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  • Korean Proficency Test(KPT)
  • Test of Proficiency in Korean(TOPIK)
...the government can grant qualifications to those who wish to teach Korean to foreigners or overseas Koreans.
According to the Framework Act on the Korean Language, publicized in January 2005 and enforced in July, the government must support the development of curriculums and textbooks, as well as the training of necessary specialists for non-natives and overseas Koreans wishing to learn the Korean language. In addition, the government can grant qualifications to those who wish to teach Korean to foreigners or overseas Koreans.
Previous to the enforcement of the Framework Act, those teach the Korean language to non-natives or to overseas Koreans did not need any special qualifications. This caused people to believe that no special knowledge was needed to teach the Korean language. However, just as with any other subject, special knowledge is needed in order to provide accurate and efficient education. This is why the Fundamental Law for the Korean Language states that qualification is necessary for those who wish to teach Korean. Currently, this qualification is granted mostly to native Koreans; however, non-natives who are eligible can become qualified as well.
A Korean language instructor qualification is categorized into three levels. Level 1 is open to those that have a level 2 qualification who have taught Korean for 5 years or more at a Korean or international university or annexed facility. Level 2 is open to those who have majored or double majored in teaching Korean as a foreign language at a university, and have obtained a bachelor's degree or higher. Level 3 is open to two types of groups: those who have specialized in teaching Korean as a foreign language as their minor at a university, and have obtained a bachelor's degree or higher, and those who have completed the Korean Education Training Course and have passed the Korean Proficiency Test. If a member of the former group becomes a level 3 instructor and accumulates 3 years experience or more teaching Korean, they can then become a level 2 instructor. If a member of the latter group becomes a level 3 instructor and has 5 years or more experience as a Korean teacher, they can become a level 2 instructor.
In essence, the Korean Proficiency Test is a test that must be taken by anyone who wishes to become a level 3 Korean instructor and has completed the Korean education training course. According to article 14 of the Fundamental Law of the Korean Language, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism must hold the Korean Proficiency Test at least once a year. The Korean Proficiency Test is managed by the Korean Globalization Organization (http://www.glokorean.org). In 2006, the writing test was carried out on September 24, 2006, and the interviews were performed on October 21 and 22. The final candidates were announced on November 6, 2006.
In order to become a level 3 Korean instructor, one must satisfy the below conditions and complete the Korean education training course. A total of 120 hours of study are required, and the minimum hours for each section must also be met.
No. Section Examples of Subjects Minimum Hours
1 Korean Linguistics Introduction to Korean Language, Korean Phonology, Korean Grammar, Korean Vocabulary, Korean Semantics, Korean Pragmatics, Korean History, Standards of the Korean Language, etc. 30
2 General Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Applied Linguistics, Introduction to Language, Comparative Linguistics, Social Linguistics, Psychological Linguistics, Foreign Language Acquisition, etc. 12
3 Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language Introduction to Korean Language Education, Curriculum in Teaching Korean Language as a Foreign Language, Assessment of Korean Language Proficiency, Theory of Teaching Language, Methods in Teaching Korean Language Expression (Speaking, Writing), Teaching Comprehensive Skills of Korean Language (Listening Reading), Teaching Korean Pronunciation, Teaching Korean Grammar, Teaching Korean Vocabulary, Korean Teaching Materials, Teaching Korean Culture, Policies of Teaching Korean, Translating Korean, etc. 46
4 Korean Culture Korean Folklore, Modern Korean Culture, Traditional Korean Culture, Introduction to Korean Literature, Practice of Traditional Culture, Criticism of Modern Korean Culture, Modern Korean Society, Understanding of Korean Literature, etc. 12
5 Practice in Teaching Korean Class Sit In, Mock Classes, Practice Lectures, etc. 20
  Total   120
A person who has completed the above course must pass the following exams in order to become a level 3 instructor.
Section Points Time Method
Korean Linguistics 90 120 100 min. Written Test
General and Applied Linguistics 30
Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language 150 180 150 min.
Korean Culture 30
  300 points 250 min.  
Oral Test Pass/Fail   Interview
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