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In the past few weeks, I have been contacted by a number of people who are frustrated by their level of Korean.  Some can read Korean, some can understand some words and some can make small sentences.  But they just can’t seem to get to the next level with their Korean.  One thing that most of these situations have in common is that they have been using free items to learn Korean.  While there are many free resources that people can use to learn Korean, it doesn’t work for everyone.  Different people learn in different ways, so the struggle some may be facing is due to them not learning in the way that works best for them.  So when should one who is serious about learning Korean consider the prospect of hiring a tutor to help them with their Korean?  Here are a couple of situations where you may want to do so.

When Needing Extra Motivation

For most tutoring sites, you have to set an appointment to with a tutor so that you can meet up and they will get paid for their time.  If you do not show up within a certain period of time, the session is canceled and you are charged the full amount for the session.  Paying for lessons tend to cause some to take things more seriously.  They want to get their moneys worth from their lessons.  Paying for education can cause your focus to rise dramatically.

This may also be a good option if you language exchanges work for you.  Language exchanges can be good for some, but the time difference can make it hard for many.  The biggest advantage to using a tutor if this is the case is that the entire session is dedicated to your learning of Korean.  This usually results in faster learning that can be permanent learning.

When Needing a New Approach to Learning

Korean is a ever changing language.  The problem with some programs is that while they teach Korean basics, it may be using a version of Korean that was spoken a few years ago. Also, a CD or video series cannot adapt or notice changes in your abilities and adapt to your progress.  It is only designed to help people progress at a certain level.  If that is not you, it can be a waste of your time and money. Also, you may be strong in one aspect of Korean, but weak in another.  A tutor can adjust their teaching approach to fit what your current needs are, where as many free programs do not allow for that option.  Also, free programs may not give you the feedback you need on what are your weak points in Korean.  Sometimes, getting feedback from a native speaker is a great tool to have.


If you have been learning Korean for a while and don’t seem to be able to get past a hurdle, you may want to consider paying for a tutor.  Or if you need to learn a certain aspect of Korean for a job, such as legal Korean or business Korean, a tutor will be able to help you more than a language program or a person who has no background in those areas could.  You have options when searching for a tutor, so be sure to look around.  To read my review of one such tutor click here.  Remember that all of us learn differently.  There’s no such thing as a wrong way to learn Korean.  Just keep working hard and you too will reach your goals to communicate effectively in Korean.