Sunmi was born and raised in Korea. She completed her BA at Yonsei University in Seoul, majoring in Korean Language and Literature. During her university days, Sunmi took the opportunity to backpack around France for a month. As someone who loves art museums, it was the perfect destination for her!  She then earned an MA in Education, again at Yonsei University, majoring in Korean Language Education as a Foreign Language.  Her thesis focused on teacher utterance strategies that promote interaction between teachers and students in the classroom.  Sunmi also earned a Teaching Certificates in Korean Language for Foreigners from the Korean Ministry of Culture.  During her graduate school years, Sunmi travelled again studying for one year in China, travelling to various regions in China while studying Chinese language. It was, she describes, ‘a delightful experience’ to communicate with locals using the Chinese language she had learned.  This experience also gave Sunmi valuable insights into how her future students might feel learning a new language. This experience proved to be very helpful in understanding the psychological state of students when she became a Korean language teacher.


For 6 years, she worked as a Lecturer of Korean Language & Literature at KonKuk University in Seoul, leading courses on Practical Korean Language, Contemporary Korean Literature, Reading and Discussion for Foreigners.   She also taught a required course for Teachers of Korean Language and Literature for Foreigners on Contrast Linguistics. During this period, Sunmi also published an advanced Korean language textbook and authored several books for the TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean, under the auspices of the National Institute of Korean Language). After marrying a Japanese person and moving to Japan, Sunmi became a Lecturer of Korean Language & Literature at Nagasaki University in Nagasaki leading courses on Practical Korean Language, Reading and Discussion. Currently, she is teaching Practical Korean, Listening and Reading, Discussion and Writing to Japanese university students at Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

In July 2023, Sunmi received the “Rikkyo University Special Award for Teaching Excellence”. Sunmi says, ‘This award is given to the teacher with the highest-rated student evaluations, and when I received this award, I was truly delighted and felt a sense of fulfillment as an educator.’

We are delighted that Sunmi is available to work with our ILLTC students of Korean.