Korean Students Speak is a Tumblr blog dedicated to featuring photos of South Korean students holding up signs they’ve written in English, expressing their inner thoughts. The project, started by a group of Fullbright English Teaching Assistants working with students ranging from elementary to high school, was initially intended to promote freedom of speech and creativity. While the series of ongoing uploads fulfill their intended goal, the creators admit that “these pictures also provide insight into the daily lives and thoughts of the Korean youth.”
We’re given a peek into the minds of these creative students who present their likes, dislikes, dreams, and concerns. While each child and teenager reflects his or her own thoughts, there are several messages that seem to be echoed time and time again. The project proves to be revealing about the nation’s youths and how they emotionally respond to the matters of the world and especially to the alternating frustration and pride they feel for their own country. Recurring themes include the pressures felt by students in their education system–many signs reflect their sleepiness as well as their opposition to the demanding hours and academic competitiveness.
For anyone who thinks that kids aren’t capable of intelligent thought, Korean Students Speak disproves that theory and shows that youths are filled with intellect. It’s impressive to think that they’re able to articulate their feelings so well on topics of politics, in addition to social and environmental issues, in a foreign language. There are a few grammatical errors, but they generally aren’t significant enough to keep the students from clearly communicating with an English-speaking audience.
Top Photo: STOP printing out students as if they’re ROBOTS. Let them be humane.
I want politicians to think not about their property but public’s HAPPINESS.
I hope to unit North and South Korean so Don’t FIGHTING!!
Human is not the owner of the Earth
Freedom of speech must be Protected
Left: THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT
Right: YOU ARE MY DARLING
Left: I hope to lose weight!! & Dokdo is our island!!
Right: KOREA Education is too hard to study
Korea education makes that somebody dies. High school students in Korea are not happy. We always study. We can’t sleep. We always compete. We must change Korea education. Please. Help me.
I like school, but school finishes very late!
I’m So sleepy now!! I want to sleep! I need a bed!! Please! Give me!
Left: I WANT TO SLEEP
Right: ALL Korea students TIRED
KOREA EDUCATION IS SO HARD!
I’m Love Korean Education
I love money. Show me the money. Give me the money.
I HOPE KOREAN STUDENTS, including myself, DREAM MORE AND ADVENTURE!