Where to Begin?

''Heritage'' Students

Students who grew up speaking Korean or remember speaking Korean when young and would like to get their speaking ability back will receive a different set of training in the heritage track from those students who have no prior home exposure to the language. If you have learned Hangul at home or in a weekend school, (you do not have to know the meaning of what you are reading), that is a good indication that you have been exposed to the language. All students with any amount of formal or informal (home) background in Korean are required to take the placement test to be placed to an appropriate level.

Beginning classes in the heritage track (e.g., 305, 306, 307) will focus on the following aspects of the language:

  1. Korean Alphabet ''Hangul''
  2. Parts of speech in Korean (particles, endings, etc.)
  3. Simple and complex sentence structure (e.g. word order, morpheme order, ''conjunctions'')
  4. "How to write correctly" (e.g. common spelling errors, written vs. spoken Korean, irregular verb conjugations, simple composition)
  5. "How to speak appropriately" (e.g. honorific expressions -Jondaemal-, different styles of address)

If you already know Korean somewhat but do not know how to read or write, contact the program coordinator (koreanlg@u.washington.edu) for a special arrangement.

Novice Students

If you were adopted from Korea or are a 3rd-generation (or later) Korean-American, you are considered a novice learner if you do not have prior exposure to the language. If you have taken classes in high school, Sup Sogui Hosu, or in Korea and know Hangul and the basic structure but cannot really speak the language, take the placement test and request an interview with the program coordinator (koreanlg@u.washington.edu).

Beginning classes in the novice/non-heritage track (e.g., 301, 302, 303) will focus on the following aspects of the language:

  1. Korean Alphabet "Hangul"
  2. Structural differences between Korean and English
  3. Pronunciation (e.g. pronunciation rules, intonation patterns)
  4. Listening skills
  5. Basic grammar
Box 353521, 225 Gowen Hall, Seattle, WA 98195-3521    Phone: (206) 543-4996    Email: koreanlg@uw.edu
The University of Washington's Department of Asian Languages and Literature does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information on this web page.