WITH the rapid globalization brought about by advancements in technology, English has now become the de facto lingua franca for any international traveler or businessman.
However, there are several countries around the world that have difficulty learning how to communicate effectively in English, with the biggest group being the Chinese.
The growing middle class of China and the growing affluence of its citizens has prompted schools to start teaching English as a form of communication with other cultures.
However, the classroom approach, while allowing Chinese people to pass standardized English tests, does not solve the matter of communicating with other English speakers effectively.
For Jack Huang and Sue Ting, this problem prompted them to create a company that aims to teach English through an immersive one-on-one approach between student and foreign teacher.
Today, 51Talk is the biggest online English language teaching company.
Just recently, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the stock symbol COE (China Online Education Group).
“51Talk is the only online education company listed in the world, and the first listed high-tech company listed in the US in 2016,” Sue said.
The Philippines is 51Talk’s base of operations for teachers.
According to Sue, Filipinos are best-equipped to teach English to their Chinese clients.
“My background is in linguistics and second language acquisition, and I believe that the most effective way to improve one’s ability to learn or speak English is to have one-on-one lessons with English speaking teachers. I got to know that the Philippines is the top English speaking country in Asia and the Filipinos’ English proficiency is very high as evidenced by the rapidly-growing number of call centers in the
country. Filipinos are extremely passionate and very familiar with Western culture, making them the perfect choice to be English language teachers for Chinese students,” she shared.
Today, the company has over 8,000 Filipinos working as English language online teachers.
“We go through hundreds of resumes daily, and select only the best candidates, with preference to teachers with teaching experience. They need to undergo a stringent recruitment process, with the final test being an actual teaching demo with a live client. After that, we provide multiple training sessions every month to ensure that our teachers
can pass on the best knowledge to our students in the most effective way” Sue added.
“We invest a lot in our teachers’ training and development, and ensure that our teachers love their job, because only in that way can we be sure that they love their students from the bottom of their heart,” she added.
The company’s preference for licensed teachers become apparent after a glance at their clients.
51Talk customers come from different age groups. According to Sue, the needs of elementary students are different from university students or professionals, and individuals with teaching experience are the best fit for their younger customers.
One of the biggest draws of 51Talk as a company is that it allows its teachers to work from home and create their teaching hours based on their schedule and needs.
One of 51Talk’s core tenets is flexibility. Clients can choose what time they want to take lessons and how frequent these lessons are. This also extends to their English teachers.
This high degree of freedom makes 51Talk attractive to professionals who have spare time on their hands. By becoming part-time teachers, these individuals are able to supplement their income based on the work that they put in.
For those who want to make a career out of it, 51Talk allows teachers to move up in rank using a star system.
“When someone starts out as an English instructor, they are given a one-star rank. After completing a set amount of lessons and in-house training modules, they can move up in rank, all the way to 5-star. The best performing teachers can even earn over P80, 000 a month or more than P1 million in a year,” Sue said.
51Talk continues to lead the online English education industry by providing a high volume of work opportunities -- noble English teaching jobs with competitive earnings in the Philippines.
51Talk’s unique teaching platform allows teachers to work from their homes, choose their own schedules, participate in regular and continuous
teacher training, and have full access to the company’s online support and mentoring officers.
These create favorable lifestyle changes for 51Talk’s online home-based English teachers -- they can have more time to spend with their family and avoid hassles that one usually gets from a regular nine-to-five office job, such as commuting and graveyard shifts.
51Talk teachers find their work very meaningful, as they are able to make positive changes in their students’ lives. (PR)