This study considers the future trajectory of Korean language education in Thailand by analyzing the present condition, status, and problems of Korean language education among the middle class against a backdrop of changes in the education system and the college admission system in Thailand. Korean language education is expected to be revitalized after its adoption in foreign-language selection courses of the PAT (Professional and Academic Aptitude Test), a college entrance examination, in 2018. This study examines the present condition and perception of Korean language education through a survey of Korean language teachers and students in secondary schools in Thailand. I found the actual condition of Korean language teachers' class, students' satisfaction and demand for the class, and teachers' satisfaction and the demand for their ability as a Korean language teacher. I discovered that Korean teachers lacked confidence in their abilities and expressed a desire to learn more about the Korean language (grammar, vocabulary, phonology, pragmatics, etc.), its functions (speaking, listening, reading, writing) and methods of teaching, and developing and using textbooks through teacher training. In addition, the survey of Korean learners found that they have a favorable impression of Korea and Korean culture. In particular, they showed a strong interest in Korean dramas and K-pop, wanting to use them for Korean language learning. Besides, it was confirmed that the Korean Wave could have a positive effect on their career decisions such as choice of major in university, studying in Korea, and employment.
The survey suggests that systematic curriculum, competent teachers, and good textbooks are needed for quality education. With respect to curriculum, a systematic curriculum considering the linkage between middle school, high school, and university is needed. In order to train high-quality Korean teachers, systematic support such as quality teacher-training programs should be provided and there should be research on teacher reorientation. Lastly, with respect to textbooks, it is necessary to develop secondary school textbooks for the middle class, Korean education textbooks published by the KEC, and teaching guides and other materials for teachers. Thus, this study provides perspectives on the present condition and development trajectory of Korean education among the middle class in Thailand, and the possibility of overseas Korean education.