Korean Classes in Singapore (:

I have been asked this quite a bit so I thought maybe I should write a post on the topic (:

My learning journey:

I started out with NUS Extension, completed all levels for Beginners and took a break for a year.

Am currently with Ganada Korean Language Centre (cousin introduced it to me).
Taking my Intermediate classes and TOPIK preparation classes there now.

NUS Extension
Textbook: 
Kyunghee University

I got a really strong foundation in reading and recognising words here. You get a textbook, a workbook + worksheets (depending on your teacher). There are 2 sets of books for the beginner levels and it takes about 3 levels to complete one set of books.

The pace in NUS Extension is really fast cos the teachers have to complete a lot of things within the 8-10 lessons. Classes are big (at least 7-10 to start a new one) so the amount of attention you get might not be enough. For a really structured learning experience, I would recommend this.

Textbook-wise…It can be a little dry and confusing. You will learn both formal and informal language at the same time. Sometimes a super formal language will pop in too. The vocabulary and grammar is somewhat unrelated too. Found it quite hard to relate or memorise. After the first few chapters, the textbook will be entirely in Korean which can be overwhelming for beginners. I had to translate the entire page before I knew what I was supposed to do for homework last time.

Teachers there are Koreans (I know this is important to some of you).

Introduction to the Korean structure is built into the curriculum. So I was introduced to Korean food and traditional games.

Score: 6/10
Seems like NUS Extension has recently made an announcement that they are closing their language courses. The teachers have now opened a new school called, “i.Speak KLC” that uses Active Korean textbook as well (:

Ganada Korean Language Centre
Textbook: 
Seoul University

I took a placement test when I joined the class.  I think I did quite badly for the placement test 😛 But the principal was rather nice and insisted that I continued with Intermediate instead of starting with Beginner Level 4 (which I wanted).

Learning is fun at Ganada! Each level completes about 4-5 chapters of the Seoul University textbook. The pace is slower and more reasonable (:

Classes at Ganada is a lot smaller (at least 5 to start a class) and more personable. The teachers are Koreans who has a strong command of English. Some even know a bit of Chinese (which can help!).

Textbook-wise…I really like the textbook! It’s very well structured. You start learning the informal form first (much easier!) before gradually proceeding to the formal and even Banmal! The textbook is well-organised too. Chapters are grouped by activities (e.g. interview, out of order, shopping) and you learn the vocabulary/grammar related to these activities. There’s English translation for most of the content which is awesome! I will usually read the words in Korean and try to see if my understanding was correct.

I saw the principal cutting out some Korean money and bringing out the Seoul Subway map once. Think those are for the beginner classes. Interesting!

My teacher is awesome. She makes learning less stressful and I am slightly more okay with making mistakes when I am with her. So I try to speak more (:

Score: 8/10

Korean Lanaguage School
Textbook: 
Yonsei (I think, but there are reviews that say it uses Kyunghee too)

I did consider going to the “official” Korean language school but it was too far!

My colleague is currently having her classes there and I think she quite like it (: Classes are semester based. So if you missed one intake, you will have to patiently wait for the next semester to roll by.

I have some classmates who were from KLS previously. They speak really fluent Korean and their foundation seems rather strong. However, I overheard that the textbook was crap cos the structure is bad.

Also understand that classes are conducted 90% in Korean. So you either buck up and catch up or get lost in translation.

The school organises several Korean activities too. And is the place administering the TOPIK exam.

Score: N.A.

Would recommend it if you like to be plunged into the deep end to learn. I’m not 😛

Talk to Me in Korean
Textbook: 
None.

This was where I started before even heading to NUS Extension. The lessons are really interactive and fun (:

So if you want to “stress test” your interest in the Korean Language, you can go to the site and listen to their lessons. They are FREE! But you can also choose to buy the lessons in bulk.

They have video lessons that touch on common drama phrases, the latest lingo and stuff. Really fun! (:

So that’s it from me! Hope this helps. Otherwise, do drop me a note!

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12 thoughts on “Korean Classes in Singapore (:

  1. Sejong Korean School has quite a good pace of teaching too. And you can take replacement classes if you cant make it for your lesson by informing them earlier. Hope this helps =)

      • Hi there,

        Thanks for your quick response. I see. I also noticed that they are offering this free trial at $88 which is quite tempting. hehe.. Yeah I will keep you updated! 🙂

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the useful information. Can i ask how much did you pay for your Intermediate class level 1 ? i am starting from beginner level 1 and told me as the level goes up, the price also go up. Thanks!

    • hi there!

      I’m assuming you are asking about Ganada? Went through my emails and I think I paid about $288 for beginner’s levels (once a week). Intermediate was about $304 (once a week). hope this helps! (:

  3. Daehan Korean Language Centre is another good school to try out. They have a free intro to Korean course and prior to registering you can consult with their educational director who was very patient in answering your queries and trying to find the best course that would suit you. Staff there were very friendly and helpful too.
    The classes I attended were very engaging and well-structured. They have TOPIK classes there too and use a mixture of Kyunghee and Yonsei textbooks (best of both worlds I’d say!)

  4. hi I know it was a bit far out by now… 2 years since your korean class but I was wondering if you have input for single vs dual classes a week (assuming you are working)… I did come from KLC/SKIS a year ago then stopped due to clashes with work meetings. I do think SKIS has a good set of program but textbook (yonsei) is not as well prepped for foreigners. I do still think SNU books are still better for english natives.
    looking to head back into ganada or ispeak this time for me, location is close to my office at raffles… I tend to like twice a week as it keeps my korean fresh in mind. though I must say the prep is sometimes a little on the tough side to juggle with work.

  5. you should check out Jangkorean as well! I have attended a course there together with my friend before travelling to Korea. If you happen to miss a class or couldnt follow with the pace, you are able to listen to the class AS MANY TIME YOU WANT at other Community centres, without any extra charges.
    The teachers there are highly skilled ones who know what they are doing with many students following them.
    Lastly, the convenience factor is definitely an advantage cause they teach in many Community centres! Just find one that is nearest to your place and save the trouble to travel far really.

    Hope this helps! Have fun learning korean:)))

    You can visit their website to find out more. http://www.jangkorean.com/

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