S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Foreign Language Education Research Institute (외국어교육연구소) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) vol.18 (2015)
History of Foreign Language Education in Korea
- Lee, Kwang-Sook
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 외국어교육연구소
- 외국어교육연구, Vol.18, pp. 37-52
- Foreign language education in Korea commenced from the period of the Three Kingdoms. During this period, which lasted until 7th-8th century AD, the Kingdoms close relationship with China prompted Chinese language education. Similarly, interaction with Japan started the education of Japanese language. Education during this period was reserved for the children of the upper class. From the end of the Three Kingdoms era until the early 19th century, education of four languages including Mongolian and Manchurian, as well as Chinese and Japanese took place. A government agency, Sa Yeok Won, trained translators during this time. Education of English, German, French and Russian languages started from the end of the 19th century, because the newly formed diplomatic relationships with these countries required the knowledge of their languages for communication. That was the beginning of the modern-style public education, which the foreign language education in the 20th century was based on. Currently, foreign language education takes place in high schools and universities. In high schools, the first foreign language is English, while the second foreign languages offered are Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese and Classical Chinese characters. Universities offer both compulsory and elective courses on foreign languages. In addition to the languages taught in high schools, African and Southeast Asian languages are available for students to study in university.