King Sejong Institute
|Founder(s)||Government of South Korea|
|Product(s)||Korea cultural education|
|King Sejong Institute|
Sejonghakdang (hangul: 세종학당) is a brand name that the South Korean government launched in order to comprehensively provide Korean learners and teachers with an integrated study and information service. "Sejonghakdang" is expected to be developed as the brand for Korean-learning or -teaching Institutes around the world. Sejong was the fourth King of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea who created the Korean alphabet in 1446 and Hakdang means educational institutes in Korean language.
Early Korean language teaching
Hangul, the Korean alphabet, is the written form of the official Korean language and has been used by Koreans since its creation in 1446 by Sejong the Great of the Joseon Dynasty. Most Korean language learning institutions outside Korea targeted second or third generation descendants of Korean immigrants, while Korean-language learners in South Korea were mostly foreign students, migrant workers, or spouses of Koreans.
Rising numbers of Korean learners
The last twenty years has seen a rise in interest and demand for the Korean language due to cultural and commercial globalisation and the Internet/Communications Revolution. International interest in Korean culture such as dramas and music has increased tremendously, especially in Asia, leading to what has been termed the "Korean wave". Related to this there has also been an increase in foreign students studying in Korea. Demographically there has also been an increase in marriages between Koreans and foreigners.
With the increase in international cooperation and business, the South Korean government has been striving to standardize the names of locations, people, and other proper nouns in Hangul. Also, there was a need for more up-to-date Korean dictionaries, as most were made during the 1990s.
Establishment of "Sejonghakdang"
With such demand, the South Korean government established the concept of "Sejonghakdang" so as to provide integrated and standardised information and service for learning the Korean language as well as to coordinate and expand the institutes where people can learn or teach it. The Sehonghakdang will be developed as the brand commonly used by all Korean language education institutes. The Korean government has recently launched its homepage at http://www.sejonghakdang.org in Korean and English.
Sejonghakdang is represented its symbol as shown. The shape <ㅎ> symbolize hangul and the shape on the left shoulder of ㅎ means the name and the initial of each city where the institute locates. The example here is Sejonghakdang in Seoul (Hangul: 서울), having 'ㅅ' on the left shoulder which indicates the first Korean alphabet of '서울.'
Integration and expansion of Hangul Institutes
The Korean government plans to integrate the Korean Language Institutes being called with various names into one brand "Sejonghakdang" by 2011. For a short-term strategy, the government is to encourage to use the name "Sejonghakdang" and the standard textbook and course, while reviewing a long-term strategy to run an integrated Hangul institute.
The Korean government also plans on establishing 60 institutes by the year 2012. Up-to-date 19 institutes have been established in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, and by 2011 45 Sejonghakdang are to be established.
The "Sejonghakdang" headquarters office is to be established between 2010 and 2011 to systematically support the institutes around the world. The office is expected to be a focal point that connects the institutes around the world.
Nuri-Sejonghakdang is a website providing a remote education system and integrated information service related to Korean language study for Hangul learners and teachers. It is a Korean study website built jointly by various ministries within the South Korean government, including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Justice, and National Institute of the Korean Language, National Institute for International Education, The Overseas Koreans Foundation and International Korean Language Foundation with Presidential Council on Nation Branding as the main contributor.
Nuri-Sejonghakdang followed a three-step plan from 2009 to 2011 as below.
|Integration (2009)||Expansion (2010)||Spreading (2011)|
Nuri-Sejonghakdang provides its services to Korean language institutes throughout the world, foreigners who wish to learn the Korean language, and teachers and future teachers of the Korean language. It is still collecting and developing its contents to expand the online study courses and building multi-language versions of the website for users all around the world. The multi-language version is to be completed by end of 2010.
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- "Nuri-Sejonghakdang". Eng.sejonghakdang.org. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "Learning Korean and King Sejong Institute"
- "King Sejong Institute to lead Hangul education worldwide"