I have been studying Korean by myself. I taught myself hangul but I am very limited on words and phrases. I learned some phrases through books, music, TV dramas, and from a learning group that I meet up with twice a month. I want to know the grammar and expand my Korean vocabulary. Any suggestions and tips are appriciated.
The problem with studying Korean alone is that it is not easy to communicate your thoughts into Korean because the grammar and culture are so different. While living in Korea, I was best understood when I was using expected expressions and comments rather than when trying to be creative and expressing my own feelings. TalktomeinKorean does an excellent job of teaching you the most common structures first, and then encouraging you to use them in your own way.
I agree with the above comment that TTMIK (TalkToMeInKorean.Com) is a great resource for learning Korean. I study Korean at school and use the Integrated Korean series by KLEAR textbooks, but TTMIK has helped me to brush up on my grammar. Their explanations on various grammar points are really good.
My classes are fast-paced, so sometimes I forget vocab or grammar points that I learned earlier. So, I use Memrise.Com to test my vocabulary. That website is great because other people who are also studying Korean will come up with mnemonics to remember words (if you cannot come up with one yourself). And also, it goes on a priority system meaning that if you forget some words or have difficulty remembering some words, it will keep testing you on it until you remember. The words that you have no trouble remembering get pushed to the back.
Also, I'd suggest that you try to "think" in Korean whenever you get the chance. Speak to people in Korean as much as possible (language partners or Korean friends). You will make mistakes at first, but that is okay because you will practice and get better. You can speak out loud to yourself at home about the things you are doing or the things you see. I do this sometimes. For example if I'm about to do laundry, I'll tell myself, "지금 옷을 빨래해요." When I look in the mirror, I'll point out the different parts of my face/body, "귀, 코, 입, 이, 눈, 머리, 손..." Or if I make something good to eat, I'll say, "Mmm, 맜있어요!" If you practice enough times, it will become second nature to say certain words, phrases, or sentences in Korean. :)
Good luck! 열심히 공부하세요!
What books/other resources do you use to learn Korean? Right now I'm trying out Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK). Their lessons are very simple. Also try watching 두근 두근 한국어 or Pit A Pat Korean on Youtube. Each episode is about 10 minutes long and features words/phrases commonly used by Koreans. Sometimes there are notes about Korean culture as well.
Most of what I learned is through Sogang online lessons though. Cause in each lesson there's vocabulary, grammar and reading and listening exercises. The lessons might be too advanced though, even the novice ones, so I suggest start with Pit a Pat Korean, then TTMIK, then the Sogang lessons.
Another tip - make sure you master the basics. I always keep going back to the basics even though I've already been self - studying Korean for more than a year. The reason for this is that you need to have a solid foundation if you want to advance in learning Korean.