Sri Lanka adds Korean language as college entrance exam subject

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) — Sri Lanka has decided to adopt the Korean language as a subject for the country’s college entrance exams, a South Korean embassy there said Tuesday.

According to the embassy, the Sri Lankan government recently added Korean to the list of foreign languages taught in the Advanced Level curriculum, as part of efforts to expand Korean education at schools.

Under the policy, students entering 12th and 13th grade can choose Korean as their foreign language subject starting in the second half of this year. Currently, the South Asian country only offers Korean education at schools for students in 10th and 11th grade.

From 2023, students will also be able to sit for Korean language in the Advanced Level exam, which serves as an entrance requirement for Sri Lankan universities.

Many countries have a Korean language curriculum at schools, but Sri Lanka is one of the few countries that have designated Korean as a test subject for the college entrance exam, the embassy said.

The decision comes amid growing interest in Korean culture, including K-pop and K-dramas, in Sri Lanka. Demand for employment in South Korea is also known to be high, with around 23,000 Sri Lankans currently working here.

“We believe (the adoption of Korean in Sri Lanka’s college entrance exam) will greatly contribute to the development of the two countries’ relations,” Ambassador Jeong Woon-jin said, adding that the decision will help more Sri Lankans learn the language.

The embassy is currently working on creating Korean language majors at Sri Lankan universities. It also runs events like Korean speech contests and K-pop competitions.