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Steven Horowitz is a freelance writer as well as an ESL instructor specializing in the fields of business and law.

Teaching: ESL and Culture Concierge

Steven B. Horowitz, Esq.

ESL & Culture Concierge

I have expertise helping people with:

  • Business & Legal English, TOEFL, Phone Skills and other English courses.
  • Conversation (i.e., communicating in “American”)
  • Writing
  • Resumes, Cover Letters & Interview Preparation
  • Presentations
  • Customized curriculum and creative study methods
  • Job Search, Networking & Self-Marketing
  • Finding community and connecting with American culture
  • Lessons available for one-to-one, group and via Skype.

About me:

  • Currently teach Legal English for Pace University Law School and Business English, Elementary English and TOEFL for International House language school in New York.
  • Graduate of Duke Law School and former corporate bankruptcy lawyer for a large New York law firm.  I also studied law for a semester in Tokyo (at Waseda and Tokyo Universities) and interned for two Japanese law firms.
  • Experienced ESL Instructor (CELTA-certified) including two years in Japanese public schools on the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme as well as group and private lessons for Japanese lawyers and advanced English students.
  • Creator of the Bankruptcy Bill and Bankruptcy Man cartoon series.
  • Can converse in Spanish, Japanese and somewhat in Portuguese. Also know some Hebrew and Chinese and a touch of Korean.
  • Have played ultimate frisbee in 8 countries and greatly enjoy making people feel welcome and comfortable in the US, the same way people have done for me in Japan and other countries.
  • Live in Brooklyn with my wife and young daughter.

You can learn more about me at:

E-mail:  stevenwaseda [at]


Recognition: Quoted in Japan Times article on the ESL market in Japan

The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary

By PATRICK BUDMAR  Japan Times – July 3, 2012

Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan.

One only has to contrast the birth of the eikaiwa (English conversation) business in the late ’80s, marked by the rise of private chain schools and the start of the JET Program in 1987, to the current state of the industry to see how it has contracted in size and scope.

While the English teaching industry in Japan has shown resilience by surviving recessions, financial crises and occasional bankruptcies, there is no denying it has seen better days.

Not surprisingly, many people now refer to the ’80s as the “golden age” of English teaching in Japan, and Steven Horowitz, a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association (JETAA) New York Board of Directors and JETAA USA Fund Committee, is among them. Read more…

Recognition: “American View” interview on JET involvement in Japan’s recovery efforts

American View,” a quarterly magazine published by the Press Office of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, recently interviewed me about the role of JETs and JET alumni in connection with Japan’s recovery efforts following the 3/11 disaster.

American JETs Rally for Japan in Myriad Ways

Here’s an excerpt:

American View: What is unique about disaster relief activities by JET program participants and alumni?

Steven Horowitz: The connection we have to the affected areas and to each other. And the language skills and ability to communicate directly with people in the communities. When you work for the school system, you really get connected to the community. You understand how things work, how kids evolve into adults. You’re part of the community. As a result, JETs are able to identify needs and then reach out to a global community to help fill them in unique ways. I think JETs and JET alumni in some ways were better able to identify needs on the ground than some of the larger, more removed relief organizations, and especially with regard to education-related needs.

*CLICK HERE to read the full interview

Case Study: Non-traditional alumni networks

I’ve had conversations in recent months with three potential clients, each very different, yet all of whom are seeking help with non-traditional alumni engagement.

  • One is a prominent non-profit organization focused on social justice that has worked with numerous big firm attorneys on a pro bono basis over the years.
  • The second is a for-profit company that helps large corporations engage their alumni for recruiting and branding purposes.
  • And the third has set itself up as an alumni gathering point for a group of prominent universities that needs to demonstrate to members and potential members the value of belonging to something outside of their traditional alumni network.

In my initial work with the JET alumni community–first as the Editor of the JETAANY Newsletter and later as the creator of JETwit along with other roles–I had simply assumed that the JET alumni community was unique and that the work I was doing was not necessarily applicable elsewhere.

However, since my strategic content development project with the Ford Foundation, I’ve seen more and more the need to engage non-traditional alumni communities for a variety of reason.  And I’ve also seen that what comes naturally to me tends to be elusive to others.

Generally each organization is able to draw people in initially and at various points.  But the real challenge is keeping people engaged and connected.  Getting people to want to pay attention.  So that they look forward to each update because it brings them something of value.

In each case, the solutions jump out to me because they mirror the successful approaches I’ve employed with the JET alumni community (and to some extent with the bankruptcy community as well).  What the solutions always have in common is that they are a combination of:

At the end of the day, it’s the kind of stuff that’s much easier to show than to tell.  So if you have a non-traditional alumni community (or any other community) you’d like to engage, please get in touch and share the details and I’m happy to share my insights.

To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (way out of context), “I know it when I see it.”

Recognition: AJET profile – “Life After JET”

A nice profile about my work with the JET alumni community on the website of AJET, the national association of JETs currently living and working in Japan:

“September 2011: Life After JET – Steven Horowitz”

“Steven Horowitz is a notable JET alumni who is the creator of JETwit (a resource and news site for both current and past JETs) as well as the founder of the Writers Interpreters Translators Group. In addition to the JETwit site, Steven has initiated a number of creative approaches to strengthening and connecting the JET alumni community worldwide, including the first-ever JET Alumni Author Showcase in March 2009, the JETwit Jobs Google Group and the JET ROI series intended to demonstrate the “return on investment” that JET alumni have provided to Japan in response to potential budget cuts to JET and JETAA.”

Case Study: Ford Foundation and content that “continues the conversation”

The Challenge: The Ford Foundation sought to use social media to continue the conversation and build on a successful conference they had held a month or so prior that included major names in politics, Internet policy, social justice, philanthropy and technology. Read more…

Case Study:

The Challenge:  Strengthening a continually growing but loosely organized alumni community comprised of 50,000+ members worldwide (25,000+ in the U.S.) and 50+ chapters worldwide (19 in the U.S.)

Note:  The Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program began in 1987 and is the largest grass roots public diplomacy program in the world, bring several thousand foreigners into Japan each year to teach in and contribute to Japanese public school system each year.

The – Nominally a blog, but in substance a communications platform that has significantly strengthened the JET alumni community since 2008 by providing compelling content, drawing in established and rookie alums, helping hundreds of alumni find jobs and work opportunities, highlighting the accomplishments of the alumni community, serving as the central information and communication channel for the alumni community, helping the Japanese government to promote both the JET Program and Japan to the outside world and demonstrating

The Details: Read more…