How Do I Choose the Best Online Korean Classes?

C. Mitchell

In order to choose the best online Korean classes, you must combine careful research with a firm grasp of exactly what you are hoping to get out of your instruction. Online educational resources are vast when it comes to Korean language and culture. Some classes are designed to help participants understand basic spoken idioms or provide just enough vocabulary to get around while traveling. Others are much more comprehensive, including everything from alphabet drills and writing exercises to reading comprehension and speaking skills. Choosing the best classes is largely a matter of investigation and elimination.

Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.
Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.

The best place to start is with a list of why you are looking for online Korean classes, as this will guide your search. If you are hoping to fulfill university degree or certificate requirements, courses offered by accredited language schools or other universities are usually the best options. Degrees in East Asian Studies, Korean language, and Asian cultures are some of the many programs that require at least some Korean instruction. Schools are usually very picky about the sorts of online credits that they will accept, however.

Most of the time, only accredited online courses are acceptable to fulfill discreet university requirements. The best way to discern whether or not online Korean classes are accredited is to ask: ask both your degree-granting institution and the online provider. It is imperative that you discover whether or not a course will count towards your degree before you enroll or pay tuition.

Not all online Korean classes are so formal. Many different Internet academies and language institutes offer varying degrees of education online, many geared towards specific language goals. Choosing between these sorts of courses is often a bit harder, as many appear similar on first glance. Taking the time to click through a site, investigate different learning techniques, and find out more about exactly what is offered is usually a good use of time.

Learning Korean is a difficult endeavor, particularly for people not familiar with learning new alphabets. For this reason, many online classes are broken up into either reading or speaking. It is not uncommon, for instance, to find online learning programs that teach students phrases, words, and listening comprehension without conveying any aspects of the written language. This sort of course is commonly geared to Korean beginners who want to learn enough to get around in Korea, or who want a foundation for more formal study later on.

Other courses are writing-intensive and focus primarily on composition and reading drills. This kind of course usually offers online tutorials that go over calligraphy and brush strokes, as well as pronunciation and sentence structure. Classes like this are often easier to work through at an individualized pace, and lessons can often be repeated until absolute mastery is achieved. They are often best for students with at least some familiarity with Korean language and grammatical structures, though it is possible to find writing-intensive online Korean classes for beginners.

Once you have narrowed down the sort of courses in which you are interested, you must look carefully at the teaching styles. Sometimes, online education is little more than cached tutorials: that is, stored videos and lecture series that students can play at any interval. Others are more interactive and often involve participation in chat forums, live video lectures, and e-mail exchanges with instructors. Different styles work better for different students, and choosing what is best is usually a matter of personality.

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