Earn as an Online Teacher – 51Talk Review
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by Tsika Garcia Baylan
I started working as a part-time homebased online ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher with 51talk 3 years ago. I remember I was searching online for a homebased job when I saw 51talk’s advertisement. 51talk was the only online ELT (English Language Teaching) platform in the Philippines I knew back then so I did not hesitate and immediately filled out their online application form and sent my resume, then everything was history.
- Bachelor’s degree / Graduate of a 4-year course
- Experience teaching kids / K12 / Early Childhood / Elementary (preferred)
- English teaching certifications such as LET / TEYL / TESOL / TEFL (preferred)
- Must have passion, energy, and enthusiasm in teaching
51Talk Application Process
Few days after I filled up their online application form and sent my resume, I received a phone call which already served as the initial interview. I was a bit nervous at that time but it went well as the interviewer told me that she just needs to observe how I handle myself in a conversation. It went smoothly. During this initial interview, the interviewer will just ask basic information about yourself. Here they will get your Skype ID for further assessment so make sure you have one.
After my initial interview which was done over the phone, another 51Talk staff, a technical representative, contacted me via Skype to check the speed of my Internet (they require wired connection with at least 3Mbps) and the RAM (Random Access Memory) of my computer (at least 2GB is required). This is for 51talk to make sure my internet connection is stable and I have enough free storage.
Online Training via Skype
As far as I can remember, the training was 6 hours a day for 5 days. This is not paid. During this period you will be familiarized with the culture of China and Chinese characteristics. Oh, did I say your students when you become a 51Talk teacher are Chinese people? Yeah, and since you will be teaching Chinese students (adult/young learners), then you must have an idea about them so you will know how to deal with them. You will also learn phonetic symbols, phonetic pronunciations, systems, teaching techniques, and a lot more!
This is the last application process where teacher applicants will be put into a test. They will have a demo to show how they teach and deal with their students and navigate the system.
What Do 51Talk Teachers Do?
Congratulations, you passed! So here are the things expected from you to do:
- Teach English to Chinese learners online in a fun and engaging way.
- Evaluate the learner’s performance and provide corrective feedback.
- Study the provided teaching materials and always start lessons prepared and on time.
- Conduct 25-minute one-on-one online lessons with students.
- Create a lesson memo with the necessary feedback about the topics discussed.
You will now be asked to open a minimum of 65 slots which represents 65 students. If for example you work 8 hrs a day and all of your lessons are booked, you can get ₱21,120 in a month. Those who can go beyond 8 hours a day can get as much as ₱40,000. Do you know what’s cool about this? Your salary is all yours, no taxes, deductions, whatsoever.
Tips: How to earn more
The more students you have, the more you earn. So, (1.) your goal as a teacher is for the students to like you and be happy with how you handle your class with them. This is for you to have regular students in the future. Make sure to make a good impression with students. I’ve had students who have been with me for almost three years; I have been their teacher, their sibling’s teacher, their daughter’s teacher. (2.) Aim to have regularly scheduled classes so your students will know when you are online and book you.
Advantages of Working with 51Talk
- Schedule Flexibility – Teachers can choose their preferred time to have the class except during peak hours (7PM to 10PM for weekdays and whole day on weekends where most of the students are already home from work or school). I work from 8PM to 11PM during weekdays and 8 hours during weekends.
- All the materials you will be needing in teaching will be provided by the company.
- 51talk has a monthly survey for the teachers to give feedback on how to improve their systems and compensations. Here, you can somehow demand. Yey!
- 51talk encourages teachers to enhance their teaching skills by enrolling in TESOL (Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages) and TEYL (Teaching English to Young Learners) courses free of charge!
Disadvantages of Working with 51Talk
- Compared to other ELT platforms, 51Talk offers lower pay.
- When there’s a sudden power outage and a teacher doesn’t have other ways or sources to attend the class, then, s/he will not get paid.
- Also, teachers are only allowed to teach their students for 25 minutes for every lesson, and I personally think that is not enough especially to young learners (3-6 years old).
Would I recommend 51talk to my friends who want to be online ESL TEACHERS?
- Yes! 51talk is an established ELT platform in the Philippines.
- Yes! We have the same standard time with China.
- Yes! You can teach depending on your availability.
- Yes! 51talk provides free training for kids if you want to focus on young learners.
- Yes! 51talk encourages teachers to enhance their skills by enrolling them in TESOL and TEYL courses for free!
“I teach because it’s a fulfillment for me to witness my students are learning because of my help.” – tgb
Also check: The Beginners Guide to Working from Home
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Nanay Tsika is a full-time mother and a part-time Online English Teacher. She enjoys writing DIY story books for her daughter and she has a passion for teaching as she believes continuously learning is a process for great improvements.