Do you want to learn how to speak Korean? I am a native English speaker living in South Korea, and as a result I found it necessary to be able to speak Korean. This need to speak Korean has lead me down many paths, and I have found quite a few methods in which one can learn how to speak Korean.
It is often not necessary for ESL English teachers based in Korea to be able to speak Korean. This is excellent because it opens up the door for many more people to experience Korean culture. It is however very useful to be able to communicate with those around you who only speak Korean both in your daily life and in the class room.
In my pursuit to learn Korean, I initially used Pimsleurs the popular audio training as it seemed a great place to start. Where Pimsleurs is great is that it introduces you to the Korean pronunciation, as many will find is very different to North American accents. I did however battle with writing down the new words I was learning as it was difficult to write these words phonetically. This is both because Korean is often spoken too fast for me to differentiate between the different sounds and also because many of the sounds in Korean are not used in English.
The solution for this problem is to learn how to write these new sounds down . In order to do this one needs to learn how to read and write in Korean. If you look at the Korean script, Hangul, it seems a intimidating task but it will honestly only an hour or two to get a basic understanding of the Korean alphabet. I found that repetition is the most effective way to get used to Korean phonics, and a great way to learn how to write using the Korean script.
Once you know how to use the alphabet, it is relatively simple (and interesting) to read words written in Hangul. Being able to read Hangul and understand the pronunciation definitely makes learning how to speak Korean much easier.
After you can read and write in Hangul, I suggest that you then use audio as an aid to studying. Following this route will be much easier than attempting to learn the language without understanding Korean phonics at a basic language.
Lastly, I would like to wish you luck in learning Korean, for whatever reason it may be.