tutor king queen

Celebrity Tutors

A look at celebrity tutors or tutor kings and queens in Hong Kong.

Vocabulary Words

flash property property developer
flashy celebrity can afford to
glossy billboards designer clothes
worth it manicure Lamborghini
crisis brochures approximately
prove dominate celebrity status
claim one-third recession proof
admit curiosity room for improvement
endorse concerned as time goes by
earn average big names
aspect consider disapprove
approve as long as reap the rewards






Banker. Lawyer. Property Developer.

Who else can afford to drive a half-a-million dollar Lamborghini?

But Richard Eng doesn’t work in any of these professions.

He’s a tutor — a celebrity tutor.

With his flashy sports car, designer clothes, expensive watch collection and manicured hair, Eng owns twelve tutorial schools in Hong Kong, and has just opened another one in Japan.

He has a total of 50,000 students, 300 staff — and earns almost one-and-a-half million dollars a year.

Richard Eng: “It’s kind of a chance in Hong Kong. It turns out that there is suddenly a chance for somebody, who can teach and present themselves well to help students. And at the same time students find out that you can really help them.

Every time you come into you classroom, you can see something beautiful, and more importantly, you can learn some very important exam skills.

And that’s why we are worth it and why we are here.”

Tutorial schools are big business in Hong Kong.

With glossy billboards, brochures, and TV ads, turn these university graduates into stars.

Four major schools dominate . . . but there are hundreds of others attended by approximately one-third of all students. They pay approximately $130 a month to improve their grades in a society where information is power.

While most industries took a hit in the global financial crisis, Richard Eng says his business and other Hong Kong tutorial schools have proven to be recession proof.

In fact he claims in the past year, his student number have grown by more than ten percent.

Eighteen year old Daisy Chung has been attending Eng’s English class for the past two years.

Daisy Chung: “My grades have improved from “C” to “B” now and I hope there is still room for me for improvement.”

She says she comes for the lessons–but some are attracted to Eng’s celebrity status.

Student: “He’s a really nice teacher, and he’s really handsome.”

Richard Eng: “I have to admit they come to me just for curiosity. Okay ‘what kind of suit or what kind of clothes do you wear today?’

But I think as time goes by, they know that I can teach them exam skills. This is very important in Hong Kong.”

While the big names are multi-millionaires, the average celebrity tutor earns more than $125,000 a year. Government teachers take home less than half that.

The education department says that while the schools are popular, it don’t endorse them.

Dr. Catherine Chan, Deputy Secretary for Education: “I’m concerned how the students and parents use the resources. Is the money being spent wisely. But if it proves to really help the students, a certain aspect of the students; and then I don’t think I have any right to say that I disapprove it.

As long as a child’s education is considered an investment, Eng and his colleagues will continue to reap the rewards.

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1. ………, ……… and ……. earn big money.

2. Who is Richard Eng? Does Richard Eng only make money by tutoring students?

3. How many schools, students, and staff does he have? How much does he earn every year? Is private tutorial schooling an industry in Hong Kong?

4. There is a huge demand for private tutoring. True or false? Why is there such a big demand for private tutoring?

5. How do private tutoring schools advertise? How do they market and promote themselves?

6. Private tutorial schools suffer during slow economies. Is this right or wrong? Why do they thrive during recessions?

7. The most important thing is a tutor’s clothes and how handsome or beautiful they are. Yes or no?

8. Who earns more, private tutors or government school teachers?

9. Does the government or education department endorse or disapprove of the private tutoring schools?


A. I attend (attended) private tutoring. Yes or no? If yes, what was it for? Describe your private lessons. Were they interesting and fun?

B. Is private tutoring and lessons important in your city? How important or popular are private tutoring in your city?

C. Are there “Super Tutors” in your city? Are some tutors celebrities?

D. Could you suggest ways to improve tutoring and learning?

E. I and my friends would like to become a tutor. Yes, no, perhaps, maybe? A Super Tutor?

F. What will happen in the future?

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