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The review for the grammar dictionary was supposed to come first, but seeing how I’m using this book right now, I thought I’ll do a review on it when it’s still fresh in my mind ^^

Speaking Korean is probably one of the oldest series of Korean textbooks. There are 4 in the series, with the 1st and 2nd book concentrating on grammar/vocabulary. The 3rd book is all about Hanja and the 4th book is a challenging one where news articles are presented and hanja are highly made use of in this book. 

Read on after the cut ^^ Summary can be found right at the bottom of the post!

Book 2 is packed with grammar structures and new vocabulary – it basically covers a wide ground, probably up to the advanced intermediate level.

Each chapter begins with a short dialogue, followed by introduction of some of the vocabulary in the basic sentences. What i like about it is that it does not simply tells you the meaning of the word, but tries to put it in context and also differentiate it from other words with similar meanings.

Next, grammar points are introduced with loads of examples! The explanation is clear and often, there are add-on notes that offers more information. eg. that this construction is used only with the past tense.

This book makes use of drills and subscribe to the idea that input is very important in learning. The drills section contains around 6-8 sentences for each grammar point and by the end of reading through it, you can get a pretty clear idea of how it works. I’m not such a big fan of drills, but they prove to be useful if you are unsure of a particular grammatical construction ^^

This is followed by a few short stories – which are basically like 3-4 sentences making use of the grammar points in the chapter.

The reading section is probably what I like most about this book. They often offer cultural insights and in other cases, they are about a specific topic and one can learn loads of related vocabulary from it. The readings in Book 2 are inclined towards topics like business, and they try to make use of the more difficult 한자 words rather than their 순우리말 counterparts. Useful for those who are preparing for the advanced TOPIK, given how most of the vocabulary there are 한자어.

Good points

  • ample grammar points with good explanations
  • loads of examples given
  • reading section is highly useful

To be improved

  • Drills should make use of more varied sentence patterns – they tend to be boring after a while