51Talk - Great legit work at home job! | Glassdoor

Find your next job here

There are newer employer reviews for 51Talk
There are newer employer reviews for 51Talk

See Most Recent

Helpful (4)

"Great legit work at home job!"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
Current Employee - ESL Teacher
Current Employee - ESL Teacher

I have been working at 51Talk part-time

Pros

I love being able to set my own schedule to fit around my busy life. I get paid on a consistant (once a month) basis. I've never had any trouble receiving my pay. It's enjoyable to meet new students and to watch your regular students improve in their English understanding and speech!

Cons

The rating system for the teachers could be improved. I feel like the administration is a bit short staffed at times, but they do try their best to answer any questions or problems that you may have. I also wish there was a possibility to request a sub when an emergency arises without incurring any penalty.

Advice to Management

Revise the teacher rating system. It needs to be easier for the students to rate accurately based upon the teaching skills of the teacher. Internet connection and camera open/closed should not affect the teacher's overall score as this is something we have no control over.

Emergencies happen. Don't penalize teachers with documented proof of an emergency! Allow teachers to request a sub without penalizing them for an absence. I

Other Employee Reviews for 51Talk

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Decent Alternative to VIPKID. Until that one mistake."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Junior Teacher in Columbia, SC
    Current Contractor - Junior Teacher in Columbia, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at 51Talk as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Ability to earn promotions (i.e. hire pay)(However, the system takes 3-5 days - often longer- to change you to your new pay rate).
    - A couple programs keep you doing different kinds of classes (i.e. free trials, 1v4 classes, adults, etc)(However they are poorly executed)
    - You pick your schedule, and can change it fairly easily as long as slots aren't filled.
    - Less relentless cancellation policy than other companies (you have a few more absences allowed).

    Cons

    - Very slow Support. It literally takes hours to get a response now that they have changed to a non-ticket system. Now you have to wait for the 13 people in front of you. Or 35 during peak hours. Even then, they might just not answer you.
    - Support bounces you around. There's e-mail, the chat system, Skype, and the phone. They all like to refer you to a different Support team, even if you tell them that Support team wont answer.
    - Support is not in your classroom, and does very little to help you (and especially the student) in case of technical issues. This means you have to act as a Support member in case something goes wrong.
    - Policy means you earn half if you can't teach for more than 12 minutes in a class. So, if the student is late, or has a technical issue... you sat there for the full time, put in a lot of work to get through the lesson quickly, or figure out the technical issues, and still only get paid $3.25-5.50 depending on your position.
    - System updates are poorly focused. For example, they have added a "beautifying" filter to the classes room so that the teacher is whiter and has bigger eyes. Instead, they should have made a teacher app so you can access your schedule outside of your computer.
    - MAJOR: all of the class times are in Beijing time even though every website in the world will convert the time for you. This makes it very stressful, since you are always worried that you calculated your time differences wrong. There is no reason the time zones should not be in your local time zone. They claim that this is so people will give the Support Team Beijing Time, but honestly, it'd be easier if they just said that and gave us local time.
    - Lessons are written by a non-native English speaker. This means the "American Academy" lessons are a bit of a joke, since they are not particular to American English as they should be.
    - MAJOR: Teachers are not respected by this company. If the business is a restaurant, the students are the customers, and we are the wait staff. There are few things in the works to protect us or make us happy. See below:
    - Students can book a class within less than a minute of a class!!!
    - Students can cancel lessons two hours before. This stinks since you are probably waking up at 5am for that class. To wake up and see your class has been canceled, and worse, you aren't getting paid for it is awful. It can be difficult to fill that class in such short notice too.
    - I don't have a problem with the teacher absence penalties. I think they are reasonable. However, it is ridiculous that if your student is absent, you have to wait in the classroom for the full 25 minutes, but only get paid half for the lesson. The student should pay you for your time, and their disrespect of it.
    - No incentives. They advertise incentives, but the only one is for Free Trials. And this one is a load of crap because they allow new students 5 Free Trials!!! That means if you are the first Free Trial, you are very unlikely to get the student booked, and therefore unlikely to get the petty $3 incentive.
    - Management doesn't listen. I've e-mailed them frequently over the lesson materials, lack of Support, etc and they just say, "Rest assured, we are checking into this."
    - They lock your account, and wipe your unbooked slots at soon as you're being "observed." They will unlock your account and immediately complain that you don't have your schedule opened.
    - They don't seem to have expectations for the children. For example, the children rarely wear headphones, making it difficult to hear them over the background noise in their lives.
    - The children and parents don't seem to be briefed on how to use the classroom. They rarely know that they can draw on the lesson. They are not interested in typing. They also never seem to see the messages you send them in the chat. This is really unfortunate since you often have to use the translator feature when trouble shooting technical issues.
    - Parents: The parents are always there, and basically hindering the children OR they aren't there, and the children don't care since no one expects them to.
    - They expect you to have a white background. Now.... I don't understand this. Why shouldn't it be colorful or fun?
    - The Chinese website literally says, "Pick your own teacher: black, white, skinny, fat!" like we're food. It encourages racism. It's really awful.
    - About 2/3's of the lessons are lackluster. They do not have enough material, so you end up having to improvise.
    - The downfalls of the company often end up being reflected in the reviews the parents give you.
    - The review system seems to be poor and confusing. Students constantly rate my internet as poor, but my speed tests are always more than adequate. This means it is their speed that is the problem. This also means that the review system does not make it clear that they should check their own computer before they wreck a teacher's life.
    - The reviews are pretty heavily weighted. One "great" review quickly pulls down your "excellent" score.
    - The Support team belittles your requests to review a review, even when you have objective evidence it is an inaccurate rating.
    - You have to constantly take screen shots and run speed tests to make sure you have evidence in case something happens.

    Advice to Management

    Read my cons. You guys have a lot of work to do to make 51Talk a respectable company. Right now it may be working, but it isn't a great place for teachers.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "ESL Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is decent, if you're able to secure bookings.

    Cons

    Very difficult to secure bookings, you're completely on your own and the company does not help to connect teachers with students. Students can book your class right up to the second it starts and if teacher isn't present, 51Talk charges enormous penalty fees. So picture yourself sitting at or near your computer for 3 hours with open classes and no students. No students means you don't get paid ... anything. You're also required to use Skype with an email address/password that the company provides. My Skype account always got locked down for "spam" and it's a royal pain to unlock it. The company provides no help in this situation, such as a new email address/password, etc - talk to Skype, it's not our problem. The company also does not answer questions. You'll ask something like "I see that I've taught enough classes to move up to the next pay grade, why haven't I advanced?" and there will be no response from the company. There's also a Facebook group for teachers, however your join request will either be ignored or approved/later removed. It makes no sense. Overall, I'm sorry to say, but I feel like this company is a gimmick.

    Advice to Management

    Support your teachers. Communicate with your teachers. Answer your teachers' questions. Connect students and teachers so that students can learn and teachers can earn money. It's basic stuff, 51Talk.

There are newer employer reviews for 51Talk
There are newer employer reviews for 51Talk

See Most Recent

Work at 51Talk? Share Your Experiences

51Talk
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or