“"The basis of 51Talk is to prepare the next generation of chinese kids for the connected world they'll be living in. This is the major selling point of the platform, and is one of the major differences compared to a lot of other online ESL marketplaces. 51Talk is dedicated to helping k-12 students.
There are competitors in the space, specifically one that comes to mind is VIPKID. 51Talk is different than VIPKID though for a few reasons. There onboarding process is a little easier, for VIPKID you have to have graduated university, where as 51Talk all you need is some teaching experience or a teachers degree.
VIPKID is also more involved with the process of teaching. They feel like they have the best solution to teaching english online, and so they have stricter protocols and things you have to follow to get a good rating from the supervisors. 51Talk is much more lenient towards how you teach, and its up to you to build your own style.
The main difference between VIPKID and 51Talk is that 51Talk gets you bookings faster than VIPKID. The day I opened my schedule for 51Talk, I was getting scheduled."”
“The interview process for 51Talk is a simple online application of your resume followed by a phone interview. They do the phone interview to get an understanding of your past experience as a teacher, and then you play a role playing game. Someone pretends to be a young kid, and you have to help them through certain problems you're most likely going to face on the job.”
“51Talk is looking for warm and friendly people who love to share knowledge and teach. If you're good at explaining concepts to people, making sure people are happy, and are good with kids, 51Talk is a great place to use these skills!”
“To be successful at 51Talk, and become one of the higher paying teachers on the platform, you have to dedicate time outside of work to develop and tailor lessons for your regular students. As you build a deep connection with your students, parents can recognize that you're someone people go regularly to, and will offer a higher hourly rate to get you to teach their kids.”
“"There are a lot of reviews online that say that 51Talk is a scam but this is simply not true. There are definitely some practices they do that aren't with the teachers in mind, but these are there to make sure the company is reliable in the eyes of parents, and to keep the standard of teaching as high as it is expected.
The majority of feedback from sites like glassdoor and reddit are positive. The negative feedbacks on these platforms, especially the negative feedback on the website sitejabber, zeroes in on the penalization for missing tutoring sessions. If you miss a tutoring session, you have to pay 51Talk for almost double the amount that you would have made for the lesson.
It's definitely a steep price, but when you think that these kids have set time out of their day to learn english, it might be the only time during the week they have time, and you're unable to make it, 51Talk is to blame. They need to keep a reputation as being a reliable company where students can book the times and know that their teachers will always show up.
Another complaint is that if the student doesn't show up, you'll earn 1/2 pay for the lesson. This may seem like a great thing, but it definitely gets tiring when you prepare for a class and set time out of your day, and only end up getting half the money. Especially when its a lesson in the middle of a block.
51Talk is definitely not a scam, but there are some things you have to watch out for. In the end, you're a contractor for the company, so you have to be your own boss, and always be present."”
The average pay for working at 51Talk is about $17 an hour, but this depends on how much someone is willing to pay for your teaching. The base rate is $15 an hour, while some of the top teachers are able to make upwards of $22 an hour. To get the higher pay, you should have perfect ratings, and a teaching degree or certificate will definitely help.
I just love the teaching experience. I have had such a pleasure teaching these students, when they join the online classroom and I see their faces, I instantly get excited and happy. On top of that I'm also learning a lot about Chinese culture, and it makes me feel more connected with the world around me.
51Talk has a very strict policy regarding missed classes. If you miss a class, you can pay almost double the amount you would have gotten for doing the class. One day my internet crashed and I was instantly indebt $30, and 51Talk said they weren't responsible since the technical issue was on my side, not theirs.
“"I start my days very early. Usually I wake up at around 3:30 or 4:00 AM so that I can teach the late afternoon and evening classes for 51Talk. Where I live, Beijing is 14 time zones apart, so me getting up early is necessary if I want to be able to work during their peak hours.
Once I'm up and ready, I start preparing my materials for the day. I have a cute backdrop with lots of colors and puppets, which I use for a wide range of lessons. I love bringing lessons to life with my puppets and stuffed animals, and the kids learn faster with them too!
I then start planning for the specific lessons I have for that day. A lot of my students are actually repeat students, so I have a history with them and know what they like and what they don't like. I then go through the days lessons and make sure each lesson fits with the student I'll be working with. This is key for getting a good rating!
It's usually around 10:00 AM that I finish my classes for the day. I love being done work so early in the day, and then I can meet up with friends, work around the house, and do all the things you wouldn't be able to do at a traditional 9-5. I love the work from home lifestyle!"”
51Talk connects Chinese students looking to learn new languages with motivated, and engaging teachers that love to teach. 51Talk has developed three core business units: 51Talk Philippines (catering to mass market young learners and adults), 51Talk International (catering to young and adult learners), and Hello World American Academy (a private service dedicated for K-12 learners). 51Talk has recently honed in on their K-12 service, seeing that as the future of the company.
Founded in 2011 by Jia Huang and Ting Shu, 51Talk has its headquarters based in Beijing, Beijing. Currently run by founder and CEO Jack Jiajia Huang, 51Talk has grown rapidly since its inception. Receiving a $10M round of funding from Shunwei Capital in 2013, and another $55M in funding from Sequoia Capital, 51Talk was able to build itself quickly for an IPO in 2016 which raised $45.6M. 51Talk has over 1,000 employees and has a distributed workforce of tens of thousands of teachers.
Positive reviews from language teachers report enjoying the flexibility of working when you want to work, the excellent students, the ability to work from home, the constant positive changes made by the company, the good training, and the regular pay. Negative reviews from employees report being frustrated with the lack of upwards mobility, the inconsistent support quality, the competitive nature of the industry (competing against many other teachers for the same students), the high penalties for missed classes, and the timezone difference between North America and China.
The majority of opportunities to join 51Talk are for its Hello World American Academy business, where english teachers from North America teach english to Chinese students.
Our vision is to be recognized as a highly respectable online education platform for centuries.
Our values are:
- Passion - Make continuous improvement a habit.
- Customer focus - Help customers achieve their dreams.
- Game changer - Dare to try new things.
- Camaderie - Trust and respect each other.
Why do you want to become an ESL teacher?
Why did you decide to apply to 51Talk?
Tell me about yourself?
When was a time you dealt with conflict and what did you do?
How would you explain something to a kid who is a beginning english learner.
Talk is China’s largest online English education company, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (COE). We bring students and teachers together for live, online English classes.
51Talk was founded in 2011, and since then has expanded globally. As the first online Chinese education company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, 51Talk continues to make headlines with its strategic partnerships across the academic world, including: Highlights, Pearson, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, And the American International School of Utah.
Our founders built 51Talk with an inspiring mission: love and empower every child. 51Talk is looking for motivated, engaging teachers to give Chinese children fun and fruitful learning experiences. Together, we will forge a bright future for the next generation of young learners in China.