The South Korean Education Ministry has responded to the increasing demand for learning the Korean language by creating a government-managed Korean language education curriculum. Previously, local Korean language education centers handled the selection and distribution of language courses and textbooks, which raised concerns about the lack of structured content suitable for foreign learners of different proficiency levels and ages. The government’s initiative has focused on developing textbooks and supplementary materials that are distributed for free to students and teachers in elementary and high schools worldwide. As of 2022, over 200,000 textbooks have been distributed to 28 different countries. The textbooks are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which categorizes language ability on a six-point scale. In addition, the ministry has partnered with Hybe Edu, an education technology division of Hybe, to create supplementary learning materials that help students explore Korean culture and language effectively. The ministry has also worked with education authorities, teachers, and language education specialists to create tailor-made textbooks for targeted learners in countries such as Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and others. However, linguistic experts suggest that more efforts are needed to improve the quality of Korean language education worldwide, including the development of bilingual textbooks, advanced-level language education, and materials that enhance comprehension of idioms and Chinese characters. The experts believe that Korea’s technological expertise and commitment to digital textbooks have the potential to enhance the quality of education.
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