure time.
- Easy on your wallet: Enrolling in a college course can cost upwards of $1,000, minus the transportation fees to get to class. Online courses are either priced at a much lower rate or are entirely free, so there really is nothing to lose!
Quick Tips to Bulk Up Your Online Learning
Before you start signing up for these courses and become a fluent Korean speaker, take these few bits of advice so you can make the best of your cyber education.
- Make your study space: No longer are you restricted to the stuffy old classroom with too-close desks. When you find your favorite place to study, set it up in a way that oils up your churning mental gears—have books nearby, keep the window open, light up some incense or fulfill any other quirk that will benefit your personal ability to absorb information.
- Have goals: Figure out what your priorities are while learning Korean and when you’d like to achieve them. It’s good to simply want to speak the language, but try and see if you have any specific desires in mind. With some direction, you can transform learning into something much more significant and focused.
- Watch your schedule: We know you’re excited to learn, but relax and take your time—Korean’s going nowhere! Plan out when you should move on from one topic to another, with even a vague agenda in mind, and you can tackle down material in an efficient manner while getting the results you want in time.
- Find your study group: With fellow learners, you can boost your own understanding of material. Take advantage of online forums and don’t be shy to ask and answer questions.
- Be adventurous: When learning Korean, you’ll need as many resources as you can get. Your online course may tickle your brain and make you keen for more, so go and expand your knowledge by doing some self-exploration in and out the net. You can read books, listen to K-pop and even watch some popular Korean dramas—all of this can only improve your education in a challenging but worthwhile way!
So, here are some online courses that could grant your wish to learn Korean in the coziest way possible.
7 Excellent Korean Online Courses for Stress-free Learning
Price: $75 (one-time) + other options
Offering 63 lessons in the form of short videos, Udemy’s Korean Foundations course (labeled “Learn Korean! Start Speaking Korean Now!” on the site) is a fantastic way to start your Korean-learning journey. It’s advocated as a course that doesn’t require any studying, mainly due to its step-by-step structure that includes helpful tips and useful mnemonic devices. The end result is a way of retaining information without long and agonizing review sessions.
(In addition, a simple search for “Korean” from the link above will show you several other Korean course options that vary in price and exact subject matter.)
The entire curriculum of the Korean Foundations course sums up to about 5 hours of video content. You’ll learn basic Korean sentence construction, pronunciation, essential vocabulary from different topics and tidbits of the Korean culture itself. Its brevity makes for an easy but comprehensive course.
This Udemy course is a great way to ease yourself into the language before tackling all the heavy-duty stuff. With a one-time payment of $75 for lifetime access, you’ll definitely enjoy what the course has to offer with the reassurance that you can check back whenever you want to review something. Plus, once you’ve gotten comfortable with the website, you can use Udemy to supplement your Korean knowledge with other courses on Korean.
King Sejong Institute
Boasting a variety of different online courses, the King Sejong Institute accommodates a broad range of learners from introductory to intermediate levels. This is supported by the fact that the site is funded by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, so you’ll definitely be learning some crucial Korean.
Registration is free and just involves a quick-and-easy sign-up. Once that’s done, you can choose your language level and then check out the learning materials on the site, which can be navigated either in its native Korean or English versions.
The resources and courses are vast—you can access videos, sound clips and e-books. Lessons are organized by topic and range from travel vocabulary to popular K-pop. You also have the option to follow a preset standard curriculum; alternatively, you can choose what you’d like to study. The lessons themselves can be supplemented with the other Korean materials on the site, which include lectures, songs and literature.
One of the site’s best features is a forum where you can give and get support from fellow Korean learners and actual Korean natives. This is definitely worth your time if you want to get some genuine advice to enhance your skills.
Living Language: Korean Edition
Price: $75 for 6-month access; $150 for 1-year access
Living Language offers an online course that follows a set four-step system, moving from building essential skills to achieving your specific goals. With over 65 years under its belt, Living Language is definitely a great way to become adept in Korean no matter your skill level.
After signing up and getting an access code, users can access 46 lessons that include vocabulary, grammar, audio conversations and notes on Korean culture. Reviews of the material are given in the form of fun games and puzzles, and you can track your progress to measure how far you’ve come along—and how far you want to keep going! The site also has some supplemental resources, including audio clips and phrase books, to supplement the course. Additionally, like King Sejong Institute, there’s an online community of Korean experts and learners here to help you.
Another special feature of Living Language is its e-tutoring sessions, which you can access with a number of credits that are purchasable or included in some Living Language offerings. These live sessions let you speak with and learn from a native speaker, with the opportunity to go over material or get answers to more specific questions.
If you want some more consideration before purchasing the deal, you can try a free sample from the site’s Language Lab.
Rocket Languages: Korean
Price: Free trial; $300 for 20 CD pack + online access; $149.95 for lifetime online access
Rocket Languages Korean online course promises learners an education that will take them from beginner level to good conversational level.
The course involves plenty of tools to help you learn, including audio and writing lessons, flashcard sets, games, a self-rating system and a voice recording feature that lets you improve your pronunciation. You’ll be studying Korean in all facets—reading, writing, and speaking—and learning crucial vocabulary and grammar rules that will develop your skills as a Korean speaker in the real world.
Another special tidbit about Rocket Languages is its chunking teaching method, which involves grouping pieces of information to make a larger whole. This strategy has been shown to be helpful in memorization tasks and thus beneficial as a general study habit. Rocket Languages uses this in its audio lessons and provided dialogues in an effort to make you understand the material more concisely.
You can try a free 7-day trial of the program, the trial being a mini version of the course in itself. Lifetime online access costs $149.95, but discounts are offered. If your siblings, parents, or relatives also share your polyglot tendencies, then a great family discount is also available, so check and see if they want to hop in on the course!
How to Study Korean
With 175 lessons separated into 7 units, How to Study Korean teaches not only the essentials of learning Korean, but also the vocabulary and grammar needed to speak the language like a real native down to their nitty-gritty.
The lessons are comprehensive but simple to follow. Each include grammar and vocabulary lists tailored to different levels of study, as well as common sentences and audio recordings from a native that apply the words and rules you learn from that lesson.
The site generously provides other free learning resources, including workbooks, short stories, themed lessons, listening practice, and lessons on Chinese characters called Hanja (한자) that will help you understand the root meanings of certain words.
Everything on this site is free, which means you can learn a good bulk of Korean without spending a single penny!
Price: Free plan available, membership starting at $4 per month (for longer subscriptions)
Another free goodie, KoreanClass101 has over 1600 audio and video lessons that teach you both the lingual and cultural aspects of Korean. You’ll be getting a fuller picture of the Korean language in context with the country itself!
All you have to do is sign up to get access to the lessons, along with several tools that help you learn vocabulary, grammar, and the Korean alphabet, Hangul (한글). There are also detailed PDF versions of the lessons, just in case you want to quickly pop open and scan over notes instead of watching a clip. If you feel like discussing material, or other Korean-related topics, with other classmates, there’s a lively online community that you can join.
What’s great about KoreanClass101 is its nifty portability—besides its online version, it’s available on mobile apps and desktop software. This will make on-the-go learning all the easier!
Price: Free demo account; See pricing for Basic and Plus plans
With the Korean edition, you can get the immersive and non-strenuous education you’ve always wanted.
FluentU hones your education with multimedia resources—its lessons are based on a variety of authentic Korean video and audio clips, the clips having interactive subtitles that teach you words and grammar, and each lesson includes downloadable transcripts, flashcards and detailed explanations of the material. You can also track your progress and test your skills with games. The end result of all this: a way to learn Korean in as comprehensive a manner as technologically possible.
One of the best things about using FluentU is its customization. Indeed, you can really take charge of your own curriculum and set up your own lesson plan while organizing your resources. Taking advantage of this feature will let you hone the knowledge you really want or need.
Start using FluentU Korean on the website or download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
That’s the end of this list, but there are certainly many more to find.
Korean is a great language to learn, and it’s even easier to do so with technology by your side. The experience will surely be valuable, and your initiative in starting this education will make bloom some great opportunities.
Now go forth and jump into the world of digital learning—this time, school is yours to rule!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.