Hyesun Cho

portrait of Hyesun Cho
  • Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, room #311


TESOL: Hyesun Cho, professor, joined the KU faculty in the fall of 2011. Cho earned her BA degree from Korea University in Seoul, Korea, an MA degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Hyesun Cho specializes in TESOL, second language/literacy education, academic and social identities of language learners and teachers, critical literacy, participatory action research, and critical multiculturalism and technology-integrated instruction.


Second Language Acquisition, Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008, Honolulu, HI


Her research interests include teaching English as an additional language, heritage language education, social identity, critical literacy, critical pedagogy, technology-integrated language instruction and teacher education. Her articles have appeared in Race, Ethnicity and Education, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Curriculum Inquiry, TESOL Journal, Language and Education, Computers and Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education, among others. She has three books published: Critical literacy pedagogy for bilingual preservice teachers (2018, Springer), Transnational language teachers in TESOL (co-authored with R. Al-Samiri & J. Gao, Routledge). Korean as a heritage language in the global context (edited with K. Song, Routledge). She received the 2018 Faculty Achievement Award for Research in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. She is also the recipient of 2022 Faculty Achievement Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Research interests:

  • Critical Literacy
  • Digital Literacy and Multiliteracies
  • Academic Literacy
  • Racialized and Gendered Identity
  • Language Teacher Identity
  • Teacher Education for Diverse Students
  • Service-learning
  • Heritage Language Education
  • Education of Minoritized Students
  • Technology-integrated language instruction


Courses: C&T 820: TESOL Methods; C&T 822 Second Language Acquisition; C&T 823: Intercultural Competence for TESOL Educators; C&T 828: Language and Identity; C&T 330/331: Instructional Approaches for English Learners; C&T 491 TESOL Practicum in Korea; C&T 598 ESOL Pedagogy

Selected Publications

Cho, H., & Hayes, J. (2024b). Exploring the Identities of Korean Americans Through Identity Journey Mapping in a Study Abroad Program. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 26(1), 79–101.

Cho, H., & Hayes, J. (2024a). "I hold the key to the cage and nothing can keep me there without my permission": Exploring gender identity through identity journey mapping in a study abroad program. The Educational Forum, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131725.2024.2339196

Leu, G. S. E., Cho, H., & Chen, S. J. (2024). “Closer to our lives”: Teaching Animal Farm to junior high EFL students in Taiwan. The Reading Matrix, 24(1), 53-72.

Cho, H. (2023). Linguicism in U.S. higher education: A critical autoethnography. In M. Gutman et al. (Eds.), Being a minority teacher in a foreign culture (p. 301-315).  Springer.

Cho, H., Wang, J. A., Mikal, E., & Liu, C. (2023). Critical autoethnography as an empowering discourse for international students in US higher education. In Finley, S. L., Correll, P., Pearman, C., & Huffman, S. (Eds.) Empowering students through multilingual and content discourse (pp. 122-137). IGI Global.

Cho, H., Al-Samiri, R., & Gao, J. (2022). Transnational language teachers in TESOL. Routledge.

Cho, H., & Song, K. (Eds.) (2022). Korean as a heritage language in the global context: Translingual approaches to research and teaching. Routledge.

Cho, H., & Johnson, P. (2021). “We have to focus on improving our and our next generation’s rights!”  Exploring critical literacy in a third space for Korean female high school students. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 18(2), 174-202 https://doi.org/10.1080/15427587.2020.1805612

Cho, H. (2021). Exploring electronic portfolio assessment with emergent bi/multilingual students. In K. Kelch et al. (Eds.) (2nd edition). Applications of CALL theory in ESL and EFL environments. (pp. 183-202). IGI.

Cho, H., & Johnson, P. (2020a). Preservice teachers’ reflective practice and transformative learning through field experience with emergent bilinguals. Reflective Practice, 21(6), 819-833https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2020.1821625

Cho, H., & Johnson, P. (2020b). Racism and sexism in superhero movies: Critical race media literacy in the Korean high school classroom. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 22(2), 66-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.18251/ijme.v22i2.2427

Cho, H., Johnson, P., & Somiari, S. (2019). Service-learning as authentic practice for teacher candidates to work with English language learners. In C. Lenkaitis, & S. Hilliker (Eds.), Engaging Teacher Candidates and Language Learners with Authentic Practice (pp. 35-54). IGI Global.

Cho, H. (2018). Critical literacy pedagogy for bilingual preservice teachers: Exploring social identity and academic literacies. Springer.

Cho, H., & Adams, D. (2018), Service-learning as a means for preparing preservice teachers to work with English language learners. In T. Meidl (Ed.), Service-learning initiatives in teacher education programs. (pp. 59-78).IGI Global.

Mortensen, L., & Cho, H. (2018). Advocates or accountable: English language teachers as language education policy makers for displaced students. In K. Harrison, & F. Tochon (Eds.), Displacement planet Earth: Plurilingual education and identity for 21st century schools (pp.185-200). Deep University Press

Kim, S., & Cho, H. (2017). Reading outside the box: Exploring critical literacy with Korean preschoolers. Language and Education, 31(2), 110-129. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2016.1263314

Cho, H., & Gulley, J. (2017). A catalyst for change: Service-learning for TESOL graduate students. TESOL Journal, 8(3), 613–635. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.289

Cho, H. (2016). Racism and linguicism: Engaging language minority pre-service teachers in counter-storytelling. Race, Ethnicity and Education. 20(5), 666-680.https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2016.1150827

Cho, H. (2015/2016). Under co-construction: An online community of practice for bilingual pre-service teachers. Computers and Education. 92/93, 76-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.10.008

Cho, H. (2014). Enacting critical literacy: The case of language minority preservice teacher. Curriculum Inquiry,44(5), 677-699.  https://doi.org/10.1111/curi.12066

Cho, H. (2014). "Go for broke and speak your mind!" Building a community of practice with bilingual pre-service teachers. Qualitative Report19(49). 1-22. 2. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2014.1293

Cho, H. (2013). “It’s very complicated” Exploring heritage language identity with heritage language teachers in a teacher preparation program. Language and Education, 28(2), 181-195.https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2013.804835 

Rodriguez, T. L., & Cho, H. (2011). Eliciting critical literacy narratives of bi/multilingual teacher candidates across U.S. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 496-594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.10.002

Selected Presentations

Cho, H., & Hayes, J. (2024 April). Unraveling the identities of Asian American students during a study abroad program: A counter-storytelling approach in AsianCrit. American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Cho, H., & Wang, J. (2024 March). Promoting family engagement among immigrant families at a high school. TESOL International Convention, Tampa, FL.

Cho, H. & Hayes, J. (2024 March). Identity journey mapping for Asian American college students during study abroad: An AsianCrit perspective. American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Houston, Texas.

Cho, H. (2023 May). Interrogating linguicism and native speaker ideology in teacher education: A critical autoethnography of a bilingual teacher educator. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Division K Teaching and Teacher Education Symposium.

Cho, H., & Johnson, P. (2022 April). Creating a third space for critical medial literacy in the South Korean EFL classroom. American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference.

Cho, H. (2021 August). Critical literacy in action: A case study of a Korean EFL high school classroom. AILA International Association of Applied Linguistics World Congress.

Johnson, P., & Cho, H. (October 2020). Exploring critical media literacy with Korean high school students in the EFL Classroom. Second Language Research Forum.

Cho, H. (November 2018). Advocacy and social justice: Service-Learning for TESOL preservice teachers. American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). New Orleans, LA.

Gao, J., & Cho, H. (November 2018). Preservice teachers’ intercultural competence in a study abroad program. American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). New Orleans, LA.

Cho, H., & Adams, D. (June 2018). Activism and Advocacy for English Language Learners through Service-Learning. International Society for Language Studies, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Cho, H. (June 2017). Engaging English language learners in critical media literacy. Korea Association of Teachers of English (KATE) 2017 International Conference, Seoul, Korea.

Mortenson. L., & Cho, H. (March 2017). Teacher agency and resistance in an era of accountability. American Association for Applied Linguistics. Portland, OR.

Cho, H. (February 2017). Teacher agency and collaboration in education reform: Lessons from South Korea. Language Teacher Education Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

Cho, H., & Lee, J. (November 2015). Heritage language maintenance: Korean parents’ perspectives. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). San Diego, CA.

Cho, H. (April 2015). Teacher agency and collaboration in educational reform: Lessons from a grassroots South Korean English Teachers’ Group. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Cho, H. (September 2014). Embracing heritage language identity: A first step towards leadership in the multicultural society. Keynote speech at the Asian American Leadership Symposium, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Cho, H. (May 2014). TESOL teachers' perceptions of critical literacy: Challenges and promises. Research paper presentation, KOTESOL conference, Taegu, Korea.

Cho, H. (April 2014). Engaging language minority pre-service teachers in ‘race’ talk: Why teacher educator identity matters. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Cho, H. (April 2013). “I learned how to negotiate with instructors respectfully” A language minority student’s enacting critical literacy. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Cho, H. (November 2012). Critical perspectives on heritage identity: Voices of heritage language teachers. Invited as a keynote speaker at the Heritage Language SIG Business Meeting, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Cho, H. (May 2012). Utilizing technology in language classrooms: Examples of electronic portfolios and public service announcements. Featured presentation at the Korea TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) Annual Conference, Busan, Korea.

Awards & Honors

2022 Faculty Achievement Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. School of Education and Humans Sciences, University of Kansas

2021 Budig Teaching Professor of Writing Nominee, School of Education and Human Sciences, University of Kansas

2022, 2020, 2019 International Educator Award Nomination, International Affairs, University of Kansas

2018 Faculty Achievement Award for Research. School of Education and Human Sciences. University of Kansas.

2017 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching Nominee, School of Education, University of Kansas

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Project PEACE, Co-PI (2022-2027), TESOL Program Leader: a federal NPD grant to prepare preservice and inservice teachers in Kansas to work with culturally and linguistically diverse learners in the classroom.

Cho, H. (Spring 2023). Incorporating service-learning into a graduate seminar to promote advocacy for English learners. Center for Teaching Excellence. University of Kansas.

Cho, H. (Summer 2022). Enhancing family engagement in a culturally and linguistically diverse high School. General Research Fund, School of Education and Human Sciences. Funded.

Cho, H. (Summer 2021). Negotiating identities of female international graduate students in TESOL education.  Summer Writing Grant, School of Education and Human Sciences.

Cho, H. (Fall 2021). Demystifying the academy: Creating an inclusive classroom for new Ph.D. students. Center for Teaching Excellence. University of Kansas.

Cho, H. (2021, PI). Korean as a heritage language in the global context. The Academy of Korean Studies, Republic of Korea

Cho, H. (Summer 2020). Promoting reflective practice among elementary preservice teachers in TESOL. General Research Fund, University of Kansas.