The Korean culture is far more reserved than that of the U.S., and harmony is a top priority. Because your student will likely not want to disappoint you, they might nod their heads when they don’t understand what you say or ask. Saving “face” is a big deal in Korean culture; they might try to avoid showing that they don’t understand. Our Foreign Partner recommends asking a question a few times if you feel your student doesn’t understand so they feel more comfortable admitting if they don’t.
Your student might not talk much, but that does not necessarily mean he/she is unhappy. Our partner in the Korean office recommends using kind words and encouraging your student during the transition period. Interpersonal communication in South Korea is generally pleasant in tone. Your student might get nervous if you are too blunt with him/her.
In a family setting, Korean students generally do not share their weaknesses until they feel comfortable enough to consider themselves a part of the family. They are also taught to say “yes” when adults speak to them, even if they disagree.
Education is highly valued in South Korea, and students are used to studying for hours after school, sometimes until very late at night.
Fun Fact: South Korea has 63 daily newspapers.