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Korean Class 101 Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Korean Lesson Reviews

Korean Class 101 Review 4.5 Star Rating

Korean Class 101

4.5 Star Rating
  • Regular pricing: $4/month for Basic, $10/month for Premium, $23/month for Premium+
  • Frequent promotional discounts (25-45% off at the time of this review)
  • 7-day free trial of Premium plans
  • 60-day refund policy
  • 5 levels of Korean lessons (Absolute Beginner-Advanced)
  • New content posted each week
  • 1:1 help available with Premium+ plan

Korean Class 101, a member of the Innovative Language Learning family, offers a comprehensive array of language study options, familiar to those who have explored their other classes typically named as "pods" (like Spanish Pod 101 or Russian Pod 101). Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned user of the platform, let's take a look and see how Korean Class 101 might be able to help you with your learning goals.

Ample resources you can use for free

There are a lot of resources you can use 100% free of charge by creating an account with Korean Class 101. Once you've done that, you'll need to indicate your fluency in the language: maybe you're an Absolute Beginner who can introduce herself but not much more, or you're more Intermediate and can confidently navigate Korean honorifics, particles, and clauses. Korean Class 101 lets you change that at any time, so don't feel like you're locked in. We really appreciate that these Korean lessons are suitable for multiple fluency levels, not just newbies. There's a pretest that will double-check the level you've selected; just take a deep breath, do what you can, and remember that it's okay to say, "I don't know" .

Fun + practical

You'll be assigned to a Pathway after that (but, again, change it at will). For most people taking Korean lessons for the first time, Level 1 Korean will automatically show up in the dashboard. You'll see that there are almost 200 learning tasks, starting with First Encounters. Click "View All" to preview what you'll be learning. In Level 1 Korean, that includes standards aligned with the level A1 of the CEFR and TOPIK I (1st grade). You'll notice that the lessons are super-practical but fun at the same time: from Calling on Skype (practical) to "I Still Like Kimchi. I Don't Like You." (fun... and maybe practical too?).

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Cultural context at every step of the way

Most lessons start with an audio dialogue, and we think that you're going to appreciate being able to switch between seeing them in English, Korean, and with Romanization (roughly how you'd pronounce it with the English alphabet). Another aspect we like about Korean Class 101's lessons is how they incorporate grammar and culture from the first session. Honorific language might feel foreign to you as a native English speaker, but it's extremely important in Korean; before we took the first lesson here, for example, we didn't know that the honorific should be used either with the full name (last name-first name-ssi) or just with the first name, but never with just the family name (unless you're trying to be disrespectful).

Be brave and leave the assessments toggled on

You'll also see quizzes and other assessments scattered throughout your Korean lessons here. Not your favorite? You can toggle them off, but we don't recommend it. You're not risking anything by giving it a try, and why not get the feedback for how you're progressing in fluency?

Both free and paid plans

There's a ton of free content you can use indefinitely on Korean Class 101, but let's take a look at the paid plans and what they offer. While regularly priced at $4/month for Basic, $10/month for Premium, and $23/month for Premium Plus (or Premium+, as it's sometimes shown on the site), almost every time we've visited this language website, there's been a promotion in place. The most recent one was anywhere from 25% to 45% off, but pay attention to the small asterisk that directs you to the fine print: the pricing may be based on the assumption that you're paying for two years in advance. Fortunately, every Korean Class 101 plan comes with a 60-day refund policy, no questions asked.

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3 tiers of paid membership

So, what's in each tier? See for yourself:

  • Basic
    • Access to all lessons
    • In-depth lesson notes
    • Access on Android, iPhone, iPad
    • Korean Core 100 words and phrases
  • Premium
    • All of the features of Basic
    • Line-by-line audio dialogue
    • Premium lesson tracks
    • Lesson vocabulary lists
    • HD video
    • Korean Core 2,000 words and phrases
    • Pathway vocabulary
    • Vocabulary slideshow
    • Personal word bank
    • Spaced repetition flashcards
    • Multiple choice assessments
    • Pronunciation practice tools
    • Daily Dose of Korean lessons
    • Grammar bank
  • Premium+
    • All of the features of Premium
    • One-on-one access to a teacher
    • Hand-graded assignments
    • Guidance and personalized assessment
    • Writing and pronunciation practice

More traditional approach to teaching Korean

Is it worth paying for these Korean lessons? Many people think so. Korean Class 101 is pretty thorough, and it offers more advanced content than most services out there today. But, don't go into it expecting games and competitions: while these lessons keep the learning fun, it doesn't do it with leaderboards and streaks. If you're a fan of a slightly more traditional style of taking on a new language, Korean Class 101 fits the bill.

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Excellent choice for all fluency levels

Final take? For students who want a platform they can use for years at a time as they progress through an in-depth study of the Korean language and culture, Korean Class 101 is an excellent choice. The lessons are structured in a way that should be easy for anyone to follow, while sprinkling in some humor too. And, with ample free content and three tiers of paid upgrades, this platform can easily be tweaked to give you just the services you need (from a basic word bank all the way to working with your own assigned instructor). Korean Class 101 gets an excellent rating from us.

Where Can You Get the Best Korean Lessons Online?

There are many reasons why people learn the Korean language. Maybe you're a K-drama fan eager to understand your favorite binge-worthy series without relying on subtitles. Or perhaps you're eyeing a career opportunity in South Korea and want to impress your future colleagues with your language skills. And let's not forget the thrill of traveling to Korea and being able to navigate the streets and connect with locals in their own language.

Learning Korean does come with its unique challenges compared to languages like Spanish or French. For starters, there's Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, which is surprisingly easy to pick up - but still requires some practice. Then there's the grammar, with its subject-object-verb word order and intricate honorifics system that adds layers of nuance to your speech.

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Korean Lesson FAQ

Over 75 million people speak Korean across the globe. That includes nearly 50 million in South Korea and 25 million in North Korea, plus significant Korean-speaking communities in China, the US, and Japan.
Yes. The dialect used in Seoul is the one you'll hear and read most commonly. North Korea has its own dialect, which is heavily influenced by the Russian language.
Korean is ranked as one of the most challenging languages for English speakers to learn, according to the Foreign Service Institute within the State Department. (Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese are the only other languages with that level of difficulty!) Of course, any language is within reach if you put in the work!
Begin with studying the Hangul alphabet: just 14 consonants and 10 vowels, many of which have similar sounds in English. Next, get a feel for basic grammar and some commonly-used phrases - and be aware that basic word order in Korean sentences follows a subject-object-verb pattern (unlike English's subject-verb-object structure). And, of course, feel free to enjoy K-pop, K-dramas and any other entertainment that will help you pick up on the language naturally!
You may have a hard time finding any other way to study Korean! Unless you live near a large university, you probably won't have the option of attending in-person classes. That's okay: studying online gives you access to lessons that fit your schedule and for much less than you'd spend for a semester or two at a college. There's no need to ask a teacher to repeat a phrase so you can catch the pronunciation: just hit "replay" and listen as many times as you want!
There are a couple ways you can use your computer to write in Hangul (the Korean alphabet). The easiest is probably to enable a Korean keyboard; the steps differ by operating system, so search based on whether you're using a Mac or PC. Otherwise, there are online Korean keyboards that don't require you to change your computer settings.
Not at all. You can choose among many different language programs, some of which offer monthly subscriptions and others that give you an entire course as a one-time purchase. You could pay as little as $17/month for a membership or $150 for a complete Level 1 package.
Sometimes. Depending on which language platform you choose, you might get a satisfaction guarantee of up to 60 days or the ability to cancel your subscription without penalty. Many Korean language lessons have a free trial or sample lessons, and we encourage you to make full use of those before committing to a program. That's the easiest way to determine if the Korean lessons are presented in a manner that will be a good fit for your preferences and learning style.
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Continued from above...

But don't let that intimidate you. With dedication and the right resources, you'll find yourself making steady progress in no time. You'll be opening doors to a whole new world of culture, entertainment, and connections that come with being able to speak Korean fluently.

Learning Korean online gives you plenty of options to choose from, each tailored to suit different learning styles and preferences. You can dive into listening-only programs, where you focus on authentic conversations to sharpen your ear for the language. If you're into games, you might enjoy gamified platforms that turn learning Korean into a fun challenge, with points and rewards (and streaks) to keep you motivated.

Interactive courses are another great choice, offering a mix of videos, quizzes, and exercises that give you instant feedback and guidance. They're perfect if you like a structured approach to Korean that covers all the bases, from reading and writing to speaking and listening.

Or maybe you're more of a people person and thrive on interaction. In that case, tutoring platforms would be your go-to. You can connect with native speakers for real conversations and cultural exchange, making learning Korean a social experience.

Ready to get started? There are so many Korean lessons to choose from, it could feel a bit overwhelming to know which one to use. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get excited about learning and want to pick the right platform:

  • Current fluency level. Do you already speak (or read) some Korean? Or are you a newbie? No shame in that game. Make sure you choose the Korean lessons that match where you're at.
  • Method of language instruction. How are the Korean lessons delivered? Is it through an app, audio files, an internet browser on your laptop, or something else? What do you think will work best for your learning style?
  • Listening, speaking, reading, writing. Do the language lessons teach you Korean mostly through listening and speaking, through reading and writing, or a mix of all four modalities? We're all for being well-rounded language learners, and because Korean uses a different alphabet than the one you're reading right now, you can't fake your way into reading it unless you know how the letters are pronounced and combined to make syllables and words. Keep that in mind if you're using Korean lessons that are primarily audio-based.
  • Cost. What will you pay for your Korean language lessons? Is it a one-time fee or an ongoing subscription? If there's a free option, what do you get at no cost and is it worth it to upgrade?
  • Learner reviews. Pay close attention to what other Korean students say about their experience with the lesson platform. Did they experience a meaningful improvement in their fluency by using it? How long did it take to see improvements?

To help you find the right Korean lessons for your language goals and favorite way of learning, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have tried some of today's most popular options and given you an honest take on what you can expect from each one. So what are you waiting for? Dive in and start your Korean learning journey today!

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