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​ 안녕하세요! Essential Korean Kay샘입니다.

Hello! This is Teacher Kay from Essential Korean.


Hello! I'm Kay, the founder and content director of Essential Korean. 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 then 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: 

1) ​An online space where students anywhere could learn Korean from an expert in the Korean language.

2) A thoughtful curriculum that would be comprehensive and attentive to detail, without leaving the learner overwhelmed.

All content, including every podcast episode, video, and course, 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.

To start, check out the first episode of the EK podcast– most listeners start at the beginning and work their way through!


Also, drop me a line and tell me your story about why you want to learn Korean, how you're using Essential Korean for your study, or how we can help you better -- You can reach me at

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