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According to Yonhap News,
(SEJONG=Yonhap News) The South Korean government on Thursday said it will designate a total of 53 special languages which it said are strategically important for sustainable national growth.
The education ministry issued a preannouncement of legislation implementing the ordinance of the special foreign language education promotion law. This, it said, will help the country train people fluent in many languages that have growth potential. Better fluency in a language can help local companies enter new markets and fuel personnel exchanges that are the foundation of long-term cooperation and growth.
The foreign languages to be specially designated for support include Arabic, Iranian, Vietnamese, Thai, Mongolian, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and several other European languages, according to the ministry.
Under the law's enforcement ordinance, the government can provide various kinds of financial assistance to specialized education institutions and schools that teach or want to operate courses on special languages. The government can help students go abroad to study or arrange internship courses in foreign countries. The law also makes it possible to better develop foreign language education programs and the procurement of educational equipment.
The purpose of the law is to improve the country's foreign language education environment that is heavily biased towards English and a few other languages that are in high demand.
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Source: Yonhap News (Jun. 02, 2016)