The You Speak Korean (YSK) series, initially published in book form in 2003, was one of the first textbook series intended for novice learners with no background in the Korean language. The second editions of Books 1 and 2 have undergone significant updates to better accommodate recent changes in the student population and their learning needs, as well as current teaching approaches (e.g., performance- and proficiency-based, backward design, and task-supported language teaching). The textbooks and their accompanying async practice materials and tasks are intended for a first-year classroom course, but can be fun and useful self-study books as well, with or without the help of a Korean-speaker friend or tutor, as they are available on the Open Educational Resources (OER) platform.

The second edition of the YSK series consists of two parts: (1) Textbooks for classroom instruction or self-study and (2) Practice Books that contains traditional workbook chapters and real-world tasks focusing on three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational), as well as intercultural communication. Please visit these links to find the completed websites with original pictures and content, as well as associated async practices and tasks:

Organization — Textbook

Book 1 presents 12 chapters, with topics illustrated as follows:

Preliminaries 1. 들어가기 1 (한글)
Preliminaries 1 (Hangeul)
Preliminaries 2. 들어가기 2 (한글)
Preliminaries 2 (Hangeul)
Chapter 1. 안녕하세요? 반갑습니다.
Hello, nice to meet you!
Chapter 2. 전화번호가 뭐예요?
What is your telephone number?
Chapter 3. 책상 위에 가족 사진이 있어요.
There is a family photo on the desk.
Chapter 4. 어디에 가요?
Where are you heading to?
Chapter 5. 수요일 아침에 운동해요.
I exercise on Wednesday morning.
Chapter 6. 몇 시에 시간이 있어요?
What time are you available?
Chapter 7. 태권도 수업 어때요?
How’s your Taekwondo class?
Chapter 8. 어제 내 생일이었어요!
Yesterday was my birthday!
Chapter 9. 김밥 한 개 주세요.
Please give me one kimbap.
Chapter 10. 내일 친구하고 만날 거예요.
I’m going to meet my friend tomorrow.

Book 2 presents 11 chapters, with topics illustrated as follows:

Chapter 11. 한국에 가고 싶어서 열심히 공부해요.
I study hard because I want to go to Korea.
Chapter 12. 일주일에 한 번 외식해요.
I eat out once a week.
Chapter 13. 주말에 같이 한국 식당에 갈래요?
Do you want to go to a Korean restaurant together this weekend?
Chapter 14. 떡볶이하고 즉석 떡볶이가 많이 다르지요?
Tteokbokki and jeukseok-tteokbokki are different, right?
Chapter 15. 난 사진 찍는 거 좋아해.
I like taking pictures.
Chapter 16. 우리 할아버지는 서울에 사세요.
My grandfather lives in Seoul.
Chapter 17. 연휴에 경복궁에 갈까?
Shall we go to Gyeongbok Palace over the long weekend?
Chapter 18. 시내에 갈 때 지하철이 제일 빨라요.
The subway is the fastest for going downtown.
Chapter 19. 색깔은 괜찮은데 사이즈가 좀 커요.
The color is nice but the size is a little bit big.
Chapter 20. 비가 오니까 우산 가져가세요.
It is raining, so bring an umbrella with you.
Chapter 21. 여름에 제주도에 놀러 가려고 해요.
I am planning to go to Jeju Island in the summer.

Each chapter consists of the following segments:

Learning Goals 학습 목표

As the YSK series is organized using the backward design approach, each chapter begins with clearly stated end learning goals that are performance-based. These goals are also aligned with the target proficiency level (Novice Mid/High for Book 1 and Novice High/Intermediate Low for Book 2) and the 2017 NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements.

Setting Up 들어가기

This section provides a lesson focus that outlines the key elements to be covered in each chapter. Following the lesson focus, you will find a short dialogue introducing the key grammar items and functions of the chapter. To facilitate learning, an accompanying audio file is provided for students to listen to and practice along with the dialogue. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on how the new grammar and expressions are utilized within a contextual conversation.

Ingredients 단어

In this section, essential vocabulary is introduced through thematically organized expressions, complemented by original pictures that reflect both contemporary Korean language learners and Korean culture. Vocabulary notes and exercises are also included. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with new vocabulary items before the start of each lesson, utilizing online vocabulary practice apps (a link to which is provided on the website).

Recipe 문법과 표현

This section presents key grammar patterns, beginning with a sample dialogue accompanied by audio, allowing students to listen to and think about the target grammar and function in context. It is followed by easy-to-understand explanations and examples carefully chosen to illustrate the grammar point’s usage and semantic nuance. Subsequently, grammar exercises are provided, starting from more straightforward, controlled tasks like conjugation exercises to more complex, open-ended activities, such as dialogues and interviews. These allow students to apply the target grammar in various contexts.

Let’s Cook 해 봐요! 

This section presents real-life tasks that enable students to combine and apply their acquired vocabulary and grammar expressions. These authentic scenarios provide a platform for integrating language skills and promoting creative and meaningful language use. The section is divided into three categories: Interpretive (Listening), Interpretive (Reading, Writing), and Interpersonal/Presentational (Speaking, Presentation) Tasks. Primarily designed for oral practice in pairs or groups, these activities can also be adapted for extended practice or homework assignments, helping learners consolidate their understanding and skills.

Korean Flavors 한국 언어와 문화

This section provides students with useful information on Korean linguistics and culture, enabling them to deepen their understanding of the language and effectively engage in communication to successfully perform the intended tasks in the Korean language.

I Got This! 할 수 있어요!

This section presents the learning goals of each chapter again, allowing students to self-evaluate their learning and take steps to reinforce it, as needed. The listening script and PDF version of the chapter are also presented here.

Now You Try! 스스로 해 봐요 

As students are now prepared to work independently, they are guided to practice and apply the new elements of the Korean language in various contexts by completing workbook exercises and engaging in real-world tasks. To access additional practice materials, students can click on the links provided in the section.

How to Use This Book in the Classroom

The material in this textbook is intended to fill one academic year of a standard, non-intensive, college-level introductory course, assuming that each chapter can be covered within a week.

Semester Plan

Weeks Semester 1 Semester 2
Week 1 Preliminaries 1 Review
Week 2 Preliminaries 2 Lesson 11
Week 3 Lesson 1 Lesson 12
Week 4 Lesson 2 Lesson 13
Week 5 Lesson 3 Lesson 14
Week 6 Lesson 4 Lesson 15
Week 7 Lesson 5 Lesson 16
Week 8 Review/Midterm Exam Review/Midterm Exam
Week 9 Lesson 6 Lesson 17
Week 10 Lesson 7 Lesson 18
Week 11 Lesson 8 Lesson 19
Week 12 Lesson 9 Lesson 20
Week 13 Lesson 10 Lesson 21
Week 14 Review Review
Week 15 Final Exam Final Exam

Quarter Plan

Weeks Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3
Week 1 Preliminaries 1 & 2 Review Review
Week 2 Preliminaries 2 & Lesson 1 Lesson 8 Lesson 15
Week 3 Lesson 2 Lesson 9 Lesson 16
Week 4 Lesson 3 Lesson 10 Lesson 17
Week 5 Review/Midterm Exam Review/Midterm Exam Review/Midterm Exam
Week 6 Lesson 4 Lesson 11 Lesson 18
Week 7 Lesson 5 Lesson 12 Lesson 19
Week 8 Lesson 6 Lesson 13 Lesson 20
Week 9 Lesson 7 Lesson 14 Lesson 21
Week 10 Review/Final Exam Review/Final Exam Review/Final Exam


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You Speak Korean! Book 2 by Haewon Cho, Emily Curtis, Soohee Kim, Angela Lee-Smith, and Mijeong Kim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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