Our reviews on three Asian based ESL companies if you want to teach English online with unique apply now codes.
Working online as an English teacher for other companies is always an option whilst you are growing your own private clients or if you simply just want to work for someone else.
Putting all your eggs in one basket with one online company could be risky, especially with all the new government changes and rules for online teaching if working through Asian companies. Check out our post here where you can find out more about those ‘new rules’ are.
In the meantime …
There are pros and cons to working for another company but here at Digi-teAch we have found three ESL companies in Asia that are currently looking for online English teachers and we have special referral codes too, so you can apply directly from this post. They differ quite a bit in class content too so hopefully you will find your ideal pick here:
The first company is itutorgroup. They claim to have classes 24/7 however many teachers report that most of the time it is the prime time hours, which are between 6pm and now 9pm, Beijing Standard time (due to the new rules, check those out here) and a few other hours on top. So they certainly offer more hours than most of the online companies. You have to teach on a computer or laptop with iTutor group and you have to wear a red polo and use headphones with a microphone. Check out our guide here for some great deals, if you need to get any of those.
What are their lessons?
Generally the lessons fall into three category types and according to teachers working there, you don’t get to pick what lesson type you do. There are:
- 25 minute lessons which are for children. They don’t boast an interactive platform like some of the companies. The lessons tend to be powerpoint slides via a virtual whiteboard, so be prepared to widen the lesson content with your own resources and ideas. The lessons are often single 1-1, or small groups mostly of two children or more unless you do a Virtual classroom. Virtual classrooms are where you teach school classes online. Don’t get too excited though as the pay isn’t any more than a general class. We will move onto pay later in the post.
- 45 minute lessons are generally for groups of adults, however occasionally a child can take this place. Again its a power point lesson, on a virtual whiteboard.
- 15 minute lessons are for the Demos and like many Asian companies, as the kids go back to school, most Asian ESL companies go on a massive student, marketing campaign. Often people doing demos can get paid a little extra for doing the demos but teachers doing this have reported that currently the system has no way for you to track the demo clients, so you are just depending on the company to let you know if they signed up or not.
So what’s the pay?
iTutor group seem to have 3 pay structures in place at the time of writing this and no-one knows how you get chosen for which one, when you are recruited.
Option 1 – is the fixed rate of pay. This means you get a rate of pay that is fixed per lesson, often with a bonus for lesson completion as long as you have no absences, class cancellations or tech issues. iTutor also set your pay depending on location. It is one of the few companies that actually do, do this, so you can be either dollars in, or dollars out depending on where you live. They base the rate pay apparently on the average ESL teachers salary in your area.
Option 2 – is the ratings rate. This company has quite a rigid ratings system however if you please your clients enough, you can get paid a good bonus rate for each good rating. The base rate because of this is lower than the fixed rate option and we have had reports from teachers that state that regular clients who take lessons every day or each week, often don’t leave a rating, so t his could effect your salary. However other teachers have reported to make a very good salary, from this so it depends on your client group.
Option 3 – is the demos. Demos have a base rate which is set depending on which country you live in like the fixed rate but you can also earn a bonus for getting clients to sign up as a result of your excellent demo. We have not had any amazing reports of teachers earning loads through this option but that is not to say it is not happening.
You have to give them a minimum of 10 hours per week in the Beijing prime time hours as stated above.
The recruitment process for iTutor is anything from one week to four as you have to complete onboarding after a mock and an interview and of course the standard application rules for Asia will be required. If you don’t know what they are, read out post here.
If you would like to apply directly to the company, you can by clicking here:
Palfish are quite an interesting company as not only can you teach from your phone or ipad but you can also create and sell your own seminars and courses with them. You can also teach face to face or just through Voice teaching.
So with Palfish, you can also teach adults and children. The children have a really, good, interactive app that you teach through. It’s written by Pearson education so it’s really fun and you don’t have to drag any lesson time out teachers have reported. The pay structure is quite unique in that every month you start at level 1. There are five levels to get through. The more lessons you teach, the higher up the levels you go. So technically if you give them more hours, they reward you by giving you a higher lesson rate.
This handy little infogram will give you a little mindshot of how this works in practice.
How much do they pay?
The tarting rate is about $13 a lesson but the more lessons you do, the higher the lesson rate. Plus if you do any of the things below you can easily bump up your income a bit more.
What are their lessons?
- 25 minute lessons are for kids on the app. You teach 1-1 and you also use loads of great filter faces for you and the student. If you have used Snapchat then you will know what I am talking about. You do have homework to mark also but its not a lot and you can just dictate it into your ipad pretty quickly. If you get to be an official teacher you will make more and get more bookings. Find out below what that means.
- Seminars and courses – These can be any length or time you like. For example, some teachers have made a block of lessons on Business, banking English. They then turn that into a course on the app. The best part of this is that you can choose what you want to teach and how and you can even set your own price. Palfish take a small percentage of the course which they have to approve as well by the way. But most of the teachers have reported to us that they pass them as long as your content is good and relevant.
- Live halls – This is a pretty cool feature we think and it shows how this platform are really using communication between students and teachers to create more interest and interactivity. So how this works is basically you create a lesson live, like a facebook live or live youtube streaming but on the Palfish app. You advertise it through their app to their clients and students but also through facebook and wechat and the company encourage this, which is quite unusual for an Asian company. The clients / students attend and they can gift you money. So technically there is no charge however whilst you are doing the live, students can gift you what they call ‘lucky money.’ There is no set topic for this either so you can talk about business idioms to what you had for dinner last night. The key thing here is engagement. One thing to note though is that other teachers can also watch you!
- Voice call. This is really cool and is often used by adults and teenagers. So when you are not teaching in class or other you can choose just to talk to students via the voice function within the app. Again you can talk about almost anything and of course as you don’t have to have your camera on, it can actually be quite a different experience. You can also set your rate for this.
Is pretty quick and painless. None of this waiting around for interviews with Palfish. Once you apply through our link, if they think you are suitable they will book you in for a mock. The mock is literally you completing the lesson, alone on their app. As you are doing the lesson, it is recorded and then they evaluate after. Teachers have reported to us that they have done this and been working within 3 days of application, so it can be pretty quick.
How much do they pay?
The starting salary is $21 per hour. You are not paid on location like iTutor group, you are paid by qualifications and feedback like Palfish. If you are unsure what qualifications you need to have you can find out more in our post here.
What are their lessons?
- 30 minute lessons on their platform which needs to be done by a computer – not a phone or other device.
- With UUabc the children learn via STEAM which is learning English alongside Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths.
You do need to give them 4 hours a week minimum but they also pay you standby time as well. The application process is not as quick as Palfish but I would recommend one to two weeks to get yourself through their process. Apply using our unique link.
Whatever you decide to do, we warmly invite you to continue the Digi-teAch community and join online teachers just like you in our facebook group. You can access it here:
Until then, keep happy, keep teaching and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more news, tips and hacks for teaching.