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Annual convention for Korean language teachers kicks off in Seoul

July 18, 2017 - 13:33 By Catherine Chung

The annual convention designed to promote the education of Korean as a second language kicked off in Seoul on Tuesday, gathering hundreds of participants from around the world, the education ministry here said.

The World Korean Educators Conference started its first day of a four-day run in southern Seoul, attended by some 420 teachers and experts in the Korean language from 29 countries, the education ministry, a co-host of the conference, said in a statement.

The meeting, the ninth of its kind, is designed to provide Korean language educators, who either teach here or overseas, with opportunities to further build their expertise in teaching the Korean language, or "hangul." 

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon makes his congratulatory speech at the opening ceremony of the 8th World Korean Educators Conference in Seoul on July 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, who joined the opening ceremony earlier in the day, pledged to bolster efforts to further propagate the native language globally.

"Out of tens of thousands of languages around the world, the Korean language ranks 13th in terms of global usage. Such an incredible accomplishment stems from the country's economic growth and spread of 'hallyu' (Korean Wave)," he said in a congratulatory speech.

"The government will further step up efforts to expand support for Korean language teaching for foreigners, especially through more lingual and cultural exchanges at the King Sejong Institute," he added.

The King Sejong Institute is a state-run Korean language institute set up to better promote the language and culture. It currently runs 177 branches in 58 nations with some 50,000 students.

Co-hosted by the education, foreign and culture ministries, the conference will offer sessions on a wide range of topics, including teaching methods and language standards unique in the Korean language, it said.

This year, its opening was marked by a keynote speech by Kim Hoon, a renowned South Korean novelist, followed by other experts' sessions on the Korean language in light of history and psychology. (Yonhap)