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8Belts is a language platform from Spain that teaches mostly adults in English, French, German and Chinese. They pay around €5-€9/hr to conduct 1v1 30-minute conversations. The application process is simple and open to Non-Native Speakers and those lacking qualifications/experience, though there are complaints about the schedule.
|Pay (per hour):||€5-€9|
|Language requirements:||Native-level Speaker in English, French, German or Chinese|
(knowledge of Spanish is a plus)
|Location requirements:||Work remotely from anywhere in the world|
|Education/experience required:||Education and/or background in Linguistics preferred|
|Teaching certificate required?||Mostly aimed at adults,|
some children from 6-7 years upwards
|Student ages:||Mostly aimed adults,|
some children from 6-7 years upwards
|Class length:||30 minutes|
8Belts Pros and Cons
- Simple application process – just email a CV and short video
- Open to Native-level Non-Native Speakers
- No mandatory qualifications or experience required to apply
- Little prep as audio-based conversations
- 1v1 sessions
- Low-ish pay reported
- Some knowledge of Spanish is a plus
- Mostly aimed at adult students
- Suffered a data breach in 2020
- Several complaints regarding scheduling
What Is 8Belts and Is It Legit?
8Belts.com (sometimes referred to as 8Belts Idiomas), is a legitimate online language learning company based in Madrid, Spain. While focused on Spanish-speaking nations, since its founding in 2011 it has expanded to over 50,000 students in more than 50 countries worldwide, practicing 372,000 conversations with 300+ teachers.
8Belts’ legitimacy is supported by being part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Spanish Government’s Ministry for Energy, Tourism, and Digital Agenda. Furthermore, leading international brands are counted amongst the 700+ 8Belts clients, including Bridgestone, Deloitte, Huawei, Real Madrid, Renault, and Santander, to provide corporate language training to their employees.
What Is the 8Belts Method?
8Belts guarantees that by following its method, based upon these 8 principles, its students learn a language within 8 months of studying (for 30 minutes a day):
- Prioritize – learn less information but learn it better, e.g. learning the 20% of a language that can be used in 80% of daily life
- Combine – integrate and connect the information, e.g. make lots of sentences with the words and expressions learned
- Make it bite-sized – focus on the unit to make it concrete, increase assimilation and eliminate haze, e.g. understand the meaning of each individual word to be able to reproduce it
- Quantify/count it – turn your goal into a ladder and each achievement into a step, e.g. make a list and count everything you’ve been learning
- Use it – learn by doing, e.g. make the student do most of the talking
- Limit the theory – focus on the practical side and learn only theory that can be turned into practice, e.g. trade a grammar lesson for more examples
- Success equals retention – what matters is not how much information goes in but how much stays in, e.g. review 10 previous words every time a new one is added
- Quick results – shrink the time between effort and reward to produce immediate results, e.g. converse with a Native-level speaker more often
Below is a video of 8Belts founder Anxo Pérez giving a TED talk that discusses this 8Belts technique in more detail:
How 8Belts Works
8Belts courses are 100% online and combine algorithm-based learning with practice sessions facilitated by Native-level Speakers. These are referred to as ‘Conversationalists’ rather than as teachers, as facilitating more student speaking opportunities is a key principle in the 8Belts methodology.
Conversationalists’ primary role is to ask open-ended questions and guide the student through topics that engage the latter’s knowledge. Students are thus not required to use a webcam, as their focus should be on speaking and listening.
While the 8Belts platform was created for adults, especially business professionals, children above the age of 6 may also use it.
8Belts Salary Information
The company does not openly publicize its pay rates, however, trainers have shared that their 8Belts salaries range between €5-€9 an hour.
8Belts conversational classes last 30 minutes and are audio-based.
Teachers/conversationalists set their hours, wherever they are based in the world (with internet access), and students schedule appointments with them accordingly. However, existing employees have warned about the limited flexibility should you wish to change this schedule or take time off.
If you wish to apply for 8Belts jobs, you should be able to demonstrate that you match the following requirements:
- Perfect command of the English language (Native or Native-level), with good communication skills and a passion for languages (understanding of the various dialects of English is highly valued).
- An education and/or background in Linguistics, Philology, and/or translation is highly valued.
- Pedagogical attitude and aptitude for teaching.
- Enthusiastic, committed and responsible.
- Aptitude for organization, planning, communication, and empathy.
- Dynamic, with high analytical ability.
- Able to work in a team with a high level of participation.
- Adaptable to change. Optimistic and motivated when challenged with uncertainty.
- Knowledge of Internet and web management tools.
- Internet access, a working webcam, and USB headset.
8Belts Employment Process
To submit an 8Belts application, simply email your CV and a short video presentation in English to [email protected].
Those invited to an 8Belts interview will be asked about the languages they speak, their motivation, training, professional experience, and availability. There is also a test/trial call with a student lasting around 10 minutes on Skype (audio only).
8Belts Reviews – What Is It Like Working for 8Belts?
The 8Belts Glassdoor page gives the company an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5, with 71% willing to recommend them (at this time). I have collated the 8Belts experiences of language trainers there from the last 2 years, who enjoy the students and easy nature of the work, though there are complaints about the rate of pay, scheduling and lack of time off:
- Positive 8Belts opinions:
- “They are very reliable and professional.
- Great management. You can feel very independent working for this company. The students are so friendly. Work is so so easy. Audio no video. You can work for this company for a long time.
- Flexble [sic] schedule, great independence. On time payments
- Great enterprise for a part time job
- Work is easy and students are great.
- Short 30-min sessions with students. Very friendly and receptive supervisors. Good pay.
- Students are fantastic.
- Teamwork is one of the driving forces that strengthens the loyalty department.
- Very relaxed environment. Students are fantastic
- Fixed hourly rate for native and non-native speakers, excellent support
- Great team, easy job, simple, easy, people are friendly
- Good company. Good people. It’s good.
- Good students and interesting people.
- Its [sic] easy, flexible hours, fun. great students”
- 8Belts negative reviews:
- “Fixed schedule not flexible schedule.
- No cancelations and zero tolerance with this
- No more benefits besides the salary
- No benefits No pay increases Students cancel and you don’t get paid
- Booking and therefore pay is highly variable and unstable.
- Managers have forgotten how it is to be a trainer. Shocking hourly rate. No flexibility. Policies regarding leave and policies are unlawful.
- They do not take into account the performance of employees, quality surveys and the opinions of team leaders before firing a brilliant employee.
- Schedule not as flexible as with other companies
- No permanent slots resulting in inconsistent income during off peak seasons
- Low salary, holiday limit, fixed scheduled [sic] must be accurate
- Low salary and not very flexible.
- No holidays, no weekends one day off
- They do not pay you when a student misses the call. They do not allow time off. You submit a schedule and have NO flexibility. Any way they can think of 8belts will find a way not to pay you with their awful policies. It is always the teacher’s fault”
Conclusion – Is 8Belts Worth It for Teachers?
8Belts offers a fairly easy job consisting of 30-minute conversations, that can be applied for with a simple application from those who may lack the qualifications and experience required elsewhere. However, the downside of this seems to be a relatively low rate of pay, and lack of flexibility regarding scheduling and taking time off. For more options check out our full list of online teaching jobs.