According to local officials in Thailand, there is a current boom in the number of students that are showing interest to learn the Korean language. This is different from years ago when American International School in Bangkok gets new students every year who are determined to learn the international language, English. As proof that the Korean boom is real, officials revealed that more secondary schools will be offering Korean as an option for second foreign language. The number schools to offer Korean is expected to increase to 130 in 2019.
Based on the data gathered by the Korean Education Center which is based in Thailand, this year will create a milestone for the language as 130 schools from middle to high school level are going to adopt Korean as an offering for their second language. The new semester in the Southeast Asian country will start in May.
It was 2007 when Thailand decided to introduce Korean as an option for second foreign language. The center reported that as of 2018, the number of schools that are teaching Korean has grown to 119. The center also revealed as of last year that there are a total of 130,000 students outside of Korea that are learning their language. Thailand accounts for 37,401 of those students.
Due to the growing interest, the Ministry of South Korea decided to send more local teachers to Thailand. Around 45 Korean teachers will be moving to Thailand in 2019. Another step was taken by Thailand and South Korea’s governments to ensure that local Thais who are planning to teach are given the proper training with regards to the language and the culture of the Koreans.
A state scholarship was provided by Seoul for 140 students from Thailand between 2013 and 2016. The same students are now working in secondary schools all over Thailand to teach the Korean language to the local students.
It will not be surprising if American International School in Bangkok and other private schools will follow through with offering Korean as a second foreign language in order to meet the demands of the students and this changing, modern world.