Sure, it would be great to jet off to Korea and do all your language learning there.
But we all know that’s not so easy.
So what’s the next best thing?
Luckily, there’s an at-home Korean immersion solution that’s not only effective, but much more affordable than a plane ticket and a new apartment in Seoul.
That’s right. Your dream of being a natural at Korean is possible through language immersion software.
Language immersion programs provide tons of resources and interactive learning experiences, all on your schedule. Whether you’re a beginner or approaching fluency, there are software solutions you can take advantage of.
Let’s check out some of the benefits of this language learning tool, plus six of our favorite Korean immersion software programs.
The Pros of Language Immersion Software
If you’ve ever yearned for language school at home, then language immersion software can be a great solution for you.
The convenience of software means you can study when, where and how you want. Plus, all the content is laid out and available at the click of a button. You can jump around or review different lessons whenever you choose.
Software programs also offer an interactive experience, where you learn material with visual, textual and audio resources. Software programs make it so that your education is diverse and refreshing, so you’ll be invigorated throughout your study periods.
The learning resources in these programs are also wide-ranging, and because it’s all digital you can potentially get even more than what was originally provided. A good deal of software programs provide a special code or online database so that you can access bonus material.
Some even include a special online forum for you to speak with other fellow learners, or a platform to interact with native speakers.
How to Stay on Track When Learning with Immersion Software
While they share similarities with typical online courses, immersion software programs can be more involved and offer more diverse resources. That’s because these programs aim to surround you with the language as much as digitally possible. To make the most of this learning experience, it’s important to remember that you get out what you put in.
Here are a few things you may want to consider doing so that you can really ramp up your Korean skills using immersion software:
- Make paper flashcards. One of the oldest study tricks in the book, flashcards help to boost your memory in a quick and efficient manner. You’ll definitely want to make a big stack of flashcards to solidify new vocabulary and language concepts that you learn from your Korean software.
- Have a learner’s notebook. Have a notebook out and ready so that you can jot down any important notes. Although it’s true that you can review any lesson you want with the click of a button, it’s nice to have your own journal to quickly refer to.
- Organize and schedule lessons. Think of the immersion software lessons as a real class curriculum. Make an agenda of when to learn what. Since there’s no teacher enforcing a lesson plan, you should make (and commit to) your own, based on your priorities, schedule and personal learning preferences.
- Use books and self-made exams. The immersion software is a hefty resource itself, but search for some non-digital means of learning to really help the information stick. There are plenty of great Korean books for some extra or focused education.
You can also make your own tests (crude or complex) as a way to review material. In fact, administering practice tests can be a powerful way to commit information to memory.
- Speak Korean with others. When learning any language, you should speak it as much as possible with others! Find native speakers or fellow learners to give life to what you’ve learned. After all, the whole point of the software is to immerse yourself in the language so that you feel comfortable using it in real-life conversations and situations.
These tips can help you connect your education in the digital realm to reality and make the most out of your learning experience. Keep these tips in mind during as you use immersion software, and you’ll achieve great, consistent results in your language learning process.
6 Korean Immersion Software Programs That Will Fill You to the Brim with Knowledge
Price: $199 for CD or downloadable version of lessons one through three, $249 for 24-month online subscription; see website for details and special offers.
As one of the most well known language learning software programs, Rosetta Stone has made its mark with its extensive material and teaching methods.
The curriculum is meant to guide you through the language, with lessons sequenced in a way that helps learners easily transition to new topics. You’ll be testing your reading, writing, hearing and speaking skills with different activities, including games. Rosetta Stone also offers a special speech recognition feature that can help you practice your pronunciation.
Another nice feature is that the mobile app version lets you use the program anytime and anywhere.
Price: $299.95 for 20-CD pack plus online access; $149.95 for lifetime online access; see website for details and special offers.
Rocket Languages is tailored for beginners and aims to create an immersive experience, which takes you from having no Korean knowledge to attaining a good conversational level. This is great as a way to pick up essential Korean language basics, especially if you’re going to be speaking with natives.
This program has a nice range of features, from dialogue-based audio lessons to flashcard sets. The software is great for those who want an emphasis on grammar and vocabulary, while also getting practice on the pronunciation, writing and speaking aspects of Korean.
Rocket Languages is primarily based on the web, but you can get their full CD series if you want a resource that you can pop into your computer at any time. The web portal is open for use whenever you have internet access, and there isn’t anything complicated in the user interface, making it easy for you to access what you need and want to learn.
Price: Free demo; see pricing for Basic and Plus plans.
If you want real Korean immersion, then you’re going to want to experience the culture of Korea itself to aid your studies. What better way to do so digitally than by watching and listening to authentic Korean videos?
In its Korean edition, FluentU offers the best of what’s available for you to learn the language.
Here's a quick look at the variety of video choices available to you:
Each word in the interactive captions comes with a definition, audio, image, example sentences and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and easily review words and phrases from the video under Vocab.
Don't stop there, though. You can use FluentU’s unique quizzes to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions.
FluentU even tracks your progress and remembers all the words you've learned, making for a 100% personalized experience.
Review sessions use video context to help embed the words in your memory. The best part? You can access the full FluentU video library with a free trial!
Start using FluentU Korean on the website or download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
Price: $20 – $500, depending on whether you choose the MP3 or CDs; see website for details.
Developed about 50 years ago, The Pimsleur Method has been recognized for its effectiveness and is popular for its sheer lack of complexity.
The immersion is primarily audio-based. You’ll be listening to audio tracks (with both female and male voices) that offer crisp annunciation and syllabic breakdowns. Your job? Repeat what you hear.
Pimsleur is designed to get you speaking right from the get-go. The program requires only thirty minutes of your time per day. As easy as this may sound, this method of spaced repetition is quite powerful in ingraining what you’ve learned deep into your head.
Pimsleur teaches the Korean language in a simple yet holistic manner, making the content easily digestible so that it can be put to use in real life. The CD set also comes with two reading booklets and two hours of reading instruction.
Price: $22.95 for “Essential Components” edition; $49.95 for “Complete Components” edition.
Living Language provides a learning system that takes you from functional skills to fulfilling your own personal goals with the Korean language.
One of the great things about Living Language is the diversity of its learning resources. Lessons contain both audio and textual content while offering practice in conversation, grammar and Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
You’ll also get free access to their online Language Lab, where you can review material with flashcards, games and quizzes. Beyond their standard lessons, however, are some supplemental materials and courses to deepen your Korean immersion, including vocabulary books and even a chance to talk with native speakers!
For all that it provides, Living Language is affordable and will certainly keep you invigorated as you’re learning.
Price: $199.95 for one-year subscription; $29.95 for one-month subscription.
Founded in the early 1990s, Transparent Language now has its core programs available through an online platform. The software stands as a competitively-priced, solid foundation for learning the Korean language.
There’s a wide range of resources to help you build up all the aspects of understanding the language. Along with foundational learning tools including grammar lessons, speaking practice and downloadable audio files, you’ll have access to online language and culture blogs plus personalized learning analysis. While there’s lots of content bundled into Transparent Language, you can pace yourself at your comfort and convenience.
Transparent Language also produces a number of specialized, downloadable software programs. For Korean, you’ll probably want to check out the Byki software, which focuses on vocabulary and pronunciation. Luckily, Byki is free to download!
Because of its heftiness, Transparent Language may better suit those who prefer a stronger level of self-direction. Also, note that you’ll need internet access in order to use the program.
Even if it’s not currently feasible for you to hop on a plane to Korea, you can still become a terrific Korean speaker with resources so close that you can’t miss them.
Remember that the whole point of language immersion is to make the language and its usage fit snugly into your normal, everyday life. With constant exposure and practice, you’ll be a pro in no time.
행운을 빌어요! (haenguneul bileoyo!) — Good luck!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Korean with real-world videos.