Friday, January 24, 2014

My Korean Students Speak

Korean Students Speak is a neat photo project that a fellow Fulbrighter began two years ago. The premise is simple: English education in South Korea focuses on skills for standardized testing and rarely offers students the opportunity for self-expression, so we foreign English teachers give them just that. A blank sheet of paper and the freedom to write whatever they desire. Then, we share these writings with the world.

I'd been itching to do KSS with my students for a long time, and finally I incorporated it into a unit on "speaking up" last semester. The lessons were centered around the power of words to build people up, bring people down, and change the world. On the day I introduced the project, some students took this idea to heart and wrote inspiring, meaningful messages to share. Other students wrote, "I need more time to sleep!" But every student wrote something.

Now, a few months after I submitted my students' work, they've begun showing up on the website! I'm quite excited to see them, and I'm thrilled that a handful are getting large response from the tumblr community (over 1500 notes!). My favorite so far has really struck a chord with the blog's audience:
"You just haven't found what you're good at."
Visit Korean Students Speak to see thousands more funny, wise, moving, or random sayings!

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