#1 Best KoreanClass101 Review: Learn From Native Speakers In 2023

A photo of a female Korean teacher sitting on a table outside behind the KoreanClass101 review texts.

Are you considering learning Korean? If so, you may have come across KoreanClass101. It’s an online platform dedicated to teaching Korean. But is it effective?

In this KoreanClass101 review, we’ll examine its features and assess their usefulness and ease of use. Most importantly, we’ll determine if it truly aids in learning Korean. 

So, are you ready to see if KoreanClass101 can help you reach your language learning goals? Let’s begin.

A photo of KoreanClass101 official logo.

What Is KoreanClass101?

KoreanClass101 is an online platform dedicated to Korean language learning. Established in 2007 by Peter Galante, it offers a vast array of over 1,000 audio and video lessons. 

Each lesson, delivered by native Korean speakers, immerses you in real Korean conversations. But KoreanClass101 isn’t just about lessons. 

It also provides interactive flashcards and grammar worksheets to help you consolidate your learning. It’s a comprehensive resource, offering tools and materials to reinforce each lesson.

The platform also includes a community forum. This space allows you to connect with other learners, ask questions, and gain insights from native speakers. In short, KoreanClass101 is a one-stop-shop for anyone serious about learning Korean.

What Is KoreanClass101 For: Perfect for those who like to set their own learning rhythm. Whether you’re just starting your Korean journey or are already halfway there, KoreanClass101 has something for you.

Languages Offered: It’s all about Korean, but they’re looking to add more languages in the future.

Learners Level: Absolute beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.

Who Is It For: If you’re self-motivated, enjoy learning at your own pace, and want to learn from native speakers, KoreanClass101 is for you. It’s also perfect for those preparing for a Korean proficiency test.

KoreanClass101 offers a broad range of lessons, catering to learners at all levels.The quality of video lessons can be unpredictable, with some being of low quality.
The platform provides engaging and informative podcast lessons.Some lessons on KoreanClass101 can be repetitive, especially at the lower levels.
With plans starting at $4 a month, KoreanClass101 offers good value for money.Not all of KoreanClass101’s lessons are subtitled in English.
It has a feature that groups lessons into topics or goals, providing a structured learning path.Content for advanced learners can be disorganized and hard to navigate.
All lessons can be downloaded, allowing offline access and permanent retention.KoreanClass101 is less interactive than other language learning platforms, such as Duolingo or Babbel.
The podcast-style lessons often contain lengthy English conversations, which can distract learners.

How Does KoreanClass101 Work?

KoreanClass101 offers a unique, flexible approach to language learning. Let’s dive into the specifics of how this platform works.

Engaging Audio & Video Lessons

KoreanClass101 offers concise audio and video lessons. These lessons guide you through authentic Korean conversations, with teachers explaining each word and phrase. 

The beauty of this approach is that it’s customizable to your learning goals. Whether you’re learning for travel, love, or focusing on specific skills like reading or writing, there’s a lesson for you.

Effective Study Tools

To enhance your learning, KoreanClass101 provides a variety of study tools. These include word lists, slideshows, and flashcards that help reinforce your vocabulary. 

To aid in understanding native conversations, they offer slowed-down audio and line-by-line breakdowns. For pronunciation, you can practice and compare your skills with native speakers using voice-recording tools.

Personalized Guidance From A Dedicated Teacher

With KoreanClass101, you can also receive personalized guidance from your own Korean teacher. This allows you to introduce yourself in perfect Korean or even hold a 3-minute conversation within the first week. 

Your personal teacher provides feedback, corrections, and answers to your questions via private messenger. They also provide a personalized program for you to follow. This feature is available with the Premium PLUS subscription.

KoreanClass101 Design And Interface

KoreanClass101 is a comprehensive learning platform accessible on both desktop and mobile devices. Each platform has its unique user experience, and it’s essential to understand the specifics of each.

For Desktop

The desktop version of KoreanClass101 offers a wide range of features, including audio and video lessons, transcripts, vocabulary lists, and flashcards. 

Unique to the desktop version are features like a dark mode for those who prefer a dimmer screen, and a screencast feature that allows you to record and playback your Korean speech.

While the layout is generally user-friendly, the abundance of information can sometimes feel overwhelming. The search function, unfortunately, leaves room for improvement, making it challenging to find specific lessons or resources.

For Mobile Apps

KoreanClass101 also offers a mobile app through the Innovative Language Learning app, for those who prefer learning on the go. It houses all the features available on the desktop version, with the addition of an offline mode and a progress tracker.

The app is designed to be user-friendly, providing a convenient platform for mobile learning. However, some users have reported occasional bugs, indicating that the app could benefit from further refinement.

Overall User Experience

In my personal experience, KoreanClass101 offers a varied learning journey. The platform is packed with resources and features. Still, at times, the sheer volume of information can feel overwhelming. 

While handy for learning on the move, the mobile app has its own set of quirks. Despite these minor hiccups, the high-quality lessons and unique features like the screencast tool and offline mode make KoreanClass101 a worthwhile tool for learning Korean.

A photo of a female Korean language learner using her phone reading KoreanClass101 review.

Features Of KoreanClass101

KoreanClass101 is more than just lessons. It’s a comprehensive platform with features supporting your language learning journey. Here’s a quick look at what it offers:

Audio And Video Lessons

KoreanClass101 provides lessons for all levels, each around 15 minutes long. These lessons, led by bilingual native Korean speakers, cover many topics, from basic introductions to vocabulary and grammar.

Lesson Notes And Transcripts

Each lesson comes with notes and transcripts. The notes delve into the lesson’s grammar and provide cultural insights, while the transcripts help you practice reading and comprehension.

Customizable Learning

KoreanClass101 lets you adjust the dialogue speed and record yourself for Korean pronunciation practice. It’s like having a personal coach to guide your learning.

Word Bank And Flashcards

The ‘word bank‘ lets you create a personal vocabulary list, while the flashcards help reinforce your memory of new words and phrases.

My Teacher Feature

With the Premium Plus plan, you get the ‘My Teacher’ feature. This allows you to send your work to a teacher for feedback and receive weekly assignments, offering a personalized learning experience.

Who Is KoreanClass101 For?

KoreanClass101 is a versatile platform catering to many Korean language learners. Let’s look at who can benefit the most from this platform.

Absolute Beginners

KoreanClass101 is like a friendly guide for those just stepping into the world of the Korean language. It starts from scratch, so you’re good to go even if you don’t know a single Korean word. 

The lessons are designed to ease you into the language, introducing new concepts bit by bit. Also, the audio and video lessons help you get familiar with how Korean actually sounds.

Self-Directed Learners

KoreanClass101 is a self-paced platform, meaning you can focus on what interests you the most. Want to polish your grammar? Go for it. Need to expand your vocabulary? They’ve got you covered. It’s all about what works best for you.

People Who Want To Learn Korean For Travel

If you’re planning a trip to Korea, KoreanClass101 can help you prepare. They have lessons specifically for travel-related topics. 

You can learn how to ask for directions, order food, and even make small talk. It’s like having a handy travel phrasebook but way more in-depth.

People Who Are Interested In Korean Culture

Korean learners fascinated by the culture will love KoreanClass101. They offer lessons that explore different aspects of Korean culture, from history to food to music. It’s not just about learning the language but also understanding and appreciating the culture behind it.

KoreanClass101 Pricing

As of writing this KoreanClass101 review, there are three main price points you can choose from. But here’s the catch: the prices you see are only available if you pay for two years at once. If you go for a 1-month subscription, the price will at least double. So, let’s break it down:

The Free Forever Version

This free version gives you access to some of the platform’s content, including a few lessons and other resources like the Korean dictionary and vocabulary lists. It’s a good starting point if you’re just dipping your toes into Korean language learning.

The Free Trial

Before committing to a paid subscription, KoreanClass101 offers a free, 7-day trial. During this trial period, you can experience all the features and content available with a Premium subscription. The best part? You don’t have to enter any credit card information to start the trial.

Subscription Versions

KoreanClass101 offers three levels of paid subscriptions. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what each subscription offers:

SubscriptionPrice Per MonthFeatures
Basic$4.00 – $8.00Access to lessons online and on the app, all grammar from the lesson notes available online and to download as a PDF.
Premium$10.00 – $25.00Everything in Basic, plus all of the tools on the site except 1-1 instruction.
Premium+$23.00 – $47.00Everything in Premium, plus 1-1 instruction.

Which Option Is The Best?

Based on my experience, the Premium subscription seems to be the most balanced option. It gives you access to all the content on the platform, which is a huge advantage. 

However, the 1-on-1 instruction offered in the Premium+ subscription doesn’t provide good value for the price. If you’re looking for personalized feedback and guidance, other sites like Verbling might be a better fit.

The Basic subscription is a good option if you’re on a tight budget, but remember that it only includes a few resources and practice material. 

As for the free version, it’s a great way to get started and explore the platform, but it’s pretty limited in terms of content.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Use KoreanClass101

Now, let me walk you through the process of using this platform. Here’s your step-by-step guide to making the most of KoreanClass101.

Getting Started With KoreanClass101

  • Sign Up: First, you need to sign up for an account. KoreanClass101 offers a 7-day free trial to access everything in their Premium plan.

  • Choose Your Level: After signing up, you’ll be asked to choose your proficiency level (absolute beginner level, beginner, intermediate, or advanced). This level can be changed at any time.

  • Navigate Your Dashboard: Once you’ve chosen your level, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. This is your KoreanClass101 hub. Here, you can add the pathways you want to study, see how many hours you’ve studied, the lessons you’ve completed, the newest content, and the latest news.

  • Choose Your Pathway: You can start with the first lesson suggested in “My Pathways” or choose from the lesson library under the lesson heading a vast range of material at your chosen level.

Using KoreanClass101

  • Start a Lesson: Each lesson typically includes an introduction, a dialogue, a dialogue with translations, vocabulary from the dialogue with examples, and a discussion of Korean grammar with examples. You can listen to the dialogue again at the end of the lesson.

  • Use In-Lesson Features: Within each lesson, there are different tools you can use to enhance your learning experience. You can listen to the dialogue in chunks, slow it down or speed it up, and even record your version of the sentence to compare it with the original.

  • Review Vocabulary: After the dialogue, you’ll find the vocabulary section of the lesson. Here, you can listen to each word or phrase, record yourself, and see the English translation with an example sentence separate from the one in the dialogue.

  • Use Flashcards and Word Bank: KoreanClass101 offers flashcards and a word bank to help with vocabulary memorization. You can add words to your flashcards or word bank from the vocabulary section of each lesson.

  • Download Lessons: If you want to study offline, you can download the audio lessons to your device.

Reviewing KoreanClass101: My Personal Experience

I’ve always been a fan of immersing myself in a language-learning platform before I can give an honest review. So, I decided to dive into KoreanClass101 for a week to see what it’s all about. Here’s my journey:

Diving In

I started by signing up for the 7-day free trial. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could access all the Premium plan features without having to input any payment details. 

However, navigating through the initial promotional offers was a bit of a maze. I received daily emails offering deals, which felt overwhelming.

Setting My Level

Once I got through the initial setup, I was prompted to choose a proficiency level. Given my previous experience with Korean, I opted for the intermediate level. 

I appreciated the flexibility of being able to change the level at any point, allowing me to adjust the difficulty of the material as needed.

Exploring The Dashboard

The dashboard became my command center for everything KoreanClass101. It’s where I could add pathways for study, track my study hours, monitor completed lessons, and stay updated with the newest content and news. 

I had the freedom to follow the suggested lessons in my pathways or head to the library to choose from a vast range of material at my desired level.

Navigating The Lessons

The lessons are categorized into different sections, each with a similar structure. I found the dialog lessons particularly useful. These 15-minute lessons typically involve 2 or 3 presenters explaining various grammar points or listening situations. 

The presenters, all native Korean speakers fluent in English, added an authentic touch to the learning experience. I particularly enjoyed the “Survival Phrases” series, which provided practical phrases for everyday situations.

Making The Most Of In-Lesson Features

Each lesson came with various tools designed to enhance the learning experience. For instance, I could listen to each word or phrase in the dialogue section, record my voice for practice, and even slow down the speed for better understanding. 

The vocabulary section allowed me to add new words to my flashcards or word bank, making reviewing and reinforcing my learning easier. I found the “Hangul Videos” section particularly helpful for improving my reading skills and listening comprehension.

After a week of exploring KoreanClass101, I had a good grasp of the platform. Here’s my take based on my experience:

Positive Areas

  • Learning Material: The range of audio and video lessons, quizzes, and flashcards kept me engaged. I particularly enjoyed the themed lessons, like “Korean Cuisine” and “Travel Phrases.”

  • Native Speakers: Learning from native Korean speakers made the lessons feel authentic. The real-life dialogues, like ordering at a restaurant or asking for directions, were practical.

  • Flexibility: The self-paced nature of KoreanClass101 allowed me to learn at my own speed. I could repeat the “Korean Alphabet” lesson until I was comfortable with the Korean writing system.

Areas For Improvement

  • Interface: The platform felt cluttered. A cleaner, more intuitive interface would make navigating the “Absolute Beginner” and “Intermediate” lessons easier.

  • Search Function: Finding specific lessons was challenging. An improved search function would make locating the “Business Korean” lessons quicker.

  • Emails: The number of promotional emails was excessive. An option to limit these would be appreciated, so I can focus on learning, not deleting emails.
A photo of a male Korean teacher teaching in front of his laptop inside an office.

Wrapping Up KoreanClass101 Review

After using it for a week and coming up with this KoreanClass101 review, I can say that it’s a platform that offers a wide array of resources for learning Korean. From lessons delivered by native speakers to various tools for practice and reinforcement, it’s clear that KoreanClass101 has much to offer.

However, the interface can feel cluttered, the search function could use some work, and the number of promotional emails was a bit overwhelming. While these issues didn’t completely hinder my learning experience, they did add an unnecessary layer of complexity to it.

Compared to other platforms I’ve reviewed, such as 90 Day Korean, I found that KoreanClass101 fell a bit short. 90 Day Korean’s structured approach, clear interface, and personalized feedback resonated more with my learning style.

So, while KoreanClass101 is a comprehensive platform with a lot to offer, it might not be the best fit for everyone. It’s worth trying out if you’re interested in learning Korean. But I also recommend exploring other options to find the one that suits you best.

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