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Culture Ministry to build Hangeul Museum, Sejong Institutes

Recently, a growing number of people around the globe have shown interest in learning the Korean language and alphabet, Hangeul.

Earlier this year, the Korean Cultural Center in Paris received more than twice the usual number of applications for the center’s Korean language program, which was designed for up to 200 people.

The Korean Cultural Center in London also had more than 100 applications for the center’s Korean language program.

At a branch of the King Sejong Institute in Los Angeles, the number of students who registered for the Korean language program reached 400 this year, up from 250 last year.

To accommodate the increased number of students, the institute remodeled other facilities, like its audio visual room, exhibition hall and a reception room, to serve as Korean classrooms.

(From left to right) Celebratory performance at the groundbreaking ceremony of Hangeul Museum on July 13 (Yonhap News) // Minister Choung (right) delivering a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony (Yonhap News)


To reflect the growing worldwide interest in the Korean language and alphabet, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to build a Hangeul Museum and ten new branches of the King Sejong Institute in selected countries.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hangeul Museum on July 13 in Seoul, Korean Culture Minister Choung Byoung-gug said the ministry will do its utmost so that the museum will play a central role in introducing and leading the global interest in the Korean language and Hangeul.

Under the Culture Ministry’s plan, the museum will manage exhibitions, research and education on Hanguel while focusing on promoting its uniqueness and scientific features. The three-story museum will open in February, 2013.

The ministry also decided to build ten new branches of King Sejong Institute.

The ministry initially decided to build the institute in March 2009 in order to unite Korean language institutes around the globe.

Since then, King Sejong Institute branches and Korean Cultural Centers have played a key role in introducing and running Korean language programs worldwide.

The Korean government currently supports the management of 28 branches at local universities and private institutions in 16 countries.

The ministry decided to build ten more institute branches in nine countries, including France, China, Thailand, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal, after receiving more than 40 applications from 18 countries.

(From left to right) students learning Korean at the branch of King Sejong Institute at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates (Yonhap News) // Students learning Korean language at the Korean Cultural Center in Paris (Yonhap News))


France was included due to the country’s growing interest in K-pop, the ministry said in its press release. The ministry will build the branch at the Korean-French language research center of Universite de Marne-La-Vallee.

The institute’s France branch plans to run a Korean language program in Paris and Marne-La-Vallee, using various Korean cultural contents like Korean films, TV dramas and K-pop music as study materials to reflect local interest in Korean culture.

The ministry will also test-run specially designed programs for people who want to work in Korea.  These courses will be available at new branches in five countries, including Vietnam and Nepal, to make it easier for workers to learn Korean before setting off for their new jobs. In cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the Culture Ministry designed the program to help workers adapt to life in Korea culturally as well as linguistically.

To further reflect growing worldwide demand for Korean language education, the Culture Ministry also decided to create and supply standard language textbooks to all branches of the institute.

By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer

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