Popularity of K content fuels boom in Korean language learning


Korea time


Popularity of K content fuels boom in Korean language learning

A scene from the
A scene from “K-Wave Korean” for learning Korean / Courtesy of King Sejong Institute Foundation

By Kwak Yeon-soo

The growing global popularity of Korean content ― K-pop, K-dramas and movies ― is fueling a boom in Korean language learning, and government agencies, as well as institutions overseas, are taking advantage of the trend to develop and expand the Korean language. education programs.

Korean is the 14th most used language in the world and the second fastest growing language in the world after Hindi, according to language learning app Duolingo.

A study by the University Council for Modern Languages ​​showed that between 2012 and 2018, the number of UK university students taking Korean lessons more than tripled.

The growing interest in studying Korean can be attributed to the growing popularity of hallyu, or Korean wave. A Korea Foundation report showed that the number of hallyu fans worldwide grew 17 times over the past decade to reach 156.6 million last December.

Another indicator of the growing interest in Korean around the world is that the number of King Sejong Institutes―the government-run Korean language learning institute―has grown since 2007, when the organization started. , creating 13 institutes in three countries. In 2021, there were 234 King Sejong Institutes in 82 countries. The government hopes to increase this number to 270 agencies by the end of 2022.

The number of students enrolled exclusively in King Sejong Institute online courses has exceeded 56,000 and the number of subscribers has increased to over 400,000. The number of mobile application downloads in 2021 was 1 .2 million.

The King Sejong Institute Foundation announced on Tuesday that it will unveil new Korean learning programs using popular K-pop and K-drama content.

The series, titled “K-Wave Korean,” contains 40 five-minute music videos that will help viewers learn everyday Korean expressions, grammar, and culture with scenes from popular Korean dramas, such as “Are You Human?” from KBS. (2018), “Dr. Prisoner” (2019) and “Meow, The Secret Boy” (2020).

“K-pop groups ACE, LUMINOUS and DreamNote will appear in videos to familiarize viewers with basic words and phrases as well as Korean culture,” an official with the foundation said.

The language learning material “BLACKPINK in your Korean” / Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Earlier this month, HYBE EDU, an educational technology subsidiary of HYBE, released new Korean language learning materials for international BLACKPINK fans. These materials follow the BTS-themed Korean-language material, “Learn! Korean with BTS,” which has sold over 300,000 copies in 30 countries.

Titled “BLACKPINK in Your Korean,” the language-learning materials consist of two textbooks, a paperback, and Korean computer keyboard stickers. The books have been published in English and Mandarin Chinese while the video content is available in five languages: Korean, English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian.

“We analyzed the vocabulary and expressions that BLACKPINK members use frequently and applied them to the program,” the company official said.

Colleges and universities in the United States, France, Vietnam, Russia and other countries have launched BTS Korean courses to help students learn Korean through Korean cultural content. Last year, Vietnam began teaching Korean in its elementary schools as the “first foreign language”.


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