Book Review: Integrated Korean: Beginning 1 (Klear Textbooks in Korean Language)

Title: Integrated Korean: Beginning 1 (Klear Textbooks in Korean Language)
Author: Hyo Sang Lee, Carol Schulz, Ho-Min Sohn, Sung-Ock Sohn, Young-Mee Cho 
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (June 2000)
ISBN-13: 978-0824823429  

Out of all the self-paced textbooks available, this series isn't perfect but it does get the job done. This particular textbook (Beginning Level 1) is actually a bit advanced in terms of being "newbie" friendly. Frankly saying, it's not for absolute beginners. But I wouldn't dismiss it just yet. It's got a lot to offer.

Remember this textbook is designed to be used in a classroom; namely the University of Hawaii. It outlines the goals, vocabulary and grammar points quite well and actually fits a self-paced and self-determined student quite well outside of the classroom. The chapters are logically laid out and are never too difficult to follow. This book takes it slow. Another good thing about this book is the optional workbook that accompanies it which contains one of the best worksheets for learning to read and write 한글.

My only gripe is the publication date: 2001. Ouch. The other problem is that this book, like countless others, tends to be a bit too polite at first to be functional in a real life setting. The presentation is almost robotic in the first few chapters. But fear not, the book does grow out of it later and is much more native sounding by the next textbook (Beginning Level 2).

All in all, it's a relatively cheap and easily obtainable self-study resource for explaining Korean grammar in English. I highly recommend it as an additional if not primary resource for studying Korean. 

UPDATE: new edition as of Nov 2009! ISBN: 978-0824834401