King Sejong Institute

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King Sejong Institute
FounderGovernment of South Korea
TypeCultural promotion organization
Area served
ProductKorean language education
WebsiteOfficial Website

King Sejong Institute (Hangul세종학당; RRSejong Hakdang) is the brand name of Korean-language institutes established by the South Korean government around the world since 2007. The institute's name refers to Sejong the Great, the inventor of the Korean alphabet.[1] As of June 2018, there were 174 King Sejong Institutes in 57 countries.[2]


Early Korean language teaching[edit]

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.[3][4]The 21st century is an era of national soft power competition. Cultural and language exchanges between countries are becoming increasingly active. With mutual understanding and respect for each other's cultural traditions becoming the mainstream attitude in international communication, language learning, as the basis of cultural communication, is attracting more and more attention. Developed countries attach importance to the dissemination of language and culture and the expansion of their own cultural influence. Both South Korea and China have realized the importance of promoting their own languages overseas. In this context, the sejong school in South Korea was born.

Rising numbers of Korean learners[edit]

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". This has been accompanied by 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.[5][6]

Establishment of "Sejonghakdang"[edit]

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.[7] The Sejonghakdang will be developed as the brand commonly used by all Korean language education institutes.[according to whom?] The South Korean government has recently[when?] launched its homepage at in Korean and English.


Sejonghakdang is represented its symbol as shown. The shape <ㅎ> symbolizes hangul and the shape on the left shoulder of ㅎ means the name and the initial of each city where the institute is located. The example here is Sejonghakdang in Seoul (Hangul: 서울), having 'ㅅ' on the left shoulder which indicates the first hangul letter of '서울'.


Integration and expansion of Hangul Institutes[edit]

The South Korean government integrated the Korean Language Institutes being called with various names into one brand "Sejonghakdang". 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 language institute.

144 institutes have been established by the year 2016. Nine more institutes have been newly established in countries such as Latvia, Myanmar, Bahrain.[8] In 2018, a new institute was added in the United States in Irvine, California. [9] The "Sejonghakdang" headquarters office was established in 2012 to systematically support the institutes around the world. The office works to be the 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.[10][11] 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)
  • Education integrated website
  • Study system
  • Teacher education system
  • Phone learning management system
  • Proficiency diagnosis system
  • Study support tool software
  • Teacher qualification support system
  • School administrative support system by institutes of Sejonghakdang
  • Production/sharing system of user created contents for Korean language learners
  • Service platform by service media (IPTV, mobile devices, etc.)
  • Collection and uploading Korean languages education contents
  • Create questions for Korean language diagnosis/qualification/test
  • Develop a Korean language teacher training education course
  • Develop education contents by level of Korean language/language area
  • Develop converted Korean language education contents by service media (IPTV, mobile devices, etc.)
Operating Environment
  • Build operating environment for Korean language education integrated system
  • Build telephone consulting center environment
  • Secure operating/consulting manpower
  • Secure/operate teachers for Korean language telephone learning
  • Secure Korean language telephone service teachers
  • Build operating environment by service media (IPTV, mobile devices, etc.)

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 completed.


As of June 2018, there were 174 institutions established in 57 countries around the world.[12] Experts from K-POP, Korean food, Korean clothing and other fields introduced that Sejong Cultural College of Korean Culture was opened in 20 places this year. The online-Sejong School, which opened in 2009, provides more than 13,000 materials such as Korean teaching courses, Korean culture-related videos, Internet Slow, cartoons and so on. It has Korean, English and Chinese versions. Its users exceeded 100,000 in August this year.






compared with Confucius institutes in China[edit]

The sejong school is similar to the representative Confucius institute of Chinese as a foreign language (education) in China, and it can be said that it is the most important institution of Korean language education in Korea. Under the leadership of the ministry of culture and tourism of the republic of Korea, headed by the korean-speaking world consortium, sejong school has opened 99 sejong schools or sejong classes in 34 countries since it opened its first sejong school in Mongolia in March 2007. By the end of 2013, the government of Bau Bau, Indonesia, had been successfully persuaded to make Korean the official language marking the region's indigenous language, giajia. Now the south Korean government has made plans to set up 150 sejong schools around the world by 2015.


  1. ^ "King Sejong Institute seeks more overseas branches". Yonhap News Agency. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  2. ^ "Global King Sejong". King Sejong Institute Foundation. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  3. ^ "Seoul to establish Korean language centers in labor-exporting countries". Yonhap News. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  4. ^ "Gov't steps up efforts to encourage Korean language study overseas". Yonhap News. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  5. ^ "30 More Korean Language Centers to Open Around the World". Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  6. ^ "Gov't to Promote Korean Language, Taekwondo". Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  7. ^ "Lee vows to spread Hangeul" (in Korean). 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  8. ^ "라트비아·미얀마·바레인 등 세종학당 9개소 신규 지정". dongponews. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  9. ^ a Korea-sponsored school, Americans learn the language with K-pop, dramas and more NBC News 2018-10-08
  10. ^ "Korean language Web site adds service in Russian, Indonesian". Yonhap News. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  11. ^ "Nuri-Sejonghakdang". Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  12. ^ Global King Sejong

External links[edit]