Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Why Teach English Online? The evidence of teaching English Online is a great source of job opportunity is apparent, especially the explosive demand grow in English learning in populous China in the past few years. Here are some tips for teachers who are interested about English Online teaching platforms in China. The demand for English teachers is growing across the educational spectrum. There are a LOTS of online teaching platforms out there, it could very overwhelming without knowing which one to choose from and not knowing the legitimacy of the schools. Here is the guide to help you understand the commonalities of those platforms and their focuses.
Which Online English Platform to Work with?
There are many, many, many of them out there. Here are some basic criteria and distinctions among them,
Hourly rate - average $15~$25 USD, but could also range from $10~$40
Class duration - range from 25-min to 90 min (40 min session + 10 min break + 40 min session)
Class level - preschool, K12 (elementary, middle, high school), college prep, adult, etc.
Class size - one-on-one, small group 4~6, mid size group 10~20, to large group 20+
Minimal hour commitment per week - range from 2 to 8 hours
Training - onboarding and ongoing teacher training. Paid vs. unpaid training.
Class hours - morning 9am~12pm, evening 3~7pm, night 7~11pm. Depending on the timezone you located, morning and night time class in Beijing/Taiwan are good time for US in general.
Time zone - no worry, the entire China and Taiwan are in the same time zone, UTC +08:00.
Here are list of online teaching platforms,
Review and apply to all the platforms and school individually could be a very daunting and time consuming task. But don’t you worry, Oakary is here to help you with the process and connect you to wide varieties of platforms and opportunities. We also provide free consultancy for the job candidates for questions like interview process and advices free of charge.
We take our work seriously when choosing which teaching platform to work with. The quality of the teaching platforms are our first priority in order to provide an environment where teachers can excel and enjoy teaching experience.
Fill in the application https://oakary.com/apply
We’ll either connect you to the HR of the specific platform that you specified or we will match you with the roles that is suitable for your qualification and get you a job sooner!
HR will reach out to you for interview if it’s a good match. HR will walk you through the process with their process. However, you’re alway welcome to contact us at email@example.com for help or feedback!
Which Video Software App to Use for Teaching?
Majority of the time, the teaching platforms use their internal teaching software that you need to install on your computer to teaching.
However, for smaller or relatively new programs, some platforms use Skype or Zoom. Due to the Great Firewall in China, service like Google hangout won’t work and not reliable due the unstable Internet over VPN network.
Time Zone, Time Zone, Time Zone
Time zone conversation could throw everything off if you’re not too familiar with it, especially the daylight saving could be very confusing first. Luckily, even China crosses multiple time zones, but is using only one time zone in China as Beijing time and Taiwan is Taipei time. Both countries, Taiwan and China, are in the same time zone, UTC +08:00.
Peak hours are also a big factor of the hours you will be working, which is typically range somewhere between 5pm to 11pm Beijing time, where most of the students are online after school or work. Many schools require teacher to commit to a minimal peak hours to help disgusting the volume, this is also the time where you'll get most class booking from students.
Many teachers live in the new era of digital nomad, where Online English teaching can actually be a full time job, which just requires you to be wise about finding complementary peak hours and off-peak hours by working for multiple schools based on your and schools' schedule.
There is two important part of the communications to be aware here, the medium of the communication and the interpersonal communication.
Let’s talk about the medium of the communication first. China is relying on mobile-centric communication, which means most of the communication happens on the mobile phone in China instead of email communication, including the class schedule, events updates, and class materials, etc. Skype and WeChat or perhaps platform’s internal software would be your pal for communication.
Here is another critical part of the communication, the interpersonal communication. There are often conflicts occur between the teachers and platforms due to the language barriers and cultural barriers, which leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding of each other. As a writer, I’ll elaborate on some personal experience and understanding as a person who received education in Taiwan until middle school, then high school and college education from the United States and currently working in San Francisco, but also had worked in Taiwan and China before. I’m doing a lot of generalization and assumption here, which do not necessarily applicable to specific individuals or cases, but a general idea to help you understand the potential circumstance.
In Chinese culture, the conversations between hierarchical relationship are often less open compare to the western culture, which includes parent-child, teacher-student, and employer-employee type of relationships. As you might heard of the term, tiger mom, which imply Chinese parent(s), but not always Moms! The parents that are coming out of good deed but overly emphasize on enforcing specific skill, especially in academic measurement like straight As. However, the good deed often turned into the constant conflicts between the children and the parents, because the decisions are drawn directly from the parent(s) in commanding manner without much room for open conversation and negotiation. So don’t be scared or shocked when the situation is presented to you, but perhaps it is an opportunity for you to show some compassion toward both the children and the parents or act as a mediator among the them as those type of conflicts occur. However, the same principle might be hinting in the employer-employee circumstances, where employer might have the default attitude of that there is no explanation toward employee is necessary. However, it usually turns out to be a unpleasant experience for both parties, especially people who are not expecting nor custom to those kind of mentality. However, you should not be discouraged by the situation if that ever happened to you, but try to reach out to different people who are open to the discussion and be persist in a subtle and less intrusive manner. Intrusive and direct manner might be interpreted by the manager as you’re questioning the authority or doubt their abilities or the system, which might trigger a worse scenario and result a closed conversation.
If you’re excited and ready to apply for the online English job, here is the link https://oakary.com/apply.
Good luck on your English teaching journey!