More Schools Around the World Teach Korean

  • By Park Se-mi

    March 15, 2021 10:22

    Korean language classes are being offered in schools around the world as the armies of fans of Korean pop culture grow.

    Some 160,000 schoolkids in 39 countries learned Korean last year, and this year, another 12 middle and high schools in Ecuador, Belgium and Jordan will start Korean classes.

    Thai students take part in a Korean speaking contest, in this file photo from September 2019.

    The first Korean class was opened in a U.S. school in 1999.

    "Korean is being taught in 1,800 schools in 43 countries this year and at 2,000 schools in 45 countries next year," the Education Ministry said Sunday.

    Korean government support for such classes will nearly double from W12.6 billion last year to W23.6 billion this year (US$1=W1,137). Some 132 teachers will be sent overseas to teach Korean in a dozen countries.

    In February, Vietnamese schools adopted Korean as a first foreign language in addition to Chinese, English, French and Japanese.

    Last year, India replaced Chinese with Korean as a second foreign language in some schools in addition to French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

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