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One of the most popular ways to try and learn a new language has always been to listen to audio programs.  For years, there have been tapes, disks and now digital audio files have been used by people who want to learn how to speak a language.  If you have taken an international flight, you have probably seen someone with headphones on that is listening to one of these programs.  But how effective are these programs?  Are they worth the sometimes hundred of dollars you would have to spend on them to help you learn Korean?  Let’s look at the pros and cons of audio programs for learning Korean.

Pros

Because audio files are now digital, you can take audio lessons of Korean with you wherever you go.  You can download them to your phone and play them in your car via an  aux cable.  You can put a CD in a computer and listen to them at work.  You can download the files to an MP3 player and listen to them at while on a plane.  All of these options take up less space than a book would.  Some feel that listening to your target language while you are sleeping is a great way to learn a new language.  You can’t read a book and do your household chores at the same time.  But you can listen to an audio program and do chores at the same time.  You can argue that audio programs are the most flexible way to learn a new language.

Cons

While an audio program will help you to speak a language, it will not help you to read a new language.  Korean is not a language you can accurately romanize into English.  Therefore, if you have the goal of living in Korea, you will need to know ho to read Korean properly.  The other major issues with audio programs that they can be an expensive way for you to learn that you are not a audio learner.  What that means is that not everyone will pick up a language by just listening to it.  If you live in the United States, think about how many people you have met that, after living in the United States for many years, still cannot express themselves in English.  If someone can live in an English speaking country for years and not pick up the language, there is a chance you can not pick up the language via an audio program.  Some programs cost hundreds of dollars to buy.  For the same amount of money, you could get several sessions with a tutor online.

Conclusion

Before spending hundreds of dollars on an audio program, you may want to examine if this is truly the best method of learning for you.  You should also think about what is your goal for leaning a language.  If you only want to speak a language, audio programs may be the best and most convenient way for you to learn Korean.  But if you want to go deeper in your knowledge of Korean, you may want to use other programs in addition to audio programs. If  you do decide to go with an audio program, look for one that has a money back guarantee, or that will offer additional services with their program.  You can also look for a free sample of their program on their website, or on YouTube.  Either way,  I hope this will help you when deciding if an audio program is best for your Korean learning needs.

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