How to start learning Korean, especially if you're a complete beginner

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Professor Young Gon Kim's book, "Dr. Kim's Korean for complete beginners"For many years Renison has been teaching Korean language courses to University of Waterloo students as part of its East Asian Studies program. This program has been so successful that it is now the largest of its kind in Canada even while it maintains the small class sizes that Renison is known for. This success has also translated into a partnership with the King Sejong Institute in Korea to offer non-credit classes for the general public, a program that began in 2014.

At the helm of Korean language teaching for many years is Professor Young Gon Kim, Co-ordinator of Korean Language and Culture Studies. Renison celebrates the recent publication of his textbook for beginners titled Dr. Kim's Korean for Complete Beginners.

Professor Kim explains the growth in popularity: "For the last few years in North America, students and young people have been interested in Korean culture though pop culture, movies and songs etc." He adds, "It's been kind of like an explosion in interest. There is always a long waiting list to get into our Korean courses."

When asked why he thinks students are showing so much interest in Korean he said, 

"Many students are going to Korea nowadays to travel, but also to teach English. Second languages are very popular right now: many students are taking them for jobs, and out of academic interest."

Professor Kim attributes the popularity of his courses this way: "The success of the program is due to success in the beginners courses. This is because if the students lose interest in the beginning by not having success then they won't continue and learn the language."

Professor Young Gon Kim is the Co-ordinator of Korean Language and Culture Studies and Director of King Sejong Institute at Renison.

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