I teach my kids English for two reasons. First, so they can get a good mark and pass on to the next grade. The second is so they can use their English skills to get a better job in the future or somehow enrich their life and the lives of the people around them.
A little while back, I went to an electronics market with my friend Dave and his wife Lisa. It’s by Yongsan station, but it’s not the Yongsan Electronic Market. Where we went is out doors and much more “folksy”. If you walk out of the iPark mall and go left, you’ll probably stumble upon it. This isn’t a legit market by North American standards. It’s a market with many tiny tents that sell vast catalogues of bootleg DVDs (among other things). You can pick up four movies (or four DVD of a tv series) for 10 000won. The DVDs they give you aren’t even labeled. They’re just blank Maxtor DVDs in a plastic slip with a print out of the box art.
In one of these “stores”, the clerk (owner?) started talking to us in an above average English. I was caught off guard by his ability. What someone who can speak English so well is doing selling burned DVDs is beyond me. I’m sure he could get a job at a company and earn a much better salary with very little effort. Maybe he just doesn’t like the idea of working for a company that essentially runs your life, or maybe he like being his own boss. What ever the reason is, I’m sure he could do much better.
Bottom line, if I see one of my better students selling pirated DVDs at a market in a few years down the road, I’ll be monumentally disapointed.