51talk Online Home-based English Teacher  » Job  »
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  • I have been recently scrolling through job reviews and I have noticed that nobody has written anything about 51talk yet
  • Thus, I decided to share my experience with you guys
  • I have all the basic requirements and I definitely have the free time to spare, so I decided to apply
  • The only problem I encountered was applying for a TIN (tax identification number)
  • For starters, I think that's a pretty good compensation

    • by Lady Sanzenin

      all reviews
      I have been recently scrolling through job reviews and I have noticed that nobody has written anything about 51talk yet. Thus, I decided to share my experience with you guys.

      51talk is a China-based company which connects Filipino online English teachers and Chinese students who want to learn English and improve their proficiency. It is currently one of the leading and fastest growing online ESL school in China. Its student population is getting larger and larger by the minute– thus, the necessity to hire more English teachers, including home-based ones.

      In order to become one of their home-based online ESL teachers, you need to have a stable internet connection with at least 1 mbps speed, a skype account, working headset with microphone, a quiet environment for you to teach in, and of course proficient English skills. So long as you meet these criteria, even an undergraduate student can join.

      It is currently summer in my place and I am an incoming second year student in college. I have all the basic requirements and I definitely have the free time to spare, so I decided to apply. The application process

      was easy. I just visited their website which is 51talk.com/ph and filled in a quick application form and attached my resume. The next day, I received a text telling me to visit their page and pick a schedule for my interview. I was ecstatic because it was going to be my very first interview ever. So, I picked a schedule that suited me and followed the instructions that came right after (which was to add certain people on skype). As the set time came closer, I got nervous and jittery. I was waiting for someone to call me, but 15 minutes passed since the alloted time and no one called me yet. So, I asked a few of the people I previously added about my interview. No one answered me until 5 minutes before the time ran out. He asked me to wait “one moment please” and a few minutes after, he called me.

      It was a video chat and the interviewer was really friendly. He asked me to answer a few questions and to talk about myself for a bit. He was very nice and easy-going. The interview lasted for almost half an hour, and although it was late, I felt happy and satisfied. After the interview, he told me I passed the initial interview and then scheduled me for a mock demo a few days later. After passing the mock demo too, I was told about the places where I need to improve on and then they gave me a form to fill out. I then attended a whole day PSO (pre-service orientation) via skype. During the orientation, we were given a new set of requirements i.e., photos, scanned ID, voice recording and the likes. I submitted the required voice recording for my introduction, a photo, and some other necessary scanned documents. The only problem I encountered was applying for a TIN (tax identification number). It was a requirement I wasn’t initially aware about. Nonetheless, I went to BIR and applied for one. As anything regarding BIR goes, it took me 3 long weeks of repeatedly going there just to get my TIN. After finally getting my TIN (the only requirement which I lacked), I was able to take to partake in ...

      • 51talk Online Home-based English Teacher
      another whole day training for new teachers via skype. At the end of the training, we were asked to plot schedules to certify that we are now officially 51talk teachers.

      I think one huge plus point for working at 51talk is that you get to decide what time you want to work. So long as you open at least 51 class schedules per week, you’re good to go. You can plot anytime in between 6 am to 11:30 pm. Each class lasts for 25 minutes, that means you should at least render 25 hours per week. The company has a points system which determines your star ranking. The higher your rank is, the higher you get paid for each class. One star teachers get Php 50 per class, and from there it gets higher. You can raise your points and consequently your rank by holding classes, submitting lesson memos on time, and plotting schedules during peak hours.

      Being a 51talk teacher is fun and enjoyable. The students are very eager to learn and they really look up to you as a teacher. However, it is important to

      remember that you are still working. You are not just chatting with random strangers. You have to always be professional but at the same time come off as friendly and approachable. As our trainers always say, students learn better when they are comfortable and enjoying the class. At first, I had to keep reminding myself to always smile and to talk at a pace that suits the level of the student. After a few classes, I finally had the grasp and I could now talk to my students in a manner that won’t bore them.

      I’ve been teaching for around two weeks now. From a one star rank, I have moved up to a two star teacher. As of now, I have earned Php 1178. For starters, I think that’s a pretty good compensation. I’m no longer broke for the summer! Their cut off is at every 15th and 30th of the month. They pay out every 20th and 5th day, respectively. You’ll need to have a BPI Express Teller account to receive your salary since they don’t accept any other banks.

      For a part-time job, I definetely have it great at 51talk.

Marie Great says :

re : For starters, I think that’s a pretty good compensation
Very good. You don’t even have to go to an office and get stuck to a traffic. :-)

Lady Sanzenin replies :

I know right? And that was just after two weeks of having few students. What more when I started having patrons? Now for one month, I get more than 10k given that I work for four hours a night only.

dj says :

Hi,can u give me some tips about their interview questions?

allan says :

I’ve tried applying in 51talk and got interviewed. The first thing they will ask you to do is to read words and then paragraphs. They will listen to your pronounciation skills. They will also ask you about your past experiences in teaching and ask you to tell about yourself. If I could remember, they will show you a picture and ask you to tell something about it for 2 minutes.

Galega says :

Rather than trying to know their interview questions, you should try to make yourself eligible for the same. You must be a native speaker with neutral accent. Please focus on accent, as it will come handy in getting the job. You should have BA degree or being enrolled with major at some university. You should have teaching experience. Needless to say, you should have complete grasp on English language, Grammar and punctuation, among others.

Abby Bonifacio says :

I have been working in 51talk for more than a year and I will be resigning after I get my waived penalty money back.

For those who are currently working in this company with penalty dispute that has been not been settle for quite some time now, try to file a complaint at National Labor Relations Commission or NLRC in Banawe corner Quezon Avenue, Q.C. and your problems will be settle right away. NLRC will always side with the employees as long as you’re not the one at fault. The process is easy but most of all it’s FREE. Just bring the contact information of the company like contact person, address and contact number. If you don’t know the name of the contact person since the staff hides under an alias in Skype, you can just put “the manager”, “HR manager” and so on. So don’t let anyone bully you or harass you especially with your hard earned money.

For those who are interested to work in this company, here are my experiences:

- The only good thing here is you get to “stay” at home. If you’re not worried about job security then this is for you. FYI, you don’t get a fixed salary here and you have to pay for your government mandatory benefits like SSS, Philhealth and etc. Your starting pay is P50 per class/student and the maximum is only P68 after you attend countless training sessions. Unlike in other similar company that starts at P70.

- Yes, the starting is P50 but you can get an increase of P4 after long training sessions. That’s right, a pathetic P4. It used to be automatic like you will start with 1 star then you will gradually get promoted as you get many stars from your student. But I guess the company do not want teachers to get an increase so easily. Before you can get to the P54 level, you will need to watch numerous videos about China, answer some quizzes base on the number of videos you watched and have conducted around 200 lessons then undergo one day training. But for P58 to P68 level, you will need to watch numerous videos again and do the same number of quizzes, you need to have conducted around 400 lessons then undergo the 3 day training.

- You will get your pay 10 days after the cut-off excluding holidays and weekends. It used to be 5 days. So if you are used to getting your salary on time then this is not for you.

- They will let you sign a contract as an Independent Service Provider (freelance) because you get to plot your own schedule. Sounds cool right? Well, not really, because they still require you to plot a minimum of 65 slots per cut-off or 130 slots per month. It used to be 50 slots. So I guess they are just trying to avoid paying the Online Teachers the mandatory government benefit hence the term Independent Service Provider and not because you can plot your own schedule. So much for being a freelance huh?

- This company and its local Filipino admins likes to earn money off of the teachers. Penalties are steep at P200 per class/student if you missed a class. This fee is deducted in real time without 1 second delay since it is automated already. During our onboarding, they promised that penalties will be waived on power outages, loss of net connection, emergency and sickness as long as we provide a proof. After all, those incidents are beyond our control. But in reality, when you are in already, they will never waived your penalty. They will keep on apologizing and making excuses/alibis until you just resign. Like what other other teachers do. But I’m different I chose to file a complaint because it’s my right, my money and it’s not my fault. So beware everyone.

- Another money making schemes are reimbursements. They required us to print our own tarpaulin with the company logo to serve as background while teacher. This tarpaulin is given to teachers before but now you have to print it by yourself and you are only promised a P100 reimbursement. The size of it is 3 ft by 3 ft. Now where can you print that kind of size for P100? I and a colleague spent more than P200 on ours but until now we were never reimbursed. She kept making follow ups so she was given a hard time by the company like delaying her salary until she just resigned. We were also ask to print out and sign the Service Agreement and notarize the Special Power of Attorney, all for just P100 but until now we have yet to get our money back. The Service Agreement itself cost nearly P100 because it consist of several pages.

- If you keep pestering them about your money they will bully you and pressure you until you just give up and resign. A fellow teacher was bullied by having her pay delayed. On my part, I was given several excuses and suddenly I’m experiencing a SUDDEN drop in student booking even though my ranking is high.

- If a student is absent they will only pay you half but if you are the one absent they will deduct P200 right away. I still don’t get the logic on why they only pay us half. Regular students have already paid for the class since they buy lesson packages so they should also pay us full when the student is absent. Whenever a student is absent, he or she do not get a refund so the company gets to keep the money.

- You should always check your pay because as they stated they only deduct P70 as remittance fee but there are a couple of times they deducted more that P90 from me. I called their attention to it but they didn’t even bother to answer my query and after that the remittance fee went down to P70 or less again.

- For P50 per class/student, you need to constantly take screenshots like a paranoid person to serve as your proof whether they will honor it or not. You need to secure screenshots that you have conducted the lesson, conversations with your admins, and anything that you think will protect you as this company is known to violate human rights. So I think P50 is not worth the trouble and stress.

- The admins will always side with the students once a student file a complaint against you. Even if the complaint is absurd and you have proof they will always side with them. Contrary to their promised during on boarding that they will defend you against the Chinese admins. In fairness, most of the students are nice and friendly but watch out for the power tripping ones. Be aware also that the admins can also make up a complaint against you if they want to kick you out. It’s not uncommon for them to kick you out without explanation.

- Until now, I do not understand why they prefer to constantly hire online teachers rather than treat them nicely. They are usually friendly and accommodating at first to make you feel that you made the right choice but after a few months their true color will come out. The only reason that I could think of is, they would rather have fresh teachers so that they only pay them P50 instead of more than that per class.

- They will always offer money for you to refer your friend and even offer signup bonus which are also misleading. These bonus and incentives are given in 2 or 3 monthly incentives depending on the amount. Before you get each incentive, there will be a corresponding time before you can accomplish them so some teachers will forget about it and for those who don’t, you will be given numerous excuses again. Normally, they will have no problem giving the 1st installment which is only P500 but they will make it harder for the succeeding ones.

- You will know that they are controlling the number of students you get. Like in my case, there will be a time when I’m suddenly getting free trial students then they will disappear altogether then numerous kids will book my class and so on.

- Try to read numerous reviews first before you jump into this company. Don’t mind the good reviews in Glassdoor because usually they are from NEW teachers who haven’t experience the company’s true color yet but mostly it’s from the staff of 51talk. If you read the positive reviews you will see it right away that it is from the company trying to raise their rating. There’s this review that is suggesting teachers to have back up power and internet. Now, who in their right mind would spend that amount of money in exchange for a measly sum of P50 per student/class?

- This company is unprofessional and a bully. They don’t respect the online teachers and will always force their way to you like you can’t make your own choice. For instance, they will give you a notice that you are eligible to teach this and that kind of student and if you are interested you need to book the position because it’s a first come first serve basis. After you decline and tell them that you’re not interested they will pester you again after several weeks until they will just tell you IN already. Violation of human rights at its best huh? Perhaps the local Filipino admins think that they are in communist China. But I held my ground and will not submit myself to their bullying.

There are many similar companies out their that will treat you well so have self respect and avoid this company. It’s true that this company is not strict in the hiring process because they are constantly hiring teachers but you need to think about the saying “easy come easy go”. You need to think why they make it easy for people to get in as if they don’t have any quality control.

But if you shall try out this company, then make sure that you won’t incur any penalty because you will never get your money back unless you file a complaint with NLRC.

Again, if you are still disputing a penalty or still waiting to get your money back then file a complaint in NLRC. You will get your money back right away because the company would want to settle because they will look pathetic and be in a bad light if it goes big and public. Complaint filing is free even after it is settled. So don’t be afraid to file a complaint. Don’t just hide behind your computer and convey your disgust in a forum but also file a complaint at the same time. Don’t let a company bully or harass you whether it’s just P100 or P500, because after all, it’s your hard earned money and it is not your fault. Remember P100 can be your earnings for the whole day already since you don’t have any control over students booking your class and P100 is also someones minimum wage for the day already.

I hope my experiences will help you make a better decision.

Jan Paula says :

Hello, Abby. My name is Jan Paula and I’m a blogger. I would like to get your permission to use this (your review). I hope I’ll get a yes from you. _ Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to your reply.

RS staff says :

ReviewStream.com owns copyright. Copying of anything published on website is illegal.
One can only use short excerpt, followed by the link to the source. Regards )

Bob Stoloff says :

Dear Abby,

Thank you for clarifying this company. just a few moments ago I received an e-mail from 51 T.O. out of the blue asking me to sign up for an interview. I had no idea what this was or who sent it (nothing personal in the message) so I just figured it was just another scheme. Sounds to me like it is. I’m very glad I searched this out and discovered a description of your experience.



Jo says :

Thank you so much for putting this review online. I was contacted through INDEED jobsite about applying for this. After reading what you wrote thoroughly I know this is not going to benefit me. Just curious, are you proficient in the English language because I noticed errors. I’m wondering if it may have had anything to do with their treatment.

Fae says :

You mention other companies that pay and treat their teachers better. Would you be able to mention which companies these are?

jane says :

thanks. won’t pursue with the interview. they also sent me job offer.teaching online for OFW. wont waste my valuable time for just 50pesos per student.

Diana says :

What if I have skybroadband internet , can I still use it as my internet provider while teaching .. and I can say that it has the speed eith dsl

Farr says :

Hi. Is it easy to resign in 51talk ? Many would say that 51talk is better than BIBO, which affected me that quick and got discouraged because I just passed the interview under BIBO and they said 51talk has better to offer in terms of the salary while BIBO has lesser compared to 51talk and that BIBO has penalty. Now that I’ve read your review with 51talk, I am totally afraid to sign-up :( Maybe it’s better for me to pursue my application in BIBO :(

Lynda says :

Hi Ms. Fae,
I am currently teaching at 51talk. This review is absolutely right penalty is everywhere I am planning to resign. I am just waiting for my incentive to be given. I have 2 part time, 51talk and Weblio. Weblio is a good company Teacher-friendly and you’ll have a chance to teach Japanese students which are way way better and respectful than chinese. Try it, the process of application is very easy. No need to undergo pathetic training just to have a promotion. Give it a try :D

Mj says :

Oh hi there, thanks for those information because currently and just to be honest? Im planning to apply for that part time since i just worked for 5days a week as a call center agent here in cavite. Randomly i just search about reviews about that 51 talk company and then boom thanks for those info. Will not apply for that part time anymore. Thanks once again.

Nicho says :

Hi Ms. Lynda.. How can we get the promotion?

kris says :

Thank you for this post. I undergone my first interview but I didn’t pursue because I have been in doubt. Your message is a good sign that this work is not for me.

Mir says :

Thank you very much I was invited to work for them and after reading this - no way.
Thank you from Europe

Thea says :

Hello, Ms. Lynda I just wanna know if Weblio is accepting working students with no teaching experience? :) thankyou

Ryz says :

if her english isn’t proficient enough, they shouldn’t have hired her in the first place. they did and by doing so, she became their employee and employees are entitled to fair wages, fair treatment and respect :)

Christian says :

Woah. I signed up a few minutes ago. I’ve been thinking on applying for 51Talk for quite sometime now, and a fool of me for not thinking on reading a reviews of it. I might as well reject or ignore their upcoming notifications. Thank you for this. It is an awakening. I better look for another sources.

joe smith says :

It’s a requirement that you have a wired internet. Skybroadband is a satellite and it wouldn’t work with the software.

Galega says :

A bachelor’s degree and proficiency in speaking English with neutral accent are two of many requirements to be eligible for teacher. You are a working student. You haven’t mentioned your qualification, but if you have not gotten your bachelor’s degree, then you won’t be eligible. Check out the entire eligibility criteria before applying.

DD says :

I’m a home-based teacher at 51talk but I still don’t know if there is an age limit? I have a lot of people asking me about this job. No one from 51talk responded to my question. Can anyone help me?

Tom Koenig says :

I’m 65 so I don’t think there’s really an age limit. Just make sure you don’t have any illusions about this place going in. They tend to be authoritarian and very rigid. And they do love to fine you. Also the website software has traps in it that can cost you fines and they aren’t terribly sympathetic that you had to pay them $ 23.50 to teach a half hour class because their software dumped your lesson memo without telling you they’d signed you off the site a half hour earlier.

I would like to work someplace else, even though I’m very attached to my kids. But they demanded we take something like 60 hours of training for a couple of TOESL certifications last year from an outside company. I have a BA in English too. But they are holding our TOESL certifications for 2 years. If we quit, we lose the certifications and by the way we didn’t get paid to take the training.

Their management model is very authoritarian, but about what you’d expect from a Chinese company. Good old communism through and through. - Tom

Galega says :

They haven’t provided any age limit - both minimum and maximum. However, they are asking for bachelor’s degree. That is the minimum qualification. Now, you can guess the minimum age when one can get bachelor’s degree. That will be the lower limit of age criteria. There isn’t any upper limit, and hence if you are proficient in English and have bachelor’s degree then you can apply whatever your age might be.

anonymous says :

hello..i am really interested applying here..but my internet is 4g but is hardwired to my computer witb 3mbps speed..will that work?

MZtech says :

The Internet speed of 3 MBps is okay for working but I don’t think your data allowance for consumption of 4Gb isn’t enough. Video call eats up a lot of data.

Aihyen says :

Hello po, I just want to ask how do you teach your students? Is it through skype or other application? Thanks

Lady Sanzenin replies :

Lessons maybe done through skype, QQ or Airclass (company patented software, i believe). You’d have to install all three and they will just provide you with log in credentials/account.

Galega says :

You just need to have Internet connection with sufficient data usage limit. Don’t worry about the software. Once selected, it is the responsibility of 51Talk to provide you all technical assistance. They will ask you to install a tailor made software. Recently, they have also started to use Zoom Video conferencing software for this purpose.

ana maria says :

Hi I am already 50 years old and didn’t finished any college courses but i have a 10 years experience as a sign language interpreter inside a regular classroom in elementary and high school,,can i apply as one of your online home-based english teacher at 51talk?thanks a lot

allan says :

There is no age limit in 51talk as long as you can teach good english well. Teaching experience is also an advantage in applying. If you meet all the requirements then they will hire you. Instead of you can teach good english, they will also consider your internet connection and speed. And even your computer hardware like your webcam and headset.

Galega says :

Bachelor’s degree is basic requirements. I don’t think they will consider your application, as you don’t satisfy the basic criteria. Apart from providing teachers, they also need to continue to work on their portfolio where they can show that they don’t make any compromise on basic eligibility criteria. Their users also go through these criteria before selecting them. There isn’t any upper age limit, and hence age is not an issue with you.

ailyn layno says :

Hi is this exclusive for teachers only?

al says :

51talk is not only exclusive for teachers. Whatever college degree you took, as long as you can fluently speak english, has a good english communication skills, and able to teach it with others. There are free training you can find in the internet about teaching ESL or english as second language course. Just google it. Having ESL training is an advantage in applying as online english teacher.

Galega says :

If you have teaching experience, then that would be an added advantage. What you need to have is bachelor’s degree and proficiency in English with neutral accent. Needless to say, it is NOT exclusive for teachers.

X 51talk says :

I used to be a 51talk esl teacher. This company is so unprofessional. I got banned without prior notice, worst of all hindi man lang binayaran ang weeks na pinagtrabahoan ko. Those were regular peak hour classes, I stayed up late for nothing Nice 51talk nice

Tamara Baldonado says :

Dude. Your experience is not uncommon. I have read a comment in Glassdoor from someone who had a similar experience. Don’t let this company bully you. It’s not your lost that you got banned at least you now have the opportunity to look for a better company but not getting your pay is another story. So I would suggest that you go to National Labor Relations Commission or NLRC in Banawe St. Quezon City and file a complaint there. Even if you are just and Independent Service Provider they are covered by Dept. of Labor.

The process is really simple and easy but most of all it is FREE. You just get a form from an officer then you will fill out the form. You should have the 51talk address, contact number and contact person on hand plus your contact information. If you don’t know the name of the contact person since they hide behind aliases in Skype then you can use “Manager” and other position title. After filling out the form, the officer will hear your predicament and they will schedule a date for you and a representative of the company to meet and settle the issue. Usually a company will send their lawyers to attend the meeting and you can bring a family or friend along. Both of you will face an arbitrator then you just tell them what happened and that you want your money back. Believe me, they will settle right away - right then and there because they can’t afford negative publicity also for ripping teachers off. You don’t need to be afraid or worry because, as long as you’re not at fault, NLRC will always side with employees. You need to specify the amount in the form.

In your case, whatever you did to get banned they don’t have the right to hold your pay because you have already done your work. So please don’t be afraid nor hesitate to file a complaint because no amount is too small if it involves your own mone and you worked hard for it and it’s not your fault. Whether it’s P100 or P500 it’s still your money. Remember P100 can already be your earnings for the day if you have few students that day and it could be someone’s minimum wage for the day already.

Lastly, should you file a complaint with the NLRC and just in case, they didn’t bring enough money to settle with you and they will promise the arbiter that they promised to deposit it in your account. You can refused that if you don’t trust they will deposit your money soon, instead you can ask the arbiter to meet again on a certain date and have 51talk pay you in full in front of the arbiter on that day.

desirie naputo says :

I’m interested…i’m a full time mom with 1 daughter…i’m undergrad with a bsba major in marketing course….do you think i’m capable for this job…i dont have any experience of teaching…but i know i can do that job…tnx

Nimfa I. says :

I was an undergrad of Journalism when I applied at 51 Talk. I also told the interviewer that I have a one-year old son. As long as there will be someone to look over your child while you’re teaching, it’s going to be fine. Good news is that I passed the interview over Skype. Bad news is I didn’t have a stable Internet connection during that time.

They will ask you to conduct a speed test to determine your upload and download speed. They have a standard number for that and if you didn’t pass, they will ask you to fix the issue first and come back when everything’s okay. Better have a LAN connection than Wi-Fi. The woman who interviewed me was very nice and she just asked me about my background. They will notice it naman while you’re talking if you can speak fluent English. They’re actually very considerate but I did not apply again because I got hired for another job.

Roselle says :

Good afternoon, I’m an applicant for HBT [at] 51talk and I already passed the phone interview and I have speedtest scheduled for today. The interviewer yesterday told me he will send me an email and wil leave a message at my skype for the instruction in speedtest. But there is no email not even a message. So I’m clueless this morning what to do and I already contact everyone in 51talk but no one reply and even the 51talkrecruitmment in skype is offline. Do I have to apply again or wait for the rescheduling of my speedtest?

Eric Anderson says :

This company booked several interviews with me that they did not honour. Always lame excuses. After the third one I told them to get lost. Their answer “good luck with your future career and God bless” Having read the above comments I had a narrow escape.

Cristine says :

Hi..I’m so excited to apply for 51talk. Can I ask if what Languages mostly the teachers will handle?

Japheth says :

Hi Cristine,

51talk offers to their clients an English online tutor. So, the qualification is you should be fluent in english languange. They only offers english lessons so they don’t have any other language used except english.

Galega says :

You will teach English to Chinese students. That is the only language requirements. They don’t offer any other language teaching course.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2014. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 621041629810130/k2311a0421/4.21.14
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