You know the Korean Wave (Hallyu) is real when even non-Korean schools have begun offering Korean classes!
The Department of Education of the Philippines recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Korean Ambassador Kim Jae Shin and First Secretary Lee Jin Cheol from The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines that would allow public high school students in the Philippines to learn Korean.
The agreement will enable the Department of Education to teach Hangul (the Korean alphabet/language) through the Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL).
SPFL was made to provide learners with opportunities that would make them both locally and internationally competitive. Offered to public secondary schools in the Philippines, SPFL helps learners develop skills in listening, reading, writing, speaking, and viewing that are fundamental in acquiring communicative competence in a second foreign language. It is open to Grades 7 to 12 students who have demonstrated competence in English – based on learners’ National Achievement Test (NAT) results – and are capable of learning another foreign language.
In preparation for the program, the Department of Education will strengthen the capacity of teachers to provide quality instruction in Korean through the Korean Cultural Center, which organises cultural activities, courses in Korean language, and Korean teacher training.
Among the other languages offered in the program are Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese (Mandarin).
This comes as no surprise, of course, considering the country’s exposure to Korean entertainment and the influence the Hallyu has over its people. In fact, at one point in time (but not necessarily all at the same time), popular K-Pop idols such as 2NE1’s Sandara Park, MBLAQ’s Park Sang Hyun (formerly known as Thunder), BtoB‘s Yook Sung Jae, and Highlight‘s Son Dong Woon have made the Philippines their home.
Oh, you lucky, lucky Pinoys! 🙂