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New KIIP Textbooks for 2021
Feb 9, 2021

Here are some reasons why the new books are worth having if you are studying for KIIP (Korean Immigration and Integration Program.) What makes these books different from the old ones? We try to break down the differences, updates and improvements done in the new KIIP textbooks.

KIIP is a program provided by the Ministry of Justice through the Korea Immigration Service. 

The program aims to support foreigners acquire basic knowledge and information (Korean language and culture) so that they can become self-reliant members of Korean society. – Korean Immigration Service website

It was initially geared for married immigrants in its early phase with local multicultural government offices helping to sign up the students.  Most students were immigrant women married to Koreans and a few foreign workers thrown in the mix. Completing the program and passing the tests would provide additional points when applying for certain visas. After a few years, it has slowly evolved into a more diversified source of information for culture and social integration in Korea. 

The previous set of books had been used in the program for a while. It’s about time to have a new and updated set for 2021. 

Levels 0-4 cover Korean language skills including vocabulary, reading, listening, speaking and grammar. It also has additional cultural text for each chapter. 

Level 5 deals heavily on society, economy, politics etc. This level is further divided into two, 일반 or general and 심화 or intensified. Each would depend on one’s immigration goals, permanent residency or naturalization accordingly. 

Let’s first go over some points on how the previous and new books compare. For this, we will look at Levels 3-5 books. Level 3 and 4 are the intermediate level that covers culture, reading, listening, pronunciation, writing and grammar. Level 5, on the other hand, is devoid of any grammar and pronunciation lessons. This goes for both old and new books. 

Physical Description



front cover

Shows photos of Korean national treasures like palace, samulnori, mask 

Lower Levels: Illustrated puzzle showing people in various activities

Level 5: Illustrated Korean architectural structures


20 x 19 cm

28 x 21.5cm


This, of course, is an important thing in every book. Since it’s been a while that the previous textbooks were published, changes on the contents are expected in the new books. 



Number of Books and Audio Resource

One book per level

One CD per book

2 books per level, student book and workbook

QR Codes instead of CDs

Number of Units

Total of 20 units, including two units for review practice tests

Total of 18 units, including two units for review practice tests

Pages per unit

2 pages – vocabulary

2 pages – grammar

2 pages for speaking and listening

2 pages for reading and writing

1 page culture

1 page – vocabulary plus another one as checklist at the end of each unit

2 pages – grammar

1 page – each for speaking, listening, writing

2 pages – reading

1  page – culture

1 page – word checklist


Table of contents, course outline, answers keys and listening transcripts

Almost same but with one significant addition: INDEX pages

There’s a word checklist at the end of each regular unit. It looks better than the small vocabulary text boxes that look like footnotes in the old textbook.  

old textbook

The text are slightly larger. The pronunciation part is also better illustrated. And you can easily access the audio files needed using the QR code instead of a CD.

And last, but not the least, is the index. It is now easier to find a certain topic listed on the last pages of the book. 

Topics, vocabulary used, practicality of contents

Some topic titles were retained, while some were updated. How these were presented were also improved in terms of the choices of words used. Traditional textbook terms were slightly lesser. There is an attempt to use more current words that would most likely be used in the present Korea. But that is not all. Along with the words are the current societal issues and non-subtle photos that might hint at signs of the changes that are happening in Korea. It was interesting to spot such while browsing the new books.

Other side of the coin: 

If you want to have a lot more details and text about Korea, keep holding on to the old textbooks. It is still a trove of information just for itself. It’s like Korean social studies textbook that Korean kids study at school for years condensed into 5-6 books for an adult non-Korean to learn.   


Why are these books different from the old ones? 

  1. updated contents and vocabulary

  2. easy on the eyes with bigger texts and more pictures

  3. less plastic use with QR code vs. CD for the audio resources 

  4. additional workbook for more practice

It comes with a workbook that I think will be helpful for the proverbial test-prep culture in Korea. 

What’s my recommendation? It’s a no-brainer. 

Get the new set, of course. If you are just starting, these will be the ones to be used starting 2021. You really have no choice especially if you are aiming to study and take the test. 

If you are already on the system and already have the old books, the workbook can be helpful to review on. If you are on level 3-4 that covers intermediate grammar, the workbook can also help if you already have the old books. You can get these books at bookstores, offline and online.

Good luck to whatever goals you have for learning Korean and about Korea through KIIP.