Centre for Language and Communication Studies Starts Teaching Korean
The beginner’s course in Korean is a new initiative, and it is organised in co-operation between the Centre for Language and Communication Studies of the University of Turku and King Sejong Institute established by the South Korean government, and specialising in the teaching of the Korean language as well as cultural export.
Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies Mike Nelson, one of the teachers of the beginner’s course in Korean Mary Song, and Suik Jung, a member of the administrative staff of King Sejong Institute, hope to see many enthusiastic students attending the courses.
In co-operation with King Sejong Institute, the Centre for Language and Communication Studies starts beginner’s courses in Korean in the University of Turku. Starting on 24 September, the course is divided into two groups, one of which is already full. The four-credit beginner’s course has active teaching twice a week.
In addition to learning the language, students will also explore Korean culture during the course.
– At the end of the course, students will master the basics of the Korean language. They will study the Korean alphabet, Hangul, and hopefully gain the ability to understand and speak Korean in everyday situations. In addition, students will explore Korean culture and customs, Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies Mike Nelson says.
To begin with, the Cooperation Agreement signed by the University Management and King Sejong Institute guarantees teaching for half a year. In the future, teaching is planned to continue as a longer three-year period.
The significance of the Koreas to world politics is obvious, but also the cultural impact of especially South Korea has increased globally. For example, Korean popular culture, food, and IT have been part of a phenomenon that is referred to in Korean as Hallyu. In the wake of the so-called Korean Wave, Korean culture has made a prominent breakthrough also in the West in recent years.
King Sejong Institute is an important part of South Korea’s cultural export. Established in 2005, the organisation has institutes around the world, and by June 2018 in as many as 57 countries.
The institute that is established in the University of Turku is the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.
– We visited South Korea to explore the activities at King Sejong Institute, and they were genuinely happy about the establishing of an institute in the Nordic countries, too. The organisation also has plenty of resources, and, during our visit, we learned that the Institute offers the students several exciting opportunities from international exchange to language competitions, says one of the teachers of the course Mary Song.
Text: Heikki Kettunen
Translation: Aura Jaakkola