Kids Field Note

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you and your family lived in a different country? This week I got to interview my friend Joelle. She told me a little bit about what it is like to be a kid in Korea. What do you think her favorite food is? You might be surprised by some of the things she told me!

What is your house like?

Joelle lives in an apartment which is not very big, but she feels cozy and comfortable there with her family.  Her mom likes to decorate the rooms and make them beautiful. She has her own bedroom because she is an only child. Do you live in an apartment like Joelle does?

What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

She said that she has to eat quick meals for breakfast like bread and cereal, since she is usually in a hurry to get to school. For lunch she has school meals, which are usually rice, kimchi, and lots of other kinds of traditional Korean foods. For dinner she eats more “home foods”, like rice, fried eggs, and other traditional Korean foods.

What chores do you have at home?

Joelle said that she doesn’t have any chores! Her mom does all of the chores because she does not have a job outside of their home, so Joelle just gets to play while she is at home. She is lucky, isn’t she?

What jobs do your parents have?

Her mom works at home, taking care of her and their home. Joelle’s father is a computer programmer, so he works a lot. He sleeps at the office during the week and only comes home for the weekends!

What time does school start, and what time do you go home?

Her school starts at eight am and she gets to go home around two or three in the afternoon.

How do you get to school? Are you allowed to go to school by yourself?

Joelle gets to walk to school by herself because she only lives three minutes away for her school.

What do you eat for lunch, and where do you eat? What is your favorite food?

Joelle usually eats lunch at her school, where they have rice, kimchi, and other Korean foods, such as meats and vegetables. Her favorite food is cheese pizza! She only gets to have pizza at home, never at school.

What language do you speak at school? How do you say “Hello”? in your language?

They speak mostly Korean at her school, but they are learning to speak English. “An-nyeong-ha-se-yo” means “hello” in Korean.

What are some common kids’ names at your school?

Sujin, Minsu, Jihoon, and Minji are all common Korean kids’ names. Joelle has a Korean name, but she thinks it is fun to be called by her English name.

What subjects do you study in school, and which one is your favorite?

At Joelle’s school, kids study Korean language, English language, math, science, social studies, music, art, and PE. English language and PE are her favorite subjects. What are your favorite things to study in school?

What is your homework like?

Joelle said that she doesn’t have homework! Older students are assigned homework, but she gets to enjoy her time outside of school. She said that sometimes her parents have her study English outside of school to help improve her skills.

What do you like to do after school? Do you have a favorite sport or game?

After school, Joelle likes to hang out with friends at the playground and eat ddeokboki (rice cake with spicy sauce). She said that she really like to run and play dodge ball!

Who is your favorite famous person?

Wonbin, who is a very popular Korean actor, is Joelle’s favorite celebrity.

What kinds of music do you listen to?

She loves K-pop! Her favorite group is Big Bang, which is sort of like the Korean version of One Direction.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

Joelle wants to be a fashion editor for an American or European magazine.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

She said she would go to Prague or France. Joelle thinks that they are the most beautiful places in the world and they have a lot of cool things to see and do. She also wants to try all of the new delicious foods there!

What do you know or think about the United States?

She said that the United States is a big country with a lot of money and cool stuff. She would really like to go there someday. I hope she stops by to visit me when she comes!

What questions do you have for kids in the United States?

Joelle’s favorite food is pizza, so she asked me, “Do you really get to eat pizza all the time?” She is making me hungry!

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