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Korean Beginners (Year 1) Short Course

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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

Learn at a moderate pace with our Korean language course. The course is made up of three parts (parts 1-3), taught at progressive levels. Take one part or enrol on all three to complete the full beginners syllabus.

Why choose this course?

Whether you're learning Korean for travelling, working abroad or with foreign companies, or if you are a fan of K-pop, the Korean Beginners course will enable you to communicate confidently on a basic level in everyday situations, socialise and not feel out of place in the country you are visiting.

This Korean short course is an introduction to the Korean language and way of life for the purpose of practical communication. Challenging but rewarding, the course is perfectly suited to those looking to develop a basic command of Korean.

The full beginners course is made up of three 10-week beginners’ modules – part 1, part 2 and part 3. Enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3) to gain a complete knowledge of Korean for beginners at the best price. Our teaching takes place one evening a week,  ideal for those with various commitments or working full-time.

Our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

This Korean language programme will help you to develop essential listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. You will be introduced to Korean alphabet, Hangul.

By the end of the course you will be able to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. You will learn how to introduce yourself, talk about daily and weekly activities, past events, locations, to order food and drinks, do shopping and make suggestions.

In order to build confidence and understand the structure of the language, you will learn some markers for noun, verb forms for present and past tenses and suggestions.

You will be able to interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Is it the right level for me?

If you have no prior knowledge of Korean you must start with part 1, which takes place in October term.

If you have some basic knowledge of Korean and you are already familiar with the content of part 1 you may choose to enrol on part 2 or part 3. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

Please make sure you have the correct level by using our online guidelines.

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Part 1

Starts October

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Korean language and alphabet Hangul
  • Greetings & Introducing oneself
  • Nationality and occupation
  • Names of items: Daily goods
  • Daily routine
  • Place nouns

Grammatical structures

  • 'to be' 이다
  • Verb: informal and formal style present tense
  • Verb ‘to have/do not have’
  • Sentence structure: SOV (subject + object + verb)
  • Subject, object and location markers
  • Negatives 안

Learning objectives

  • Reading and writing the alphabet Hangeul
  • Greeting people
  • Introducing oneself
  • Talking about names of items
  • Requesting items at the shop
  • Talking about daily routines and current activities
  • Talking about locations

Part 2

Starts January

Topics covered

  • Place and location
  • Numbers
  • Expressing time and days of the week
  • Past activities
  • Food
  • Money and Price

Grammatical structures

  • Location marker 에 (Static location)
  • Location words
  • Direction marker 에
  • Verb forms: Past tense
  • Counting unit used with numbers
  • Polite command with ‘으세요’
  • Also with ‘도’
  • Connective ending for ‘and’ 고

Learning objectives

  • Describing and talking about places
  • Asking and answering about destinations and location
  • Telling the dates and days of the week
  • Talking about weekly activities
  • Talking about past experiences
  • Ordering food in a restaurant
  • Asking the price of items

Part 3

Starts April

Topics covered

  • Weather and seasons
  • Leisure activities
  • Feelings
  • Likes and dislikes

Grammatical structures

  • Adjectives
  • Connective ending for ‘ but’ 지만
  • ㅂirregular verb
  • Formal style of verb 습니다
  • Suggestions with ‘을까요?’
  • Exclamations with ‘네요’
  • ㄷirregular verb

Learning objectives

  • Talking about weather and seasons
  • Describing weather in your hometown
  • Asking, telling and making suggestions about leisure activities
  • Expressing feeling
  • Talking about travel experiences



Prerequisite knowledge

This is a complete beginners’ course and no prior knowledge Korean is required.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis in this course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Role-playing
  • Classroom discussion
  • Pair and group work
  • Work on pronunciation and intonation
  • Grammar in context

All evaluation will take place in a relaxed and informal setting. There is no formal assessment and no qualification is issued at the end of the course, but you will be awarded an official City, University of London certificate at the end of the course, if you have attended at least 70 per cent of the lessons.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Textbook and exercise book

  • Text book: Seoul National University (SNU) Korean 1A Student book.Language Education Institute, Seoul National University, Twoponds Co.,Ltd.

ISBN 978-89-539-3428-3

  • Workbook: Seoul National University (SNU) Korean 1A Workbook.Language Education Institute, Seoul National University, Twoponds Co.,Ltd.

ISBN 978-89-539-3440-5

The books can be purchased through online bookshops such as Samples and audio files are available to download free at

Other recommended reading

  • Yeon, J. & Brown, L. Korean A Comprehensive Grammar, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-60385-0
  • Cho, Lee & Schulz, Sohn. Integrated Korean, Beginning 1. 2nd Edition. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3440-1
  • King, R. & Yeon, J. Elementary Korean, 2nd edition, Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 978-0804844987
  • Cho, J & Oh, M. Korean Listening Skills: Practical Tasks for Beginners. Darakwon, ISBN 978-89-277-30033 18710

Tutor information

  • Jaehee Cho

    Jaehee Cho graduated from Korea University in Seoul with a BA in Korean language and literature education in 1987. She went on to study for an M.A. in Phonetics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1997. Her interest is in learning and teaching languages, especially the sound of languages and how to teach a language more effectively using both structural and communicative approach. Jaehee has more than 25 years of experience in teaching Korean.

    She wrote some books ‘Korean Listening Skills’ for Beginners and Intermediate learners. Currently she is also teaching Korean at King’s College London and FCO Language Centre.