As the Korean economy continues to worsen and the won’s value decreases, the number of foreign English teachers in the country is bound to drop too. Where will all these teachers go? They might just go home.
Kent Holiday taught English in Korea for a short time, then went to work for Korea Telecom where he eventually became a top executive (with a six-figure income) and, unbelievably, quit to go back to his original profession — teaching English, but with a twist. He is the CEO of Eluetian, a company based in Wyoming that teaches “English to Koreans of all ages using Skype, the free online calling and person-to-person video service.” With nearly 15,000 Korean students and 300 teachers it “is one of Wyoming’s fastest-growing businesses” and is expected to expand.
“Our plan was never to be a company that had a few thousand subscribers,” Holiday said. “It’s a $100 billion market just between Korea, Japan and China, and so we wanted to be the leader and we wanted to have millions of users.”
Considering private tutors charge 40-60,000 won an hour and Eluetian charges only $150 a semester, with bona fide teachers doing the tutoring, this may be the answer to a lot of Korean parents’ and their children’s English needs.
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