Seoul City Hall (Park Han-na/The Korea Herald)
The Seoul city government on Tuesday announced that it would offer online Korean classes during a six-month trial period, starting Friday this week.
According to the city government, the online language classes will be available on the official website of King Sejong Institute Foundation, a public institution operated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The classes will be available, free of charge, to all foreign residents staying in Seoul as well as those staying in other regions of the country.
The Seoul city government has been offering only offline language programs at 38 locations across the city.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, demand for online language classes has increased among foreigners, the city government explained.
The Seoul city government added that it would increase cooperation with the institution to expand public language programs available for foreign residents. The government said it could work to introduce an online writing tutoring service for foreigners, where they can receive comments on their written works.
The city government also said it will expand offline Korean classes at existing support centers for foreign residents. Those who are interested in taking classes can check Seoul Foreign Portal.
“In terms of diversity measurements provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Seoul is a city that is gradually becoming multiethnic and multicultural, and language supports for those who are trying to settle in the city are important,“ said Kim Sun-soon, director of welfare policy division at the city government.