Online teaching with BlingABC — company reviews, application and working hours

BlingABC offers stability in more ways than one, providing teachers with the opportunity to earn a competitive salary while working from home.

Established in 2017, BlingABC may be new to the online ESL world, but they've become one of the fastest-growing companies in this space. BlingABC offers stability in more ways than one, as they're associated with the education conglomerate - New Oriental Education & Technology Group - one of China's first overseas listed education and training institutions found on the New York stock exchange.

Their primary goal is to create and nurture a learning environment for young learners across China. Along with a fantastic curriculum, they believe that consistency is the key when it comes to education. Therefore, they offer students and teachers a fixed schedule that's assigned each semester. If you're eager to work from anywhere in the world while earning a lucrative salary, BlingABC is an excellent choice, offering incredible hourly rates and incentives. Online ESL teachers from outside of North America have something to celebrate, as BlingABC requires their teachers to be Native English speakers with a neutral accent.

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BlingABC is an incredible company to work for if you can meet their requirements. So if you're ready to get started, here are a few details you'll need to know before applying with BlingABC:

Job Requirements

Compared to other ESL companies, the requirements for BlingABC are pretty standard. If you're eager to pass the initial screening, here are a few BlingABC requirements you'll need to consider before starting the application process:

● Native English speaker with a neutral accent

● Bachelor’s Degree or above

● TEFL/TESOL/CELTA or locally recognizable teaching credentials

● ESL teaching experience. Experience teaching children is a bonus

Unfortunately, you will need to have some form of teaching experience when applying to BlingABC. However, if you can meet the requirements listed above, then you'll have the chance to earn a competitive salary while working from your living room, or anywhere in the world. However, these aren't the only requirements you'll need to pass during your initial screening. Because you'll be teaching group classes, you'll need to satisfy a few technical specifications that will allow your virtual classroom to run smoothly.

You’ll need an Intel Core i5 or equivalent, an HD webcam (internal or external), a headset with microphone, and a wired internet connection. You'll need to have a download and upload speed of 20 Mbps for the platform to perform effectively. You will also need a screen resolution of 1280 x 720, and 4GB RAM (but 6GB is suggested).

Job Overview

Whether it's the comfort of your living room in Australia or the bustling city of Bangkok, BlingABC offers you the chance to work from anywhere in the world (provided you meet the technical requirements). It's an incredible opportunity for experienced ESL teachers to earn a lucrative salary while working with amazing young students from across China. Teachers have the chance to receive a base rate of up to $27 per hour - which is one of the highest rates on the ESL market. Your base rate excludes the incentives you'll also receive, with some BlingABC teachers reporting that they earn an incredible $40/hour with incentives.

Students are between the ages of 5 - 15 years old, so you will need to have a passion for teaching young learners. While teachers are allowed to create their schedule, you'll need to keep in mind that BlingABC works with a fixed schedule. Classes are usually scheduled two weeks in advance, with teachers needing to submit their desired time slots to management. The length of one slot is 40-minutes, which you'll teach in a group setting. If you prefer teaching one-on-one classes, then this is probably not the company for you, as the minimum number of students in a classroom is three.

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How much can you earn with BlingABC?

The BlingABC base rate ranges between $21 - $27 per hour, which they calculate according to your teaching experience, qualifications, and how well you performed during the interview process.

Teachers are re-evaluated every six months and have the opportunity to increase their base rate if they've performed well throughout the six months. If you show up on time and maintain a high quality of teaching throughout the six months, you'll have the chance to earn a more competitive salary through BlingABC's Excellence Package Program.

Reportedly, teachers who have exceptional teaching backgrounds and performances can earn up to $51/hour. However, this is more the exception than the rule. But the average you can expect to receive is around $24/hour.

It's important to note that while you'll earn an hourly rate, each class is 40-minutes in length. This means that your pay will range between $14 - $18 per lesson - which is still a great deal since this excludes the incentives you'll likely earn.

Incentives

Teachers can earn up to $40/hour with BlingABC's incentive system. These incentives include: working on weekends, perfect attendance, working with short notice, and substituting for another teacher. The bonuses range between $2 - $6 per class.

If classes are cancelled 48 hours in advance by students, the teacher receives the full payment for that lesson. Teachers receive their salary before the 10th of each month via a direct bank transfer.

The Application Process

The application process is easy and straightforward and shouldn't take longer than two weeks to complete.

Submit Application

To complete the first step, you'll need to head to the BlingABC website and complete your profile. You'll need to provide your basic information, qualifications and teaching experience, along with a recent TEFL resume.

Interview

Once you've passed the initial screening, you'll schedule an interview with a BlingABC recruiter via Skype. You'll need to answer a few standard interview questions such as: why are you applying, what makes you a great fit, what teaching experience do you have? This is a time for the interviewer to get to know your personality, so make sure you're not just answering the questions, but also showing off your personality. The entire interview is 30 minutes and will include a 20-minute demo lesson.

BlingABC will provide you with the demo material beforehand. It’s also a great idea to review and practice the material to help you feel more confident about your delivery. If you’re looking for inspiration, there are incredible videos online and guides to online demo lesson that can help you navigate this nerve-wracking time. Again, your teaching personality and style is what the recruiter is keeping an eye on, so make sure that you showcase this. TPR (Total Physical Response) is another factor that will help you ace this demo lesson, so make sure that you’re using plenty of this. Adding props to your demo lesson is another excellent way to impress the recruiter.

Orientation

Once you've passed your interview and demo class, you'll move on to the orientation. During this time, you'll learn about the history of BlingABC, the schedule, policies, and have a technical test. This session can be booked via the teacher's portal and should take 60 minutes to complete.

Onboarding

During the onboarding process, you'll learn about BlingABC's platform - Roombox. It's a chance for you to get familiar with the platform before your mock class. This session is approximately 120 minutes.

Mock Class

Once you've completed your training, it's time to move on to the mock class. As usual, you'll receive the material beforehand, so make sure you thoroughly review the lesson. The mock class is approximately 30 minutes and will be conducted with two or more BlingABC staff members pretending to be young students. It's not only a chance for you to show off your incredible teaching skills, but also the knowledge you've learned through your orientation and onboarding training, specifically about the platform. The perfect mock class recipe includes: having a quiet environment with lots of good lighting, a few props, plenty of TPR, and a fun "classroom" background. If you have all the ingredients, and you're well-prepared, this portion of the application process should be a breeze.

Contract

Once you've passed your mock class, you'll need to provide all the necessary documents required by BlingABC. This includes copies of your TEFL/TESOL certificate and bachelor's degree. According to BlingABC teachers, the contract lasts six months. The possibility to renew your contract and improve your salary depends on your teaching performance during the six months.

Apply to BlingABC

Teaching Hours & Schedule

If you’re someone who enjoys consistency, then BlingABC is a great choice. They offer a fixed schedule across four semesters. This means that you'll have the same schedule for the entire semester, allowing you to plan ahead and around your teaching hours. It also means that you may have the same students, which offers an excellent opportunity for you to build a rapport with them.

BlingABC divides the year into four semesters, or seasons. Here’s a look at what your teaching year will look like:

● Winter Term: January – February

● Spring Term: March – June

● Summer Term: July – August

● Fall Term: September – December

Before the start of each season, teachers will need to provide their availability to BlingABC. Management will then create a schedule that suits you, which you'll receive two weeks before the start of the new semester. You'll have the same set of students twice a week at a fixed time, but your schedule may change depending on whether larger classes are offered.

It's important to remember that this is a Chinese-based company, so you will need to adjust your schedule to Beijing Time. The available teaching hours are  Monday - Friday between 5 pm - 9 pm BJT, and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am - 9 pm BJT. You will need to commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week.

Because BlingABC provides a fixed schedule for their teachers, you may be on standby until the start of the new term if you’ve completed your application process in the middle of the semester. However, you may get the chance to work as a substitute teacher during the current semester.

Platform and Curriculum

Platform

Lessons are conducted via BlingABC's video-calling platform. This platform enables 30 students to be present within the class and has various teaching tools that create a fun and interactive learning environment. Along with automatically loading the chosen material, teachers can rotate students, giving each student a chance to speak. Their online teaching platform also has various teaching tools, including a writing tool and a reward system to create a more engaging classroom. Again, because this platform offers incredible features for students and teachers, you will need to ensure that you meet the technical requirements before applying.

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Class Structure

As previously mentioned, the length of each lesson is 40-minutes. When teaching with BlingABC, you'll be teaching group classes. With these group classes, you can have anywhere between three and six students per class, with 30 being the maximum. However, you will need to meet a few requirements and pass additional training sessions to teach these larger groups. Teaching these group classes does come with added salary perks, with teachers earning a further $6 per class. So if you love teaching large groups of students, then this might be a fantastic opportunity to do what you love and earn some great money!

Curriculum

BlingABC provides a unique curriculum that caters to students of various ages and English levels. Most lessons offer a target vocabulary section and interactive videos. It’s the teacher’s responsibility to make classes more engaging (especially with larger groups) through props, games, and TPR.

Pros and Cons

Pros

● You’ll earn a competitive salary, as BlingABC offers their teachers one of the highest base rates on the online ESL market.

● They provide a fixed schedule and regular students, making it an excellent company for teachers who enjoy stability.

● They have an excellent incentive system. If you have perfect attendance, teach large groups, have weekend classes, or teach substitute classes, you have the chance to earn around $30/ hour.

Cons

● If you've joined BlingABC in the middle of the semester, you'll have to wait until the new term starts. This can be inconvenient for anyone eager to start teaching right away.

● A fixed schedule is not for everyone and might feel restrictive to some.

Q&A

Do I have to teach in China?

No! If you have a reliable laptop or computer and a stable internet connection, you can teach from anywhere in the world.

Is there a probation period?

Yes, this will be the first 20 classes.

Should you work for BlingABC?

It would seem that BlingABC is a great company to work for, especially if you're a native speaker looking for a lucrative side gig. They offer a fixed schedule that some will either love or hate, so you will need to consider this when making your decision. However, when it comes to the hours themselves, BlingABC tends to start their teachers off slow. This could mean you'd be teaching fewer hours than you expected to. But don't worry, if you can stick with it, you'll eventually start picking up more classes.

While there are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to BlingABC, it remains one of the best companies to work for if you're looking to work from home and earn a fantastic salary.

Ready to apply to BlingABC? Head to their vacancy page and start the application process today!

BlingABC Reviews

Not every employer is perfect, but if you’re eager to see what other BlingABC teachers have to say, take a peek at these BlingABC reviews:

  • Very competitive pay. Every step of the way is clear as instructed. Only good teachers can come through, and if you really want to do teaching. Fixed schedule long term, not necessarily a bad thing but if you are looking for quick and easy money, this is Not the place for that.
  • Working at BlingABC has been an awesome experience! I joined the company within its first two years and got to travel around to different cities in China doing press conferences and offline learning events. The teacher management team makes it a great place to work. They are understanding of your needs as a westerner and make sure that as office staff you are engaged in interesting activities and are trained properly. My work consists of traveling the country doing offline events, doing livecast teaching for our students from the office, filming videos for our social media, and helping to proofread or do other tasks to support the company with a native English background. I love working here :). No cons to report, it is a great work environment and the salary is competitive.
  • BlingABC is from my research one of the best paying companies currently out there. They have a very clear pay structure system which is fair for everyone.I started teaching my first class about 3 weeks ago, it is a large class but they give you lots of training and clear guidelines to follow when completing them so I feel very comfortable. The staff are very professional, the teachers are passionate about their job and there is just an overall positive atmosphere! As many people have previously mentioned, it does take a little bit of time for the schedule to build. The training process is long but in the end, I did find it to be useful. They are very particular about tech requirements and I have seen some teachers' classes stop being scheduled due to not having enough CPU (even though the platform works fine).