In response to the growing international demand for learning the Korean language, the South Korean Education Ministry took a proactive step in 2021 by creating a government-managed Korean language education curriculum.
Prior to the central government's involvement, the selection and distribution of language courses and textbooks were primarily handled by local Korean language education centers. This led to concerns about the lack of structured content that could cater to the diverse language proficiency levels and ages of foreign learners.
The government’s initiative launched two years ago has attempted to encompass the development of textbooks and supplementary educational materials so far.
Distributed to students and teachers at elementary and high schools worldwide that have adopted Korean language as an official subject, all textbooks are provided free of charge.
A total of 201,788 textbooks have been distributed to 28 countries as of 2022, according to the ministry’s overseas education support division.
The type and number of textbooks are issued annually in September -- since many schools start their academic year that month -- after carrying out a demand survey, the ministry explained, adding that about 7.2 billion won ($5.4 million) had been spent each year since 2021.