Public schools to teach Korean in high school

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The Department of Education says it is all set for the full implementation of the K to 12 program, which means more rooms for over a million incoming senior high school students.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 24) — Korean language will soon be taught in public high schools.

The Korean Embassy and the Department of Education (DepEd) signed on Wednesday an agreement which adds Korean language as one of the second foreign language electives.

Under the pilot implementation, Korean language will be taught in 10 select high schools in Metro Manila, starting this year.

"This is a continuation of very long years of fruitful relationship, including in the field of education, between Korea and the Republic of the Philippines," DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said.

The Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL), first implemented in 2009, aims "to prepare the graduates in a linguistically and culturally diverse global workspace," according to DepEd.

The program helps learners develop skills in "listening, reading, writing, speaking, and viewing that are fundamental in acquiring communicative competence in a second foreign language," the Department said.

Among the languages currently taught are Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese (Nihongo), and Spanish.

"I'm very happy that Korean language is added as one of the second foreign languages. Language is very important so teaching and studying (foreign languages) in schools is very helpful to deepen the bilateral understanding between two nations," said Korean Ambassador Kim Jae Shin.

The SPFL is open to Grades 7 to 12 "who have demonstrated competence in English" based on the National Achievement Test (NAT) results, and "are capable of learning another foreign language."

It can be offered as an additional subject, or as substitute for Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE).

February 2017 data of DepEd listed around 10,500 SPFL student nationwide, with most students enrolled in Spanish language.