I’m a big fan of YouTube. You can find almost any kind of content there in any language you want. That’s why I highly recommend Korean learners of all levels to explore YouTube for listening resources. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands for your language studies, watching an 8-minute video is less daunting than reading a full chapter in a textbook. Now, you should never give up reading in your target language, but for those of you who are looking to broaden your Korean vocabulary and want to sound more natural, here’s a tip: Watch just one video on YouTube per day in Korean. If you have time – I recommend watching it twice (see more on this below).

Here’s what I’m watching at the moment:

This girl is amazing. She has a background in Korean broadcasting media and creates content on how to become a better conversationalist and thereby improve your relations with other people. The channel is targeted toward Koreans, who want to become better at interacting with others and she speaks (fast) in very natural Korean. One of the best parts of her channel is that she adds Korean captions to every video, so it makes it easy for you to look up new words. I simply love her pronunciation and try to mimic it when I play the shadow game with her videos.

I’m also a big fan of the Korean podcast 듣똑라 (듣다보면 똑똑해지는 라이프) – I mean, a podcast that promises to make you smarter! What’s not to love?! This podcast is hosted by a group of brilliant young Korean women who debate a host of different topics – both national and international. Every so often, they also invite and interview interesting guests. Aside from their podcast which you can access from any podcast platform, they also have a youtube channel with all their recordings. Here’s a video where they discuss the 2020 US presidential election.

I’ve been listening to both of these resources for the past several months and I really feel an improvement in my overall comprehension skills. I find it a convenient way to learn more naturally spoken Korean while at the same time learning about other topics that I’m interested in.

For a quick study session with either of these, I’ll usually go through the following five steps:

  1. Watch the video through once.
  2. Watch the whole thing a second time, this time jotting down new words or phrases.
  3. During second watch, I usually repeat some of the sentences out loud trying to match their intonation and flow.
  4. Review my notes and make new sentences with the unknown words.
  5. Memorize whole sentences that I liked such as 살다 보면 어쩔 수 없이 거절을 해야 되는 상황이 생기지요.

I hope this is useful, and I highly recommend checking out these videos. What are your favorite free tools for learning Korean? Feel free to share in the comments.

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