Yunkyoung Kang

Yunkyoung Kang headshot
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Cognitive linguistics, Korean linguistics, Language acquisition, Semantics, Spatial concepts, Language material development.

Yunkyoung Kang is a linguist specializing in cognitive linguistics, language acquisition, language learning, and teaching. She received a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University and her doctoral dissertation focused on applying cognitive linguistic theory to the semantic analysis of spatial markers of Korean using corpus data by highlighting the semantic extensions through experiential correlation between how humans conceptualize what we perceive and also by displaying the polysemy nature of the spatial markers. Stemming from her theoretical analysis, she also has been developing language materials that point out these conceptual differences and polysemy explicitly to promote better language learning effects. Dr. Kang is also interested in conducting research on the issues of language identity and language usages among Korean heritage students by qualitatively analyzing the discourse of ethnographic interviews and language usage data.

Dr. Kang began teaching Korean language classes at GW in 2005. She also taught Korean at different universities including UC San Diego, Georgetown University, and SAIS Johns Hopkins University. Through her over 15 years of teaching experiences, she has taught all four major levels of Korean from beginning to advanced, and also more specialized classes such as beginner level Korean for non-heritage students, and post proficiency classes for 'Advanced high' level students. She also has taught content based courses such as Introduction to Korean culture and Current affairs of Korea, where the geopolitical and economical relations between Korea and other nations were discussed in depth. She also has extensive experience in Korean proficiency testing by regularly conducting oral and reading proficiency tests at the GW Language Center for the Elliot School of International Affairs since 2010. She is an ACTFL Certified OPI Rater in Korean language (2014- ).

Besides her passion in linguistics research and teaching, she also has been actively engaging and serving in public organizations. She is a member of advisory committees in Arlington Public School's Advisory Council on Instruction and also is a vice president of  KOWIN DC, a non-profit organization, which promotes networking of Korean women leaders and developing second generation Korean-American women's leadership.


Ph.D. in Linguistics, Georgetown University (2012)
M.S. in Linguistics, Georgetown University (2008)
M.A. in Linguistics, San Diego State University (2003)

Classes Taught

Intermediate Korean I
Intermediate Korean II
Readings in Modern Korean I
Readings in Modern Korean II