[KS] KSR 2001-12: _Integrated Korean_, by Young-Mee Cho et al.

Stephen Epstein Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz
Mon Jul 23 23:25:14 EDT 2001

_Integrated Korean: Beginning 1_ (322 pages, ISBN 0-8248-2342-7); by Young-Mee
Cho, Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz, Ho-Min Sohn, Sung-Ock Sohn. 
_Integrated Korean: Beginning 2_ (336 pages, ISBN 0-8248-2343-5) by Young-Mee
Cho, Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz, Ho-Min Sohn, Sung-Ock Sohn. 
_Integrated Korean Workbook: Beginning 1_ (211 pages, ISBN 0-8248-2175-0), by
Carol Schulz; 
_Integrated Korean Workbook:Beginning 2_ (233 pages, ISBN 0-8248-2184-X), by
Sung-Ock Sohn. 
KLEAR Textbooks in Korean Language Series, University of Hawai'i Press,
Hawaii, 2000.

Reviewed by Myoyoung Kim
SUNY Buffalo

	[This review first appeared in _Acta Koreana_, 4 (2001): 163-66.  _Acta
Koreana_ is published by Academia Koreana of Keimyung University.]

There have not been many Korean textbooks available for college students,
so this series of textbooks and workbooks are valuable fruits of the labors
of a dedicated team of professional Korean language educators. This group
of authors have many years' experience teaching the Korean language,
especially in the United States, and they are well equipped linguistically.
The textbooks cover many of the various topics that could occur in the
situations of college life. For instance, different possible situations in
the same category are illustrated in model conversations, which provide
good examples for would be learners. Culture notes included with each
lesson introduce not only traditional, but also modern aspects of Korean
life. The explanations are well matched with the lesson topics and provide
elaborate information so they compromise one of the best features of the
books, which are mainly designed and written for students in the United
States (for example, the adoption of American names, and city names in the
United States). As for explanation of grammar, the authors hold contrastive
perspectives throughout the textbooks. The grammar sections supply very
detailed explanation. At the end of each textbook, there are rich indexes
of grammar, vocabulary, and appendices of verb conjugations. However, the
appendices include both from Beginning 1 and 2 together. It would have been
better if grammars from Beginning 1 only were summarized separately in the
Beginning 1 textbook. The Korean-English and English-Korean vocabulary
glossary is very useful for beginners who are not familiar with consulting
a dictionary. 

The Beginning 1 volume starts with a great introduction where
students can get the most basic and yet the most important background
information on the Korean language, including han'gul. The proportion of
each section in the textbooks shows that the authors integrated all five
language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture) as
evenly as possible. Although much extended vocabulary from the
task/function section in the textbook and speaking activities in the
workbook might require more work for students, those two sections are
complementary sources for speaking practice. I find that dialogues from
Beginning 1 are carefully produced: The first dialogue is to review what
students have learned from the previous lesson, and new grammar patterns
are introduced in the second dialogue. In this way, students have a chance
to recall the material from the preceding lesson and will be ready to move
onto the next step. Another good feature of this series is that the
workbooks are subsequent volumes of the textbook and are written by the
same authors who wrote the textbooks and share similar pedagogical
philosophy. The workbooks include more listening activities than previously
existing Korean textbooks, which is desirable for beginners and very
satisfactory. Audio materials are also provided on the web and that is very

However, there seem to be some drawbacks. First of all, the model
conversations are far too long for beginning students: The range of number
of sentences in one dialogue varies from 9 to 18 for both volumes. I also
would like to mention the number of lessons. Beginner 1 textbook is
composed of actually 8 lessons (han'gul and 7 lessons) and Beginner 2 has
also 8 lessons (Lesson 8-15). Lessons 1 to 8 consist of two separate
dialogues and lessons 9 to 15 have three separate dialogues. As suggested
in the preface, each level is to be covered in two semesters, assuming five
class hours per week. Since Beginner 1 and Beginner 2 are successive
volumes and regarded as one level, they should be finished in two
semesters, usually 30 weeks in total. As a result, three lessons should be
taught in two weeks to complete two books in the suggested time frame.
Considering the possibility of other activities such as quizzes and exams
and the fact that lessons 9 to 15 have three dialogues each, it is
overwhelming for both genuine beginning students and a teacher in terms of
keeping pace. This situation gets worse in the second semester where
Beginner 2 is taught, mainly due to the degree of difficulty of grammar
patterns. In Beginner 1, only one sentence connective '-ko' is introduced
in lesson 7 so students are not yet ready to handle a flood of sentence
connectives to understand and generate more complex sentences. I found from
students' feedback that they feel a big gap between Beginner 1 and 2 in
terms of grammar patterns. Thus, if Beginner 1 and 2 are taught for three
semesters rather than two, they would be used more effectively for both
students and a teacher.

The textbooks have abundant grammatical information, making them
encyclopedic. This type of textbook has its own strengths: They give rich
information and satisfy some students' academic and cultural interests and
curiosity. However, in the last lesson of Beginner 1, many new grammar
patterns are presented at the same time (G7.1, B: Deferential styles
including different tense and different types of sentence ending, G7.2: The
subject honorific including all three tenses). Sometimes excessive
explanation of grammar in the books distracts students' focus and causes
them to worry about the details. Most beginners want to learn a language
for fun, so if a textbook has too much information, it can frustrate
students or make them lose their incentive by heavy loads of grammar.
Additionally, the authors use many technical terms such as copula and
when explaining grammatical aspects. 

Grammar is presented in a very analytical fashion. Although the textbooks
contain a great deal of grammatical information, more detailed explanations
and more examples are needed for some grammatical aspects, especially in the
cases where the grammar points are the key points in a lesson in order to help
students' understanding and use of the grammar correctly. For example, in G2.2
from L2, present tense informal polite forms are introduced, which are the
basic foundation for generating sentences. However, many useful verbs that are
used on a daily basis in real life settings such as 'meet, learn, drink, see'
are not introduced in the example. Furthermore, on p.188, in G5.7, there is no
explicit explanation of how to conjugate the present tense form of the '-hata'
verb, which is also a very commonly used form. On p. 192, in G5.9,in the
authors' explanation, two verbs 'help' and 'be pretty' are the exceptions for
the '¤²irregular verb' conjugation because the verbs are monosyllabic.
However, among other ¤²irregular verbs, some verbs such as 'be cold, be hot,
be easy' are also monosyllabic. There would be no need to give rules for
exceptions. In G7.3 where the grammatical form '-ciyo' is used to seek
agreement, examples are all given without mentioning how to use it in
different tenses. In G7.4, demonstrative expressions are introduced where
adjectival, pronominal, and adverbial forms are all in one section, but not
enough examples or exercises are provided. In addition, contracted forms of
each set of demonstratives are also given and this is beyond the level of the
target students.

In model conversations as well as in workbooks, the use of grammar patterns
should be controlled and confined to the ones that have been covered in the
lessons because the textbooks are for beginners. If unpredicted sentences
are mixed in the grammar notes or questions from workbooks, it is difficult
for students to understand them. Native speakers of a language use
different types of structures freely, but even a small change can make a
big difference for beginners. For example, on p. 59, an object particle is
used in a sentence which students have not yet learned. On p. 150, two
particles are used in a row after a noun, such as 'wuri.cip.ey.nun (in my
house),' which has not been introduced to students, either.  Again, both
particles '-un/nun' and '-i/ka' are used in one sentence in the examples on
pp.120-128 (seyndi.nun cip.i hongkhong.iyeyo). This is very complicated,
and new to students. Even though they learned those two particles, they
have not been exposed to these types of sentences. Students may get easily
confused. Even though this type of sentence is being introduced for the
first time in model conversation 1 from L5, there is no explanation in the
grammar section, either. This kind of problem can be found in passages from
reading activities at times.

Sometimes instructions are not clear and do not match the questions, so
that students might not know what to do. In grammar exercises, examples in
the box are very important keys for students to answer the questions.
Especially, if this workbook is designed for self-study, as the author says
in the preface that all types of activities except those for speaking can
be used as homework, examples and instructions should direct how to do them
very clearly and straightforwardly. For example, pp. 9-29 are about
practicing for han'gul writing. However, the instructions are not clear
whether students are expected to write each vowel or consonant, or to write
the words given. On p. 60, G2.3 B, command forms, honorific forms, and
question/answer forms are all mixed together without explicit instructions.
In G3.1 A, questions do not follow the same pattern as what is shown in the
example box. On p. 83-84, the names of nations should be indicated under
each flag, because students might not recognize the flags. On p. 85, in
E.(4), the person shown is a man, but the word given is 'enni,' so it
should be changed to 'nwuna'. On p. 109 in F.(5), the picture is confusing.
It is hard to tell how many rooms there are with a blueprint type of

Pronunciation is transcribed in han'gul. I am wondering if
this is necessary. It may rather confuse students than give a guideline for
correct pronunciation. For students who are not used to reading han'gul yet,
reading transcriptions written in han'gul is not only extra work but also
there are high possibilities of their reading them incorrectly. Eventually
it could adversely affect their spelling ability.  On p. 50, in A.(2), the
written form and pronunciation transcript in brackets are different, so
students may become more confused. On p. 58 from L9 in the textbook, while
suggesting a transcription of pronunciation, the authors contrast two
words, 'outside' pronounced as [pak'e] and 'only' in negation as [p'ak'e].
However, this difference is only due to individual differences.
Some editorial suggestions come to mind. When it comes to use of terms,
inconsistency can be observed. In L1-L4, the term 'irregular verbs' is used
to refer to sets of verbs that do not follow the general rules of
contraction, but two different terms, 'irregular predicates' in 5-7, on p.
144, in G5.9 from the workbook, and 'irregular adjectives' are used when
they refer to the same set of verbs. In my opinion, too many pages are
allotted to writing practice of voiceless/voiced contrast, vowel length
contrast, and romanizing of foreign loan words in han'gul (pp. 34-40 from
workbook 1). Finally, if I may add one more suggestion, the songs in
Beginner 2 are outdated and are not age appropriate: Some songs are not
well-known, and some are children's songs. If the children's songs were
some of the best known ones instead, it would have been more useful for

As one of many users of these textbooks and workbooks, I would like to
express my gratitude to the authors. They put much effort and time into
perfecting these books. Their enthusiastic work is greatly appreciated.
Despite the shortcomings pointed out above, I have found that the books
function as a good guideline for both students and teachers. If there is
anything else valuable that I missed, it is due to my own lack of knowledge
and experience.


Kim, Myoyoung. 2001
Review of  _Integrated Korea_, by Young-Mee Cho, Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz,
Ho-Min Sohn, Sung-ock Sohn (2000)
_Korean Studies Review_ 2001, no. 12
Electronic file: http://www.iic.edu/thelist/review/ksr01-12.htm

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