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KF Korean Studies

‘Learn! KOREAN with BTS’ Opened at University of Sheffield, U.K.

Date 2021-04-08 Read 27
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Learn! KOREAN with BTS Opened at University of Sheffield, U.K.
As of the Spring semester of 2021, the University of Sheffield in the U.K. is offering to students a KF e-School Korean language course utilizing the “Learn! KOREAN with BTS” textbook. This is the first BTS Korean language course in the U.K., and follows the courses opened at Middlebury College in the U.S., École Normale Supérieure in France, and Thang Long University in Vietnam last year.

The University of Sheffield, a member of the Russell Group comprised of 24 prestigious universities often dubbed the “Ivy League of the U.K.,” opened its first Korean language course about four decades ago, long before the current global surge in popularity of Korean pop culture. Although the university once experienced an unfortunate closure of the program due to a decreased number of students, as many as 130 students enrolled in the Korean language program in 2020. This reversal of fortune was due to the faculty members’ tireless efforts, the sweeping popularity of the Korean wave, and the KF’s support for the establishment of a Korean studies professorship.

Sheffield Korean language teacher Lee Se-ri said, “We planned to reduce the scale of the course to half as the campus was closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were, however, so many students applying for the course, and we decided to offer three classes, accepting the maximum number of students to our capacity.” She added, “Students of various majors, ranging from undergraduates to doctoral candidates, are attending the course. The students’ enthusiasm for learning Korean is so great that even a medical student makes time to attend the online course, wearing a mask while receiving medical training at a hospital.”

Sheffield students smile and pose while holding the “Learn! KOREAN with BTS” textbook during class.

The KF signed an agreement last year with Big Hit Edu and the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) to promote Korean language education, and has since implemented the KF e-School BTS Korean Language Course program. The aim of the program is to help open and operate regular online BTS Korean language courses streamed from Korea. This year, a total of 11 universities in eight countries, including Japan, the U.K., the U.S., and Vietnam, will open regular credit Korean language courses. As 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the e-School program, the KF will make efforts to establish itself as Korea’s representative provider of online Korean studies courses through the implementation of its e-School 2.0 initiative.

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