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Korean Language in Culture and Society


Admission requirements

A beginning level of proficiency in Korean is crucial and some background knowledge of Korea is useful.


This course investigates the intimate connection between language, culture and society in Korean context. The course provides students with a general overview and understanding of how native speakers’ cultural values and related activities are formulated and expressed through language and how the social relationships with others are practiced through language. In this course, students will be introduced to selected key concepts of sociolinguistics, such as hierarchy, solidarity, power and gender, next to the basic linguistic features in Korean language.

Course objectives

Objectives of this course are:

  • To develop an in-depth understanding of Korean culture and society in the analysis of spoken and written Korean discourse.

  • To critically engage with research findings in the field and present opinions and arguments in written and oral form.

  • To acquire an ability to use theoretical and analytical tools to discuss the socio-cultural nature of Korean.



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total workload: 140 hours

  • Contact hour: 26 hours (2 hours per week for 13 weeks)

  • Preparation: 26 hours (2 hours per week for 13 weeks)

  • Presentation: 23 hours

  • Discussant: 5 hours

  • Written assignments: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • Preparation (quiz): 10%

  • Participation (written comments on presentations): 10%

  • Presentation: 15%

  • Discussant: 5%

  • Critical literature review: 20%

  • Research paper (proposals and a group discussion: 10%, an outline and a key example: 5%, a summary of argumentation: 5%, and the final work: 20%): 40 %

As is the case for all Korean Studies courses, a strict attendance policy will be enforced. Attendance for all seminars is expected. Failure to attend results in a lower grade. If you do not attend more than three classes you will not be able to continue attending the classes and your paper may not be graded by the instructor(s). If you have a valid reason not to attend, you may get dispensation from this rule, but you have to consult the coordinator of studies on this.


Yes. All the relevant information including syllabus, course slides and grade will be given through the Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Background text: Ho-min Sohn. 2006. Korean language in culture and society. USA: University of Hawai’i press.

  • Other reading materials: see Blackboard.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about the Registration procedure


Mw. Dr. J.H. Park, Room 127 in the Arsenaal.