Meet Paul Duke

My name is Paul Duke. I’m a writer, English language instructor & coach, and video content creator. Before I became a teacher, I was a Private Investigator and Security Specialist, and I bring the investigation and inquiry skills from that profession to my work with students.

My education has been in a wide range of fields, with a focus on all things language. A words and sentences geek, I love to answer even the most unusual questions about English. I write essays, articles, and fiction, make educational videos, and love helping students succeed in both their English learning and life goals.

My media company, HARD-BOILED ENGLISH MEDIA, produces educational videos such as my web series English Weirdness, as well as my weekly live streaming show, Hard-Boiled English-LIVE. These productions allow me to reach learners and friends around the world and share my love of solving English mysteries.

English is a strange, irregular, and mysterious language. But I also believe this very strangeness that makes it a challenge to learn, is the source of its great beauty: because it doesn’t need to follow its own rules so strictly, it is incredibly flexible and creative. Using the analytic, investigative skills I developed in my former profession, my approach to learning puts the student in the position of language detective. I encourage them to ask questions, confront the contradictions they encounter, and push into their confusion and doubts. 

I also work in partnership with institutions, such as the new Juilliard School in Tianjin, China, and the innovative English-language program at Sakata Minami High School in Yamagata, Japan. In addition to their using my videos in their curriculum, I provide them online instruction, writing workshops, and exploration classes.

Here is a video about Sakata Minami. I am featured around 6:10.


English is a mystery, but a mystery you can solve.