‘Learn! KOREAN with BTS’ Korean language course is still going on amidst Coronavirus.
‘Learn! KOREAN with BTS’, is a Korean language course textbook inspired by BTS. It has now entered prestigious British universities.
Sheffield University in the UK opened a new course for students, according to KF on the 4th. This course is for people who want to learn the Korean language. The course will be using the textbook ‘Learn! KOREAN with BTS.’
It opened last year, the first in the UK. It follows Middlebury College in the US and Higher Normal University in France. There is also Thang Long University in Vietnam and Ein Shams University in Egypt.
KF will open regular BTS Korean credit courses at 11 universities in 8 countries this year. This includes the US, UK, Japan, and Vietnam.
Sheffield University is a prestigious university that belongs to the Russell Group called Ivy League in the UK. They have been offering Korean language courses for over 40 years now, even before the current Hallyu fever.
The university’s Korean department was once in crisis due to the shortage of students. However, the establishment of KF professorship helps to overcome the issue. The efforts of local faculty and the Korean Wave fever increased the number of students. It reached 130 students as of 2020. In fact, the number of new students surpassed the Japanese and Chinese departments.
Sheffield University already confirmed the ‘BTS E-School Korean Course’ in December of last year. But, there were many twists and turns until the actual lecture began.
Due to the COVID-19 virus in the UK, intense precautionary measures have been followed. This makes it impossible to have group classes in person. It is also hard to deliver textbooks to students.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the UK. Also, they need the cooperation of the Korean Education Center in England. This makes it possible for KF to deliver textbooks to local faculty members. Then, the faculty sent the textbooks to each student through their mail. As a result, students thanked them by taking a picture while holding their books.
Meanwhile, Sheffield University’s ‘BTS E-School Korean Lecture’ began on the 10th. There are about 40 students each Wednesday and Saturday. They are using ‘Learn! KOREAN with BTS’ language textbooks. The book is very useful for them in order to familiarize themselves with the Korean language. As of now, the lecture is on a co-teaching (collaborative class) method. Professors at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and professors at Sheffield University made all this possible.
Although it is a difficult course, many students are eager to learn Korean.
Se-Ri Lee is one of Sheffield University’s professors. She said, “Due to coronavirus, we have opened the course in half class sizes. There were three classes due to a large number of applicants. We select the maximum number of students that we can accommodate. In fact, students of various majors are taking the course. It is ranging from undergraduates students to doctoral students. Their enthusiasm for learning is so high. You know, we have a medical student that takes time during hospital practice and participates in the online classes wearing a mask,” Professor Lee said.
“It is an online class but, while we are conducting the class, we are actively communicating with students. We are using a variety of content. There is a textbook composed of interesting multimedia content and listening content. Both are great help for students. This can help them to prepare and review,” Professor Lee explained.
KF’s ‘Global E-School’ is a project to introduce Korean Studies or Korean online courses to overseas universities. 16 major domestic universities cooperate on this project. It includes Seoul National University, Korea University, Ewha Woman’s University, Kyunghee Cyber University, and Jeju National University.
This will improve the reality that there is a shortage of local teachers. There is a rapidly increasing demand for Korean studies abroad. Due to coronavirus, online education is spreading. This is in a large growth trend. It is a specialized project for overseas Korean studies or Korean language education.
For 10 years, more than 320,000 university students have taken Korean Studies or Language courses from the KF E-School. The demand from overseas universities has risen. There will be a total of 489 courses at 155 universities, in 49 countries this year.
KF signed a business agreement with Big Hit Edu and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies last year. It aims to promote ‘overseas Korean learning.’ This is about implementing a public-private, government-academic cooperation project.
Moreover, it is a new project combining Korean textbooks. Big Hit Edu and Professor Yong Yong Yoo’s research team jointly developed this project. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Korean Contents Research Institute) is the ‘KF e-School’ business model. BTS Korean language courses will help open and operate regular local Korean courses. This is after consultation with overseas universities.
KF President Lee Geun said, “The ‘KF BTS E-School Korean Lecture’ is meaningful. Many K-Pop fans are interested to learn the Korean Language. Actually, this year is the 10th anniversary of E-school. We aim to be ‘Korea’s leading online Korean studies lecture provider’ through the promotion of ‘E-School 2.0’.”
KF has been trying to promote Korean studies/language in overseas universities since 1991. We made it through different projects such as the establishment of professorships and dispatching of visiting professors. Also, there is employment support for local teachers, scholarship support for graduate students, and global E-Schools.
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