How to Teach with DaDaABC: A Guide to Getting Hired


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With online teaching continuing to gain momentum there is no shortage of people looking to get hired and start teaching from the comforts of their own home.  DaDaABC has just raised $100 million in funding and continues to hire like crazy in an effort to meet the growing demand of their students.

If you’re looking to join the party then this guide is for you – read ahead for how to get hired by DaDaABC including what they pay and what their hiring process looks like.

What is DaDaABC?

DadaABC is one of the leading employers for educators looking to teach online.  Based in China and partnered with the American TESOL Institute, DadaABC aims to provide English lessons on-demand to Chinese students.

The DaDaABC platform ESL teachers to connect with children between the ages of 4 to 16 in a one-on-one setting while presenting the best possible teaching environment possible. The system is already internationally recognized and DaDaABC already holds collaborations and partnerships with Person, National Geographic, PTE Young Learners, Highlights and Penguin Random House to deliver a curriculum that is all-encompassing and empowering through the English language.

What are the requirements to teach for DaDaABC?

As far as teaching requirements go, DaDaABC’s are pretty straightforward:

dadaabc requirements
  • Be a native English Speaker
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree (any subject is fine)

Unfortunately, if you don’t meet these requirements you’re pretty much out of luck – the talent pool of teachers is so great (VIPKID reportedly has 30,000 teachers!) that there is no shortage of applicants that meet these 2 criteria.

An important thing to note here is that while DaDaABC is based in Shanghai, you can teach anywhere as long as you are a native speaker (we did a cool interview with a couple that travels the world while teaching online).

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Technical Requirements

There is also the issue of having the right equipment to run your classes and DaDaABC is pretty clear about this as well:

dadaabc tech requirements

How much does DaDaABC pay?

Though DaDaABC touts the ability to make $25/hr, the reality is that most teachers earn somewhere in the middle of that:

dadaabc pay

The variance between what DaDaABC says you can make and what most teachers actually make is due to the factors that go into your pay.  Every teachers’ DaDaABC salary is determined by 3 components: your initial application, your training + demo class, and your bonuses + incentives.

Every teacher that applies to DaDaABC starts at the bottom of the scale – once your resume is reviewed you might be in a position to move up that scale but this will only be confirmed once you do your demo + training.  Finally, every teacher is eligible for bonuses, incentives, and a raise upon contract renewal.

DaDaABC Bonuses + Incentives

Unfortunately, DaDaABC doesn’t offer as many bonuses as their competitors (see our guide on teaching for VIPKID as an example) but there are some easy ways to pad your hourly rate:

  • Use props: DaDaABC offers 100rmb (about $15) out of the gate for you to use to buy props – if you already have props then that money goes straight to your pockets!
  • Trial students: if a student takes your class as a trial and then signs up you will get 50rmb (about $8) – there is no limit on this so if you are a rockstar teacher these bonuses can start to add up.
  • Raise – DaDaABC would obviously love to see you stay on after your initial 6 or 12-month contract and typically offers an increase of around 10% (warning: you might have to negotiate based on reports from other teachers)

DaDaABC Contracts & Taxes

As we just mentioned, the DaDaABC program is a contractual position that spans 6 or 12 months with teachers having the ability to renegotiate at the end.  The contract is pretty standard by all reports with one exception: if you cancel too many classes they will deduct money from your pay.  While this might sound harsh, there is no shortage of teachers who don’t take the position seriously and cancel for no reason, thereby leaving DaDaABC in a bad position.

Finally, like all other online teaching companies, if you teach for DaDaABC you will be classified as an independent contractor for tax purposes.  This means you are responsible for disclosing your income and paying taxes on it!  If you’re an American, you read more about what this means here.

How do you actually get paid?

In our opinion, DaDaABC has a pretty unfavorable payment system as the only way to receive your money without paying a fee is to be in Shanghai.

dadaabc pay

Most DaDaABC teachers won’t be living in China and will be forced to either pay around $30 for a wire transfer or the fees impost by Paypal.

What is the DaDaABC interview process?

DadaABC uses a pretty robust interview process comprised of a number of steps:

dadaabc interview process

The process looks like this:

  1. CV upload
  2. Initial interview
  3. Internet and hardware connection test
  4. System training
  5. Total Physical Response training
  6. Watching videos of qualified teachers
  7. Hosting a demo class
  8. Contracts
  9. Probation performance review
  10. Completing the process and getting hired

To begin, interested teachers will need to fill out an application available on the website. The information will gather basic details and contact information and successful applicants ate usually contacted within three days.

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If you meet the basic criteria (degree, native speaker), the next step is the initial interview (want some tips? Check out this great interview with a DadaABC teacher on the topic). These interviews are usually conducted through video platforms like WeChat or Skype and applicants who do well will be provided with a login for the next part of the process.

The next step in the interview process is the Total Physical Response training or TPR. This process helps DaDaABC evaluate your teaching style and teaching skills. Upon completion of this step, you will need to familiarize yourself with some videos of other teachers and then proceed to have a demo class.

The demo class is such a big deal we’re put together some helpful tips:

  • Smile while you teachDaDaABC is always on the search for ESL teachers that can convey happiness and joy as part of the learning process!
  • Assess your student’s level of knowledge: DaDaABC loves candidates who are sensitive to the current learning levels of their students so ask questions to get a feel for their abilities.
  • Speak slowly
  • Shower your kids with praise
  • Make faces and be funny: DadaABC is big into teachers who have fun – the more lively you are the better the result will be!

Remember that the performance of the demo class usually plays a role in determining your hourly pay. If you are successful at this stage, you will proceed to sign a contract and enter a probation review period.

Some advice from a current DadaABC teacher, Jason, from Digino: “The best way to not only pass the DaDaABC hiring process but pass it with the highest wage possible, is to do your preparation early. For example, you can prepare by practicing communicating clearly using TPR.”

If everything has gone well up to this point, you will be asked to sign a contract and come on as a probationary DaDaABC teacher – congrats!

What is the work schedule for DaDaABC?

Since the job is entirely online you’ll be teaching with a good bit flexibility. Still, DaDaABC expects their teachers are to teach at least 2 days per week for 2 hours each day but prefers around 15 hours total.

Classes can be broken into 3 different types:

  • Trial classes (15min): for students who are studying with DaDaABC for their first time or those looking for a full-time teacher (these are where you can earn your bonus!)
  • Electives (30min): these are almost always structured like extracurriculars with a focus on a specific subject or topic
  • Major classes (30min or 60min): classes with your regular students or students who request you

For most teachers, the goal is to have a set of regular students with whom you can get to know, form a relationship, and teach long term.

Classes are offered daily and you will need to sign up for shifts, keeping the timezone in mind as most students are located in China.

The schedule is usually as follows:

  • Monday to Friday: 6pm-9pm
  • Weekends: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4pm, 6pm-9pm

Please note that all times are on Beijing time.

DaDaABC encourages a consistent schedule and should the need to change arise, a 30-day notice is required.

The DaDaABC Teaching Platform

DaDaABC uses a platform called DaDaClass to administer classes – it’s very similar to other online teaching platforms, or even Zoom and Skype.  This platform allows you to interact with the students while giving a lesson by displaying a guided lesson on the side of the screen.

Teachers are able to interact with students via the video camera and through activities like drawing on the screen and giving awards.

Warning: the following video is long but a great in-depth look at the DaDaABC platform!

Wrapping Up

Joining DadaABC as an  ESL teacher is a great way to earn additional income without having to let go of your existing job or move to another country. The initial requirements aren’t too hard to meet and you can choose the hours you want to work and even take on more hours whenever you are free.

Another advantage is that they provide all your teaching materials and you do not have to do so much. Their plentiful teaching aids and resources will also help you become a better teacher over time and more familiarized with new teaching techniques suited to the ESL industry. The teaching platform is also very interactive and allows you to have a real connection with the students even though you’re far away.

DaDaABC also changes up their coursework frequently which means that your teaching experience hardly ever gets so stale that it is demotivating. They’ve designed it to be interesting for both teachers and the students though it’s also possible for more experienced teachers to design their own class.

Finally, if you need help, there is also a large community of teachers available to help you settle in and support your classes.  Signing up with DaDaABC is also easy and you can be right in your classroom in a matter of days and teaching already.  When you add the flexibility and the financial benefits, DadaABC is ideal for most categories of ESL teachers, both professional and part-time.


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33 Responses

  1. Good day. I would like to know if there is an age limit for TEFL online teachers. I am 58 and would like to apply. I would like to know if there is an age limit for online teachers before I sign up for the TEFL course. Thank you

    1. Hi Patricia – I don’t believe there are any hard-and-fast rules regarding age but I have heard that older teachers can have a harder time finding a job. Still, if you have a TEFL and teaching experience you should be ok – there are lots of teaching companies out there.

      1. Hi there, my name is Phylicia Govender. I recently applied to be a teacher at the Dadaabc Institute and was rejected. Please can you explain to me why I was not accepted? I have a Bachelor’s degree, I am from South Africa and my native language is English. I also have a Tefl certification.

        1. Hi Phylicia – we are not associated with Dada and suggest directing all hiring questions to them, sorry!

    2. Good day. I am an South African teacher with 40 years teaching experience and would love to do English online teaching as I am retiring soon. I don’t have a bachelor’s degree but have a four year teaching diploma. Do I qualify to work for your company?

  2. Hello, I am an ESL teacher based in Kenya (not a native speaker) and very much interested in online teaching. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and Literature. Kindly recommend platforms that recruit non natives. Thanks.

  3. How far in advance do I need to set up my schedule? For VIPkid, we can literally close slots 30 minutes if the class is not booked. How does it work for DadaABC?

  4. Hello. I’m a qualified teacher living in the UK. I don’t have a TEFL or ESL experience. However I have taught phonics to children for over 6 years. Will I still be eligible to apply?

    1. I dont believe a TEFL or experience is a requirement so as long as you meet the other requirements you should be ok, especially if you are a certified teacher.

    2. Hi I am struggling to fill out the application form as it keeps saying my phone number is not formatted correctly. What am I doing wrong? How should I write my phone number?

  5. I am not a native speaker, however have lived in the UK for 36 years. I have Cambridge Proficiency and BA in Art. I have been giving private lessons for some time.Would I qualify to teach on your platform?
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Katie – we aren’t affiliated with Dada and all questions like this are best directed at them, sorry!

  6. Thank you so much for this article! Have been with DADA for a few months now and can honestly say that reading your article is what got me the job. Keep up the great work!

      1. One of the most important factors of all ESL online companies is do they assign the classes or do we hustle for them.

  7. Are any of the company’s clients adults … particularly adults who need to improve their English language skills for their work in academia, business, medicine, science, etc.? I’ve been doing such teaching for a long time, and I’d love to continue doing so but now online (which I haven’t done before).

  8. DaDa doesn’t require a degree but does require TEFL. I’ve worked there for nearly 2 years and only have an AA in Elementary Education but Ankit of experience working in after-schook programs. The degree isn’t required if you have lots of experience with kids.

    1. After receiving a text message for hiring , I see the teacher portal active . I uploaded all documents but what are the next steps . I have not received any training date etc nor a job letter. Does it all happen after everything uploaded is approved by the management.

  9. Don’t apply here. Those rates are old. They cut pay down to 14/hr. They slam you with penaltys for missing ghost classes they book last minute. They will charge you $18 per missed class which is more than your hourly rate let alone class rate. They never pay on time. They have cut teachers pay rates aggressively since January. Their courseware is terrible and often incorrect or unreadable (small poorly scanned pages). Stay away. Dada is going down hill and not worth your efforts.

  10. Thank you for your help and knowledge shared so kindly. May you find some fun waves soon 🙂
    Have a great day!

  11. Good day , I am a CPE level English teacher in safir English language academy and I’ve been teaching English mostly to kids and teenagers for 4 years now but I’m not a native speaker and I don’t have a bachelor’s degree.
    Is it possible for me to sign up for teaching online classes on this platform?

      1. But the girl in the Dada platform video is clearly not a native speaker. I don’t think her English is that great to be honest.

  12. Hi,
    thank you for all the useful information provided. I am thinking of applying but I believe I am having technical problems. On the dada homepage, the small window on the right offers the possibility to apply. However, after entering my email address and verification code, I click on the green ‘apply’ button but nothing happens. This has happened repeatedly. Am I doing anything wrong?
    Many thanks for your help

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