The Korea Herald


Korean classes added for migrant families

By 이종민

Published : March 28, 2011 - 19:20

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Children of migrant families will be given the chance to learn Korean through an after-school program, Seoul Metropolitan Government said Monday.

Hoping to ease the children’s transition into the culture, officials have established the program in elementary schools in districts with a high ratio of foreigners.

The program includes lessons on Korean culture in order to raise the effectiveness of learning the language.

With roughly 20 students per school, the program will run five times a week from 1 p.m., for two hours.

The metropolitan government will also provide two teacher aides specialized in Korean education to supplement the current staff.

The program will be held at Bogwang Elementary School, Seoul Itaewon Elementary School and Seoul Kunja Elementary School. For preschool children, the city will also run a program at the Seongdong Global Migrant Center and the Yeongdeungpo Global Village Center.

The city plans to expand the program to 30 schools by 2014.

“Children of foreign and multicultural families often face challenges adjusting because of problems with the Korean language,” said Oh Seung-hwan, Seoul’s director of Foreign Residents Assistance.

“They plan to help ensure their safety through diverse yet focused education,” he said.

According to Jung Hye-sun, a teacher at Itaewon elementary, many of her international students, who come from Nigeria, Thailand and Ecuador among other countries, have a hard time following Korean in class.

“The children are really happy about the program, and the fact that they can take this back to their regular curriculum seems to give them a lot of confidence,” said Jung.

By Robert Lee (