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Afterthoughts on the KF-Sponsored 20th Annual Meeting of
the American Association of Teachers of Korean

KEEPING THE PASSION ALIVE

The most registered attendees in conference history and the largestever number of abstracts submitted for presentation-this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Korean (AATK) set these new records. So while it was incredibly strenuous to prepare for and manage the details, this was the most memorable meeting I have experienced thus far. I first became involved with AATK in 2009, when I began attending the annual conference. I was a member of this year’s organizing committee, and will serve as the AATK Treasurer for the next three years.
 There’s something I find particularly alluring about the AATK. I’m normally an introverted person, but that changes during my time at the conference. This could just be a natural result of spending three activity-packed days with people who are all interested in Korean language education. It’s not easy to have over 200 people with the same interest gather together in one place, but finding people with as much passion for education as the AATK members might be even more difficult.
I recently took part in a joint presentation at three academic conferences with two fellow AATK members who I met at last year’s conference. Indeed, this kind of collaboration among AATK members is quite common nowadays.
 This year’s gathering included the attendance of the KF Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations, who stressed that befriending the various peoples of the world is the best way to promote a proper understanding of Korea throughout the international community and to build a global network, an effort in which education on Korean language and culture plays a key role. Upon hearing these words, I felt my heart skip a beat. Just as my venerable predecessors have done so for the past 20 years, I also vow to do my best to enhance education on Korean language and culture until the conference’s 60th installment, and to never forget the passion that I feel at this very moment.

Lee Mina
PhD, Associate Professor
American Association of
Teachers of Korean
Defense Language Institute

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