Note that this could eventually work both ways. A lot of Americans (and Canadians, Australians, etc.) make a good living teaching English in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc. Eventually, we might have tutors based here teaching kids in those countries (after the inevitable currency revaluation sends the dollar down against Asian currencies :-) I'm told that Skype is already overrun with people from China and other countries wanting to practice their English with native speakers.
Twice a week for a month now, Ms. Salin, who grew up speaking the Indian language Malayalam at home, has been tutoring Daniela in English grammar, comprehension and writing.
Using a simulated whiteboard on their computers, connected by the Internet, and a copy of Daniela's textbook in front of her, she guides the teenager through the intricacies of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Daniela, an eighth grader at Malibu Middle School, said, "I get C's in English and I want to score A's," and added that she had given no thought to her tutor being 20,000 miles away, other than the situation feeling "a bit strange in the beginning."
She and her sister, Serena, 10, a fourth grader at Malibu Elementary, are just 2 of the 350 Americans enrolled in Growing Stars, an online tutoring service that is based in Fremont, Calif., but whose 38 teachers are all in Cochin. They offer tutoring in mathematics and science, and recently in English, to students in grades 3 to 12.
Five days each week, at 4:30 a.m. in Cochin, the teachers log on to their computers just as students in the United States settle down to their books and homework in the early evening.
Growing Stars is one of at least a half-dozen companies across India that are helping American children complete their homework and prepare for tests.
As in other types of outsourcing, the driving factor in "homework outsourcing," as the practice is known, is the cost. Companies like Growing Stars and Career Launcher India in New Delhi charge American students $20 an hour for personal tutoring, compared with $50 or more charged by their American counterparts.
Growing Stars pays its teachers a monthly salary of 10,000 rupees ($230), twice what they would earn in entry-level jobs at local schools.