Yookyung Lee has been teaching Korean language courses at Boise State since the fall of 2014. She currently teaches the Elementary Korean language sequence (KOREAN 101 and 102) as well as Korean Pop-Culture and Society (FORLNG 294/494) for the Department of World Languages, and Korea Today (FORLNG 397), which is offered through World Languages and cross listed with Communication, Political Science, History, Sociology and Gender Studies. She has also served as the faculty advisor for Boise State’s Korean Club for five years.
Her Korean language classes focus on integrating culture, content and language. Most of her students are non-heritage Korean learners, and many of them are looking for opportunities to pursue their future careers in Korea or Korea-related areas and enhance connections to the Korean community. In 2015 she created the Korean-English Language Exchange Program in partnership with the Intensive English Program. Through it, students learn and experience Korean language and culture in direct conversation with Korean college students. She continues to focus on her own learning as well by pursuing professional development opportunities such as participating in last year’s Asian Studies Development Program’s Summer Institute on “Infusing Korean Studies across the Undergraduate Curriculum” at the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Yookyung has seen how this focus on integrating multiple aspects of Korean culture into her courses has positively influenced her students. One of her students wrote to her that “taking [Yookyung’s] class has helped me find beauty in the Korean language”; that student has been accepted by a Korean university to study in Korea next spring. Yookyung says that she loves hearing stories like that, and enjoys “when students find the joy of learning through my courses, and have determination to go beyond their boundaries and experience something new and foreign!”