Learn Korean

If you're interested in learning a new language, Korean is a dynamic and increasingly popular option to consider. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why learning Korean can be a valuable asset, effective strategies to master the language, the challenges that Korean learners may encounter, how to measure your Korean proficiency level, and tips for choosing a quality Korean course. Whether you're passionate about K-pop, planning to travel to Korea, or looking to expand your language skills, this article will help you on your journey to learning Korean.

Learn Korean with EF

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Want to learn Korean?

Here's why you should choose EF for your Korean course abroad.

Global leader in international education

State-of-the-art school in Seoul

60 years of experience

All-inclusive package: language course, accomodation and meal plan

24/7 support, from the pre-booking stage until after you return home

Learn Korean in Korea

Why learn Korean

Learning English is a good way to improve your professional future and expand your horizons. More and more people around the world use English as a way to connect with people from different cultural backgrounds. The English language has become the lingua franca of international communication, trade, business, diplomacy, and many other areas. Mastering the language will open doors for you, both expected and unexpected.

According to the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI), the world's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills, more than 1 billion people speak English as a first or second language, and hundreds of millions as a third or fourth. English proficiency helps scientists, researchers, tourists, and business professionals exchange information. On an individual level, people who speak English get better jobs, earn more, and have access to more of the information available online.

5 benefits of learning Korean

If you're not yet convinced about learning Korean, we've got some more reasons that might just change your mind.

  1. Business Opportunities: South Korea is a hub for technology, fashion, and entertainment industries, and speaking Korean can give you an advantage in building business relationships and job opportunities.
  2. Cultural Enrichment: Korean culture has a rich history spanning thousands of years, with unique traditions and customs that have influenced the world in areas like food, music, and fashion.
  3. Travel: South Korea is a beautiful country with natural wonders, bustling cities, and historic sites, and knowing Korean can help you communicate with locals, navigate your surroundings, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  4. Entertainment: Korean media has become increasingly popular worldwide, with K-pop music, K-dramas, and movies reaching a global audience. Knowing Korean can help you enjoy these forms of media without relying on subtitles, and gain a deeper understanding of the language nuances and cultural references.
  5. Cognitive Benefits: Learning a new language has been shown to improve cognitive abilities like memory, problem-solving, and multitasking. It also increases cultural awareness and empathy towards people from different backgrounds.

How to learn Korean

If you're interested in learning Korean, there are many resources and strategies available that can help you get started. One of the most effective ways to learn Korean is through immersion. Creating a Korean immersion environment at home, or even travelling to Korea, can be a great way to accelerate your language learning progress. Here are a few simple steps to create a Korean immersion environment at home:

  1. Start by changing the language settings on your phone, computer, or other devices to Korean. This will help you become familiar with new vocabulary and improve your reading skills.
  2. To improve your listening skills, try watching Korean TV shows or movies with subtitles. You can start with Korean audio and English subtitles, and then switch to Korean subtitles as your skills improve.
  3. Listening to Korean music, podcasts, or audiobooks while doing daily tasks can be an effective way to immerse yourself in the language and improve your listening skills.
  4. Setting specific goals and tracking your progress is crucial to staying motivated and improving your language skills. Aim to achieve milestones such as holding a conversation with a native speaker, reading Korean books or passing a language proficiency exam.
  5. To supplement your self-study, consider joining a language exchange program, taking group classes or private lessons, and practicing speaking with Korean native speakers to get real-time feedback on your progress. With time and dedication, you can become fluent in Korean and gain a deeper understanding of Korean culture.

Challenges of learning Korean

Learning Korean can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Korean is known for its unique writing system, complex grammar rules, and different pronunciation compared to English. However, overcoming these challenges can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the language and culture. Here are some common challenges when learning Korean:

  1. The writing system: The Korean language uses a unique writing system called Hangeul, which can be challenging for learners to master. Hangeul consists of 24 letters, which form syllable blocks. It can take some time to get used to reading and writing in this system.
  2. Grammar: Korean grammar is different from English and can be complex. It has different sentence structures, word order, and honorifics. There are many rules for sentence endings and verb conjugation that need to be learned and applied.
  3. Pronunciation: Korean pronunciation can be tricky, especially for English speakers. There are some sounds that are unique to Korean and can be difficult to master. For example, the "ㅡ" vowel sound and the "ㄹ" consonant sound can be challenging for non-native speakers.
  4. Vocabulary: Korean vocabulary can be vast, and it can be challenging to remember new words and phrases. Some words have multiple meanings depending on the context, making it important to learn them in context.
  5. Cultural nuances: The Korean language is closely tied to Korean culture, and learners may need to learn cultural nuances to fully understand the language. This includes the use of honorifics, which change depending on the age, gender, and social status of the speaker and listener.

While there are certainly challenges when learning Korean, such as the complex writing system, diverse dialects, and honorifics, these challenges should not discourage you from learning the language. Instead, embrace the challenges and use them as opportunities to improve and grow as a language learner. The best way to overcome these challenges and accelerate your language learning progress is to learn Korean in Seoul, where you can fully immerse yourself in the language and culture, and receive top-notch instruction and support from experienced language teachers.

How to stay motivated while learning Korean

Learning Korean can be a fun and rewarding experience, but staying motivated throughout the learning process can be challenging. Here are six strategies to help you stay motivated when learning Korean:

  1. Set specific goals: Setting clear and achievable goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress as you learn Korean.
  2. Find a language exchange partner: Connecting with a native Korean speaker can help you practice your language skills, get feedback, and stay motivated.
  3. Join a Korean language group or class: Joining a group or taking a class can provide structure and accountability, as well as the opportunity to meet and learn with other Korean language learners.
  4. Immerse yourself in the culture: Engaging with Korean culture, such as through watching Korean dramas or listening to Korean music, can make learning Korean more enjoyable and help you stay motivated.
  5. Reward yourself: Celebrating your progress and successes can help you stay motivated and make learning Korean more enjoyable. Consider treating yourself after reaching a milestone, such as completing a language level or passing a language exam.
  6. Take a trip to Korea: Visiting Korea and immersing yourself in the language and culture can be a great way to stay motivated and take your language skills to the next level.

To summarize, by setting clear goals, finding a language exchange partner, joining a class, immersing yourself in the culture, rewarding yourself, and visiting Korea, you can stay motivated and achieve success in your Korean language learning journey.

How to measure your Korean level

Measuring your Korean language proficiency level is an important step in tracking your progress and identifying areas that need improvement. One of the most widely recognized tests for Korean proficiency is the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK), which assesses the listening, reading, and writing skills of non-native speakers. The TOPIK has six levels, ranging from beginner (Level 1 and 2) to advanced (Level 5 and 6). Another way to measure your Korean proficiency is through self-assessment or language exchange with native speakers. This can involve assessing your own ability to understand and use the language in various contexts or receiving feedback from a language exchange partner on your conversation skills. Whatever method you choose, regular evaluation of your skills and setting new goals can help you stay motivated and improve your Korean language abilities over time.

How to pick a good Korean course

An English course is a good idea for beginners and can be a great investment if you know what you’re looking for. Before researching English course options, sit down and make a list of your goals as you learn English. If you’re looking for a broad introduction to the language, that’s a very different course than one that prepares you for negotiating contracts in English or one that gets you ready to take the TOEFL. It’s worth spending 15 minutes putting your goals down on paper.

Once you know what you’re looking for, research which English courses most closely match your learning goals. Here are the main options:


  • Online English courses – unlimited access to the platform + live teacher lessons on demand, or a private teacher to study what you want to study
  • English language schools – once or twice a week in a location near you (just like regular school)
  • English courses abroad – 3-4 hours of lessons a day + a host family (full immersion experience)
  • Self-study – the most common way to learn English. There are extensive English reference materials online as well as English learning apps.

Class size

  • Private lessons – work on exactly what you want (more expensive)
  • Group lessons – follow a set curriculum and meet at set times (less expensive)


  • Long-term English courses – meet once or twice a week all year (usually 2-4 hours/week)
  • Intensive English courses – meet every day for 2-6 weeks (usually 15-30 hours/week)


  • General English courses – a broad spectrum course covering all aspects of the English language
  • Specific English courses – IELTS preparation, TOEFL preparation, medical English, aviation English, English for Academic purposes (EAP), etc.

The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to find an English course that can meet them. And remember, as you learn English, your goals may change, so revisit them regularly and adjust your learning strategy accordingly.

At EF Seoul, I had an amazing experience learning Korean. Excellent teachers, immersive environment, and cultural immersion opportunities helped me make rapid progress in my language proficiency, beyond my expectations.

Jenny, EF New York

Learn Korean with EF

Learning Korean with EF is an exciting adventure. Our enthusiastic teachers are experts in creating a personalized learning environment that meets your unique needs and learning style. We offer a variety of courses, including private lessons, group classes, and immersive language programs to help you achieve your language learning goals and develop a deeper understanding of Korean culture. Contact us today to begin your Korean language learning journey.

Learn Korean in Seoul

Discover the beauty and rich culture of Korea while improving your Korean language skills with EF in Seoul.

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