Okay, people are always asking me what the difference is between Korean and American kids and I am here to tell you: NOTHING!! Korean kids whine, talk a lot, chatter endlessly, tattle on their friends, work hard, are excited to learn to read and write and all that fun stuff. But here is the secret, US kids are the same!! They whine (yes, even in that same tone as the Korean kids... and I am talking NON-Asian kids), they chatter endlessly, talk constantly to anyone in ear-shot, tattle on their friends for the silliest things, they work HARD on their assignments, and they are EXCITED to learn.
I guess the biggest difference is the parents. Korean parents go too far in pushing their kids to study hard and advance their education and American parents are much more relaxed. When I would send home homework in Korea, it was done and the kids KNEW the information when it came back... whereas in the US, most of it comes back, some never does and lots of parents rush their kids through it on the first day so that they don't have to do it daily (I send home weekly packets with prescribed pages per day).
So, it's not the kids that are so different, it's the cultures and the parent's approach to education that is so different.