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Texas ISD School Guide
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Travel, Teach, Live in Korea

Fastest Way to Learn Korean
By:Lane Cummings

Learning Korean or any foreign language is a difficult task, but the most effective method is total immersion into the language and culture. Immersion is an imperfect method and can be very frustrating, but at the same time, it's the fastest way to learn a language. Before you travel to Korea, however, it's best to learn the alphabet, basic phrases and correct pronunciation, so that you don't feel completely lost when you get there. According to Joel Goldfield, a professor at Fairfield University, one of the most superior methods to learn a language "combines an accelerated or immersion structure within the target country." Thus when you arrive in Korea, be prepared to enroll in language classes.

Take classes daily in elementary-level Korean. Make sure that you receive face-to-face instruction with a native speaker of Korean. Ask questions and verify that your basic pronunciation is correct. According to Michael Fee, director of Lango, a language school in San Francisco, "The best method is to learn face-to-face from native speakers."

Travel to Korea and study at a Korean school or university. Arrange to take classes at least three hours a day for several months.

Ask your school to make arrangements for you to live with a host family. Most schools in Korea offer accommodations for students either in the form of a home-stay with a Korean family, a hostel or a hotel. A home-stay is best, as it will help you with total immersion.

Go to Korean movies and concerts. Watch Korean television shows and read Korean books, if possible. If you're still a complete beginner, read books for children. Keep building your vocabulary, but don't be unrealistic and try to learn every word you hear.

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