Online ESL Teacher for Topica Native
Summary(Review): Topica Native is based out of Vietnam. They claim to have “over 50,000 students from Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam”. They hire non-native teachers with a preference for teachers from the Philippines. The pay rate starts at $8.50 and can go up to $16. They guarantee 20 hours a month and more if you are good and available. They also require a one year contract. The working time spans 16 classes each day, which last from 8 AM to 11 PM (GMT+7) and are 45 minutes per class. The students are university students and working professionals who have a need to learn conversational English. TOPICA emails lesson plans to you so there is no need to create your own and there is little preparation.
Job Overview for Online ESL Teacher
Pay Rate per Hour:
up to 6
High School & College Prep (age 15-18)
Adult (age 18+)
Late Afternoon (3pm-6pm)
Job Details for Online ESL Teacher
Native North American
Native Australian/New Zealand
Native South Africa
Min Hours Week:
Min Uploading: 10 MB/s
Min Downloading: 15 MB/s
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Online ESL Teacher Job Description
What do we offer?
No limit on registered working hours
Get payment based on the number of teaching classes
+700 native teachers community
Teach from home or any other convenient location
Have the weekly flexible teaching schedule
Lesson plans and curriculums are provided
1. What are the teaching hours?
It is flexible for you to choose classes up to your demand and free time. It will have 16 classes each day, which last from 8 AM to 11 PM (GMT+7) and 45 minutes per class.
2. Who and what will I teach?
Your students are university students and working people who love to learn conversational English. Besides, we will provide you with all necessary materials and curriculum. This is a reason why you only need a computer connected to the internet, you can become our teacher.
3. Do I have to prepare lesson plan and curriculum before teaching?
You do not have to prepare a lesson plan and lesson outline by yourself. TOPICA will send them to you via email every week.
4. What are my responsibilities in the class?
- Lead the online classes and guide the students to be fluent in English
- Teach English communication skills for adults following provided lesson plans
- Correct the grammar and pronunciation mistakes for the students
5. Where do I teach?
You can teach from anywhere in the world with the stable Internet connection.
When could I hear back from TOPICA Native?
We continuously recruit the Online English Teacher position every month, and then we will contact you within 2 weeks from the day you send us your application.
Online ESL Teacher Job Requirements
Do I need teaching experience and teaching certificate?
Teaching experience is preferable and will increase your chances of admission, but not necessarily required. We also have an online training course for non-experienced candidates
Do I need to be a native speaker?
As one of TOPICA’s value propositions is to connect language learners with native speakers, being a native speaker of the language you intend to teach is generally required. However, we make exceptions for non-native speaking applicants with exceptionally high level of proficiency.
How could I become your official teacher?
We offer teachers with full training course for free. After the training course, teachers have to finish a Demo class to become our official teachers. All the details will be discussed in the Interview round.
What do I need to teach on TOPICA?
You should be a native english speaker with clear verbal communication; have the stable, high-speed (at least 1 MB) internet connection and good sound capabilities with audio headset and can be moderated to high comfort utilizing online programs and technology.
Is it possible to use Ipad or tablet for my teaching?
You need to use laptop for teaching.
How to Apply to Online ESL Teacher?
Land a job quicker by creating a teacher profile, which allows you to submit one application to MULTIPLE Online ESL companies or Teach Abroad Jobs.
Company Information for Topica Native
TOPICA Edtech group is the leading online education provider in South East Asia. TOPICA has more than 1000 full time employees, 2000 teachers and over 50,000 students from Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
TOPICA Native, a product of TOPICA Edtech Group in Vietnam, is an Online English Speech Tutoring that connects language learners with native speakers with innovative services including the first English learning program via Google glass and the method of ADAPTIVE LEARNING.
TOPICA’s main office is located in No.75, Phuong Mai St., Dong Da Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam
Ha Noi – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City – Manila – Singapore – Bangkok
Online ESL Teacher Reviews
Read the post here.
Over the past year, I have worked for Topica Native (Vietnam) and Hujiang (China). I wish to give you my honest views about them. I must stress that the information about Topica Native may be slightly dated as I stopped working for them in February.
Topica Native (TN).
+ Operate from 6am-midnight (Vietnamese time). They obviously prefer later classes as they have a greater demand.
+ Adult learners, but some younger learners may sneak in.
+ Offer basic and intermediate level classes.
+ Classes are for 45 minutes and could have up to 6 learners.
+ Don’t have to prepare at all, each day you will only teach the same two classes (basic and intermediate) over and over (if you’re lucky to receieve classes).
+ You “should” have a teaching assistant to assist you during basic classes.
+ You must submit your schedule around a week early. If you miss that deadline, you could pick up remaining classes that weekend (for the following week).
+ You should have a contact within TN, a teacher manager.
+ They provide you with a company email address and you have Skype contact numbers too.
– TN always seems to be recruiting new teachers. Existing teachers couldn’t get the hours that were apparently on offer before I joined in June, 2016. When you sign up, you hear the usual “teach as often, or as little as you want” but I would often apply for 25-30 classes per week, I’d often receieve 15 at most. Generally teachers would receieve 1/3 of what they applied for.
– Even though you are assigned ‘X’ classes, you may not teach any. You log in 15 minutes early, and simply wait to be transferred. Most often, some teachers will be left waiting until 15 minutes after classes begin and log out with a “no student fee.”
– Delays in receiving salary were not uncommon.
– Salary was sent through bank transaction only, could be a problem living in certain countries.
– Students may simply listen to the class. If all students wish to listen, they may be transferred to other classrooms and you will probably leave after 15 minutes with a “no student fee.”
– You don’t always have a teaching assistant during basic classes, especially late in the day. Even if you do, some of them are excellent and provide constant translations for students. Many simply offer no help or assistance and will pressure you to finish on time.
– Lesson plans are for 45 minutes, certain time must be spent on each slide.
– Videos don’t often work, the quality of video’s vary greatly meaning you can’t always hear the content, or it’s just rubbish. Many video’s at basic level are for much more advanced students.
– Often, major technical issues. The online platform is quite powerful, students often have bad connections… yet you will often be blamed for this. You could be penalised for this. Technical support would try to gain access to your computer through “Team Viewer” and simply turn off your internet security (without even consulting you) to solve such problems.
– You must use your webcam.
– Communication there is terrible. Your teacher manager may tell you one thing, but someone else tells you something else completely.
– You are taxed by TN. Meaning that you will also be taxed in your own country.
– Difficult to cancel classes which are assigned to you, often you’ll be fined.
– Many errors on the slides, especially dialogue sheets.
I would not recommend working for TN as you’re not guarenteed classes. Being taxed twice is ridiculous and any issues will come back to you, even though to most common complaint is the internet speed for students in Vietnam. If you don’t mind sitting around, and “possibly” teaching with them (maybe you’re already with Cambly) then it could work. Just don’t expect to be appreciated.
Read the post here.
About Topica NATIVE (review)
There are two ways to get into the company:
1. To apply directly via their website
2. Someone to recommend you and send your CV
In both cases if they do not contact you in 2-3 week, it is time for you to move on and search for the next company to apply for. This means your CV is not good or you are not suitable to what they are looking for in their teachers.
Steps that I had in my joining process are:
2. Orientation (about the company and classes)
3. 2 test classes
4. 2 exam classes
5. Eventual repeated IT tests
7. Joining the company
One thing I really didn’t like here is that this took me around 2 weeks. In my opinion, this could be done in 1 week. It is not that they wanted to make it this long but when they have to do it since there were lots of other folk who were in the same process as I was.
Someone from my country has asked me about the questions on the interview. There are 2 questions that I remember:
– In your opinion, what are the differences between online and regular English schools?
– What is the difference between teaching children and adults?
Interviews are via skype as well as the whole joining process and later on most part of your communication with IT and your Teacher Manager will be done via skype and e-mail they will provide to you.
TEST AND EXAM CLASSES
There are four 45 minute classes that have to be done. Those are 2 sets of 2 classes – 1 Beginner and 1 Intermediate. “Test” classes are for you to get familiar with the system and “Exam” classes are the ones that will determine if you are going to get a job or not. In both cases you will get some feedback how you were during those classes. They have told me that my “students” will be ppl who are working in the company and I do believe this since they knew the tricks to do and what exact questions to ask me regarding forbidden list of things (every school has a list like this).
Negotiations part is nothing special. Your recruitment person will tell you about the results, some tips on how you have done during those 4 lessons as well as offer you your starting salary. You will have to fill in one google doc that will be final thing you have to do in this joining process.
There are 2 kind of classes – Beginner and Intermediate. Both of these are 45 minutes long with only adults as students. During these lessons you will always have 1 IT ready to help you if needed and 1 assistant. Assistants are usually really great. They help me a lot with my students. Of course you will encounter those kind of assistants who will do almost nothing. Every person is different at their work and that is the same situation here as well. As for IT ppl, whenever I have reported a problem with my students I can see that they are helping them so I never had problems with them.
Lessons are really cool and are actual topics that they can encounter in life while talking with others. During lesson time you have to correct their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation which is good since whatever you correct for any student and write in their profiles, the system will remember that and add to your reports so you save lots of time at the end of the lesson when you actually have to do this. For Beginners skills that you have to practice are speaking and some rearing.
It is same as Beginner classes. You have from 1 to 6 students and 1 IT in the classroom during a 4 min lesson. On these lessons you do not have Assistants.
They are similar to Beginner ones except they will talk more and learn idioms, phrasal verbs and some structures for constructing sentences. Basically, here the main focus is speaking.
There are 8 rang of salary and when entering the company you can get up to 3rd one which is 8,5$ per 45 minute lesson. Someone here has posted about “Topica IVY NATIVE”. I guess that is a baby company of Topica. I have heard about it for the 1st time here in this group. When I have checked data I could collect it seems that they are baby sister company. Well, they have a little bit different salaries and are higher than what is offered to me. Guess it depends if you are native or non-native speaker so natives will get bigger salaries. Either way, I think it is ok since your salary can be changed 2 times a year. Once in September and once in March every year when they have evaluation of your work. In those months, your salary can go up and down depending of your teaching performances. If you do not have any students up to 15th minute of the class, you will be paid a “No student fine” which is 20% of your BR. This is ok. One thing I don’t like is that at the end of each month you will have to actually sign papers that you agree with your salary, scan that and send those documents to them. I don’t like it since I don’t have a printer and scanner so I need to do it somewhere else. Great thing about this is that this is actual legal document and I love having them with me. 😀
There are no financial bonuses.
Payment is done once a month via bank transfer. Cut off for payment is every 25th of the month and salary should be paid from 5th to 10th next month. If the salary is under 500$, teachers will pay the international wire transfer which is around 30$ and if the salary is above 500$, the company will pay that fee. Every day you will get reports in e-mail with your salary for the previous day so this is pretty neat.
In first 4-5 weeks you will be on probation and will be able to get only 5 classes per week no matter how much slots you actually open. You have to provide your working schedule one week in advance and every Friday you will get your schedule for the next week. Once you are done with probation period in core hours which are 19-24h Vietnamese time you will be awarded 30-70% of classes and outside of this time 10-30% classes. Booking seems to be low but it is small and young company that is constantly growing so this might change in the future.
SCEDULING AND CANCELING CLASSES
Until Wednesday you have to give them your working schedule for the next week through their system. As already mentioned above, every Friday you will get your working schedule for the next week with the materials you will have to teach. I think that classes can be canceled till Sunday but I am not sure since I was not interested in this option, don’t want to use it.
There are canceling fees and warnings indeed. But don’t moan about them! If you sign the contract with them, you are obliged to work! Even if that is something you can not alter like power cut or internet shortage you will be fined. Sorry but I do agree with those policies. However, if you get sick and you are not able to teach classes you will not be fined but I am not sure here if you need to provide a note from doctor. Those things are created to protect their clients (students) from teachers who feel bored that day and don’t want to do what they signed they will do in their contracts. So please, do not moan about fees and penalties. Be a good worker and do your job that you are paid for!!!
So far my impressions with this company are perfect. Classes are very easy to do and I thing they are really helpful for students. I think the materials have been created like a course so the lessons back up each other. One thing that is kinda stupid is that I have only 2 lessons I can do each day – Beginner and/or Intermediate but I kinda got used to it. I think that their IT sector is perfect no matter what ppl say here. Whenever I had problems or my students they were fixing it right away! There was one very unpleasant situation I had. I couldn’t load their website and IT was helping me for 2 hours. In the end I managed to get into my third and final class for that day but the system kicked me out and that was it. I thought I was gonna get warnings for those classes, instead they have paid me the first one as “no students fee” and haven’t paid nor punished me for remaining two. To be honest, I was very happy how they have handled this.
Topica is small and young company as I have already said but is growing very fast. Personally, I am satisfied with what they offer me at the moment. The only potential problem here that I can see is booking but I do believe that will change in the future.
Here you have to ask yourself a question – how much money for you is enough to earn. I think that someone with 12.75$ BR can easily reach up to 1000$ per month.(this is said to what I saw here in this group for salary rangs, not according to one I was offered) If you are money greedy this is not a company for you! Well, in that case I doubt any online ESL school is for you so change your profession! 😉