October 27, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Cho Puts Her Passion for Language Intonation into Practice

Christine Moon Cho, portrait leaning against a wall and smiling.

Dr. Christine Moon Cho

By Sierra Heilman

Ohio University’s Linguistics Department welcomes new visiting assistant professor, Dr. Christine Moon Cho. 

Cho received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Oxford, UK, and OHIO is extremely happy to join the Bobcat family.

Finding the Beauty at hOUme

When asking Cho why she decided to come to Ohio University, she expressed to me that she misses all of the “American friendliness.” She said, “I spent a great deal of my post-teen years in the states and was ready to come back.”

When she found Ohio University, she fell in love with the school and the nature that surrounds it. “I am a big nature person and I love the beauty of this university. It really excites me!” Cho happily stated. 

She’s especially excited to experience autumn here at OHIO—and who can blame her for wanting to see College Green when the air is crisp and the leaves are changing their colors? It’s a true Bobcat privilege that we all can’t wait for each year. 

Not only does she love the university and its natural beauty, but she also feels so thankful for her students and loves how hardworking they are.

“My students are such active listeners, easy to communicate with, and are willing to improve. I enjoy teaching them and love that they have the expectation to have fun, engaging discussions in class,” she said. 

Diving into Intonation

This fall, Cho is teaching an array of linguistics courses such as Language Learning, Assessing Language Abilities, Research Experience in Linguistics, and Colloguium in Linguistics. 

I asked her what some of these classes look like and she gave us a little sneak peek into what each of these classes entails. 

In her Research Experience in Linguistics course, she explains that she is going to have her students look at a research project and analyze pitch contrasts of emotion intonation. Current students are looking at how American students perceive ELS emotional intonation. They’ll learn the full process of researching from listening to sound clips, researching and designing, submitting IRB, and going out to collect the data. 

“We are going to look at how some ESL learners’ English emotional utterances may come across as ‘insincere’ due to the cross-linguistic influence from their first language. For example, Japanese and Korean language can kind of sound insincere because their intonation systems differ significantly from those of English,” Cho said. 

In her Assessing Language Abilities course, these students are learning to define the key constructs of language ability to know how to design an assessment, analyze scores, and report scores. 

Cho’s Language Learning course is full of discussion. “We’ll talk about what it’s like learning a new language and how to put what we learn to practice.”

Collegium in Linguistics is an open class to learn about research and is open for faculty to come in and talk about their research. 

Springing Forward to the Next Semester 

In the spring of 2019, Cho is teaching Special Topics in Applied Linguistics and Phonological Structures of English. 

Phonological Structures of English is one Cho is very excited to teach. Her students are going to learn not just phonological theory but how to apply those theories. She personally loves the musical part of language and in this course, they will learn about ‘segmental and suprasegmental features of language’ in terms of English phonology and phonetics. 

Special Topics in Applied Linguistics is also another very interesting topic. “We’ll learn about the different aspect of how different types of Englishes have evolved and developed,” she said. 

Bringing Cognitive Psychology into the Classroom 

Cho also loves cognitive psychology. Especially the concept of episodic memory being part of the information process as it defines the affective dimension of second language learning. 

“I want my students to know that we can have ‘some emotional talk’ (talking about the affective dimension of second language learning). This is what this class is about and I am open to having talks with my students if they want to about this course,” she explained. 

Sharing the Spotlight in Future Publications 

The talented Christine Cho has written and published her first publication, Korean students’ pragmatic difficulties in using English intonation to express emotion: Perception and production, which was from her doctoral dissertation from the University of Oxford. 

Her other publication that is still under review called, Korean EFL learners’ difficulties in perceiving English emotional intonation, she worked on with Dr. Jean-Marc Dewaele from Birkbeck, University of London. 

In Cho’s Research Experience course, her students will be looking at a real study, not a mock study, that she is working on with Dr. Jean-Marc Dewaele. She is also willing to have her students be co-authors in it as they work together on it. It’s great to see Cho give her students such a great opportunity to get hands-on experience in her publication.

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