When you first start looking into online ESL teaching, the number of different opportunities available might seem overwhelming.
There are a lot of companies out there offering similar packages, and some that use wildly different teaching methods.
Because online ESL is an international industry, some companies do a much better job of marketing their vacancies than others, and these are usually the ones that you see.
This doesn’t mean that these bigger companies are necessarily the best option for you.
Hidden Gems in Online Teaching
Finding the smaller, more obscure companies can be difficult, especially if they’re constantly rebranding and changing names, like the company we’re going to be looking at today.
Sprout4Future, aka Whales English… also aka Rouchi… is a lesser-known ESL company. Compared to DaDa, a major difference is the classes are structured in groups of students, rather than one-on-one classes.
But there are also plenty of other differences. But first, let's start with some pros and cons of both…
PROS of working for DaDa and Whales English
- You can work on a flexible schedule from home.
- Teaching children can be fun, exciting and rewarding.
- The hiring process can be quick and simple.
- Both companies offer a good rate of pay for the work required.
- There are opportunities to supplement your wage with bonuses.
CONS of working for DaDa and Whales English
- Pay can vary if your schedule is not fully booked.
- The peak hours may be unsociable for people living outside of Asia.
- Working from home can be difficult for some.
- You may find working with children difficult due to the levels of enthusiasm required.
This is just a brief overview of the pros and cons of working for each company. Now let’s take a more detailed look each company side-by-side, starting with…
DaDa operates through 1-to-1 classes and you will only have
Hiring Policy [DaDa vs Whales English]
At a minimum, they expect applicants to:
- Possess a Bachelor’s Degree
- Be an English speaker with a passport from a native English-speaking nation
- Teaching certification, such as TEFL, TESL, CELTA
- Criminal background check
As with most online ESL companies, it’s also beneficial to have prior experience teaching or working with children.
Whales English have similar requirements to DaDa. They recruit teachers who meet the following requirements:
- Must possess a Bachelor’s degree or Higher
- Native English Speakers from US, Canada and UK.
- Must possess a teaching certificate (100-hour TESOL or TEFL, or a teaching licence from their home state)
They also prefer teachers with 1 or more years of online teaching experience, with experience working with children aged 6-15.
Unlike DaDa, Whales are more stringent about the teacher’s nationality and prefer a lot more experience.
Check out how DaDa also compares to another online teaching school by clicking below:
Stand-by Time Pay
Once you start working for DaDa, you set your working schedule as soon as you sign your contract. This will remain the same until the end of the contract period – usually six months – but, in some cases, you can request changes.
Because teachers are required to commit to a set schedule, DaDa pays you 50% of your hourly rate for any periods during your contracted schedule that hasn’t been filled with a class.
From the information available online, it seems that Whales English offer no pay for stand-by time.
However, if you have a scheduled class that doesn’t show, you’ll be paid 100% of the pay for that class. This is reduced to only 50% if it’s a trial class.
DaDa contracts include a lot of penalties for teachers who don’t show up for scheduled classes.
If a teacher finds themselves in an emergency and asks the coordinator to cancel classes ahead of time, it’s likely you will not receive a penalty.
However, if a teacher takes more than two (scheduled) days off across the course of a month, they receive a 10% penalty from their pay for that month. You can also incur heavy deductions for unauthorised absences.
After speaking to several teachers working on Sprout4Future, it seems that the company doesn’t penalise teachers for ‘reasonable absences’ like holidays or emergencies.
There may be some penalties for unplanned leave, but the actual amount isn’t specified online.
Hiring Process [DaDa vs Whales English]
DaDa and Whales have fairly similar hiring policies. As with most online ESL companies, getting hired is simple and quick.
For DaDa, the hiring policy looks like this:
- Online application
- Skype interview with your recruiter.
- Complete TPR training with a mentor.
- Teach a 30-minute demo class with an actual student.
- Sign your contract and wait for your classes to be scheduled.
Check Out DigiNo's Free ‘Getting Hired' Course for DaDa
Whales' hiring process looks like this:
- Fill in an online application with your resume, picture and an optional video AND select your availability
- Interview with a recruiter.
- Demo class with a trainer and possibly 1-2 other teachers (this is also the training session)
- Sign your contract and start teaching.
Pay [DaDa vs Whales English]
DaDa’s pay rate is pretty similar to most ESL companies. They offer between $15 and $25 an hour. The rate you get offered will vary and isn’t necessarily based on experience. They decided your rate after the trial class, so this could be a determining factor.
It’s also possible to boost your monthly income with trial bonus’ and monthly punctuality bonuses.
A new payment structure is being introduced for new teachers which you can read on the page below:
Whales English advertises rates of $18 – $23 per hour for their regular teachers. Some older job listings also offer positions for more experienced teachers who can teach subjects like history and creative writing. For these teachers, the rates can go as high as $30/ hour.
With DaDa, you’ll be teaching 1-to-1 classes via an online platform during Beijing peak times. Classes last 30 minutes and your contracted hours will be filled with regular students who you’ll teach each week. The team at DaDa will fill your schedule for you.
You have to commit to at least 4 hours per week but you can also sign up for extra ‘part-time’ hours each week, where you’ll teach trial and interest classes.
Check out the guide on DaDa class types below:
With Whales, your class sizes are a little bigger. You’ll be teaching 2 students at once and classes are booked by schools and parents, not by the Whales staff.
Classes are also a little longer – each period lasts 50 minutes. You sign up for a fixed schedule per term and once a student signs up for your classes, you teach them for the full term (24 lessons).
DaDa vs Whales English… Final Thoughts!
That’s pretty much it for the really important stuff. If you managed to read all of that without falling asleep, you should have all the information you need. From here on out, it’s all about personal preference.
If you feel like Whales English is the right company for you, head on over to their website to apply. If you’re going to give DaDa a shot, click the ‘Apply Now' button below to start your application:
Or check out more comparison articles: