StoryLeaning Korean Uncovered comes from Olly Richards, the creator of the super popular polyglot blog. It’s quite a bit different than most courses as it revolves around an engaging story. It can be a bit more challenging than other courses, as you begin reading somewhat long texts right off the bat. Overall, I found it to be a more fun way to approach language learning that will be great for some but not ideal for others.
The instruction is clear but can have too much information crammed into a single lesson.
You’ll practice every aspect of the language.
It has a pretty high price, but if you stick with it, you’ll get good value from it.
- Centering the lessons around a story makes learning more fun.
- Good clear instruction with lots of opportunities to practive what you’ve learned.
- Gets students to actively participate and take control of their own learning.
I Don’t Like
- Too many unrelated grammar points are included in the grammar lessons.
- The review quiz is too short.
A one-time purchase costs $297. There’s also a 7-day free trial.
If you’ve been exploring Korean learning platforms, you may have come across Korean Uncovered by well-known polyglot Olly Richards.
The StoryLearning Method involves immersing yourself in a story and being exposed to both grammar and vocabulary in context, before having explicit lessons on what you’ve heard. This combines the popular ‘immersion’ method of learning with the kind of instruction you’d have in a classroom, bringing together the two most common forms of language learning in one package.
The manhwa style of the chapter headings is a nice touch, making it clear you’re in a Korean lesson.
Initially, you may not fully understand everything, particularly if you are starting ab initio. The concept behind this approach is that you learn through context, discovery, and intelligent guessing, which are all valuable skills in real-life language usage.
Korean Uncovered’s Lesson Structure
The Korean Uncovered course is hosted on the Teachable platform, which is user friendly and easy to navigate. This means you can put all of your effort into learning Korean, rather than figuring out how your lessons work.
Each lesson is based around a specific chapter of the story. This is the first thing you encounter in each lesson, and you are encouraged to listen (1-2 minutes) and read (2 pages) along in Korean before looking at the English translation.
The Korean transcript is written entirely in hangeul, with no romaja. This means that you are immersed in reading Korean right from the beginning and don’t run the risk of relying on roman letters and not paying attention to the Korean.
The vocabulary section consists of a 20 to 30-minute video in English. These videos have a straightforward whiteboard style, where the native-speaker teacher selects language examples from the story and provides explanations of words and phrases. You also have the option to download the video lesson, allowing for easy off-line watching.
After the lesson, there is an interactive vocabulary quiz that incorporates a gamification element. The quiz includes four types of activities, such as matching sentences from the story with their English translations and using electronic flashcards. A timer adds a sense of pressure, and there’s even a leaderboard if you wish to compete with other enrolled students.
Following this is a grammar lesson in the same ‘whiteboard and elements from the story’ style.
The third section is on particles, which are traditionally a difficult concept for native English speakers to pick up. Particles act as labels to nouns, telling you what role the noun is playing in the sentence. Korean has around 128 particles, so having lessons picking out the most useful ones is very important!
The pronunciation section is where the native speaker teacher is most helpful, as her accent and cadence are easy to mimic. She is a trained and experienced Korean language teacher, so knows all the tips and tricks for making sure your sounds are authentic. As she also speaks English, she makes comparisons with English pronunciation, which can be very useful.
The culture session follows next, and is written in a blog style rather than a video. As this is a course for beginners, it has basic information about Korea, such as the currency lesson which teaches you about won as well as giving a rough guide to what a won is worth.
Finally, there are speaking activities designed to be printed and shared with a Korean teacher or tutor as they take the form of dialogues. But there’s nothing to stop you doing these yourself and reading both parts.
Once these sections are over, you have the chance to listen to the chapter again and check your understanding, before moving onto the next lesson (which follows the exact same format).
Things to consider before buying the StoryLearning Korean Uncovered Course
The primary thing you need to consider before buying Korean Uncovered is your level. This is a course for complete beginners and assumes you have done no Korean before at all. The very first lesson, before the story, is a history lesson of Hangeul and a session on how to read them. So if you are already a beginner or at a higher level, this is not for you.
You should also consider how confident you are with self-study. While the Uncovered courses do provide access to private learner communities, the bulk of the work is independent, so you have to be self-motivated to make the most of it.
Features and Benefits of Korean Uncovered
Olly’s “How to learn a new language” is a 12 minute training video that appears at the start of the course. Although the video is not Korean specific, it offers practical and accessible advice. This is exactly what you would expect from Olly, who holds a Master’s degree in applied linguistics and possesses extensive experience in language teaching and learning.
The learner community is an optional moderated platform for students, with teachers occasionally dropping by to answer questions asynchronously. The format is similar to a Facebook feed, where there is a central hub for participants across all the Uncovered Courses, encompassing various levels and languages. Within the community, you can view posts relevant to your specific language and level, create a profile, ask questions, and interact with other learners. It’s a space where people share enjoyable and motivational content.
How Much Does the Storylearning Korean Uncovered Course Cost?
Currently, Korean Uncovered is being offered at US$297, along with a thirty-day money-back guarantee (no questions asked!)
While this might seem expensive, there are a lot of high-quality materials included in the course. Whether it’s worth it for you depends on your budget and perspective.
Alternatives to Korean Uncovered
If you like the teaching elements of Korean Uncovered, but you’re at a more advanced level, KoreanClass101 is an online language learning platform that offers comprehensive Korean lessons for learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. It provides a wide range of resources, including audio and video lessons, vocabulary lists, grammar explanations, interactive quizzes, and cultural insights.
If the written story isn’t for you and you prefer a hands-free eyes-free audio-based course, check out the Pimsleur Korean app. The app offers a structured curriculum divided into lessons, each lasting around 30 minutes. The lessons primarily consist of audio recordings featuring native Korean speakers engaging in conversational exchanges. Learners are prompted to listen and repeat phrases, sentences, and conversations, allowing them to practice pronunciation and improve their speaking skills. Pimsleur motivates the learners by having them speak Korean from day one.
In conclusion, Korean Uncovered is a remarkable language course that offers an immersive and engaging experience for learners of Korean. Through its unique StoryLearning approach, it takes you on a captivating journey where you not only learn the language but also delve into the culture and context of Korea.
While Korean Uncovered does require commitment and dedication, the results speak for themselves. By consistently listening to and reading the story, you gradually progress from lower intermediate to upper intermediate levels, building your confidence and fluency along the way.