Online school needs more English teachers for Chinese market

Jennifer Que (right), vice president of Philippine operations for 51Talk, and Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, executive director of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology, at a press briefing at the 51Talk center in Bacolod City on Friday (July 13, 2018). (Photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)

THE CITY OF BACOLOD — Online English school 51Talk is hiring more teachers in the Philippines to reach its goal of 100,000 at-home mentors for young Chinese learners over the next five years.

One of 51Talk’s three central facilities in the country is at the Negros First Cyber ​​Center in Bacolod, where it held a press briefing and open house on Friday.

Jennifer Que, 51Talk’s vice president for operations in the Philippines, said they have nearly 14,000 Filipino teachers at home, including more than 600 in Negros Occidental, mostly in Bacolod.

“Bacolod itself is growing and expanding. Our goal within five years is 100,000 homeschoolers in the Philippines,” she said.

Established in China seven years ago, 51Talk began operations in the Philippines in 2012. Its first two centers are in Pasig and Baguio, followed by Bacolod, which opened in May 2017.

Those hired undergo training at these centers before embarking on full-time or part-time homeschooling.

Applicants should have a college degree and speak good English, and should have the ability to home school with a reliable internet connection and a good computer.

“The teacher needs a high-speed wired internet connection because the lessons are all video,” Que said.
She said 55% of candidates fail due to lack of wired internet connection.

Que said home teachers can earn between PHP 30,000 and 80,000 per month, depending on how much work they put in.

Through a virtual learning platform, learners, mostly between the ages of seven and 12, from various locations in China, take live, interactive and fun one-to-one English lessons with teachers from the Philippines.

“They teach English for 25 minutes online to a child. Chinese children with their parents choose the materials. I would say 80% of the conversation time would come from the student, the teacher only guides the child for 25 minutes,” Que said.

Based on the 51Talk Philippines company profile, this personalized approach to learning English has become a pioneering strategy that has changed the online English as a Second Language (ESL) scene, as it makes more immersive English teaching, providing optimal conversation time for students during their lesson. (NAP)