The Department of Korean Language and Literature is largely divided into Korean Language and Korean Literature. Korean Literature is further divided into Modern and also Classical Korean Literature, the latter being composed of traditional Korean literature as well as Chinese-Korean literature. Modern Korean Literature is the field in which all kinds of literary genres such as poetry, novel, essay, drama, etc. are studied; whereas, Classical Korean Literature aims to study the literary arts that Korean ancestors had traditionally cultivated before modernization. Korean Linguistics begins with ancient Korean language, covers modern Korean language that is currently in use, and investigates all the problems related to language - especially the Korean grammatical system, historical changes within the Korean language, the usage of the language in real life, and the Korean letters, that is, the means of spelling Korean.
Yonsei University's Department of Korean Language and Literature has a very special and proud tradition and history. The spirit with which our precursors struggled to preserve the Korean language and literature against Japanese colonial plunder is still very much alive. The hard work of the teachers who had taught Korean at Yonsei during the Japanese colonial period gave us the great and majestic gift of 'Korean Grammar'. These days, the fundamental frame of Korean Grammar that is taught at various schools is the very same one sprouted and raised in the study rooms and classrooms of the Korean Language Department in Yonsei University. This is the remarkable impression left by Choi Hyun-Pai and Kim Yun-Kyung, who were disciples of Chu Shi-Kyung, the father of Korean linguistics. To celebrate the contribution of these two professors, their busts have been recently set up on the Yonsei campus. This tradition has so ceaselessly continued that the atmosphere of interest in, and love for, the Korean language abounds at Yonsei.
The Department of Korean Literature has also greatly contributed to the development of the national culture, as did Korean linguistics. Works of the poet Yun Dong-Joo, who sang and pictured the darkness of the times and direction of an upright life on the Yonsei campus, has seemingly become every Korean person's favorite poem. A monument inscribed with his poem was raised in the front court of the building which had been his dormitory, and it became a popular meeting place for many Yonsei students. In earlier times, the novelist Kim Yu-Chung, who was also a student of Yonsei, represented the life of the poor and innocent; Park Young-Joon, too, described in his novels the enlightenment of the Korean farmers who were exploited by the landed class. Based on this tradition of creative writing, the Korean Literature field's academic and scholastic actions is very active to establish the correct history of the national literature, and continues to exert many efforts towards literary theories.
In addition, people who have majored in Korean language at Yonsei University are playing crucial roles at the Institute of Korean Language. Also, the professors and students of the Department of Korean Language and Literature are playing central roles in the Lexicographical Center for the Korean Language founded on campus several years ago; the Yonsei Korean Dictionary, which marks a new milestone in the history of Korean dictionaries was released on the Day of Hangul in 1998 at this Lexicographical Center. Now the Lexicographical Center has changed its name to the "Center for Language and Information Development", and is taking charge of all scholastic studies in respect to language information as well as the role of lexicography.