Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Earn from home with 51Talk

Are you in between jobs? Were you forced by circumstance to leave your job to take care of your family? Are you looking for something to augment your income? Are you retired or semi-retired and looking for something meaningful to fill up some of your time?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this post is for you.

At one blogger event in the past with a BPO, I raised a question with them. I told them that there was an untapped labor force in this country - the thousands of well-educated, English-speaking, degree holders who have opted for different reasons to quite their office jobs and take care of the family. While a majority of these are married women with small kids, there are a good number of single people who have elderly parents and even husbands who have reversed roles with their working wives. While the BPO's executives agreed with me, they said their present constraint was the kind of communications security required of their business which working from home would not be able to fulfill. Understandable. Still, the fact remains that there is a growing untapped labor force in the home.

Now comes a chance to tap that untapped market. And bring job opportunities back to this labor force.

51Talk (pronounced FiveOneTalk) is based in China. A premier online English school, it was founded in 2011 by Huang Jia-Jia and Shu Ting. Formerly called Talk China, 51Talk is now found in Beijing and Shanghai in China, and in Metro Manila and Baguio in the Philippines. As a major economic power, China is realizing the importance of being able to communicate in English and is strongly encouraging its citizens to learn the language.

I know of several teachers who left the Philippines and now teach English in China. But why leave the country to teach English if one can do it from here? That is the edge that 51Talk gives. Their presence here definitely brings job opportunities to our homes. And why not? We are blessed with many well-educated, English-speaking Filipinos. And…the requirement for connectivity is not as stringent as those required by BPOs.

51Talk calls this Make the Choice, the company's movement that signifies a jump to a more digital approach. Now, Filipinos are given an alternative career to office work and allowing them a chance for a more balanced family life. People can now opt to work from home -- a huge relief for those who have long had to bear with hours of commute and traffic. Because the classrooms are online, educators can schedule their teaching time around their daily routine and family tasks. By cutting down commute time, online educators have more time with the family and can experience flexible working hours.

Three well-known names in their own fields were chosen to represent 51Talk as its brand ambassadors.

(L-R): DJ Delamar Arias, 51Talk COO Shu Ting, Jim Paredes, Michele Gumabao

Jim Paredes is one of them. Jim, not many people may know, is not just one of the APO Hiking Society trio, but is a teacher as well (I've attended one of his classes out of curiosity, actually). He is very effective in engaging his students through his classes and workshops on life and is very active on social media. Jim was very positive about 51Talk. He kept emphasizing that the Philippines is rich in English-speaking people. He considers this a source of pride for us that we are able to teach English to another country. It is also great, he says, that there are opportunities to work from home, just as you would in an office, without the commute and without the time difference (because China is in the same time zone as the Philippines).

For Michele Gumabao, an athlete, a health and wellness advocate, she was inspired to see Chinese people wanting to learn English and believes that 51Talk will allow the convergence and exchange of cultural ideas. She says that working from home gives a big opportunity to those who want to do so while taking care of their families.

And for Delamar Arias, an award-winning DJ, and a mother, she sees 51Talk as a wonderful way for mothers to earn. She says it's important that even a stay-at-home mom can keep her self-esteem intact by earning for herself and for the family as well.

Teach -- Learn -- Earn

This is a great opportunity for all those who have a lot of spare time at home and meet the minimum required internet speed connectivity.

Basically what is expected of the online educators? You will be a teacher to interested Chinese students who want to learn the English language. You will be asked to evaluate your students' performance based on established guidelines. If you have wired DSL access to the internet with a minimum speed of 1.5MBPS and a Skype ID, you're qualified to apply.

It's so easy. As an applicant, you just have to pass these 4 steps in order to become an online educator.

Just to give you an idea of 51Talk, here are some trivia:

* Online educators come from different educational backgrounds. 51Talk even has educators from the nursing field!

* The teaching is geared towards American English.

* There are different packages, the shortest of which is 6 months, then 1 year and 3 years. An adviser will provide a student with advice on which package is best suited for his learning goals.

* 51Talk programs are divided into General English - reading, speaking, writing; programs for exams like TOEFL; and, programs for Business. The programs are geared towards improving communication skills rather than a certificate program.

* Curriculum development team is based in both Beijing and Manila

* Training programs for educators - new applicants begin with several days of teacher training (orientation, Chinese culture, how to teach, communication/teaching skills). Months after there are other kinds of training for the educators.

* 51Talk now has over 2,000 online educators in the Philippines.

Find 51Talk online on their social media accounts:


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