Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 4th batch of the Indonesian for Foreign Speakers (BIPA) Program for South Koreans, held by the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, was attended by 542 participants, according to the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry.

"BIPA Korea can be a catalyst in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries that reaches its 50th year," Head of the Language Strengthening and Empowerment Center at the ministry Iwa Lukmana remarked here on Wednesday.

Learners in BIPA Korea are divided into 14 classes and are taught by 10 local BIPA teachers.

Lukmana praised the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul for holding the BIPA Program for Korean citizens, with the number of participants in each batch increasing.

He affirmed that the internationalization of Bahasa Indonesia in South Korea is an effective cultural diplomacy approach, considering the strong influence of Korean culture in Indonesia.

BIPA Korea also becomes a catalyst in intensifying bilateral relations between Indonesia and South Korea in all sectors, including people-to-people relations.

The Educational and Cultural Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, Gogot Suharwoto, explained that in organizing the 4th batch of the BIPA Program for Koreans, his side had collaborated with the Teachers and Activists for Foreign Speakers Association (APPBIPA) in Korea.

BIPA teachers are trained in the use of various learning media tools, such as the learning management system (LMS), videos, and podcasts created by teachers.

The material includes art, culture, and literature at all levels. At the end of the class, creative competitions are held, such as for poetry recitation, batik making, and playing traditional musical instruments: gamelan and angklung.

"To strengthen the delivery of BIPA learning materials, especially speaking material, the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul will provide face-to-face learning at the embassy even though the number is limited," Suharwoto explained.

The BIPA Program is increasingly in demand among South Korean citizens, thereby translating to a rise in the need for more teaching staff.

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Translator: Astrid H, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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