Ministry to increase Korean language schools

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Ministry to increase Korean language schools

The government will improve and increase its programs next year that teach Korean to foreigners, thanks to increasing demand to learn the language amid the spread of Korean pop culture, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said yesterday.

“Since Korean language study is both the start and end point of Hallyu, or the boom of Korean pop culture, we have set aside more budget next year to strategically and intensively support globalization of the language,” the ministry said in a press release.

Under the plan, the government will establish 30 more state-run language institutes, called King Sejong Institutes, next year in Europe and the Americas, where Korean pop culture is growing in popularity.

The King Sejong Institute, named after King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty, who invented Hangul, runs language education programs for foreigners who are learning Korean as a second language. Seoul currently runs 60 such institutes all over the world.

The ministry will also target Asian countries that send manual workers to Korea to meet rising demand for Korean-language study.

New Sejong Institutes will be set up in 10 Asian countries, including Myanmar, Pakistan and East Timor, the ministry said, adding that it hopes to increase the total number of schools to 120 by 2013.

Korean-language instruction will be available in five different languages, including Chinese, English and Vietnamese, at the institute’s Web site ( from next year, the ministry said.

To improve the skill of Korean language teachers across the world, the ministry will dispatch about 20 licensed instructors on a trial basis to Sejong Institutes and other Korean schools in 20 regions.

In addition, the government will introduce a standard curriculum for use at all Sejong Institutes from next year to provide consistent, quality education, the ministry said.

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