Some of us are likely to remember our school days and the vocabulary tests that came with them. Our memories of French lessons were little more than a silly old man pointing at verbs on the blackboard and endlessly shouting at our silly lack of accents.
So is this the best way, do books really hold the answer or should we have an altogether more modern outlook when it comes to learning a new language such as Korean?
You could go back to school, so to speak, and invest in some adult education sessions at your local center. These may be costly but you're sticking to what you know and there's a trained professional on hand to guide you through the areas of uncertainly and point you in the right direction, if you should fall from the right path. These are slightly time consuming, however; they are quite expensive and you have to go to classes when the classes are on. On the plus side you get expert help, a pronunciation demonstration and you get to meet new people with a similar interest. Korean classes may unfortunately be a difficult thing to come by, as may another person who speaks the language.
There are a number of activities that you can now do online which will hep you to learn Korean and these are usually very cheap. Online Korean courses follow a similar pattern as textbooks in that they progressively introduce harder topics and vocabulary in an interesting way until you develop some level of competence in Korean. This can be a very convenient way of learning a language as you can continue the lessons when you like and go back over any area that you please. This isn't always possible in a classroom environment where you may feel embarrassed to ask too many questions.
You can also gain access to videos and radio programs in the Korean language. This is a really great way of learning a language in context and enriching your cultural knowledge and understanding. This is also far more interesting than reading a textbook all day and you are far more likely to keep it up long enough to learn a useful quantity of the language. Internet articles may also be a good resource and you can look at articles on your favorite subjects only in Korean; this is both interesting and an effective way to increase your vocabulary.
There are now more ways that ever to learn a language and it's just a case of finding the one that works for you. If you thrive in a challenging environment then by all means spend a week or two in Korea. If you are more of an armchair critter then perhaps a self study book or pod cast would be a more suitable solution. One thing's for sure and that's that it makes no sense to bore yourself with hours of hardcore studying and cramming. This won't work so give it a wide birth.