24 Best And Worst Online Korean Courses For 2023

Having known the importance of enrolling in an online Korean course for better understanding.

In this article, we will review all the 24 Best Online Korean Courses and their worst sides so you to make the best choice that suits you.

Let’s drive in!

What Are The Best And Worst Online Korean Courses?

Below are the various best online Korean courses with their respective worst sides to be considered.

They are:

1. Duolingo Korean

Duolingo has become a staple for many language learners not just because it is free to use,

But because it has become a popular household learning app for individuals who are interested in learning Korean. 

Other good sides of enrolling in these online courses include:

  • Free to use.
  • Fun downtime activity in between real study periods.
  • Appealing to young people and those experimenting with Korean before committing to a paid resource.

Regardless of its popularity as one of the best online Korean courses, it still has its faults such as:

  • Tedious, repetitive point and click on easily predictable answers.
  • Addictive gamification that feels productive but is, in fact, time-wasting.

2. Michel Thomas Korean

Michel Thomas’s Korean online course which costs $11.99 for starters is one of the best online courses that any individual who is interested in learning Korean can enroll for.

It helps teachers to guide students by evaluating each of their mistakes on the spot.

Other good sides of this course include:

  • Michel Thomas does a good job of breaking down and explaining difficult concepts in Korean.
  • It also teaches students to learn lexical chunks over explicit grammar rules.

The worst side of enrolling for the course includes the following:

  • Its teacher-controlled learning has been proven by SLA researchers to be an ineffective strategy.
  • Also, it teaches zero listening comprehension for Koreans and offers no opportunity for natural conversation practice which is a very big turnoff to an individual who is trying to learn the language.
  • The course also teaches you about Korean but doesn’t teach you Korean as it is said to teach.
  • The course lectures are more in English than Korean.
  • It has more celebrity endorsements while lacking research which an individual who is eager to learn will take as a turnoff.

3. King Sejong Institute Foundation

King Sejong Institute is another incredibly helpful and comprehensive resource that comes with no cost to use.

Good sides include:

  • This resource is comprehensive and suitable for all levels of Korean.
  • Its courses are well-structured for even a beginner to understand.

With all the benefits and reasons why you should consider this course, it has its worst side which is that the website is always bloated and also difficult to navigate.

4. Coursera Online Korean Courses (Yonsei Uni.)

Coursera courses are for those who are looking for a university-standard Korean course. It 

These online Korean courses are offered by Yonsei University.

These courses offer a variety of lessons that are very comprehensive. 

It teaches basic Korean with a specialization in vocabulary.

Coursera is also one of the few online course providers that offer recognized accreditation.

These online Korean courses are offered by Yonsei University.

The only negative thing about this course is that it is time-restricted.

5. Korean Unnie (YouTube)

Unnie is one of the better Korean online courses. 

It is filled with loads of helpful and super informative content.

 It covers lots of nuanced aspects of Korean and Korean culture too.

The good side of this course is that:

  • It is entertaining and has a fun video personality.
  • It covers loads of Korean cultural subtleties and nuances, as well as slang.
  • There are heaps of videos to binge-watch.

Regardless of its good side, it has its bad side:

  • It’s a vlog and not an actual Korean course.
  • It has loads of irrelevant and mindless videos unrelated to learning Korean but still entertaining

6. Cyber University Of Korea

CUK (Cyber University of Korea) is a free online Korean class portal for teaching the Korean language and culture and it’s also affiliated with Korea University.

There is a ton of useful, structured lesson content available.

The good sides of this course are:

  • It is a very comprehensive Korean lesson content.
  • It has loads of freely accessible lesson videos on YouTube.

While the worst side is that it is a dated and cumbersome website.

7. Glossika Korean

Glossika is one of the most unique language products available.

Glossika focuses on high repetition of lexical chunks, in other words, listening over and over to a sequence of sentences at a natural speed and repeating them.

It is hands down the most effective trainer for Korean listening comprehension and requires little else but frequent, daily listening/repeating to audio.

It is important to bear in mind that because of its unique method, you won’t start with basic grammar or alphabet lessons as you’d expect.

Its good side includes:

  • It is one of the most truly unique and effective methods available.
  • It focuses on the heavy repetition of natural language chunks.

The worst side includes:

  • It has a difficult concept to grasp for new learners of Korean.
  • Its natural approach requiring heavy repetition may feel tedious to some people.
  • It is a slightly higher-priced monthly subscription.

8. 90 Days Korean

90-Day Korean’s an extremely popular course option for learning Korean that I highly recommend. 

The reason why it’s called “90 Day” is not because you’re expected to be fluent in that time, but that you should be able to hold a conversation in 3 months (reasonable goal).

90 Day Korean focuses on what they believe you need which can be a good or bad thing which is Included in the course content.

Other good sides include:

  • Highly practical with actionable lesson focus topics.
  • Very comprehensive and detailed
  • Active community.

The worst side includes:

  • Slightly dated interface/platform.
  • High-end price for a subscription language product. 

9. Rocket Korean

Rocket Korean suits the structured learner most as it’s designed to be followed in a linear progression.

The audio lessons are delivered in both a podcast-style format that’s very easy to follow and audio dialogues that give you just the Korean dialogue you need.

Rocket Koreans course covers all language skills and content very well,

Beginning with the Korean alphabet right up to their advanced content, with their inbuilt voice recognition being extremely accurate. 

It uses Google’s Web Speech technology.

For structured learner types, it’s a great Korean course.

Good sides:

  • Comprehensive all-in-one course package for Korean
  • Ideal for students of Korean who prefer structure in their course learning as it has a very linear progression 
  • Korean course covers all major language skills (listening, speaking, Hangul reading + writing)
  • Inbuilt leaderboard and built-in gamification aspect

Worst side:

  • At this time, it still does not offer higher-level packages.

10. KoreanClass101

KoreanClass101 is a brilliant online resource for learning Korean, especially listening comprehension. 

So, If you are taking a trip to South Korea and want to understand the natives, this might be the course for you.

KoreanClass101 uses audio lessons similar to podcasts. Lessons are suitable for beginners through more advanced levels. 

The instruction not only includes listening skills but also incorporates essential vocabulary and grammar with loads of other useful features.

The good side includes: 

  • It’s very large and it always has an expanding variety of Korean lesson material.
  • Its polished lesson interface and downloadable content are top-notch.

The worst side includes:

  • Content choices are sparse beyond the beginner level.
  • It contains too much English banter.
  • Even though the lesson interface is nice, the rest of the site is quite overwhelming and confusing to navigate.

11. Pimsleur Korean

The lessons in this course majorly focus on practical vocabulary and expressions that a learner might need in various scenarios. 

Such scenarios include greetings, common phrases, and vocabulary you might need when visiting South Korea.

In terms of just how much you will get out of it, I will say that Pimsleur is a good entry point.

So while studying it, it is important that you treat it as a Korean foundational course before moving it to something more comprehensive.

It is important to note that Pimsleur doesn’t offer any video or written content. It’s audio only.

Good sides include:

  • Pimsleur was based on solid research in second language acquisition.
  • Its methods have over time been seen as effective method despite their age.
  • It has a very heavy repetition of Korean language samples.

The worst side includes:

  • One of its worst sides is that it has outdated scenario examples.
  • Also, it communicates mostly in English rather than the main language under study.

12. FluentU Korean

FluentU Korean is a course that helps students learn Korean through the use of real-world video content with a video wrapper that enables interactivity. 

The concept behind this style of instruction is to provide an immersive online course where

Students learn by watching scenes from Korean videos that pertain to real-life Korean culture and it features Korean and English interactive subtitling.

Good sides include:

  • The abundance of video content to learn from is more than most people would ever need.
  • It has the ability to interact with Korean video subtitles.

The worst side includes:

  • Most of the sourced content comes from YouTube which is freely available.
  • Pricey for a subscription product

13. Mango Languages

Mango Languages is an online Korean course that has implemented what we can call one of the best ‘chunking’ approaches in its course style.

It does this by avoiding grammar Korean explanations instead of highlighting the lexical chunks in colors to help you learn language patterns which is one of its best features.

Good sides include:

  • Beautifully designed Korean course
  • Focuses on lexical chunks (color coded) rather than rules which is how I prefer to learn

The worst side includes:

  • This course has a minimal grammar focus.
  • It also lacks content depth for higher-level learners.
  • It’s quite lightweight on its course depth. 

14. Lingodeer

Lingodeer is a Korean online course that teaches Korean by utilizing a wide variety of exercise types.

The nice part about this course is that the lessons are in small, manageable chunks. 

Its audio quality is good for an app and the wide selection of lessons keeps learning interesting.

Good sides include:

  • It has a clear Korean lesson path that makes the learning trajectory straightforward.
  • It provides detailed explanations while watching.
  • It has very high-quality Korean audio.

The worst side includes:

  • Lingodeer feels too much like an attempted imitation of other products. This means that it lacks uniqueness.
  • Another worst part of this course is that it is highly repetitive just like Duolingo.

15. Minji Teaches Korean (YouTube)

Minji Teaches Korean is another of my top YouTube picks. It’s kind of cheating putting a channel like this here on a course list but it’s such a great channel that I feel it’s worthwhile to add.

Minji does brilliant and informative videos on the Korean language and culture.

Good sides include:

  • Both entertaining and very informative on Korean nuance and culture
  • Tonnes of videos on her channel

The worst side includes:

  • Another Korean vlogger and therefore not an actual course

16. Memrise

Memrise is a 100% free community-added course for Koreans and other countries with their respective languages which are in the form of a gamified flashcard deck. 

In this course, your selected language or dialect usually goes through a flashcard game such as “watering plants”. 

It can be highly addictive and actually quite effective.

Some courses are excellent but not all courses are good. 

So if you are interested in going for this course, you must ensure that you look for one that includes audio and one that teaches phrases rather than single words.

Good sides include:

  • It’s an effective memorization tool for phrases and words.
  • The addictive nature of the game gets you coming back often to continue learning.
  • It’s all free.
  • There are loads of community-driven courses to choose from.

The worst side includes:

  • As it’s community-driven, you can’t always guarantee quality.

17. How To Study Korean

How To Study Korean is basically a dated blog that I typically wouldn’t include on a list like this but the content is incredibly thorough and free to use, so it’s worth it.

All Korean entries include high-quality audio making this an excellent source of natural Korean listening material.

The good side includes:

  • Tonnes of Korean content that is freely available to access
  • Audio buttons for pretty much every Korean entry

The worst side includes:

  • Basically, just a WordPress blog so not developed on a structured learning management system with progress, quizzes, etc.

18. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a household name that everyone who is looking for a Korean online course must have known. 

It is a course that tends to get sharp criticism for its methods.

Rosetta Stone is all about intuition and it doesn’t give you quick answers or translations.

In this course, no Korean grammar rules are given, rather only intuitive inference.

Good sides include:

  • Rosetta Stone to this day is one of the few major Korean course products that are genuinely innovative and different
  • The RS immersion approach using pictures and intuitiveness to learn is a powerful approach that works if the student is patient.
  • Very comprehensive overall
  • Inexpensive though it used to be outrageously expensive until they changed to a subscription model.

The worst sides include:

  • Inappropriate cultural images
  • Its formal dialogues are used in scenarios that are unnatural.
  • Voice recognition is often inaccurate for Korean

19. TalkToMe in Korean

TTMIK has been the premier source of Korean learning material for many years and was my primary go-to resource in Korea.

The courses are run by native Korean teachers with the help and input of advanced-level Korean students so the balance is excellent.

Its Video is second-to-none and it has loads of free, high-quality content.

The worst side includes:

  • TTMIK used to be an open blog that I referenced frequently as a learner but has since become a closed course membership site.
  • Since there is so much content, it’s hard to navigate and overwhelming.

20. Transparent Language

Transparent is one of the most surprising online Korean courses I’ve tried.

The system and interface are antiquated and slow which is a real drawback, but if you can look past it, Transparent Language provides a real depth of Korean course content.

The voice recognition comparison is non-existent in Transparent Language. 

It relies on recording your voice and showing you your sound wave to compare with the native speaker’s sound wave.

No inbuilt system to automatically compare sounds.

Good sides include:

  • Korean dialogue is 100% natural speed
  • Extensive coverage and depth of content

The worst side includes:

  • The outdated and slow interface that’s a pain to navigate
  • The pronunciation section has no inbuilt voice recognition to compare to native dialogue

21. Udemy

Udemy has seemingly endless amounts of independent courses and classes for Koreans to choose from. 

Good sides include:

  • Tonnes of course options for Korean in many different dialects.
  • Udemy can be very affordable if you wait for their regular sale periods (prices drop enormously).

The worst sides include:

  • The problem with Udemy, as with any community-driven site, is that quality varies considerably with each Korean course instructor.

22. Living Language Korean

It is one of the big names and most popular courses for Koreans.

It is an incorrectly leveled, and just a very uninspiring grammar-heavy course.

Good sides include:

  • Very thorough in its grammar explanations

The worst side includes:

  • Incorrect leveling – especially for higher levels
  • Trashing competitors in its marketing is extremely off-putting

23. FSI Korean

FSI (Foreign Service Institute) is a government entity that trains diplomats and government officials in foreign languages.

It offers Korean along with many other languages online for free including audio recordings.

The problem with the FSI material is that it’s literally been around for almost a century.

Good sides include: 

  • Being a US government entity that trains diplomats, FSI naturally has incredible Korean course depth.
  • Free and easy to download lesson + audio on many sites (the link below is the easiest to access).

The worst side includes:

  • Archaic course.
  • PDF material is still just a photocopy of the original, typewritten paper so it’s dreadful to read.

24. Mondly Korean

Mondly offers courses for loads of different languages including Korean and it is similar in style to Duolingo and Babbel. 

It’s a beautifully-designed web app and a pleasure to navigate the Korean course content.

Some of the language courses aren’t that great such as Arabic but Korean and others are done fairly well.

Good sides include:

  • The beautifully designed app and web interface make it a pleasure to use
  • Clear and easy progression through the Korean lessons
  • Inexpensive

The worst sides include:

  • Linear learning path
  • Fairly repetitive and monotonous

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