Korean Class Visit – Hyejin Kim

2014 August 14
by Haley Albin

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm, you can hear students speaking Korean in Room 1781. Today I got to observe an Intensive Beginner Korean class taught by Hyejin (Sarah) Kim.

Although I am proficient in Japanese, I am always open to learning new languages, so this was great opportunity. Before coming to this class, I knew bits and pieces of Korean from friends. I was excited to learn Korean in a class setting rather than a casual setting.

In this class, students learn the Korean alphabet and basic Korean phrases. This course specifically follows the Active Korean textbook/workbook series. Three students (a high school student, a college student, and a businesswoman) participated in today’s class. Their reasons why they are taking Korean classes varied. Some people are taking it because of their love of K-Pop and K-Dramas; other people are taking it for business use. At first, I felt a bit shy to be in the classroom, but Ms. Kim was very warm, welcoming, and made the class very entertaining.

Today’s lesson was the second session of the semester, so we started class by reviewing the Korean alphabet. When my friends taught me Korean, I always struggled with the pronunciation; however, Ms. Kim taught the pronunciation clearly so I was able to pick it up quickly. Also, a big plus about this class is that the teacher heavily encourages student participation. She even asked me to participate as well so that made observations more enjoyable.

In addition, like most of the classes taught here at Hills Learning, this class followed the SWIRL method (Speaking, Writing, Intonation, Reading, Listening) effectively. Speaking was probably used the most during the lesson. In my opinion, I thought the listening sections were the hardest part of the class because some Korean consonants and vowels sound somewhat similar, so it can be easy to mix them up.

During the class, Ms. Kim spoke to us in basic Korean such as saying “Good!” when our Korean pronunciation is correct or “Ready?” when we are going to repeat after her.

Once we got the Korean alphabet down, we moved on to the unit: Introductions. Unfortunately, when we got to this unit class was almost over.

Overall, Intensive Beginner Korean is a wonderful class! The teacher is very friendly, copies of the units are provided during the lesson so there is no need to buy the books beforehand, and the fun environment of the class makes learning Korean easy. On a side note, the pace of this class is a bit on the fast pace. Therefore, if you are ready for the challenge, then I would definitely recommended signing up for this class!

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