Reader Letter: Joy

Hi Z,

I just recently stumbled on your blog in Hanguk Drama. I am from Sydney as well and is self-studying Korean I guess as a result of my love for Korean drama.

I have 4 kids and a full time job but still find time to do a bit of studying on the side. I said instead of just wasting my time watching the sub titles I will make it my goal to be able understand what I am watching with sub-titles.

I started with TTMIK last year and has gone through all the lessons so far. I am in the revision stage at the moment to try to solidify what I have learned so far.

I am looking for the next step to this. I was looking at I don’t know if this is worth it as it has a monthly subscription or do I just review my TTMIK notes before joining. I am looking at the books that you also recommended Korean Grammar in Use (beginner & intermediate). Although I was thinking if I need to go beginner (even just for reference) and might be buying that instead of doing the

I am also curious about TOPIK. Is this like an exam thing that you can go online? I just need a gauge that I am improving in my language learning.

Thanks for your time. I know that you are very busy.

 It so nice to communicate with somebody that share the same interest in self-studying Korean.



Thank you for your email Joy!

I should probably be getting advice from you as I’m still trying to find the balance between full-time work and studying Korean!

Honestly I haven’t used or subscribed to korean101 before, so can’t comment on its usefulness (any readers have some experience with it they can share?). Really it is dependent on each person’s individual situation – if subscriptions or books are out of reach financially, it is definitely not something you need to spend hard earned cash on. But if your able, it’s always find a reference you love. For me it’s Korean Grammar in Use.  I LOVE it (not to say there aren’t any other amazing resources!). If you can, take a browse on Amazon or a bookstore if one is accessible.

TOPIK has recently gone through a lot of changes, I definitely recommend checking out Topik Guide. Great information and past exam papers! TOPIK is a monitored exam, and in my experience is only held once a year in Sydney, around Sep-Oct. I found out my registration details previously from, however it is definitely not the easiest website to navigate…

Also keep an eye out for Korean classes in Sydney – it’s something I found very useful, particularly interacting with other students and the teacher. The KCO has free classes for members and I thing there are a few other offering around too.



Got any input for Joy or want to share your own experience? Let us know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Reader Letter: Joy

  1. KoreanClass101 is good… go for premium membership and try to get 50% discount.
    With 1 year plan.
    Lang-8 is good for writing practise.
    Memrise 1000 most common words.
    2000 most common words. 3000…
    Top 100 verbs. Top 100 adjectives.
    Topik beginner vocabulary.

    TOPIK Test is good to prepare…
    Last year question papers.

    A book like active korean1/2/3/4 would be useful.

  2. Hi Z, I was so excited when I read this. Thank you so much for your advice and the other bloggers as well. I will try to continue studying and will invest well in resources that would help me. I am just glad that there are so many resources and people out there (including your site) that help out self-studiers like me to keep my interest in the subject and not give up. Joy

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