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A message from Dr. Joowon Suh
June 6, 2021
Dear Members of AATK,
Warm greetings and wishes to everyone! As getting closer and closer to the end of this challenging situation, we are now cautiously expecting the safest return to “normal.”
This year, we continue to gather virtually at our 2021 Annual Meeting for the full three days from June 24th through 26th. However disappointed and saddened we may be that we cannot greet all members in person two years in a row, we are encouraged to refine our virtual mode and further explore different technological resources and advances. To maximize our collective experience during this virtual instructional reality, we organize our 2021 meeting around the theme “Advancing Korean Language Education through Digital Practices.” Following the huge success of the last year’s first-ever virtual meeting organized by the Columbia University team, I have a high expectation that we will continue our stimulating intellectual exchanges and accomplish another success at our annual gathering this year. The registration for the conference will continue through June 25th with no registration fee for the members. More than 200 people already registered, we expect our membership to grow further in a more diversifying way via these new ways to connect to and interact with one another.
This year’s workshops and conferences owe greatly to the organizing committee, consisting of Drs. Hi-Sun Kim, Insung Ko, Danielle Pyun, Meejeong Park (Executive Secretary), Bumyong Choi (Treasurer), as well as myself. Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon, the AATK Webmaster & Newsletter Editor, has served as this year’s Program Chair, who has put an incredible amount of work and energy into making this meeting possible. I also would like to thank the Executive Board, particularly the four outgoing members, Drs. Ihnhee Kim and Byung-jin Lim, Ms. Eunice Lee, and Mr. Hwanhee Kim, for their dedicated services for the organization and its membership. We sincerely hope to meet everyone, in person, at Cornell University in 2022 (June 16-18) and Georgia State University in 2023 (June 15-17).
On behalf of all AATK members, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Korea Foundation for its continued generous funds, which have made our annual meetings financially possible and stabilized over the many years. I especially thank Director Chungmin Lee at Los Angeles Office for his sincere interest in the AATK activities and projects in his first year in the office. Our very special thanks go to Professor Emeritus Ho-min Sohn at the Korean Language Education & Research Center (KLEAR) for the generous contribution to the AATK. Lastly, I am grateful to the Korean Language Foundation in New York for their continued financial support.
At the opportune time of fast-developing instructional technology that we are becoming more proficient at, we have started a new virtual venue, the AATK Colloquium. The AATK Colloquium, which is to offer twice a year, aims to provide the opportunity to explore various types of research in the field of Korean language education and beyond. The inaugural colloquium was held on November 6, 2020, under the theme of “Beyond the Scene: Analyses and explorations of the BTS phenomenon.” Moderate by me, three papers were presented by Dal Yong Jin, Kyeong-Hee Choi, Mi-young Kim, and Huai-Rhin Kim. The second colloquium, “KOREAN DIASPORA: Language and Identity,” was held on March 19, 2021, organized by Hi-Sun Kim with three presentations by David Chung, Jiyeon Jo, and Joseph Juhn. Both events were very well attended with more than 150 members. Through these new opportunities, we can focus more on the research topics that we do not usually examine at our annual meetings in the summer. The colloquium will continue to be offered twice a year without separate fees and registration for AATK members. If you have any ideas or requests for future colloquia, please feel free to contact the AATK Officers.
Following the launch made on June 1st, 2020, the AATK website has continually been updated and refined with new ideas and technological setups in order to better serve our expanding membership. For instance, we have streamlined the board member election to make the nomination process easier and more accessible to general members. Without Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon’s continued effort and unrelenting attention to detail every step of the way, this large-scale project would not have come to completion. Also, at the initiation of Dr. Young-mee Yu Cho and with the support from the Korea Foundation, the Directory of Schools has finally been updated with more detailed information, including a number of high schools. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Yu Cho for her tireless and persistent work for the last ten months to complete this project.
Despite the ongoing pandemic situation for more than a year, the three main AATK projects and activities have continued with successes: the Korean Language in America, the Korean Honor Society, and the Korean Special Interest Group at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The Korean Language in America, the official journal of the AATK, continues to expand and thrive under the commanding editorship of Dr. Hae-Young Kim. Since our last meeting in 2020, Volumes 23.2 and 24.1 were published, and Volume 24.2 is also on its way to be published. As the number of submissions has increased, the KLA has become the even stronger intellectual core of the AATK with constructive and significant research articles, forum pieces, and book reviews. I urge all members to strive for more submissions to the future KLA issues. The Korean Honor Society continues to grow in various regions in the U.S. thanks to the dedication of the KHS committee, led by Dr. Byung-jin Lim and Ms. Eunice Lee. As much of the managing process is automated via the AATK website, we look forward to steadier and more substantial growth in the very near future. Although the 2020 ACTFL Convention was held virtually, the AATK representation at the ACTFL and collaboration with the Korean-SIG in the field of foreign language education remained. With the constant efforts from the SIG Committee, consisting of Dr. Angela Lee-Smith, Ms. Sandra Song, and Ms. Jeeyoung Ha, I anticipate that many more AATK members will actively participate in the virtual 2021 ACTFL World Language Convention & Expo on November 19 through 21. Please refer to more detailed reports of these projects and activities in this newsletter.
My three-year term as President of the AATK is ending this summer. It has been my great privilege to represent and serve members of the AATK during the very challenging but rewarding years. On behalf of all the outgoing Executive Officers for the 2018-2021 term, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all members for your enthusiastic support and constant guidance. I can now say with utmost confidence and pride that the AATK has established itself as a de facto organization that represents Korean language educators in North America, and beyond. With more creative ideas and forwarding visions, we, as a group, will continue our collaboration to grow into an even stronger organization that can stand out in the foreign language education field. I promise you that we, the departing Executive Officers, will continue on this endeavor.
I wish the new executive officers for the 2021-2024 term an exciting and productive term!
Please join me at the Business Meeting scheduled on June 26 (Sat) at 4:15 (EDT) and 1:15 (PDT) to welcome the new Executive Officers for 2021-2024 as well as new board members.
Thank you again for this great honor. I hope to see everyone in person very soon!
American Association of Teachers of Korean, AATK
“ Special thanks to Calligrapher Byungchul Park for Hangeul logo calligraphy ”