I’ve taught English to two-year-olds in split bottom pants. The trick there is not letting them sit on your lap for storytime.

I’ve taught English to bartenders and asked them to repeat after me. Bud…Wise…Er…

I’ve taught businessmen and doctors, flight attendants and fry cooks.

I’ve taught Little Emperors in large classes, I’ve taught university students and training school students and done English Corners galore.

Yesterday was the first time, though, in nearly seven years of ESL in China, that a Western businessman wanted to pay me to teach his favorite prostitute English while he is out of the country so next time he comes to town they won’t have to bring an electronic dictionary to bed.

Yeah that’s a new one, even for me.


  1. Haha, actually I’ve said yes, conditionally. Although my motivations are probably a bit different from the businessman’s! And I’d like to meet the girl and get some idea of HER motivations. I’m not sure if anybody’s asked her yet if she actually wants to learn English.

    No specific vocabulary has been asked for, although the lesson content could get quite…um…spicy!

    Ryan – nice one.

  2. I’ve had colleagues whose clients have phoned them from the bedroom for assistance when the girl didn’t understand what was wanted.

    Thankfully, the closest I’ve gotten to that was translating by text message.


  3. Not even close I know, but I thought this class was a bit strange. Apparently all the girls were brushing up on their English in order to survive the embassy visa interview. Fake marriage cohort from Fujiang, Fujian. Why they bothered I don’t know, since visa applications from most of the small cities around Fuzhou are red flagged.

    Oh yes, the elder son of a filthy rich real estate family. More interested in poetry, and he taught me a ton about the interface between local govt and r/e development ie red envelopes.

  4. Why not teach him the Chinese for love talk? Chinese dirty talk is much better than English. The man is not a Gentleman, and is probably linguistically backward.

    • @Tony

      The businessman in question is not currently in China.


      NOT going to be me!

      Seriously, how many of us really want to watch other people (who are not actors flattered by careful camera angles) having sex?


  5. Update: The first class was scheduled at 9AM today. She agreed to that time but about 9:15 I got a message: “Sorry, teacher. I didn’t wake up in time. Can we reschedule?”

    I think afternoons are probably gonna work better in this particular student’s case…

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