English education in South Korea is a multibillion dollar industry and some language teachers are making 6 even 7 figures a year.
I tracked down 2:
Kim 金 Ki-hoon 김기훈
Gwen Lee 그웬 리
watched some of their educational videos for learning English:
My problem with the million dollar teachers in Korea, Kim Ki-hoon 김기훈 and Gwen Lee 그웬 리, is that I don't find their methods very efficient:
1. Too much Korean -- My first issue is that 90% of the things they say in their videos are in Korean. It’s a well-established fact that language should be taught in a monolingual environment. Switching between languages doesn’t help vocabulary and grammar retention and recall. Those type of explanations don’t have as lasting of an effect, it’s inefficient.
2. Useless example sentences -- Most of the example sentences in Kim and Gwen videos are extremely complex and very rare – these are sentences non-native and most native speakers never say. The type of grammar in those sentences account for less than 10% of the grammar that is actually used in real life.
I would assume that those are most likely taken from a language test. But that’s not the way to go about preparing for a test.
For a student to understand the grammar in those complex sentences they have to know the other 90% of English grammar. And if you understand and know how to use quickly and effortlessly the main 90% of English grammar, you should be able to learn the remaining by yourself. Which means those type of videos are unnecessary, inefficient
3. Lack of structure -- Aren’t there some kind of underlying grammatical principles, something I talk about in my book.
Shouldn’t both Kim Ki-hoon 김기훈 and Gwen Lee 그웬 리 have a book explaining their core method so students could learn by themselves? I don’t see that.
4. Wrong way to teach grammar -- Language is music, language has rhythm, beat and harmony. I don’t see either of them teaching that. Grammar is just part of the melody of the language. With 90% of the video in Korean there is no room for the melody of the English language. Nobody can retain the grammar without the help of the melody of the language. It’s how the brain works. That’s not what I call efficient.
5. Wrong way to teach pronunciation -- I don’t think Gwen Lee 그웬 리 has consciously learned the English language. It seems her specialty is English pronunciation. My issue is that I don’t think she knows the difficulties adults have when it comes to pronunciation, something I talk about a lot in my book.