Essential Korean For ESL Teachers

Hey friends.  How’s it going? I was just thinking about all of my Korean stories, which I have written out recently and I suddenly remembered what it was like in the first few years trying get by with such a huge language barrier.  I distinctly remember that the “turning point” in the success of my teaching had a lot to do with learning some basic Korean phrases to control classrooms.  So what I’m going to do is quickly share some of the most common and effective words for gaining class control and happiness.  I should also say that the Korean alphabet is the easiest in the world to learn with only 24 characters and anybody can learn it in just twenty minutes.  So that would also be a good start.


Check out Mrs. Sweet n Tasty for a quick intro to the Korean alphabet.  But seriously it only takes twenty minutes to memorize if you write them down and make flash cards for yourself.

The most useful phrases for teaching in Korean classrooms for ESL Teachers:

1. Children! Listen carefully: Yedoolra. Chal Turobosayo!  얘들아 잘들어보세요!

2. Be quiet – Choyounghee joosayo. 조용히 해주세요.

3. Come here – Yogi O-sayo. 여기 오세요 (“이리 오세요” is actually better “eery O-sayo”.).

4. Look here – Yogi bo-sayo. 여기 보세요.

5. Look there – Choki bo-sayo. 저기 보세요.

6. What’s this? E-go mo-yea-yo? 이것 뭐예요?

7. What’s your name? Edum ee mo-yea-yo? 이름이뭐예요?

8. How old are you? Mya sal e-yea yo? 몇살이예요?

9. What are you doing? Mo hey yo? 뭐 해요? or Mo hako eesay yo? 뭐 하고있어요?

10. Hurry Hurry! Bally Bally! 빨리 빨리.

11. Where’s your English book?  Yong’oh chaek odi isayo? 영어책은 어디 있어요?

12. Where’s your pencil? Yonpil odi isayo? 연필 어디 있어요?

13. Stand up.  Ee-ron hasayo.  일어나세요.

14. Sit down. Anja. 앉아

15. Take our your book please. Chaek konay-sayo 책 꺼내 주세요.

16. What time is it? Myillshe yea-yo? 몇시예요?

17. Close the door please.  Mun tadusay-yo. 문 닫으세요.

18. Everybody –  modu.  모두

19. Line up.  Jul sosayo. 줄서세요.(I’ll double check that one)

20.  Good job – Chal haysoyo! 잘 했어요.

21. Put up your hand. Son torah 손을 들어.

22. I know – Ah-rye-yo 알아요.

23. I don’t know or You don’t know (looking at somebody) Mool-lye-yo 몰라요.

24. Let’s do it. Hajah. 하자.

25. Let’s go.  Gaja. 가자.

26. Where is Songmi? Songmi Odi ee-say yo? 상미 어디 있어요?

27. What do you want to do? Mo hagosheep-eye-yo? 뭐 하고싶어요?

28. Would you like to play a game? Game ha-lay-yo? 게임 할래요?

29. Do you like it? Ee-go jo-ah hay-yo? 이것 좋아해요?

30. I hate it. She reye yo.  싫어요.

31. My name is James.  Na nun James ee-yea yo. 나는  제임스 입니다..

Next thing you can do is:

Start learning some more general vocabulary.  Listen to this study song I made and read the vocabulary below while you listen.  Hopefully you can read the Korean alphabet by now.


Very Good Words#1

많이 a lot
어리석은 stupid
똑똑한 smart
좋아하다 like
원하다 want
추측하다 guess
비밀 secret
아마도 maybe
가지다 got/have
취미 hobby
바쁜 busy
필요한 need
나중에 later
물론이야 of course
전에 before
흥미로운 interesting
약간 little bit
사실은 actually
믿다 believe
징그러운 gross
시끄러운 noisy
상관 없어요 I don’t care
이해했어? You got it?
미워하다 hate
유명한 famous
이상한 strange
다른 different
바꾸다 change
늦다 late
중요한 important
맛있는 delicious
속이다 cheat
문제 problem
내기하다, 내생각에, I bet
소원하다 I wish
똑같은 same
이해하다 understand
몰라요 I don’t know

The next step is to start learning some sentences.  As you master these basic sentences, you will automatically get the sense and feel of the Korean grammar.  Good luck.  Feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

38 Great English and Korean Sentences to easily learn with a full set of vocabulary and a study song.



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