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A message from Dr. Hangtae Cho
May 9, 2022
Dear AATK members,
My warmest greetings to each of you! I hope this past academic year has been safe and productive and that the transition to summer offers everyone much needed respite and time for rejuvenation.
To begin, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to Dr. Joowon Suh, the 9th AATK President, as well as to the executives who together have led the AATK over the past three years. On behalf of the entire Association, allow me to express profound appreciation and pay tribute to their remarkable efforts. Under their stewardship we witnessed considerable growth and development as an Association. In the face of trying circumstances, their leadership turned crisis into opportunity, such as was the case when the 2020 Annual Meeting was modified to meet the sudden demands of a global pandemic.
I would further like to express my gratitude to the AATK Executive Board and general members for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the 10th President of the AATK. It is a great honor and privilege for our new executive team (2021-2024) to have this time to work for our harmonious AATK and its members.
Moving forward, I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to the 27th Annual AATK Conference to be held at Cornell University this coming June with the theme “Rebooting and Gearing up for the New Normal in Korean Language Education.” The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the way we live, work, and interact with others. It has brought lasting consequences to the spheres of learning and teaching Korean in all settings — effectively creating a “new normal.” Our unusual circumstances have forced educators to enact drastic changes while also mitigating disruptions caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, our “new normal” renders important opportunities to innovate and reimagine Korean language learning, teaching, and research that incorporates our experiences from the pandemic. Amidst so many challenges, we discovered many new teaching methods and tools through which to foster cultural competence, forge communicative skills, and connect with our students creatively with innovation and compassion. With that in mind, the goal of the 27th Annual Conference and Professional Development Workshop is to provide a space for productive discussion about how Korean language education and research may evolve as a result of teaching during the pandemic.
The realization of this year’s workshops and conference is owed in large part to Ms. Meejeong Song, the Local Chair, and Dr. Mijeong Kim, the Program Chair, who have put incredible amounts of work and energy into making this meeting a success. In particular, Dr. Kim has performed the near impossible double duty serving as both the Program Chair and the AATK Executive Secretary, overseeing never-ending details of planning and organizing this meeting. Please join me in recognizing their invaluable services to the AATK. Also deserving of our special appreciation is Dr. Hi-Sun Kim, the AATK Treasurer, and Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon, the AATK Webmaster & Newsletter Editor, for their due diligence and commitment to maintain all aspects of conference planning and organizational business of the AATK. I must also take a moment to express appreciation to the Executive Board, especially the three out-going members, Dr. Insung Ko, Dr. Mina Lee, and Ms. Meejeong Song, for their dedicated service to the organization and its membership.
On behalf of all AATK members, I now want to express my sincerest gratitude to the Korea Foundation for its generous financial support, which has made our annual meetings fiscally possible, providing over the past decades. I specially thank Director Chungmin Lee for his genuine interest in and continuous support for the future of the AATK. Additionally, I want to make particular mention of Cornell University’s generous financial contributions. Without Ms. Meejeong Song’s effort to secure the funds, this year’s meeting would not have been possible.
Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic over the past couple of years, the four main AATK projects and activities have continued 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, continues to expand and thrive under the tremendous leadership of editor Dr. Hae-Young Kim. As the number of submissions has increased, the KLA has become an 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 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. Mina Lee, Dr. Ho Jung Choi, and Ms. Heather Yoo. 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 2021 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 robust. With the constant efforts from the SIG Committee, consisting of Dr. Sandra Song, Ms. Jeeyoung Ha, and Dr. Jaemin Roh, I anticipate that many more AATK members will participate in the ACTFL 2022 World Language Convention & Expo to be held November 18-20 in Boston, MA.
Befitting our time of fast-developing instructional technology and our growing facility with it, a new virtual venue was initiated in 2020 – the AATK Colloquium. Held twice a year, the AATK Colloquium aims to provide the opportunity to explore various types of research in the field of Korean language education and beyond. The 3rd AATK Colloquium was held on November 5, 2021, under the theme of “Translation and Korean Language Education”. Moderated by Dr. Young-mee Yu Cho, five presentations were made by Dr. Jieun Kaier, Dr. Youn Soo Kim Goldstein, Dr. Yujeong Choi, Dr. Junghee Park, and Dr. Yuseon Yun, respectively. The second colloquium, “Korean Language of Everyday Life in Chosŏn Korea” was held on April 15, 2022, organized by Dr. Hi-Sun Kim and moderated by Dr. Danielle O. Pyun with two presentations by Dr. Sun Joo Kim and Dr. Si Nae Park. Both events were very well attended with more than 160 members. I would like to express my thanks to the AATK Colloquium Committee: Dr. Young-mee Yu Cho, Dr. Hi-Sun Kim, and Dr. Danielle O. Pyun. Through these new opportunities, we would like to focus more on the research topics that we do not usually examine at our annual meetings. 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 Dr. Hae-Young Kim, the Colloquium Committee Chair for the upcoming year.
The AATK exists to support the intellectual and professional lives of its members, to provide opportunities for members to share their scholarly work and teaching experiences with colleagues, and to discuss trends in the field. Along with the executives, I would like to create a team that listens to the members and implements new suggestions. We ask for your active opinions and participation for the betterment of AATK.
Enjoy the 2022 AATK Annual Meeting at Cornell University and I hope to see you back next year in Philadelphia for our 28th Annual Meeting.
American Association of Teachers of Korean, President
American Association of Teachers of Korean, AATK
“ Special thanks to Calligrapher Byungchul Park for Hangeul logo calligraphy ”