Korean Textbooks I Want to Finish This Year

Last month, I made a post talking about my goals for 2022. One of my language goals was to finish four Korean textbooks that I already own, so today I wanted to share with you which books I plan to work on and why. I might change my mind further down the road, but for now, here are the four Korean textbooks that I hope to finish this year!

Among the books I own, there are some books that I feel inclined to keep after I’ve completed them, and there are some books that I don’t mind getting rid of once I’m done. The textbooks I prefer to keep are those that can be referenced over and over like grammar glossaries, story-based books with illustrations, or other books containing useful tips (like TOPIK guides, hanja guides, etc). The ones I tend to get rid of are those containing workbook-style exercises or vocabulary lists, and of course, books that I don’t really enjoy using very much.

The four books I’ve chosen are all books that I will most likely get rid of once I finish them because, for me, the goal is to reduce my current textbook footprint. My textbook shelf is completely full! So I would like to make some room by the end of the year for new textbooks and study materials.

Korean Made Easy – Vocabulary

The first book on my list is one that I mentioned recently in my My Current Language Routine post. Published by Darakwon, Korean Made Easy – Vocabulary is a book that introduces lots of vocabulary via listening exercises and various writing/reading exercises.

In the first section of the book, the words introduced are a bit more basic. For example, the first few lessons focus on telling time, reading a calendar, country names, family members, and the like. You can complete these units in only a few minutes a day.

The later sections teach more advanced vocabulary, and also provide quizzes to test your learning and comprehension.

Since this book is like one giant vocabulary workbook, I don’t think need to keep it once I finish. The main value of this book is in the act of doing the exercises and taking the quizzes, not in using the book as a reference again later.

2000 Essential Korean Words for Beginners

The next book I’d like to complete in 2022 is another vocabulary book. 2000 Essential Korean Words for Beginners, also published by Darakwon, is sort of like a dictionary, except that the words are organized by topic, not just by alphabetical order.

Every word has a translation, example sentence, and notes about synonyms and antonyms. Below, you can see an example of how the words have been organized based on a particular topic.

At the end of each section, you can take a short quiz to see how well you remember the words you’ve learned.

As I go through this book, I’m finding that I know about half of these words very well, and the other words that I don’t know at all or feel less confident with, I am making physical flashcards for. Once I have flashcards written for all of the unknown words, I don’t see a need to keep this book on my shelf, so I will get rid of it.

K-Pop Korean

The next book is one that I attempted to complete last year, but I lost interest and never finished it. K-Pop Korean is another book by Darakwon, and it aims to teach Korean grammar and expressions via popular k-pop songs. However, this book was published in 2016, so many of the songs feel out-of-date. For that reason, I don’t feel motivated to learn many of the songs in this book.

Each chapter introduces a song by a different artist. Below is a song by BTS! I’m not a BTS fan so I don’t know what song this is but I’m a bit curious to find out. Other artists included are GFRIEND, KARA, Busker Busker, miss A, Lee Seung Gi, Apink, FT Island, SISTAR, 2PM, GOT7, VIXX, and more.

For each song, two key expressions are introduced with several example sentences and short dialogues.

Then each expression is explained in terms of grammar.

As I said, many of the songs are kind of outdated and there isn’t much in the way of exercises or practice in this book. They also only have partial lyrics printed, so you can’t learn a complete song from beginning to end using just this book as a resource. While I’m happy to use what I have, I’m sure I won’t feel any desire to keep this book on my shelf once I’m through.

Talk To Me In Korean Workbook – Level 4

The last book I hope to complete is actually a workbook for the Level 4 course from Talk To Me In Korean. This workbook is a companion to the free Essential Korean Courses that they offer on their website. The Essential Courses are taught via podcasts with accompanying notes. You can download each lesson’s MP3 file and PDF file to study the material at your own convenience.

Each lesson has a few exercises to help you practice what’s being taught. They have a variety of different exercises like multiple choice, matching, conjugation practice, fill in the blank, reading comprehension, dictation, and more. It’s printed on a toothier paper than most textbooks, so it’s ideal for writing in with pen or pencil, whatever you prefer. They also provide an answer key.

Just like with Korean Made Easy – Vocabulary, the main value for this workbook is in doing the exercises and getting practice. It’s not meant as a reference guide as there are no explanations written out in this workbook. Once I fill out all of the exercises, I can easily let this book go. TTMIK also publishes actual textbooks for their Essential Courses that might be more suitable for use as a reference, but I don’t own any so don’t quote me!


So these are the four Korean textbooks that I plan to work on in 2022! Four books is a bit ambitious but I’m hoping that if I keep on plugging along, I’ll be able to make a dent in my textbook shelf by the end of this year.

Have you tried using any of these Korean textbooks to aid you in your language studies? If not, do any pique your interest? What Korean textbooks are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Korean Textbooks I Want to Finish This Year

  1. I’ve never been drawn to books that have just one person on the cover holding a book or pointing like the Korean Made Easy book you have (I think it gives me flashbacks to studying for AP exams as a high school student), but the inside looks very similar to Darakwon’s Grammar in Use series, which I think has a very nice layout/illustration style.

    Liked by 1 person

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