Kyung Hee Lynn (for Asian Studies Emeritus Directory)    June 4, 2014

Kyung Hee Lynn retired in 2005 from the Department of Asian Studies as a Senior Instructor, having joined the department in 1979 as a sessional lecturer. During her career she taught Japanese language courses at all levels from basic first-year grammar to advanced conversation, reading and grammar. But her passion was a fourth-year course in journalistic Japanese and reading Japanese newspapers, which encouraged students to develop and apply their language ability through the exploration of contemporary issues.

After earning a B.A. in English literature in 1962 from Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan, Mrs. Lynn worked for Japan’s YWCA organization and as a lecturer of English reading at Keisen Women’s College in Tokyo. Wanting to pursue her interest in foreign language education and studies of language, culture and cross-cultural communication, she then received a scholarship to study in Canada. She received an M. Ed. in Language Education from UBC in 1975. After becoming a resident of Canada, she became a freelance translator (Japanese to English and Korean to English) for the Translation Bureau, Ottawa, before joining the Department of Asian Studies at UBC.

Beyond her teaching assignments, Mrs. Lynn also provided professional services to the University, the Department, and the Community. Of these, her ten years as Coordinator and Chair for the British Columbia Japanese Language Speech Contest exemplified her interest in language learning for cross-cultural communication and self-expression. The Speech Contest was an annual event for Japanese language programs at universities, colleges, high schools, and heritage language schools across B.C., and was sponsored by interested groups and organizations in Japan and B.C. The Department was then an important sponsor of the event. Other performed services involved, for example, providing recommendations regarding transferable Japanese language courses from various colleges to UBC, and being a host faculty member for UBC’s international exchange program (Sport and Cultural Exchange) with the Tokyo University Rowing Club.

Mrs. Lynn’s professional activities included lecturing and presenting papers on twelve occasions in Canada and the US. She also participated in eight conferences in Canada, the US and the Netherlands, and observed Japanese language programs at Oxford (by invitation) and Cambridge, UK. Mrs. Lynn has two refereed publications (one of them a history of Japanese language education at UBC) and one non-refereed. The latter is a collection of 35 selected speeches, documents and memoirs commemorating the 10th anniversary of the British Columbia Japanese Speech Contest. Her teaching materials comprise almost 300 pages.

Since her retirement, Mrs. Lynn has given two talks on separate occasions at Kinjo Gakuin University in Japan. She has also translated into Japanese the English script of an audio guide for UBC’s Nitobe Garden. In April 2014 she met in Basel, Switzerland, a former student who still consults occasionally the volume of manuscript grammar notes she has kept from her Japanese 300 course. Mrs. Lynn retains her interest in language, culture, people and history and appreciates the opportunity to indulge these interests through travel and browsing the Internet. Online reading of a Japanese newspaper has become habitual, when she is at home. She enjoys gardening, singing and attending drama performances. Meeting former colleagues and students is a treat, and she appreciates the Department’s efforts to provide opportunities for past and present members to keep in touch.