□ The Ministry of Education (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education LEE Joonsik) dispatched 58 Korean teachers to Thailand on Thursday, May 11. These teachers will teach Korean language to Thai students in 58 middle and high schools until next March.
-There has been a rapid increase in demand for learning Korean language* in Thailand. The Ministry of Education has implemented a Korean language teacher training course for Thai people (2014-2017) in addition to the Korean teacher dispatch program.
*Schools with Korean language classes: 11 schools (’10) → 82 schools (’16) / Students learning Korean language : about 1,600 students (’10) → about 30,000 students (’16) / Applicants for TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) exam : 1,603 applicants (’13) → 4,190 applicants (’16)
"I was surprised to know that rural areas in Thailand, where there are no Koreans, were in need of Korean language teachers. I was even more surprised when I met students who spoke Korean. I feel proud of the Korean language and Korea when I see Thai students excited about learning Korean language.” - Dispatched teacher A
“I learned Korean because of this K-pop group I like, and now I want to help students understand Korean culture by teaching them the Korean language.” - Student A in the Korean language teacher training course
□ The Ministry of Education is making efforts to integrate Korean language courses into the local education system through overseas Korean education centers in order to keep the interest of Korean language abroad, which has become widely popular with the Korean Wave.
- In the long term, Korean language courses in the local school curriculum will serve as a step to foster Korean experts, and thereby strengthening friendly relationships between Korea and other countries.
- Korean education centers have supported Korean language courses in overseas primary and secondary schools (i.e., open after-school classes or implement Korean as a second foreign language as a regular subject), and the number of countries and schools with Korean language course has continued to increase.
(‘14) 26 countries / 1,111 schools → (‘15) 28 countries / 1,224 schools → (‘16) 29 countries / 1,309 schools
- In fact, Korean language is becoming a regular subject in overseas schools. For instance, Turkey recently integrated Korean as a second foreign language as a regular subject, and Democracy Prep Public Schools in New York made Korean language as a required foreign language subject.
- The Thai University Entrance Exam (PAT: Professional and Academic Aptitude Test) and the French University Entrance Exam have included Korean language as a formal subject since 2017. Korean language has been also selected in the French International Section in 2017.
□ In addition, Korean education centers have continued to support overseas Koreans by offering Korean language courses, as well as providing information about study-abroad programs and thus promoting international education cooperation.
□ Director-General CHOI Yeonghan of the International Education Cooperation Division at the Ministry of Education said, “We will dispatch Korean teachers in response to the overseas demand. We will also operate Korean education centers based on the local needs, and hope that overseas Korean language and education cooperation will continue to expand.”