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IIE to help expand TaLK language exchange program

A governmental education institute has joined hands with its U.S. counterpart in a program to bring overseas Koreans as volunteer English teachers for students in rural areas here.

The National Institute of International Education signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of International Education in New York on Friday, officials said.
Chung Sang-ki (third from right), director of the National Institute of International Education, and Peter Tompson (center), vice president of the Institute of International Education, pose with other participants after signing an accord on a volunteer English teaching program in New York on Friday. (Yonhap News)
Chung Sang-ki (third from right), director of the National Institute of International Education, and Peter Tompson (center), vice president of the Institute of International Education, pose with other participants after signing an accord on a volunteer English teaching program in New York on Friday. (Yonhap News)

The agreement covers TaLK (Teach and Learn in Korea), a program to enhance the communication with the global community, with an emphasis on some 7 million overseas Korean citizens in more than 150 countries.

Launched in 2008 at the suggestion of President Lee Myung-bak, the program invites overseas Koreans and foreign university students to teach English in Korean rural areas. They also get a chance to learn about Korea culture and language while staying here.

With the signing of the accord, the IIE has become the NIIE’s 16th partner in an English-speaking country through the TaLK program, officials said.

The U.S. organization is a nonprofit body affiliated with the State Department and manages a number of international education programs including the Fulbright Scholarship.

“The IIE with its broad base in international education will help us find accomplished resources fit for our program,” said NIIE director Chung Sang-ki.

“Our partnership with the IIE will contribute greatly to the globalization of the Korean education system.”

Also, college or university students and graduates with citizenship in English-speaking countries may apply for the yearly TaLK scholarship, officials said.

The institute has taken charge of the Test of Proficiency in Korean from this year.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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