I was watching some old English lessons of mine on my EngVid channel today which I don’t normally do when in the suggested videos section I chanced upon a nice looking face who was teaching something about the schwa in a pronunciation lesson. I clicked on this lesson to discover that this English teacher who apparently specialises in speaking skills (what a coincidence!) had copied my own video on the schwa. He even went as far as to lift an example from my video to use it in his lesson, without even changing it. This to me shows he doesn’t even understand what he is teaching; he simply goes to watch me first, so that he has something to say and can get views on his channel. To this he adds a nice professional intro and conversational manner so it looks like he knows what he is talking about, but the substance itself is stolen from the video I made first. People like this are ravenous copycat fake teachers.

This is not the first time I have found other ‘English teachers’ and ‘accent specialists’ on YouTube ripping off my videos and in fact my whole brand identity so that they can occupy the same niche as me, so I shouldn’t be surprised by how unoriginal most people are.  Whereas I go out and research topics for myself think them through painstakingly (an original lesson about a new topic on my English Jade channel can take a whole day to prepare with examples), these copycats just go watch me, change the title, give it a different intro, then sit back and rake in the ad revenue.

People have said I should take it as a compliment that a whole genre of copycat English teachers has sprung up around what I did first. But actually, I can’t see what’s good about it at all. It only makes me want to run away from them as fast as I can in the other direction so that I’m not associated with them. I also find it funny and very telling that the style I brought into being 5 years ago has now finally hit mass mainstream appeal, even though I have since moved on! It’s not good for my pocket but it does show that I really know what I’m doing, even if I do get there a bit early.

Lastly, what I would say to you is that as a viewer on YouTube is to apply discernment regarding teachers you are watching. Before you subscribe ask yourself if you are watching someone who is original, who stands out in some way. Also ask yourself if this person seems to be a real teacher. The way to know is that they will be true to themselves!