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

Employee Review

Employee Review

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

Other Employee Reviews

  1. 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.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Scam...doing business with China is different..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Teacher in Boston, MA
    Former Contractor - Teacher in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at 51Talk as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -the POTENTIAL to make a lot of money and gain experience in the ESL business
    -connects you to Chinese children and adults giving you the ability to learn about Chinese culture and language
    -make your own schedule (although there are strict guidelines to follow)

    Cons

    -awful communication with support and helpers in Beijing
    -they CHARGE you if you do not teach classes (I ended up with -$141.50 one month, due to an illness, and they would not take away the charges even with doctor's notes)
    -awful training that is time consuming and confusing because the trainers talk too fast and give too many instructions
    -they are completely disorganized
    -again, they CHARGE if you miss a class
    -time difference is huge (+12 here on the East Coast, meaning you will be working all night)
    -they do not accept illnesses or sickness, even with doctor's proof, as an acceptable reason for an absence
    -lots of rules that are hard to follow because they are monotonous and tedious
    -they are often rude when they do decide to communicate
    -they offer raises (promotions) yet it is extremely hard to achieve (you need to have perfect attendance, perfect rating from students, attend and "pass" several trainings)
    -they need you to understand you are working with a Chinese company and their rules apply but they disregard that their employees are American...
    -they only pay via pay pal - they pay once a month - they take out a lot of fees
    -they hacked my computer to add HUGE files to my system... a lot of them hidden files that I needed to have fixed by Apple
    -I reported them to the BBB, Glassdoor, and FTC

    Advice to Management

    you are awful! you take advantage of your employees! Not a good way to do business...

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