16 Best Korean Courses Online for 2021

With K-pop gaining more international listeners and with more viewers binging on K-dramas, Korean language resources are becoming more in demand by the day. After all, it’s perfectly normal to wish that you can watch a Korean TV show without subtitles.

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to master the Korean language and Hangul, the Korean writing system, there are plenty of ways for you to learn Korean. One of the most effective ones ways is to enroll in Korean courses online.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these courses with the famous audio course Pimsleur, flashcard app Drops, or the comprehensive Rocket Korean. And perhaps hire an affordable online tutor on italki, or get full Korean immersion with FluentU. All these and more in this epic list of 40+ Korean learning resources, including FREE ones.

Why learn Korean with online courses?

  • Online Korean classes typically teach a variety of lessons on Hangul, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and even Korean culture. All of these are vital in mastering the Korean language and learning how to use it in everyday living or at least prepare you for your next trip to Korea.
  • Need motivation? Sign up for Korean lessons online. A Korean language online course will have a schedule (which can be strict or not, depending on the site) that will require you to “show up” regularly. Soon, studying Korean will become a part of your habit. And when you gain momentum, learning long-term will be easier.
  • Signing up for Korean courses online gives you access to a more structured way of learning the Korean language. Similar to Korean textbooks, online Korean classes usually follow a curriculum or course path that allows you to progress naturally in your Korean learning journey.

Convinced that you need to study Korean lessons online? Now it’s time to look at your options. Here’s our list of 16 best Korean courses online for 2021. Read on and find which one best fits your learning goals.

Free Korean courses online

1. First Step Korean and Learn to Speak Korean 1 by Yonsei University (Through Coursera)

Coursera logo

Looking for structured, formal, and free Korean courses online? Yonsei University, the oldest private university in South Korea, offers not one but two free online Korean classes through Coursera.

First Step Korean, taught by Professor Kang Seung Hae, is an elementary-level Korean language course consisting of five lessons with four units covering four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course includes Hangul lessons and basic expressions used in daily life such as greetings, introductions, talking about your family, time, and dates of the week.

Learn to Speak Korean 1 is a newer course taught by Professor Han Sang Mee. This course is for students who already know how to read and write in Hangul. It covers lessons on how to introduce one’s friends and hometown, how to order food, and expressions used in shopping.

These courses are best for:

  • Beginners who are looking for formal and structured Korean lessons online
  • Learners who prefer to learn Korean online at their own schedules
  • Learning basic but essential Korean phrases and expressions, what they mean, how they are pronounced, and the formal and informal way of saying each expression

Price: Both courses are free without certificate and cost $49 USD with certificates.

2. Korean From Zero!

Korean From Zero!

Korean From Zero! is one of the grammar books covered in our list of best books to learn Korean. It’s a multimedia resource for students who want to learn Korean online. A self-guided but comprehensive collection of text lessons with audio clips, Korean From Zero! allows one to access all course materials for free and at your own pace. With plenty of example sentences and audio clips, it’s one of the best websites to learn Korean.

This course is best for:

  • Patient learners who thrive in self-studying
  • Beginners looking to build strong foundations on the Korean language
  • Advanced learners who want to brush up on their vocabulary and grammar

Price: Free

3. Introduction to Korean 1 and 2 by Hanyang University (Through Future Learn)

Through Future Learn

Aside from Yonsei University, Hanyang University also offers Korean courses online. Introduction to Korean gives an introduction to the Korean language and culture, enabling you to have real Korean conversations. Introduction to Korean 2, meanwhile, provides a deeper understanding of the language and culture. It delves deeper into Korean phrases, greetings, vocabulary, numbers, spelling, and grammar. Composed not only of the explanation and presentation of culture but also the activities related to the Korean language, this is one of the best free online Korean classes out there.

These courses are best for:

  • Learning basic words, phrases, and expressions used in real-life situations
  • Learning and applying your understanding of Korean culture
  • Beginners who have no prior knowledge of Korean language (for the first course)
  • Learners with basic knowledge of Korean and want to study in Korea (for the second course)

Price: Free access for 8 weeks

4. How to Study Korean

How to Study Korean

If you’re looking for comprehensive and free Korean courses online, it’s hard to find something more thorough than the lessons at howtostudykorean.com. The site is a treasure trove of the most detailed, accurate, and clear explanations of Hangul, Korean vocabulary, and even advanced grammar.

The course consists of eight units, each with 25 lessons, 3 quizzes, and a unit test, lots of vocabulary samples, and plenty of audio recordings. Supplemental materials like workbooks, Hanja lessons, short stories, and listening practice are also available. You can’t really be more comprehensive than this.

The only downside is, it does take lots of determination and patience to not be overwhelmed with information.

This course is best for:

  • Absolute beginners who want a strong foundation on Hangul, vocabulary, and grammar
  • Learners with a background on Korean but are looking for more detailed lessons on grammar
  • Determined and patient self-learners who don’t mind diving deep into the intricacies of the Korean language

Price: Free

Best Korean courses online for beginners

5. Learn Korean for Beginners: The Ultimate 100-Lesson Course (Udemy)

Learn Korean for Beginners

There are a number of bestselling and highly recommended Korean language learning courses at the online learning platform Udemy. One of the most popular Korean courses online is Innovative Language’s course at Udemy.

Learn Korean for Beginners: The Ultimate 100-Lesson Course includes 100 high-quality beginner video lessons that teaches how to read and write in Hangul, how to speak and sound like a native Korean, and how to use basic Korean words and phrases in daily conversations. The course consists of 5.5 hours of video content, over 100 downloadable resources, full lifetime access, and a certificate of completion.

This course is best for:

  • Absolute beginners. No prior knowledge required.
  • Understanding and picking up on basic Korean conversations
  • Learners looking for a structured, fast, and easy way of learning Korean

Price: $29.99 USD but the course occasionally goes on sale

6. Talk to Me in Korean

Talk to Me in Korean

With a plethora of books, e-books, online courses, video and audio content, Talk to Me in Korean is one of the best websites to study Korean online. For beginner-friendly lessons, the 10-level Essential Korean course is a good place to start. It’s free, too!

Each lesson teaches key Korean words and phrases, with extensive explanations and plenty of sample conversations, downloadable PDF files, and audio recordings of the discussion.

This course is best for:

  • Korean newbies who want to learn essential Korean words and phrases
  • Learners who prefer grammar listening lessons over writing lessons
  • Self-paced study

Price: The Essential Korean series is free. Other lessons can be accessed with a premium membership which costs $12.99 USD per month or $93 USD per year.

7. KoreanClass101

Like TTMIK, KoreanClass101 has an abundance of video and audio lessons for you to learn Korean online. These can be accessed through its website, YouTube channel, or the Innovative Language app.

A variety of vocabulary and grammar lessons, as well as extensive discussions and samples on Korean culture, add context to the language lessons. There are Hangul lessons but KoreanClass101 stands out with its Korean listening comprehension lessons.

This course is best for:

  • Absolute beginners who want to learn useful, conversational Korean
  • Its audio lessons that help improve grammar and build vocabulary
  • Learning on-the-go

Price: The first three lessons are free, as well as the new lessons released every week. Basic to Premium+ plans are available, with prices ranging from $8 a month to $549 for 2 years.

8. 90 Day Korean

90 Day Korean

The value of signing up for Korean courses online lies in not just the convenience but also in the structure it provides. Having a well-structured, organized pathway helps you manage your schedule and expectations, while also motivating you to continue learning.

90 Day Korean succeeds in doing this through handpicked Korean lessons, focusing on the essentials, all explained through psychology and stories to increase recall. Lessons are also customizable depending on your personal goals, so you only have to study what you need and skip what’s not aligned with your goals.

The full course is designed as a 12-month program, which includes four 90-day modules. However, since lessons are self-paced, students can take longer or shorter completing the course.

This course is best for:

  • Guided but self-paced study
  • Beginners who prefer structured lessons and modules
  • Fun and easy to learn Korean lessons online that stick

Price: $35/month for full access to all the courses and training. $47/month includes personal coaching and homework grading. Discounted annual rates are also available.

9. Conversational Korean

If you think YouTube is just for browsing cute cat videos or air fryer recipes, think again. The video platform is also a great source of Korean courses online.

Conversational Korean is a YouTube channel dedicated to beginner-friendly, bite-sized video lessons that help you learn conversational Korean phrases and basic Korean vocabulary. Pronunciation guides, listening tests, and quizzes are also available to test you on what you’ve learned. Although not interactive for the most part, these video resources are a good place to start for beginners.

This course is best for:

  • Easygoing lessons that help build and increase Korean vocabulary
  • Beginners who just want to start learning conversational Korean phrases without subscribing to a rigid program
  • Learning anytime, anywhere as the lessons are all on YouTube

Price: Free

Best Korean courses online for learning Hangul

10. Rocket Languages

Learn Korean

Looking for a convenient and handy way to study Korean online? Rocket Languages has 27 writing lessons that teach you how to read and write using Hangul. Although not as exhaustive as the lessons found in Korean textbooks, it can help build a strong writing and reading foundation.

Rocket Languages features 32 interactive audio lessons, 2,074 phrases with voice recognition, and plenty of language and culture lessons that look at Korean grammar and finer cultural points. Lessons on politeness and honorific titles are also included.

There are also lots of free lessons (although not as comprehensive) and learning tips on the Rocket Language website.

This course is best for:

  • Auditory learners who love learning through listening and speaking
  • Beginners who have no grasp on Hangul yet
  • Building practical vocabulary and learning more about Korean culture

Price: The introductory lessons in module 1 are free but the rest aren’t. Lifetime access to all materials is available for $149.95 or $27 per month for six months, or at a lower cost during sale days. Find out more.

11. Seemile

Seemile churns out Korean courses online through its YouTube channel and mobile app. Ranging from beginner to advance levels, you can find lessons on the Korean alphabet, reading and writing, pronunciation, and carrying out conversations like a local. There are even advanced lessons for those who plan on taking TOPIK (Korean proficiency test).

The animated content makes the lessons more fun and easier to digest and its exhaustive collection of learning materials means you won’t run out of things to learn. What stands out is its Hangul lessons with comprehensive explanations of vowels and consonants.

This course is best for:

  • Learning Hangul in an easy and engaging way
  • Learning through memory association technique. Seemile lessons break down sentences into words accompanied by images for better recall
  • Absolute beginners who want to learn through mobile channels

Price: Free

12. Quick Korean by The Cyber University of Korea

Quick Korean by The Cyber University of Korea

Fancy free online Korean classes from Korea’s first online university? The Cyber University of Korea (CUK) Future Education Center offers Quick Korean, a free and high-quality Korean language online course.

The course is created by language experts, easily accessible through multiple channels (the CUK website, YouTube channel, Naver TV, Youku, and The Korea Times), and supports multiple languages. Designed to teach the Korean language through four levels of difficulty, the program covers Hangul, fundamentals of social interaction, and simple but essential conversations. The advanced level even promises fluency.

This course is best for:

  • Structured, classroom-style, high-quality Korean lessons for beginners
  • Newbies with no background on Hangul
  • Learners looking for free courses that cater to all levels of difficulty

Price: Free

Best Korean courses online to improve listening and speaking skills

13. Italki

Korean tutors on italki

Most language learners will tell you that they see themselves as ‘fluent’ in any language when they can confidently hold a decent conversation with native speakers. This is where Italki’s strength lies.

The structure of your online Korean courses on Italki largely depends on your tutor and your agreed pathway. Whether you want to start with the basics of Hangul, or you dive straight into conversational vocabulary, an Italki tutor will help you improve your conversational skills and get you speaking almost right away. If you need coaching on spelling and grammar, this is something you can request from your tutor.

Read our review of Italki.

This course is best for:

  • Newbies, as long as you set learning goals with your tutor
  • Strengthening one’s conversational speaking and listening skills
  • Advanced learners who want to speak more confidently

Price: Varies. Teachers set the rates. Find a Korean tutor now.

14. Pimsleur

Pimsleur korean

Few Korean courses online employ methods as scientific as Pimsleur does. This classic language program focuses on building vocabulary and conversational skills through gradual repetition.

The Korean course consists of three levels, with core 30-minute audio lessons mixing repeated pronunciation, words, phrases, and expressions used in real-world scenarios. With Pimsleur, you get more quality than quantity as the amount you learn at a time is limited to give your brain a chance to internalize each new item before moving on.

This course is best for:

  • Strengthening Korean listening and speaking skills
  • Expanding one’s vocabulary and learning words and phrases for your next travel to Korea
  • Learning while on the move

Price: $21.95 for every five lessons. Each level contains 30 lessons each and costs $119.95. You can purchase all three levels for $335. Try the full Pimsleur Korean course FREE for seven days!

15. FluentU

FluentU Korean

Immersion is best when learning a new skill but if speaking to Koreans is not possible for you at the moment, the next best thing would be to surround yourself with Korean content. Employing this principle, FluentU provides one of the best Korean courses online through real-world videos.

FluentU collects the web’s best Korean video content and puts it in one place. Fun, timely, and diverse videos aid you in learning Korean, with painstakingly translated and transcribed subtitles for you to study. It’s not as organized as other platforms but you can structure your learning by the level of difficulty.

FluentU’s blog also has plenty of additional materials and tips on how to learn Korean.

This course is best for:

  • Learning through rich, engaging video and audio content
  • Learners who already have a strong foundation on Hangul
  • Expanding vocabulary and improving one’s listening and speaking skills

Price: Free for 14 days. Choose between monthly ($30) or annual billing ($240) after the 14-day trial. Find out more.

16. Loecsen

Loecsen

Loecsen teaches basic conversational words and phrases for many languages, including Korean. It uses speaking drills with voice recognition technology, allowing you to learn how to pronounce the words and speak it right away. The voice recognition tech will then assess if your pronunciation is correct.

Although this course is not as structured and extensive as the others on this list, Loecsen is definitely one of the best Korean courses online for those who just want to get speaking Korean right away.

This course is best for:

  • Learners who want speaking practice
  • Building Korean vocabulary
  • Casual learners who want to learn at their own pace

Price: Free

Tips for learning Korean through online courses

How do you choose the best track among this list of Korean courses online? And how do you make the most out of your options? Here are some handy tips:

  • Identify your motivation before choosing a course. You are learning a new language for a reason. Knowing that reason is vital in setting your learning path and choosing which course to take. Are you studying to read and write better? Pick courses with extensive Hangul lessons. Do you want to improve your conversational skills? Audio lessons and online tutors would be better.
  • Set your goals. After determining your reasons, set clearly defined goals. Whether it’s learning 100 new words in a month or learning to introduce yourself by the end of the week, setting goals will help you measure your progress.
  • Practice. Learning to speak Korean may be harder for introverts especially if you have no Korean friends or language buddies. But even speaking in the privacy of your room is better than nothing. If writing proficiency is your goal, practice writing daily.
  • Use supplemental resources. Whether you go for books or mobile apps, these comprehensive list of resources will help you retain what you learned from your course of choice.
  • Surround yourself with Korean content. You will learn faster if you’re immersed in the language. Even when you’re doing something else, you can play Korean music or stream a Korean show in the background. Simply hearing Korean words and phrases will train your ears and expose you to new vocabulary and intonations.
  • Just go for it. Learning a new language may sound intimidating but a good start is half the battle. Just start, and soon you’ll find yourself learning something new and having fun.

Learning Korean will surely enrich your life in more ways than one. So go ahead and pick any of these Korean courses online. 파이팅!

Also Read: Learn Korean: 40+ Best Apps, Books, Podcasts & Free Resources

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