Spoken English is on the market now. Thanks to globalization, the IT revolution of the 1990s, people’s desire to emigrate to their dreamland, call centers, societal pressures and the need to ‘arrive’ in society, the demand for spoken English has greatly increased. To cash in on this surge of demand, a large number of spoken English ‘shops’ have sprung up. The traders have certainly prospered. But do they provide good value for money?
Once I guided a project on which some of the spoken English ‘shops’ in my own city were investigated. Our sample was large and representative and so our findings (namely, that the ‘merchandise’, low in quality, is not good value for money) is generalizable. The inadequacy of the spoken English courses is due to three unsound assumptions on which they are based.