Modern Korean: An Intermediate Reader Paperback – 30 Apr 2000
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An intermediate-level reader in Korean. Each of the 24 lessons consists of: a main text; a dialogue;....
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Because the teaching of Korean to foreign speakers is still in its infancy, most of the available books and audio materials are designed for beginners. Beyond this stage, it can be difficult to find materials for intermediate students. Fortunately, "Modern Korean: an intermediate reader" bridges the gap in this area of Korean language pedagogy. Personally, having studied Korean for about 2 years, including a semester in Korea, I find this book to be at the level I needed. The readings include topics such as culture, customs, history, folk tales, and personal letters. They are followed by vocabulary lists and highlight new patterns in grammar. Additionally, the latter half of the book introduces "han-ja" (Chinese characters), which are helpful as they are still occassionally used in written Korean, particularly in newspaper headlines when the native Korean word would be longer, and also when abbreviating calendar dates. * * I would recommend this book to students who have had anywhere between a year and a half to two and a half years of Korean study. Although this book is comprehensive, study could also be supplemented by listening to Korean internet radio or other audio tapes, and reading light modern literature such as poems or short stories (although these can be hard to find). In sum, I find "Modern Korean" to be the ideal book for intermediate students of the Korean language.
I'm a little different from most students of Korean in that I have heard the language in my home for 25+ years. At times, I have had differing levels of fluency (more when I lived in Korea, less now that we've lived in the US for a long time). One of the biggest frustrations I have with every system of Korean I have tried to use to learn is an apparent lack of understanding of how English speaking minds work, and a good use of that understanding to teach how to construct the Korean sentences. There is always a big assumption that we will just understand when something is presented without an adequate explanation of why words and patterns are used the way they are. This book has the exact same shortcomings.
I understand much more Korean than I can speak. I was hoping with this book I would get better explanations for what I hear so that I can use the language much more. But I find the book lacking in that. What I do get are a lot of chuckles and and "We don't talk like that anymore," when I try to put it into practice. So perhaps for me, it gives me a conversation starter with people who can then teach me more modern versions of how the language is used, but with a name like "Modern Korean," I would have hoped that would not be the case.