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While my post does get views from South Korea, most of my views come from outside South Korea and The Untied States.  Some of you are bloggers who write articles about traveling.  Some of you are my friends who are wondering about what I am posting.  And some of you are interested in Korean life and culture.  No matter why you are here, thanks for being here.  I really appreciate the fact that you have taken time out of your schedule to read and respond to what I write.  If  you can do that, you can also try another method of learning Korean, that of using an online tutor.  Is this a preferred method of learning Korean?  What are the pros and cons of using an online tutor?  Let’s take a look to see if this would be good method for you.  In this blog, we will assume that your tutor is someone who currently lives in the Republic of Korea.

Pros

The availability of an online tutor can vary, so it may be better for your schedule to find someone who is available online.  For most online companies, they use a secure method of payment like PayPal to process any payments that you make.  You also may have a variety of tutors to chose from instead of one being assigned to you.  This is key if you need to study a certain type of Korean, such as business Korean, medical Korean or legal Korean.  Tutors come from a variety of backgrounds and can help you reach your goals faster.  Some tutors will offer a language exchange, so if you teach them your language for free, they’ll help you with your Korean for free.

The advantage of using a tutor who lives in Korea is that they can monitor changes in the Korean language and keep you up to date.  For instance, I was using a phrase before I visited Korea that I later found out in Korea was no longer being used.  It confused some people why someone my age would use that term, when older Koreans didn’t even use that term.  Korean tutors that don’t live in Korea may not know about such changes, and may give you their personal view instead of a more common view that you would use in Korea.  This isn’t to say that someone who doesn’t live in South Korea doesn’t know how to speak Korean properly.  But you will want to consider this factor when you chose a tutor.

Cons

One con could be that a person may not know enough about Korean history to help you understand why certain things are said and done in Korean.  Culture gives definition to words, so proper knowledge of certain events can be key in teaching Korean to people.  You would also need to be aware of how you will be charged for your tutoring session.  For instance, one company will allow you to schedule an appointment with a tutor in advance.  However, if you are 10 minutes late to the session, you will be charged the full amount for the session and the tutor can consider the session closed.  Be aware of the policies and make sure that your payments and tutoring sessions are done over a secure connection.

If you are reading this from outside of East Asia, you may have some trouble finding a tutor who can teach you at a time when you are most awake and refreshed.  Since you are paying for a tutoring session, you will want to do it at a time when your brain will function best.  Otherwise, you could be paying for something that will not benefit you.  Also, make sure that your tutor is focused on your learning, not their own.  I say this because I’ve had several language exchanges with people who will practice English, but will not teach me any Korean.  The last thing you will want to do is to pay money to be someone’s friend and teacher.

Conclusion

There are too many pros and cons about online tutors to mention here.  But for many people, an online tutor who is focused is a good option, as long as the price is reasonable.  As the learner, you have many different sites to chose from, and many different tutors to chose from.  If you don’t like a tutor, you can easily switch to a different tutor.  You will be able to set a schedule that is good for both of you, and can learn interactively from someone who lives where the language is spoken everyday.  If you have struggled with learning Korean in the past, and are committed to learning Korean in the future, do your research and see if using an online tutor will work for your.

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