This is my first impression of 288 page Korean language textbook Sungkyun Korean 1 Vocabulary • Grammar which, as I mentioned in the previous post, I ordered for the most ridiculous reason. After I have used it for a while I will write a full review.
First, some technical details about the book
Title: Sungkyun Korean 1 Vocabulary • Grammar | 성균 한국어 1 어휘 · 문법
Publisher: Hawoo Publishing
If you are tackling Korean on your own to avoid wasting your time I will say it right away: Sungkyun Korean 1 is not for those who are self-studying Korean. It is intended for classroom use which is evident from the very short and technical grammar explanations to the exercises which involve playing bingo with other people studying Korean.
Now, I am probably the most isolated learner of Korean in the world (which you can tell from this blog’s tagline) so this would usually be a big problem for me, but since I already know the theory behind most basic Korean grammar concepts and what I really wanted is some practice and confidence (see my insecure post on when is one ready to move to next level language textbook), short explanations and lots of exercise is actually what I needed at this point.
And this books seems to be brimming with exercises. Just as importantly, from what I could tell by flipping to random chapters, despite being for classroom use all exercises have answers in the back. I will check if indeed every single exercise is included in the answer key in the back as I further use the book.
Since I can’t yet understand complex instructions and advanced level grammatical discourse, I was worried that the book would be entirely in Korean, as some Korean textbooks are. I was relieved to see English translation, but my relief may have been premature. There seems to be something weird going on with English in this book but I will have to go through the lessons before I can say more.
The beginning of the book is dedicated to teaching Hangul and it looks to be one of the best I’ve seen so far.
It covers everything, from hangul’s history to pronunciation to stroke order, and even has many diagrams showing position of the mouth and in which part of the mouth the sound is formed. These diagrams are even more detailed than in my beloved pronunciation textbook.
The rest of the book is faithful to its name, all about vocabulary and grammar, with lots of colorful pictures and sparse text, as is tradition in Korean textbooks.
Sungkyun Korean 1 Vocabulary • Grammar comes with an mp3 CD, everything is read by native speakers and the sound is crisp and clear.
This is as much as I can tell from flipping quickly through the book. I will write the full detailed review when I’m finished with the book and in the meantime if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.