Research focus: Kyae-Sung Park explores whether properties pertaining to different linguistic and extralinguistic levels cause difficulties for second-language learners and if so, how these difficulties can be theoretically explained and then practically overcome. A veteran language educator, Park has taught various language courses at all levels, both online and offline, to students with a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Her research interests in language pedagogy include course and syllabus design, development of teaching materials and techniques, assessment of second-language proficiency and textbook review.
What drew you to your area of study: Language and language acquisition have always been my greatest interest: how language works and how human beings acquire languages. As a second-language learner and educator, my questions are, how second language acquisition differs from first language acquisition, what causes difficulties in learning a second language, how these difficulties can be theoretically explained and practically overcome, and how I can effectively teach language and help second-language learners.
What appeals to you about being a professor at Mount Holyoke: The welcoming, interesting and supportive colleagues I will be working with, the beautiful green campus, and the growing Five College Korean program, where I hope to make positive contributions.
What do you like about teaching: I really enjoy watching my students grow in my classes, and finding myself growing with them. I am very proud of my students who begin with little or no knowledge in Korean and become fluent Korean speakers.
Favorite previous work/volunteer/research/teaching experiences: My favorite previous research experience was a study on language learners’ sensitivity to discourse effects in word-order alternations. I conducted experiments with seven different populations: English native-speaker children and adults; Korean native-speaker children and adults; Korean-speaking child-learners of English; Korean-speaking adult-learners of English; and English-speaking adult-learners of Korean. It took me five years to complete collecting data from the participants and to write up the study.
Favorite things about the campus and region so far: The streams between the Upper and Lower lakes and the green trees on campus
What do you like to do when you are not working: swim and walk
Favorite book, author, music, movie/TV: author: Korean modern poet Kim So-wol. Music: K-pop. Movie/TV: It has changed over time.
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