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CWNU's Institute for Multicultural Affairs’ 'Korean Language Outreach Education Program' for Foreign Workers
  • By Kim Min-seong, reporter
  • 승인 2023.10.04 01:16
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▲ Completion ceremony for the Industry-Integrated Korea Immigration & Integration Korean Language Education Course (Source: CWNU Multicultural Affairs)

CWNU's Multicultural Affairs, located in Building 86, successfully completed the first phase of Korean language education for shipyard workers through the 'Industry- Integrated Korea Immigration & Integration Korean Language Education Course' on September 13th. Unlike traditional Korean language education, this program stood out as instructors directly visited industrial sites. To delve deeper into this initiative, we interviewed the program coordinator.
Q: Please introduce yourself.
Kwon: Hello, I am Kwon Soon- yong, responsible for the Korea Immigration & Integration Program at CWNU’s Institute for Multicultural Affairs.
Q: What does the Institute for Multicultural Affairs do?
Kwon: CWNU's Institute for Multicultural Affairs operates the 'Korea Immigration & Integration Program' sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. We cater to a diverse audience, including international students at CWNU, marriage immigrants, immigrant youth, and foreign workers. The program's aim is to provide Korean language and culture education to aid immigrants in adapting to and settling in Korea. Furthermore, as part of the National University Development Project, we prepare foreign students for Korean language proficiency tests and enhance multicultural awareness.
Q: What prompted the Korean Language Outreach Education Program?
Kwon: A labor shortage in Geoje's shipyards has emerged since last year, leading Korea to recruit welders from abroad through the E- 7- 4 visa. Starting next year, these workers need to demonstrate Korean language proficiency for visa extensions. As a pilot project to expand this visa program, we initiated the 'Korean Language Outreach Education Program (Industry- Integrated Korea Immigration & Integration Program)' based on the original Korea Immigration & Integration Program. The program's goal is for foreign workers to learn Korean after completing their work at the workplace. CWNU oversees this program in Gyeongsangnam-do.
Q: Were there any challenges in educating a large number of people?
Kwon: Initially, providing remote education posed coordination challenges. To date, our institution has offered Korean language education to 334 workers from Hanwha Oceans and Samsung Heavy Industries. With 130 workers completing the first phase of Hanwha Oceans' education, we commenced education for an additional 139 workers last week. Securing instructors proved challenging due to the large number of participants, leading us to collaborate with Geoje University and Geoje Family Center. Adapting teaching methods to accommodate the sizable student body in a short period, also presented challenges. Finally, differing perspectives on student management between ourselves and companies required coordination for efficient education.
Q: Why did Hanwha Oceans' foreign workers respond positively to the education?
Kwon: Workers not only acquired language skills but also gained insights into Korean culture. This heightened cultural understanding facilitated their adaptation to life in Korea. Moreover, companies benefited in terms of safety and management.
Q: Are there other ongoing programs at the Institute for Multicultural Affairs?
Kwon: Yes, in addition to the Korea Immigration & Integration Program for immigrants, the Institute for Multicultural Affairs conducts Multicultural Supporters activities in which students actively participate. We engage in various activities to enhance multicultural awareness, including language education and practical Korean language textbooks for immigrant youth. Our textbooks align with the Korean education curriculum. Furthermore, we collaborate with Changwon City Hall’s Lifelong Education Department to operate the 'Korean Language Outreach Education Program.'
Q: Finally, do you have a message for foreign students at CWNU or foreign residents in Gyeongsangnam-do?
Kwon: We encourage both Korean and foreign students to have interests in the Multicultural Supporters program, which provides a platform for interaction. Also, completing the Korea Immigration & Integration (KIIP) Program significantly aids with visa extensions. We offer classes at various times during weekdays and weekends. We would be grateful for your interest and support.
CWNU actively readies itself for the multicultural society in Gyeongsangnam- do through diverse programs. Leveraging the success of the first education phase, we anticipate CWNU will continue to lead regional development.

By Kim Min-seong, reporter  kms9494274@gmail.com

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