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About AATK

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President’s Message

Officers and Board Members


President’s Message

A message from Dr. Hangtae Cho

May 3, 2023



Dear AATK members,

Warmest greetings to each of you! I trust that the past academic year has been both safe and productive, and that the upcoming summer months will provide a well-deserved respite and an opportunity for rejuvenation.

I am delighted to extend an invitation to the 28th Annual AATK Conference, to be held at the University of Pennsylvania this coming June. The theme of this year’s conference is “Transformative Language Learning through Real World Engagement.” Over the past two decades, Korean language education and research has delved into topics such as language pedagogy, instructional second language acquisition, curriculum development, and program building. As we continue to facilitate learners’ development of linguistic and cultural competencies, it is imperative that we reflect on the ultimate goals of learning Korean in the 21st century.

To address these questions, Korean language educators must innovate and enhance our current teaching methods and curricular objectives, moving beyond mere acquisition of language skills and cultural competency. Our ultimate goal should be to foster transformation and personal growth in learners, empowering them to perceive the world differently and engage with it for social impact and change. The Modern Language Association report reveals that, despite an overall decline in foreign language class enrollments since 2013, Korean has experienced the highest percentage increase across all levels. This robust growth and momentum in Korean language education and research necessitates a focus on sustainability and further development by identifying new visions and exploring innovative ways to surpass the limitations of current Korean language classroom practices, textbooks, and curricula. The AATK 28th Annual Conference and Professional Development Workshop aims to provide a platform for constructive discussions on transformative learning for Korean language students and its extension to the real world.

I would like to express my profound gratitude to Local Chair Haewon Cho, and Program Chair Hi-Sun Kim for their tireless efforts in ensuring the success of this year’s conference. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mijeong Kim, AATK Executive Secretary, and Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon, AATK Webmaster & Newsletter Editor, for their unwavering commitment to conference planning and organizational affairs. Additionally, I wish to recognize the invaluable contributions of the Executive Board, especially the outgoing members, Haewon Cho (University of Pennsylvania), Ho Jung Choi (Princeton University), and Danielle O. Pyun (Ohio State University) for their dedicated service to the organization and its membership.

On behalf of all AATK members, I express my deepest appreciation to the Korea Foundation for its generous financial support over the past decades, with special thanks to Director Chungmin Lee for his genuine interest in and ongoing support for the future of the AATK. I also acknowledge the University of Pennsylvania’s significant financial contributions, made possible by Local Chair Haewon Cho’s efforts in securing the necessary funds.

The four primary AATK projects and activities have continued to flourish with great success: the Korean Language in America Journal, the Korean Honor Society, the Korean Special Interest Group at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the AATK Colloquium series.

The Korean Language in America, the official journal of the AATK, has thrived and expanded under the exceptional leadership of editor Dr. Hae-Young Kim. With an increasing number of submissions, the KLA has become an even more robust intellectual hub for the AATK, featuring insightful research articles, forum contributions, and book reviews. I encourage all members to pursue further submissions to upcoming KLA issues.

The Korean Honor Society has experienced growth across various regions in the U.S., thanks to the unwavering dedication of the KHS committee, led by Dr. Ho Jung Choi, Dr. Jayoung Song, and Dr. Hakyoon Lee. As the management process is largely automated via the AATK website, we anticipate steady and significant growth in the near future.

The 2022 ACTFL Convention, held in Boston, MA, saw strong AATK representation and collaboration with the Korean-SIG in the field of foreign language education. Through the persistent efforts of the SIG Committee, comprising Dr. Sandra Song (Past Chair), Dr. Jaemin Roh (Chair) Ms. Meejeong Song (Vice Chair), and Ms. Youngju Lee (Secretary), I expect an even greater number of AATK members to participate in the ACTFL 2023 World Language Convention & Expo, to be held November 17-19 in Chicago, IL.

In response to the rapid advancements in instructional technology and our increasing proficiency with it, a new virtual venue, the AATK Colloquium, was introduced in 2020. Held biannually, the AATK Colloquium seeks to provide opportunities to explore diverse research areas within Korean language education and beyond. The 5th AATK Colloquium took place on December 5, 2022, centered on the theme of “Resistance and Disillusionment: Politicizing Literature in Authoritarian South Korea.” Moderated by Dr. Hae-Young Kim, two panel presentations were delivered by Dr. Youngju Ryu and Dr. Soo Yeong Han, respectively. The 6th colloquium, “Representations and Subversions of Patriarchy and Authoritarianism in Narrative and Cinematic Arts,” was held on March 31, 2023, moderated by Dr. Ji-Young Jung with presentations by Dr. Ji-Seung Roh and Dr. Hye Seung Chung. I extend my gratitude to the AATK Colloquium Committee members: Dr. Hae-Young Kim, Dr. Ji-Young Jung, and Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon. Through these new opportunities, we aim to concentrate on research topics that are not typically explored during our annual meetings. The colloquium will continue to be offered twice a year, free of charge and without separate registration for the public. Please help us spread the word. If you have any suggestions or requests for future colloquia, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Joowon Suh, the Colloquium Committee Chair for the upcoming year.

The AATK is dedicated to supporting the intellectual and professional lives of its members, providing opportunities for them to share their scholarly work and teaching experiences with colleagues, and fostering discussions on trends in the field. Alongside the executives, I am committed to forming a team that listens to our members and implements new ideas. We seek your active input and participation for the enhancement of the AATK.

I hope you enjoy the 2023 AATK Annual Meeting at the University of Pennsylvania, and I look forward to seeing you again next year at Indiana University for our 29th Annual Meeting.



Hangtae Cho


American Association of Teachers of Korean, President

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