The Korean Sogang review was originally published in Dulaboo.com. I used to write for the said website before my contract expired. Republishing here for archiving purposes. Edited to suit Yoast’s requirements.
In my previous article, we discussed about KoreanClass101, a nice premium service offering Korean language tutorials. Learning a new language poses several challenges to one who’s not as exposed to the language as she thought she is. As you may have noticed, learning Korean is a challenge not only because of the need to learn how to speak it but also of the need to learn how to write it.
Korean Sogang a.k.a Korean.Sogang.Ar.Kr is the first Korean language learning program that included Korean writing lessons on a comprehensive scale. Learning to speak Korean is already a challenge in itself. What more to write it?
Korean Sogang doesn’t use videos to teach the language to those who come by the site. But it has enough iconography to use for clicking when there is a need to listen to the way words are pronounced.
The alphabet that the Korean language uses is called Hangul, a writing method implemented since the Chosun Dynasty. It is still used in Korea today to distinguish themselves from other East Asian languages that are often compared to them even during the ancient times.
The writing practice is for the student to print. The characters being practiced start as a clear image which fades out until the student is confident enough to write it on his/her own.
When I saw “Listen and Repeat” in one of the lessons at Korean.Sogang.Ar.Kr, I immediately clicked it to test the audio. Little did I know that while the audio is working, the words that the site asks to be repeated are written in Hangul.
This is the website’s way of reminding students not to skip lessons and study them in chronological order. Learn to distinguish the characters from one another first then move forward to learning how to say them once written as complete words.
And so I followed the chronological order here at the Introductory Korean section of Korean Sogang. This is how you first learn the Korean vowels, consonants and the different strokes needed to write down in order to form words.
Korean Sogang’s method made sense knowing that, for example, if you plan to visit Korea yourself, you will not see many words written in conversational English.
Most if not all of them are already in their Korean form. So learning first how do these words look like when broken down into vowels and consonants is important to orient oneself with the Korean characters consisting the language.
The moment I saw that diphthongs are also taught here, it became evident that Korean.Sogang.Ar.Kr has taken the academic approach in teaching Korean as a language.
I like this approach. I have this perception that they wrote this program thinking those who will learn from it will eventually migrate to Korea even just for business purposes. I commend them for that.
An attribute distinct between Western and Eastern languages is how pronunciation of words are taught not by full words but by syllables in the words taught. There are Korean words that contain only one syllable and there are Korean words that contain more than one syllable.
It even illustrated character patterns in the words used as examples to emphasize the way the listed words are pronounced. In other words, their teaching method for a lesson classified in the website as novice Korean is hardcore. You really need to wrap your head around these lessons in order to learn it.
By the time I found the Korean expressions and full sentences taught, my head is about to implode. Don’t worry, I meant that in a good way. And I checked if there is any chance that I get to encounter Korean words that are not written in Hangul characters.
I didn’t find any but I like it that Korean.Sogang.Ar.Kr is user-friendly for students with a serious aim to learn Korean. Those who have a phonetic way of absorbing Korean language lessons simply click the audio icon for them to imitate in terms of pronunciation.
Students that would like to see the English translation of the sentences taught simply click the “Eng” icon. Clicking the “Kor” icon would switch the words back into their Korean form.
Korean Sogang is, at the moment, just found at the Wayback Machine. The site saved some of the important Korean lessons for beginners. The closest link I could find to the old site is the Sogang University website’s Korean Language Education Center. The most recent update related to their Korean language learning program is this FB group.
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