The Education Ministry on Monday published an official textbook for middle and high school students in Thailand who are learning Korean as a second foreign language.
A ministry official here said Sunday, "There has been an explosive growth in the number of people in Thailand who are learning Korean thanks to the popularity of the Korean Wave there."
Six textbooks are available for different levels of proficiency. The first edition was published Monday to mark Hangeul Day and additional volumes will be released until March of next year, which marks the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations.
The books will be distributed to Thai schools from May, when the new school year begins, and also be sold in bookstores.
Korean is now the fourth most popular second foreign language in Thai schools after Chinese, Japanese and French. A growing number of young Thais became interested in Korean thanks to popular soap operas like "Descendants of the Sun," which was a huge hit there.
The number of schoolkids learning Korean has risen from around 3,000 in 2010 to 30,000.
"Korean-language textbooks published by universities here are designed for adults or Chinese and Japanese students, which made them inadequate for educating Thai students," the ministry official said. "The new books will make it easier."
At present, 115,044 students in 26 countries are learning Korean as a second foreign language.