The Complete Guide to Teaching Online with Alo7
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As one of the largest digital ELT (English Language Teaching) providers in China, ALO7 facilitates online English classes to Chinese students. They stand out from some of the other online teaching companies in the way their company works – instead of being a school themselves, they work with partner schools in China. It is these partner schools that set programs, assign classes and book ALO7 tutors to teach them.
ALO7 classes are designed for students aged 3 to 15 and are a mix of one-to-ones, one-to-threes and group sessions. All teaching materials and training are provided, and lessons are taught through an interactive online classroom. ALO7 requirements do air on the slightly stricter side, but teaching with ALO7 remains a great part-time teaching option for those looking to make some extra money.
What are the Requirements to Teach with ALO7?
ALO7 ask that their teachers meet the following requirements:
- Be a native English speaker from the US, Canada, UK or Australia
- Have a bachelor’s degree or better (in any subject) or currently be enrolled in a four-year college program
- Have a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate (or degree in ESL education)
- Teaching or tutoring experience is preferred but not essential
- Have free time during peak tutoring hours (6 pm – 9 pm Beijing time)
- Be passionate about teaching children
There isn’t much leeway when it comes to ALO7’s teaching requirements, and you will be asked to prove you’re from one of their preferred English speaking countries, either by passport or birth certificate.
If you don’t meet the threshold to teach English with ALO7, don’t give up on your online teaching search – check out some of the other online teaching companies who may be laxer on your credentials.
Other ALO7 Requirements
As well as meeting their teaching standards, you must also meet some technical requirements (and other requirements) to teach English with ALO7.
- A quiet, well-lit room
- A neat, professional and child-friendly teaching background
- Google Chrome browser (version 49 or above)
- Desktop, laptop or surface
- Mac OS 10.10x, Windows 7 or above operating system
- Good internet connection with a minimum of 4Mbps download/4Mbps upload speed and ping less than 100 (use speedtest to help you check)
- A built-in or external HD camera
- A headset with a microphone
How much does ALO7 pay?
ALO7 states their teachers earn between $17 – $22 per 50 minutes – this amount of pay includes incentives. Without incentives, the base rate for most ALO7 teaching programs is $7.50 for a 25-minute class and $15 per 50-minute class. Certain programs, such as their Top School Program, have a higher base rate of $20 for 50 minutes plus incentives.
On top of the base rate, ALO7 offers additional incentive pay based around teacher’s stability and teaching performance. For instance, the incentive rate for teaching one-to-three plus classes is between 5% and 35%, which means you could be paid up to $10.125 for a 25-minute class.
Other Opportunities with ALO7
ALO7 offer other freelance opportunities to ‘outstanding’ tutors in the following areas:
- Presentation development
- Curriculum development
How and When do ALO7 Pay their Teachers?
ALO7 pays their teachers monthly, on or before the 15th of each month for all the classes taught in the previous calendar month.
They pay their teachers through direct deposit via VEEM – this is an accredited business with the US Department of Treasury and BBB. These direct deposits can be made into both US and non-US bank accounts. Teachers are expected to register with VEEM themselves.
ALO7 also uses PayPal as a secondary payment method. PayPal is only used when teachers don’t earn enough to meet the minimum transaction amount needed to make a direct deposit via VEEM.
Teaching English with ALO7 makes you an independent contractor, so you’re responsible for submitting your earnings and paying taxes in accordance with your individual tax jurisdictions, federal and/or state laws. Filling out tax forms isn’t as complicated as it may appear, and there are plenty of resources out there who offer guidance, like the IRS website for US citizens and HMRC website for those from the UK.
ALO7 doesn’t deduct any taxes from their teacher’s monthly payments but they do ask that non-US taxpayers fill out a form known as Form W-8BEN to confirm they are not a US taxpayer.
What is the Application Process for ALO7?
The application process for ALO7 is pretty straightforward, and the hiring process can take as little as two weeks after the initial interview. Before applying, check out this ALO7 video which tells you what to expect from the ALO7 application process.
Step One – Application
To apply to teach English with ALO7, first, you need to create an account on ALO7’s portal. Then fill out their application form, upload your latest resume/CV (PDF format is recommended), upload a voice recording and a cover letter (optional but recommended).
Step Two – ALO7 Interview and Mock Class
If your application is approved, you’ll receive an email requesting that you book an online interview. You’ll book this through their recruiter website, choosing a suitable time slot.
The ALO7 interview is about 30 minutes long and is conducted over Zoom. It’s a pretty standard interview where the ALO7 recruiter will get to know you, ask you questions about your background and experience and run you through some information about the position and company. You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions you may have.
Next up is the mock class, which you’ll have a chance to prepare for. You’ll teach a one-to-one lesson with an ALO7 recruiter, who will pretend to be a student or multiple students. The mock class is around 10 minutes long, and you’ll be evaluated on how you interact with the ‘student’. Try to smile, use TPR (Total Physical Response) and incorporate some props.
The following video walks you through how to deliver the ALO7 mock class and is definitely worth a watch!
Step Three – Self Study
If the interview and mock class are a success, your next job is to complete some self-study. This isn’t as daunting as it may sound and just involves watching some self-study videos and then completing an online quiz. If you fail the quiz, don’t fret! You’re able to review the study materials again and retake the quiz.
You’ll also be asked to complete your teacher profile which includes a written introduction, a profile picture, and a self-introduction video. Below is a video that gives some pointers on making a stand out self-introduction video. It’s important to make this outstanding, as it will be watched by both students and partner schools.
Step Four – Contract
Almost there! After passing the quiz, you’ll be given an Independent Contractor Agreement to sign and be asked to submit certain mandatory documentation. Once this is complete, you’re officially an ALO7 teacher!
Step Five – On Board and Orientation
You’ll need to book an online orientation session with an ALO7 team member. This is in place to help prepare you for your first class and it will involve a technical check to make sure you meet the technical requirements, as well as a run-through of the ALO7 teaching platform.
Step Six – Ready to Teach
Once everything is completed and submitted, you’ll be ready to start teaching with ALO7!
What is the Work Schedule for ALO7?
What’s unique about ALO7 is they work with partner schools across China. These partner schools assign classes in a program format, which generally consists of weekly classes, and they are the ones who book the tutors, rather than ALO7.
These partner schools like to book the same tutor for the entirety of a program, which can last 8 to 12 weeks, as they believe it creates a stable learning environment for their students. Therefore ALO7 teachers have reliable and consistent work for these weeks and advanced knowledge of when they’ll be teaching. Perfect for fitting teaching around your lifestyle and other commitments.
How Does ALO7’s Scheduling Work?
In order to get assigned classes, ALO7 teachers must open time slots on the calendar page of the tutor website. As 90% of the classes are during peak ALO7 hours, it’s highly recommended that this is when teachers open their time slots.
To ensure you get the most out of the platform, ALO7 recommends that you open at least 12 time slots (6 hours) per week during peak ALO7 hours. Once your time slots are open, ALO7’s partner schools will book classes with you. You can keep an eye on the progress of your bookings on the tutor website.
ALO7 also has another booking system, known as ‘race classes’. This is where you choose slots from a mass email that goes out periodically. These are different from long-term school program bookings.
ALO7 states on their website that in the majority of cases, they have seen relatively strong demand for tutors on their platform and most of their tutors have near full bookings. However, ALO7 themselves don’t control the demand, all the classes come from their partner schools. So bear in mind that you may get fully booked as soon as you join ALO7 as a teacher, but equally, it may take a few weeks to get booked.
As we mentioned above, ALO7 recommends that you open up a minimum of 12 time slots (6 hours) a week during peak hours (6 pm – 9 pm Beijing time). The time slots you choose during these peak hours are entirely your choice. The minimum 6 hours a week is only a recommendation, not a requirement, however, you’ll likely have a better booking rate if you open up at least this number of time slots.
Although 90% of classes are during peak hours, there are also off-peak tutoring times slots available from 9 am to 12 pm Beijing time. Tutors are able to work as many hours as they want during peak and non-peak hours.
However many time slots you open, your ability to offer these time slots consistently is super important (ALO7 recommends keeping the same schedule for at least 6 months), as partner schools like stable tutors. Having no shows or stability issues on your record will affect your booking rate.
Understanding the ALO7 Teaching Platform
The following video offers an insight into what teaching English with ALO7 is really like. It gives a general impression of the company, the teaching platform, and the students.
ALO7 classes are either one-to-one or one-to-three or group sessions and are designed for Chinese students from 3 to 15 years old. The ALO7 curriculum comprises of a mix of educational standards from China, North America, and Europe.
ALO7 teachers are not expected to create their own teaching materials, instead, you’ll use materials that have been designed by the ALO7 curriculum team. Teachers are expected to review the materials before teaching each class and are welcome to bring their own experiences and techniques into the classroom.
After each class, ALO7 teachers are expected to fill out a class report. This is viewed as an important part of your teaching role, and should always be completed promptly.
ALO7 Teaching Platform
Zoom is currently the teaching platform where ALO7 classes take place. There are rumors that they have a new unique platform, called AOC, which could gradually replace Zoom. This may be something to ask about in your interview.
Overall, ALO7 receives generally good reviews from its teachers. It may not be the highest paying online teaching company out there, but aspects like its platform, great teaching features, and supportive community make it a well-rounded choice.
Many of the Alo7 reviews rate the company as good for part-time work, for those wanting to make extra money on the side. If you live in the right time zone, the peak 3-hour window can be very adaptable and work brilliantly around other commitments.
Stability is one of the things that ALO7 place plenty of emphasis on. Their partner schools prefer tutors who can offer long-term stable hours and tutors who can’t offer this stability find it hard to get booked. For some online English teachers, this stability is ideal, as it offers an advanced warning of when and how much they’ll be teaching.
The supportive community, both with ALO7 staff and other tutors, gets good feedback. It appears as though questions get answered promptly and teachers are given respect and trust. The lesson plans and courseware also get praised, as do the students, who are said to generally come to class ready to learn and participate.
When it comes to pay, ALO7 falls down somewhat. The pay isn’t bad by any means, but when you compare it to other online teaching companies, it isn’t quite as good. The booking system also gets mixed reviews, with some ALO7 teachers finding the system worked well for them and they were often fully booked, while others struggled to get the hours or found that schools canceled their programs last minute.
While we mentioned above that for many teachers the peak hours were the perk of the job, for others the peak hour window of just 3 hours a day is the major downside. Although there are non-peak hours, 90% of the classes are during this 3-hour window, so if these hours don’t fit in well with your lifestyle or your own time zone, you may find it difficult to teach with ALO7.
On top of this, the pull to online teaching for some teachers is the flexibility of the job. If you are someone who likes to chop and change your hours each week, and you can’t offer long-term stable hours, then you may wish to check out other online teaching companies who work on more flexible schedules.
If the pros outweigh the cons for you, and you meet the teaching, technical and time zone requirements, why not head over to the ALO7 website and create an account on their online portal today. It could be the start of a very exciting online teaching adventure!