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Tutoring English Online with Engoo

With its extremely lenient requirements and popularity in Japan, many online teachers are interested by Engoo. What’s it actually like to teach English on the platform, though?

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If you’re looking for an entry-level route to teach English online, joining the ranks of Engoo tutors might be the best way yet. A newer online English platform, based in the Philippines, Engoo (formerly Bibo) mainly teaches students based in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Why “entry-level”? Well, as we’ll explore, the requirements to teach through Engoo are extremely lenient. In fact, they may be the most lenient of any online teaching platform, with no qualifications required. Equally, both native and non-native English speakers are encouraged to apply, but there’s a very clear discrepancy in pay between the two groups.

As for the platform itself? Engoo garners good reviews for its easy-to-use, intuitive interface. Engoo tutors, meanwhile, love the level of demand, with the platform becoming one of the most popular in Asia. By their own metrics, Engoo was the number 1 online learning platform for English in Japan - undoubtedly a major market.

So how do Engoo tutors get started, what’s required, what’s the salary like and - in general - what’s it like to work for Engoo as an ESL tutor?

Let’s find out!

Engoo: An Overview

Engoo used to be called Bibo (Global Opportunity), and despite its clunky name, rapidly grew after forming in 2013. Having started to cater for English learners in the Philippines and Japan, the company would expand to serve learners based in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and more.

A one-to-one tutoring platform, Engoo eschews the class formats that many other online teaching companies use. With over 6,000 teachers on Engoo, clearly something is working; reviews (which we’ll cover later on) tend to mention the platform’s ease of use, as well as regular payment.

Engoo’s popularity with teachers - despite its comparatively low wages (especially for non-native speakers) - also owes somewhat to its incentives. There are opportunities for promotion, which isn’t a common sight on English teaching platforms. Additionally, weekend and monthly bonuses provide real motivation for any online English teacher who wants to pick up extra hours.

What are the requirements to teach with Engoo? 

So what do you need to be an online English teacher with the Engoo teaching platform?

Well, the good news is that you don’t need an awful lot. While there are a list of requirements that are “preferred”, these are still considerably more lenient than you’ll see on other English teaching platforms.

So, teaching on Engoo: what do you need?

Bachelor's degree

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to teach on Engoo. Engoo teachers need to be over 18, so whether you plan on becoming a student or not doesn’t matter to this English teaching platform.

TEFL certification 

While we would always recommend getting TEFL qualified, Engoo only sees certification as a plus as opposed to a requisite. Engoo tutors don’t need to have a TEFL certificate, then, but to strengthen your abilities as an ESL teacher, it’s certainly a good idea to get one anyway.

Native/non-native 

Thankfully, you don’t need to be a “native” English speaker to join the legions of Engoo tutors. While you will, to some extent, need to prove your ability to speak English, you don’t need to have been born in an English-speaking country. If you're a native speaker, you'll be paid far more than non-native teachers.

Experience

You don’t need prior teaching experience to join Engoo tutors working on the platform. 

So what do you need

At this point, you might be wondering: what are the requirements to teach on Engoo if I don’t need a degree, TEFL certification, prior experience or a certain passport?

It’s simple, really. Engoo tutors have to be over 18 years of age. You need to own a computer. You need to pass an internet connection check. You need to be proficient in English. Additionally, you’ll need to own a webcam and headset. 

It really is that simple to join up with Engoo.

Download our teaching English online guide

Engoo Job description

What kind of experience can Engoo tutors expect once they’re on the platform?

Well, Engoo lessons are only 25 minutes long, and all kinds of age ranges are eligible. That means within an hour, you could be teaching both a young learner and a retiree, with different levels of English proficiency.

How are classes performed on Engoo? The platform will provide all your lesson materials, so there’s no need to prepare anything yourself. Simply follow the guides and spark conversation. 

How much can you earn teaching English with Engoo? 

Now we know what you need to teach on Engoo, and a little more about what it’s like, but how much can you actually earn? What’s a typical salary for an Engoo teacher, and how does the pay stack up against competitors?

Engoo’s payment has a fundamental difference from most other ESL companies. If you’re a native English speaker or a non-native English speaker, you’ll be paid a different wage. Native speakers are paid more.

If you’re a native English speaker, you can typically earn $10/£8.20 per hour. If you aren’t, expect a wage of $2.40/£2 per hour. £2 an hour is around the average in the Philippines, so while it looks extremely low from a western perspective, it’s in line with the Philippines’ low cost of living.

There are incentives, however. Filipino tutors can expect a bonus of 500 PHP if they teach 100 classes within a certain time frame, equivalent to $8.77/£7.20. If you’re from another country, you’ll need to teach 160 classes to earn this same bonus. There are also referral incentives; if you successfully refer a non-Filipino teacher to work for Engoo, you’ll earn around $20/£16.40.

The application process for Engoo 

When you do an online search for Engoo, one of the things that will repeatedly come up is the vigorous application process. While the requirements make Engoo sound like an easy platform to find work on, many online forums and comment sections will tell you that the interview is tough, even for experienced teachers, who have English as their first language.

What does it take to pass the application process, then? Let’s explore how prospective teachers become Engoo tutors.

How do I apply?

The first thing you need to do is click ‘start teaching’ on Engoo’s homepage. Do that, and you’ll find the application section, where you’ll be asked to fill out some basic personal details and to upload a form of identification (a scan of your passport will do the trick).

After that, you’ll need to run an internet connection test, and a software compatibility check. Engoo will provide everything you need for this. If you meet the technical requirements, an interview awaits. 

Interview process

The Engoo interview process is less straightforward, and certainly something different in terms of online teaching platforms. It lasts between 15 and 20 minutes and starts out normally, with questions about your experience and interest in English. Watch out, though:  there are tests of punctuation, grammar and pronunciation in there. People who have been through the interview process have described being asked seemingly random questions.

Engoo tutors have been asked to give their opinion on US Presidents, economics and more, in order to test accent and pronunciation. Word knowledge is also typically tested: so you’ll need to be able to describe the difference between “confident” and “confidant”, for example. 

Former interviewees have also said that Engoo has asked them to explain idioms and turns of phrase. While this sounds a little peculiar for a job interview, it does make sense; learners are going to ask what certain phrases mean since the English language is full of idioms! You’ll be given a chance to ask some questions; asking questions at an interview is always a great idea.

Demo Lesson

After the interview, you’ll be asked to perform a demo lesson. Don’t worry - Engoo will provide all the English language teaching materials you need to use. You will need to do some preparation, though; make sure your working environment is distraction-free and that you have all the tech required.

The demo lesson takes around 15 minutes, with an Engoo employee posing as a student. Helpfully, the company has example demo classes on YouTube to show you how it’s done!

What to consider before you start 

With all of this in mind, what are the most important things to remember before you apply for a teaching job with Engoo? What have all Engoo tutors considered before launching into online teaching on this English language teaching platform?

Here are a couple of things for Engoo tutors to keep in mind:

Availability

The more you teach, the better a reputation you’ll get, and the more reviews you’ll receive. That should see your salary improve over time, with any luck, but until that point, it can be hard to make a living. Do you have the availability and flexible schedule to make online teaching through Engoo a viable career option?

Technology

Before you apply, be sure that you have the right technology to join the Engoo tutors thriving on the platform. All successful applicants have met the technological requirements to teach on Engoo; a headset, reliable internet, a recent computer and so on.

Of course, online teaching is nearly impossible without the technology you’d be expected to have for Engoo. Therefore, we’d advise that if you are interested in language teaching online in general, get clued up on technology.

Engoo: Pros and cons 

Now we’ve covered what Engoo is all about, how to join the ranks of Engoo tutors, the salary and more, let’s break it down as simply as we can. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this English language platform?

Let’s discuss.

Pros

  • No teaching experience required: great if you’re wanting to try out TEFL teaching
  • No qualifications necessary: also fantastic if you’re looking to make a start in TEFL teaching, or you want to simply make some income on the side
  • Demand: you’ll never be in want of lessons. Demand on Engoo is consistently high, there’ll always be a student!
  • Lesson materials: you don’t have to worry about designing course materials or planning out a lesson. Engoo does it all for you. All you have to do is log in and start teaching.
  • Flexible schedule: there aren’t limits on Engoo, you can teach as little or as much as you like. 

Cons

  • The salary: Compared to competitors, Engoo pays less. It’s based in the Phillippines, and pays Filippino wages, so depending on where you’re physically based, the pay might not be enough.
  • No requirements?: Though Engoo’s requirements are comparatively lenient, is that necessarily a good thing? It may pay dividends to work in an environment where highly qualified, skilled and experienced teachers are working alongside you. That way, you can learn what it takes to progress in the TEFL world.
  • Lesson materials: Fine, it’s a convenience to have teaching materials provided, but the scope for creativity and ingenuity in the classroom is very limited.
  • Student cancellations: your pay can be severely impact by cancellations, many of which are sudden and without notice.

Engoo Reviews

Engoo tutors past and present are both extremely likely to review the platform and to disagree on their experience. Ratings of 3.5 on Indeed, and 3.6 on Glassdoor don’t quite illustrate the depth of feeling on either side.

On Indeed, for example, the company earns 5-star reviews for its flexible schedule, kind students and career opportunities. However, some call it an “awful” language learning company to work for, with extremely low wages and a volatile review culture.

Glassdoor follows a similar path; those that love it, love it because of the flexibility and lenient requirements. Those that don’t tend to have had negative experiences regarding salary, a lack of teacher support and cancellation of lessons.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What are the requirements for Engoo?

    Engoo tutors have to be over 18 years of age, need to own a computer, pass an internet connection check and be proficient in English. Additionally, you’ll need to own a webcam and headset to join the Engoo tutors working online.

  • Q. What platform does Engoo use?

    Engoo uses Bellbird for online lessons.

  • Q. Who are the students of Engoo?

    Engoo tutors teach students from all over the world, primarily in East Asia. The platform claims to be the number 1 provider of English lessons in Japan.

  • Q. What is the official name of Engoo?

    Engoo used to be called Bibo (Global Opportunity).