Heritage Language Programs - Korean

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
College of Arts and Sciences, Department: Modern Language and Linguistics
Research University

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Address: 1000 Hilltop circle, Baltimore, MD 21045

Contact: Yonghun Lee

Email: ylee20@umbc.edu

Telephone: 443-310-7469

Web address: www.umbc.edu/mll/

Languages/dialects taught: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Korean language through communication on an undergraduate level. There are 6 courses in a sequence from beginning, intermediate, to advanced. We are trying to establish a higher-level class focused on Korean culture, politics, and religion.

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: Korean courses are designed to develop the four language skills like speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Korean. It covers grammatical structures, reading comprehension, and writing sentences to help students build a solid background for studying Korean language and culture.

Type of program: Part of a foreign language program. Korean is one of the core courses required for graduation at UMBC.

The program was founded in 2003 by three Korean businessmen who donated money to build the program.

Faculty's and administration's expectations for the program: They want to have an Asian program so students earn the certificate in Asian studies.


Second-generation immigrants 40%
Children of interethnic marriages 15%

Countries of origin: China, Korea, Russia, Taiwan and U.S.
Total student enrollment: 30 per course
Age of students: 19-30

Identification of Heritage Speakers: The program considers a heritage speaker a student who has parents who speak Korean and use Korean in their home. We conduct oral interviews before starting a class that ask about students’ knowledge and background.

Percentage of students who complete the program: 90%.

Percentage of students who continue on to study heritage language: 50%

Reasons students do not complete the program: Students who do not continue stop because the language is hard to learn.


Total number of faculty teaching in the program: 2 part-time instructors

Languages in which faculty members are proficient: Korean and Chinese

Credentials: MA in foreign language teaching and culture education


Courses: Students are grouped according to level. The first level is KOR101, beginning, with 3 hours of instruction per week during one semester. All courses are face-to-face.

Language Skills

Heritage Skills
• Listening
• Speaking
• Reading
• Writing

Skills and levels of language proficiency that students reach by the end of the program: Reading-very good; Writing and Speaking-good


Culture taught
• History
• Customs
• Traditions/beliefs
• Religion
• Arts and crafts
• Songs
• Social and cultural norms
• Cultural appropriateness
• Literature

Kind of student identity that the program fosters: Korean heritage culture. Students watch 4 Korean movies per semester.


• Lecture
• Group discussion
• Conversation course


Textbook: Sogang Korean, Seoul Korea

Other materials
• Internet sources
• Korean novels
• Korean movies
• Korean songs

Technology used in the program: Computer and email


• Weekly quizzes
• Chapter tests
• Mid-term tests
• Final exam


The course promotes connection with other colleges and universities, other heritage programs, and Korean churches. Some students learned the language from Korean church.

Opportunities heritage students have outside the college to use their heritage language: Students visit Korean towns.

The program promotes involvement with the Korean community by sending material about the program to a Korean newspaper.

What the program has in place

Financial support: The program is partially supported by the University as a regular course and also by Korean businessmen and donations solicited by the department.

Kinds of assistance or collaboration the program needs: Money donations

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