Book Review: Pathfinder in Korean II - Low Intermediate

Title: Pathfinder in Korean II - Low Intermediate
Author: Ewha Language Center
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Ewha Womans University Press (January 1, 1999)
ISBN-13: 978-8973004607 

If you want to study Korean by yourself, this isn't the book to buy. However, you you're studying Korean at Ewha Women's University, you don't have much choice. Thankfully, this book is leaps and bounds better than the one that it followed (Level I).

Like the other textbooks in the series, It's written in 99% Korean so get ready to freak out if you're a true beginner. However, unlike the previous book, the illustrations and layout has changed slightly; thankfully all for the better. The cartoons look more sharp and the textbook now includes a common sayings section that focuses on three new expressions surrounding one common word. For example, three new phrases revolving around the Korean word for 'foot'.

Ultimately, the textbook is a reference book to be used with slides, board work and other worksheets to be passed out in class. The authors have carefully written just enough in the book to be useful in class but not enough to be useful out of class. The accompanying translation reference book fills in some of the gaps, but make no mistake - you have to go to class to get the full treatment.

Another new addition, albeit kind of inappropriate for lower intermediate learners, is the writing section. Of course I think writing is important, but the writing samples are much too difficult for the level stated. Perhaps after a rewrite (read: watering down) the writing section could be more useful.

Other than that, this book is much more useful and easy to follow than the previous but it still has a ways to go. However, as of this writing (Feb 2010) I believe that the books are being revised so this might all be irrelevant.