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Oh, the wonders of the internet! Did you know you can teach English online to Chinese students and make money?
If you have a strong command of the English language, you are well-spoken and have good communication skills, you can hold classes right from the comfort of your home and get paid well for it.
In this post, I will show you how to teach English online to Chinese students, the companies that are hiring and everything in-between. Get ready to be shown how to navigate the seemingly tough ‘where-do-I-begin’ phase and get you started on your new journey.
I will also highlight details like how much you may expect to make.
There are a few general FAQs we should probably get out of the way first though (details…details…) before we get to the actual jobs.
Who Can Teach English Online to Chinese Students?
The good news is that nearly anyone can!
Some teaching platforms, however, have strict geographical specifications and require you to have at least an undergraduate degree.
There are no age restrictions, but, of course, due to certain details like payment (which we will get into later), you have to be of legal age to teach English online.
What Equipment Is Needed?
The basics include:
- Strong internet connection
- Ethernet cable
- A desktop or laptop with a webcam and audible microphone
- A smartphone
- A pair of good quality noise-canceling headphones.
It is important to hear and be heard clearly during your classes, so you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of your equipment.
You probably already have all the necessary equipment at home, so you won’t need to buy anything too expensive to get started.
If you don’t, still the cost is not that steep.
You may also require props and teaching aides depending on the type of class you are teaching.
For example, young children may enjoy puppets and colorful counting toys, and teenagers may find flashcards very useful. Your creativity will set you apart here.
The Application and Interview Processes
The interview processes are fairly competitive so you have to bring your A-game, especially during the interview stage.
Some platforms generally want to see how you engage in a mock classroom setting and may have one set up for you.
Once you submit your application form, complete with your credentials and testimonials, some may require a short video of you reading a few stories or explaining a concept.
This is just to get a sense of who you are as a person and your potential as a teacher.
After the application process, there is usually the interview stage where you are presented with an opportunity to showcase how much of a great teacher you can be.
Some platforms take it further and have you on a paid training period just to get you better prepared for their clients.
So just be yourself and be articulate. Remember the goal is to make learning less tedious and more fun. You got this!
How Much Money Can You Earn Teaching English Online?
Most online teaching platforms provide you with a pay range indicated on their homepage.
This may vary from between $16 to $22 per hour.
The lower rate is the minimum per class, meaning that just for showing up for the full hour, you will typically get paid that amount.
It is however upon you to work harder and try to get more hours in a month, which may earn you bonuses and the like.
You can also be on the lookout to quickly take on any abrupt cancellations as there are usually incentives set for this.
Is it safe?
This is a very important question to consider before transacting money online with foreign companies that you have never worked with before.
Each company has their own privacy and security policies with varying strictness. Several factors affect this, such as the data laws and regulations imposed on these companies based on where they are located.
For example, recently there have been laws passed on internet regulation in both the US and the EU, so companies based in these regions may have adjusted accordingly.
What Is The Mode of Payment?
Different sites use different modes of payment but typically it can be either PayPal or direct deposit to a bank account, mostly in the US.
The parties involved are often protected from payment problems by the companies acting as a third party mediator with some even paying the tutor if a student cancels a lesson last minute.
Okay now. Let’s get into it!
The Best Online Teaching Platforms for Tutors
QKids is a very popular online teaching site and it’s seeking for all kinds of educators and tutors with different levels of experience. On this platform, you’ll be teaching one to four students per lesson.
It is only open to people living in the United States or Canada. Pay is $16-20 per hour and payment is via bank transfer.
They’ll need you to have some experience dealing with children but not necessarily teaching in a class. That experience can be homeschooling or mentoring.
Here are a few pros and cons:
- Doesn’t require a degree, however, you MUST be enrolled in a degree program at the time of application.
- There is a paid training period and all coursework is provided for you, but it helps to go the extra mile to be familiar with the content before teaching.
- The schedule is very flexible and can be customized to your availability.
- If you were to get sick or get an emergency abruptly, you’ll find the company to be very understanding. Don’t make a habit of it though.
- Must be able to commit to 6 hours a week.
- It focuses on only Chinese students between ages 5-12. Remember, you have to work with the Beijing time zone so be prepared for early mornings and late nights.
- There is no special seasonal pay incentive so you may be tempted not to work during the holidays.
As one of the most popular and fastest growing English teaching sites available, VIPKid is a good option to consider if you meet their requirements.
- The curriculum and teaching material is already prepared.
- You are eligible for extra pay during festive seasons and holidays.
- This is a reputable company with a proven track record.
- The classes are one on one so it may be easier to handle for most teachers (especially beginners)
- It is only open to US and Canadian citizens.
- It is tailored specifically for only Chinese students.
- Their cancellation policy is not flexible.
This is a brand new company that was launched in May 2018.
Despite it being a new company, there are several reports of teachers having already taught children and received payment, therefore you can rest assured that it is legit.
All the classes are one on one, with the students aged between 4 and 12 years. The target students are from all over the globe, especially China.
- They state on their website that they pay between $14 – $25 per hour. Payment is done on the 15th of the month and they strongly recommend that you choose PayPal as your payment option to avoid payment delays.
- They have zero location restrictions. Meaning, you can work remotely from anywhere as long as you have good internet connectivity.
- Requires a bachelor degree.
As a popular favorite, Cambly provides a much more casual teaching environment since the students you will meet already have basic English knowledge so they are for the most part, interested in polishing their conversational skills. Basically, chatting!
- Students signup, pay a fee and log into the app to chat with tutors. So it’s a relatively easy-to-use app.
- Students are from all over with majority coming from Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey. This means more flexibility for tutors since they can pick time zones that aren’t too harsh.
- No experience/degree necessary.
- You can work from anywhere (no geographical restrictions).
- Lessons and materials are already available.
- Safety measures are put in place for both the tutor and student (as a check on inappropriate behavior)
- It pays roughly $10/hour which, when compared to other sites, is relatively low.
Unfortunately, EnglishHunt is currently not accepting applications (but be on the lookout for when they do) because they are a reputable online teaching company.
Applicants must have at least 48 college credit hours or an ESL certificate.
- Each session varies from 10 to 20 minutes long.
- There is a curriculum provided.
- You can teach online or by phone anywhere with an uninterrupted internet connection.
- Must be a US citizen with a US bank account to receive payment, which is only deposited once a month.
- Not flexible.
- The time difference can be quite the challenge.
WonderKids is a pretty interactive teaching site which focuses on Chinese students with sessions being mainly 1 on 4.
Payment ranges from between $15 to $20 per hour.
- You can teach from anywhere as they hire across all nationalities.
- Most classes are one on one with some having up to 3 students.
- They do provide teaching materials and teaching guides but your creativity is allowed to adopt the lessons to your students’ special needs.
- They are only hiring teachers with either a degree or professional teacher training.
- Trainers have to be at least 23 years old.
- A minimum of one-year teaching experience is required.
- Teachers must also be willing to commit to 5 hours minimum weekly but they do encourage you to do more sessions, as long as you don’t compromise on your quality.
7. Magic Ears
Magic Ears is another great choice for people who want to teach English online and are based in the United States or Canada. On this platform, you’ll be teaching Chinese children aged between 4-12 years.
The teaching materials are readily available.
The base pay per session is between $9 and $11 and the company pays the teachers on the 10th of every month via PayPal or bank transfer.
Requirements: Must have a Bachelor’s degree.
- No minimum hours required.
- Flexible cancellation policies in case of illness or any other emergency.
- Group teaching of up to four students per class. (That would be a con if you don’t like teaching several children at once)
- They have a ranking system that some teachers view as unfair and not completely transparent.
- Some teachers feel that Magic Ears micromanage their teachers and nitpick on things not worth fussing over.
This site boasts a fast screening process where you can get employed and start earning an hourly wage of between $16 and $25 almost immediately.
Only open to citizens of the United States, Canada, and the UK.
9. Say ABC
Say ABC is a very popular tutoring site that hires native English speakers.
They pay $15 per 40-minute class. This amount can reach $21 when bonuses are included. According to their site, 90% of their teachers teach 4 classes per day and earn an income of $84 per day.
One of their requirements is that you need to have a minimum of one-year teaching experience, but several teachers have reported being hired even without that experience.
A Bachelor’s degree is required. You will be teaching children on this platform, up to four children at a time.
- They are teacher friendly and their cancellation policy is reasonable.
- The lessons are already prepared for you and their platform is user-friendly.
- Payment options are direct deposit or wire transfer. PayPal is not supported.
Currently hiring, PandaABC is a peer-based English teaching site targeting Chinese children.
You will need to be a native English speaker and they only hire from the United States, Cananda or UK.
A degree is needed in an applicable field, for example, in literature or linguistics.
Panda ABC is quite flexible as you can define your own schedule and the company provides detailed teaching materials and curriculum.
Yet another popular platform for individuals who are looking to teach English online, and thankfully, they hire from all over the world. You need to be a native English speaker though.
Dada ABC pay up to $25/ hour, which is pretty good compared to other teaching sites.
They pay via PayPal or Bank transfer on the 15th of every month.
- Their platform is very user-friendly.
- They have a Facebook group that is very helpful to their teachers.
- Their hiring process is not complex.
- You need to write a class report/review after each class which can be tiresome.
- Their absenteeism/cancellation policy is strict.
51 Talk is a platform founded by Jack Huang who set out to help the Chinese develop a working knowledge of English. You’ll not only teach children but teens and adults as well.
With over a million registered students, 51Talk is pretty popular among Chinese and Philippine English learners. Classes are one on one, lasting about 25 minutes each.
- Must be a native English speaker but not necessarily from the United States.
- A four-year bachelor’s degree is required while some teaching experience is highly encouraged.
- You must also be available for a minimum of 34 hours weekly.
- Their cancellation policy is flexible, i.e in case you have an emergency or fall ill.
- It can take time before you start getting regular bookings.
Originally designed for Chinese students, Palfish is now open to anybody wishing to learn English. So you’ll find that the majority of your potential students will most likely be Chinese.
There are different approaches to classes offered that you can choose, from free talk sessions to live one on one classes.
- Fairly quick registration process (up to 2 business days).
- You don’t need a bachelor’s degree or any teaching experience.
- Starting pay is $10/hour with some going up to $20/hour.
- Payment options are only limited to Payoneer and Chinese bank cards. So you might need to register for either if you currently don’t have one.
- You can only change your charge rate twice a month.
And with that, you’re now ready to start this exciting career!
Once you have identified several job sites of interest, it helps to zero in on one that suits your unique set of skills and flexibility.
Identify one that fits you most and you’re good to go.
Remember, apart from earning an income, teaching can in itself be very rewarding and enjoyable.
So that was the guide on how you can teach English online to Chinese students. Really hope those tips and info added value. Sign up today and all the best!
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