Self-Introduction and Personal Philosophy
Heebon Park-Finch, Ph. D.
Dept. of English Language and Literature
Kyungpook National University, Daegu
? More details can be found on our website www.finchpark.com/heebon.
I was born in Daegu, where I lived for most of my life (apart from some visits abroad and
two years in Seoul and Hong Kong), benefiting from a warm and supporting family, and a
city which provided me with a sound education and opportunities for personal growth.
Since my earliest school days I have been interested in the pursuit of knowledge and truth, a
search which was inspired by my parents and enhanced by my teachers. This has stayed
with me into adult life, and I now find myself realizing the importance and beauty of such
ideas and principles. My aim therefore is to develop this approach to life and to share it with
others through everything I do. In terms of work, this means motivating and encouraging
others by my own positive example, doing my best in everything, and never being afraid to
say “I don’t know”. Rather, I hope to inspire a creative and positive way of dealing with the
various problems that are a part of everyone’s lives.
A strong sense of responsibility and a wish to perform 100% at all times resulted in my being
elected as class chairperson from Elementary School through High School, a position that I
valued for the opportunities and learning experiences it offered in terms of being a
responsible leader while also helping and motivating classmates. Secondary education was
therefore an enjoyable experience for me, especially English classes, in which I was fortunate
to have caring and inspirational teachers. This love of studying English led to my becoming
leader of extra-curricular English Conversation clubs, receiving various awards in English
speech contests, participating in inter-High School English competitions, and eventually to a
BA in English-Education (1993) and an MA in English Literature (2001), both from
Kyungpook National University. For more advanced study, I began my Ph. D coursework in
English Literature also here at KNU in March 2002 and received a doctorate degree in
February 2006 with a Ph.D. dissertation titled “Postmodern Aesthetics in Tom Stoppard’s
Comedy of Ideas”. My field of interest is the contemporary British stage drama and theatre.
Having graduated from University, I attended the ELP (English Language Program) at the
University of Pennsylvania for 4 months (1997), returning to Daegu in order to write English
TV program scripts for Daegu MBC and to participate in the 1998 Kyongju World Culture
EXPO Organizing Committee (1997 to 1999) as International Coordinator and Official
Interpreter. At this time I was in charge of organizing “World Folk Performances” by
international groups of folk dancers and “National Day” ceremonies for various different
countries. After that, I worked as an Assistant Manager of Foreign Investment Services in
Daegu City Government while also being enrolled at the Graduate School of International
Studies at Kyungpook National University. Various translation (simultaneous and
consecutive) and MC assignments for seminars, international symposiums and international
business meetings resulted in my being offered the post of “Social Secretary to the
Ambassador” in the Embassy of Pakistan, and I moved to Seoul, where I was able to further
my interest in culture and diplomacy – an interest that had grown with my involvement in the Kyongju World Culture EXPO. I worked for the 2003 Gyeongju World Culture EXPO
again as International Coordinator and Official Interpreter. Currently, I am helping the
upcoming Angkor-Gyeongju World Culture EXPO 2006 Organizing Committee as a part-
During my career I have been an English Instructor at various times and for various
institutions, including LG Electronics (Business English & TOEIC), Kyongsangbuk-Do
Provincial Government (English Conversation for Government Officials), Daegu Polytechnic
College (Tourism English), Yeungjin Junior College, Samsung SDS (TOEIC) and ChungAng
University (English Conversation). Having a desire for professional development in this field,
I became active in Korea TESOL (KOTESOL), accepting the post of Daegu Chapter Secretary
from 1995, Treasurer and Presider for the 1996 International Conference, Special Events
Coordinator for the 1997 International Conference and National Treasurer from 1999 to
January 2001. I moved to Hong Kong with my husband who was then invited as a Language
Testing Consultant to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for six months, when I worked
as Research Associate for GSLPA-English (Graduating Students’ Language Proficiency
Assessment). August 2001 I came back to Korea since my husband was invited as Assistant
Professor (currently Associate Professor with tenure) in the English-Education Department,
Kyungpook National University, which again gave me a chance to continue my study. In
July 2005, I was offered the position of Academic Coordinator at the KNU Language Institute
and worked there until February 2006 when I was offered a part-time lecturer position at
KNU English Language & Literature Department starting from March 2006. I was mainly in
charge of facilitating and hiring all the foreign teaching staff (30 English instructors) of the
KNU Freshman English Program and the Language Institute English Conversation Programs.
I also wrote a weekly culture column for the YeongNam Daily Newspaper from January to
February 2006, sharing my experience as International and Cultural Coordinator with the
readers. Those articles can be searched and viewed at http://www.yeongnam.co.kr.
My husband and I have been regularly attending many ELT-related International Academic
Conferences together, including the Thailand TESOL Conferences, the JALT “CUE” (College
and University Educators) Conferences in Japan, regional TESOL Conferences in China,
Russia, Singapore and in particular, the TBLT (Task-Based Language Teaching) 2005 held in
Leuven, Belgium, in addition to Korea TESOL and KATE Annual International Conferences.
My husband has been giving a variety of inspiring presentations and workshops on ELT,
suggesting alternative teaching methodology and assessment methods to EFL teachers in
Korea and around the world. We have co-authored several ELT textbooks including It’s Up
to You! (2004), Tell Me More (China, 2005), and Welcome to China (China, 2006).
I am currently enjoying teaching English-related credit courses to KNU undergraduate and
MA students during the semesters (English Composition, Practical English, Studies on
American Society, etc.). During the vacation, I equally enjoy giving free-lance lectures on
“How to Teach Writing” for the in-service teacher-training courses, while writing my British
Drama-related papers and presenting them at the literary associations and conferences!
Concepts of trust and responsibility have been central to my life and are, I hope, evident in
everything that I take on, from my school-life in Daegu, to my various employments and to
activities such as visiting European cities (including those in U.K., Dublin and Paris). In all
these things I have come to understand the importance of respecting others. Having married
and moved back to Korea, this awareness has been heightened and has helped me further to
appreciate the beauty of literature and cultural diversity.
Finally, my personal motto is something that I came across when tutoring students in college.
This phrase has stayed with me since then and sums up my approach to life:
“A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”