Meet the Founder & Content Director
Hello! 안녕하세요! I'm Kay, the founder and content director of EssentialKorean.com. Nice to meet you all. 여러분 만나서 반갑습니다.
I've taught Korean at all levels for over 20 years, first at The Ohio State University, then Columbia University, and most recently as the section head of Korean at Portland State University. After moving to Korea in 2018, I launched this site to build what I had envisioned for a long time: an online space where global learners of Korean could 1) study with helpful and engaging materials and 2) have opportunities to use the Korean they learn with native speakers wherever they live.
All content, including every podcast episode, video, and Challenge, is guided by the insights I've gained as a teacher. I hope these lessons will help you better understand the Korean language with clarity and help you become more confident speakers of Korean.
I hold an Ed.M. in Language, Literacy, and Technology from Columbia University where I pursued my early interest in online education and an M.A. in East Asian Languages & Cultures from The Ohio State University where I met my mentor. I earned my B.A. in Asian Studies from Williams College where I studied Japanese and learned about the art of language pedagogy from my Japanese professors.
In addition to the contents on this website, please feel free to explore my other material and see if any of them meets your learning needs:
Korean Through Folktales: An open textbook for elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels (Funded by Portland State University)
Online Learning Modules for Less Commonly Taught Languages: Korean: Reading and listening lesson modules for advanced and superior levels (Funded by the US Department of Education)
Essential Korean: A set of a phrasal book and CDs for beginners
Minoo's Trip: A picture storybook about a boy who dreaded speaking Korea finds reasons to overcome that.