Sunday, September 26, 2010

What "Business English" Hagwons in Korea Don't Want You to Know (updated)

These are the facts.
a. The average Business English teacher is less educated than the average Korean student.
b. The average Business English teacher has a smaller vocabulary than Korean students. If you simply look at how Korean students study, then you will be able to understand: Korean students may be the best in the world at memorizing.
c. The average Business English teacher has NO practical business experience. These teachers do not have experience in speaking in a business environment, with bosses, peers, and potential clients in the audience.
d. The average Business English teacher does not have negotiation or presentation skills. It would be far better to take the lessons remotely via Skype from a qualified instructor than it would be to take a lesson from a person that has no experience.
e.  The situation is usually no better for students of intensive English "camps" that are run at outside locations.
f.   The books are largely a waste of money, except that they give students an idea that there is something being done, and more importantly, they are a resource for teachers that would not know what to teach, if there was no book available.  This is particularly problematic.  Without a textbook, a teacher should be able to present an outline of what he would like to teach.  In fact, this should be a requirement of all teachers of Business English.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.

These are all true, and, as a Korean, it is very sad for me to report. I have seen this with my own eyes after having the experience at multiple companies, and meeting the "Business English" teachers.

The teachers are from foreign countries, who have no idea about how many smart people there are in Korea. They have no idea how difficult it has been to obtain the jobs in Korean companies. These teachers have not had to survive the exceptionally competitive atmosphere to enter into the top Korean universities.

Now, this does not mean that those who are teaching advanced high school students at the top foreign high schools or top hagwons in Daechi-dong are not qualified. That is entirely different. Those teachers have gone to very compeititive schools in the United States or Canada. You cannot pretend to be able to tutor AP English to Korean students that aspire to enter Harvard. HOWEVER, Business English is very, very different.

If you want to know the correct way to learn Business English from our people who have Ivy League educations, and more than 15 years of actual business experience, then email me at:, and be sure to follow me at

I have contact with very qualified teachers that can counsel privately or in group settings.
If you would like me to give you some names of previous students of mine, then I would be happy to do that.

Good Luck.


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