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Paraguay introduces Korean as 2nd foreign language subject

By Choi Jeong-yoon

Published : April 21, 2024 - 15:21

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Starting this year, middle and high school students in Paraguay can learn Korean at schools as a second foreign language subject, according to the Ministry of Education on Saturday.

The Education Ministry disclosed the signing of a memorandum of understanding with its Paraguayan counterpart, which officially added the Korean language to its second foreign language list for schools in Paraguay.

Amid growing demand for Korean studies in Paraguay due to the popularity of Korean cultural content, the Education Ministry has been supporting language teaching through Korean education centers in Paraguay.

As a result, the number of middle and high school students learning Korean in the country more than doubled from some 1,900 students at 16 schools in 2017 to about 4,800 students at 23 schools in 2023.

As Korean will be recognized as an official subject starting this year and the grades from the curriculum could be used to enter advanced schools, the number of schools that take Korean as a second language classes is likely to increase, the ministry added.

The move is expected to open up more employment opportunities for local college graduates majoring in the Korean language so that they could be hired as teachers there, according to the ministry in Seoul. Currently, there are a total of 42 Korean language graduates from Paraguay.

"We hope to see the nationalities of foreign students coming to Korea becoming more diverse, following the spread of the Korean language in South American regions, including Paraguay," an Education Ministry official said.