Director of Korean program; focused on Korean language and culture, particularly corpus-based linguistic analysis and learner corpus research

I am a professor of Korean at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Since I arrived at Wellesley, I have had an honor to serve this wonderful academic community while developing a new Korean curriculum and carrying on my research and teaching.
In terms of research, I am a specialist in corpus linguistics, Korean grammar, and learner corpus research. The term 'corpus' refers to a database of "real world" texts or utterances; it is a collection of empirical language samples, such as spoken discourses from conversations, addresses, and lectures, and written texts including newspaper articles, essays, and academic texts. My work can be divided into two distinct data types: native language in context vs. learner language with errors. The corpus-based approaches are effectively used to identify meaningful language use and linguistic analysis of grammatical and discourse features. The methods and tools are also applicable for identifying error patterns and examining contrastive use between learners and native speakers. My goal is to apply effective corpus-based methods to resolve theoretically relevant issues and to explore the human mind and cultural behavior through language use in context. Whereas my research trajectory predominantly centered around grammatical properties, my recent research interests extend to genre and discourse analysis. I am currently working on corpus-based projects focusing on Korean formulaic and stance expressions, developing a Korean learner corpus, and examining public discourse on the North Korean defectors,#MeToo movement, and #AntiAsian Hate. In the long term, I would like to provide a comprehensive analysis of corpus-based Korean grammar while developing learner corpus research with large scale corpora and annotation. These two projects are closely connected because analysis of native linguistic usage serves as the basis for analysis of learner language.
I have taught Korean language courses at various levels and linguistics courses focusing on language use and culture, taught in English. In addition to language and culture courses (KOR 206: Introduction to Korean Culture and Language & KOR 256: Gender and Language in Modern Korean Culture), I developed a seminar course for majors (EALC 345 Language, Nationalism, and Identify in East Asia). I also offer a corpus linguistics course (LING 246/KOR246: Digital Language: Corpus Linguistics and Its Applications) at Wellesley. In summer 2022, I am teaching two graduate courses for M.A. students (Language Analysis and Corpus Linguistics for Korean Language Teachers) at Middlebury College in 2022.
As a teacher, my aim is to solidify fundamental knowledge and understanding in language and culture; to integrate comparative perspectives and cultural literacy; to guide students to become life-long learners with communicative competence, empathy, and self-reflection. Along with the advancement of pedagogical innovation and technology, I have been collaborating with wonderful colleagues in Korean Program and other programs and departments at Wellesley for developing the online and offline resources of the Blended Learning and a cocurriculum connecting the community of language learning and residential life and various internship opportunities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean Program at Wellesley has launched new Global Language Buddy Programs in collaboration with Yonsei University and Konyang Cyber University in South Korea. Through these broad networks, I hope to connect Korean learners to the Korean culture, society, and beyond.
I have also supervised my students for independent study, thesis research, and preparations for graduate study, which has enriched the quality of my intellctual and personal life as an educator. I am also a founding member of New England Association of College Korean Educators (NEACKE).
In addition to professional activities, I enjoy hot yoga, HIT training, hiking, travelling, binge-watching movies/drama, and cooking.


  • B.A., Yonsei University
  • M.A., Yonsei University
  • Ph.D., Yonsei University
  • Ph.D., Ohio State University

Current and upcoming courses

  • This advanced Korean language course explores the rich tapestry of modern Korean narratives, including webtoons, dramas, films, and literary stories. Designed to provide students with an immersive experience in Korean language and culture, the course aims to enhance language proficiency in reading, listening, and critical analysis through engagement with authentic materials and creative expressions. Students will engage in critical examination, discussion, and creative projects, focusing on the themes, narratives, and aesthetic innovations characteristic of both digital and traditional Korean storytelling forms. The course seeks to broaden students' understanding of contemporary Korean society and its cultural nuances, as well as the art of storytelling, thereby advancing their Korean language skills to a higher level of fluency. Through this comprehensive approach, students will not only improve their language proficiency but also gain a deep appreciation for the richness and cultural diversity inherent in Modern Korean Narratives.