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BlingABC Review Summary
BlingABC is a Chinese company still recruiting foreign English speakers to teach children 1v1 or in groups online. Pay is $12-15/hr, and a degree, teaching certificate and ESL experience are required, though there is little flexibility to cancel/reschedule classes, which are limited due to excessive hiring.
|Pay (per hour):||$12-$15|
|Location/language requirements:||Anywhere with stable internet/a neutral English accent|
|Degree/diploma required?||Bachelor’s Degree or higher|
|Teaching certificate required?||TEFL/TESOL/CELTA or State/Provincial Teaching License|
|Teaching experience required?||ESL teaching experience (online with children preferred)|
|Class size:||1-18 students|
|Student ages?||6-13 years|
|Hours:||Weekday evenings and weekends (Beijing Time)|
BlingABC Pros and Cons
- Can teach from anywhere with a reliable internet connection
- Company responsible for marketing and allocating teachers
- Stable students for 3-month terms
- Variety of subjects, not just English/ESL
- Tax is deducted by the company
- Teacher saturation from overhiring makes it difficult to get a full schedule
- Little flexibility to cancel or change teaching slots once agreed upon (during a 3-month term)
- You must be comfortable teaching young learners with TPR, props, and high energy
Is BlingABC Legit?
BlingABC is a legitimate online branch of New Oriental Education and Technology Group, a leading Chinese EdTech company that was founded in 1993 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its legitimacy is reinforced by international partnerships with Macmillan Education Press and Edumaxi to create tailored curricula for its 200,000+ Chinese learners across 52 cities.
Below is a video introduction to BlingABC, outlining the company’s origins and teaching philosophy:
Is BlingABC Still In Business?
Unlike several Chinese ESL companies, including Whales English, Zebra English, Dazao and Landi (to name but a few), BlingABC survived the 2021 introduction of that country’s ‘double reduction’ policy and is still hiring foreign teachers.
Most BlingABC 30-minute classes are aimed at primary school children between the ages of 6-13 years, and are delivered through the company’s ‘Roombox’ virtual classroom, either 1v1 or in groups of up to 18 students where children take turns interacting with the teacher.
A variety of subjects are offered in addition to English Language Arts/ESL, including Drama, Culture, and Sciences, with training, teaching guides, and materials provided by the company, while communication is carried out through DingTalk.
How Much Does BlingABC Pay?
The current BlingABC pay scale ranges between US$12-$15 an hour ($6-$7.50 per 30-minute class). This is down from the $21-$27 that the company used to offer.
BlingABC salaries are paid on the 10th of each month directly into teachers’ bank accounts. However, tax is deducted as follows:
“For foreign individuals who are resident individuals, you shall be subject to seven levels of excess tax rates ranging from 3% to 45%, and shall be taxed comprehensively on an annual basis. For foreign individuals who are non-resident individuals, you shall be taxed on a monthly basis or on a sub-item basis.”
BlingABC Hours and Schedule
BlingABC peak hours are during weekday evenings and weekends (Beijing Time), with classes lasting 30 minutes (reduced from 40mins previously).
The number and timing of BlingABC teaching hours is decided by the teacher’s availability. However, once teaching slots have been agreed upon there is little flexibility for the teacher to alter or cancel them for the duration of the term (which lasts 3 months/13 weeks).
A doctor’s note will be required if you are too ill to teach. However, the company reserves the right to add or cancel classes at short notice, including standby lessons, so schedules should be regularly checked for late changes.
Though students are assigned for the duration of a term, providing some consistency in bookings, there are a lot of teachers on the platform meaning it can take time to build up a schedule of regular classes.
BlingABC Requirements to Become a Teacher
You must match the following criteria to become an online ESL teacher with BlingABC:
- English speaker with a neutral accent (preferably from an English-speaking country)
- Bachelor’s Degree or above
- TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate or valid State/Provincial Teaching License
- ESL teaching experience (experience teaching children online is a plus)
- Friendly and professional manner with good communication skills
BlingABC Technical Requirements
- Well-functioning desktop or laptop (tablets, iPads or phones are not accepted)
- Windows7 or MacOS X10.12 (or higher)
- Intel core i5 processor or equivalent, benchmark score 3500 (or higher)
- 4GB RAM (6GB suggested)
- Wired, stable, high-speed internet connection of at least 20 Mbps (test your speed here)
- HD built-in or external webcam (1280×720 resolution)
- Microphone headset microphone with stable output and input
- Backup power supply to cover outages/load-shedding
BlingABC Application Process
There are eight main stages to the BlingABC hiring process:
- Submit an application including basic information (5 minutes)
- Schedule and conduct an initial interview (30 minutes, including a 20-minute demo class)
- Check qualifications and contract (30 minutes)
- Attend orientation with a device check (60 minutes)
- Participate in on-board training (120 minutes)
- Complete a mock class (20 minutes teaching + up to 20 minutes trainer feedback)
- Join DingTalk and submit teaching availabilities
- Schedule classes and start teaching (3 months probation)
Begin by registering with your email address and password at https://t.blingabc.com/apply or by emailing [email protected]. You will then have access to the BlingABC teacher portal, where you submit the following basic information:
- Application Type (Foreign or Chinese Teacher)
- First, Middle and Last Name
- Mobile Number
- Skype/WeChat ID
- Highest Level of Education
- What university did you graduate from?
- What major is your degree in?
- Teaching Certificate
- Teaching experience
- Resume (upload)
- Select the age group you wish to teach, based on your experience and personal preference.
- Where/How did you hear about BlingABC?
- Confirm all the information given is accurate and valid
How to Pass the BlingABC Interview and Demo/Mock Class
Once your application has passed initial screening, you will be invited to schedule an interview. Slots for these fill up fast, so grab one when you can.
The BlingABC interview will last around 30 minutes, 20 minutes of which will be assigned for the demo class where the interviewer acts as a student.
BlingABC interview questions that have previously been asked include:
- “What do you find is the hardest thing about teaching online?” (Be sure to mention both a problem and solution)
- “What is your teaching experience?”
- “What age groups have you taught in the past?”
- “Are you available during peak hours?”
To stand the best chance of passing the teaching demo, you should:
- Review the demo class material ahead of time.
- Check that your equipment is functioning properly, that there is good illumination on your face, and the environment is quiet with no background noise.
- Be punctual, as rescheduling multiple times will result in a failure.
- Use lots of TPR and demonstration.
- Adopt an appropriate level of input for the student (i.e. speaking pace, word difficulty, and sentence length) / balance TTT (Teacher Talk Time) and STT (Student Talk Time).
- Convey a friendly, professional, patient, and supportive teaching attitude.
- Utilize supplementary teaching tools, such as props and a child-friendly background (including the Bling ABC logo and your name).
- Praise and correct student errors in a timely and encouraging manner.
- Teach with a high level of energy and adjust according to the student’s age and personality.
- Give instructions efficiently.
Most of these points also apply to the BlingABC mock class, which follows the on-board training. For this, you will additionally be assessed on how effectively you use the Roombox platform and write up your student evaluation comments afterward.
The mock class should last 20 minutes, with another 10-20 minutes assigned for trainer feedback. Follow the teachers’ guide but add your own style, and if you do fail on the first attempt you are allowed to reschedule.
The company has provided this video guide, which demonstrates how best to conduct the mock class and what is required to pass it:
For ideas about creating appropriate BlingABC backgrounds for your classes, watch this video:
BlingABC Reviews – What Is It Like Working With BlingABC?
No recent reviews have been left on the BlingABC Indeed page, and those that were submitted over a year ago predate the changes in pay, class length, and management that have since taken place. However, teachers have submitted more recent experiences to the BlingABC Glassdoor page, where the company has an overall score of 3.7 out of 5 and a recommendation rate of 70% (at present).
I have consolidated all the comments that have been left over the last year, which talk positively about the curriculum, lack of admin and planning, and easy-to-use platform, though there are complaints about the lack of teacher input, few hours/classes due to overhiring, and penalties/terminations for missing classes, while views of the pay and staff are mixed:
- “Good compensation compared to other similar companies
- No commute, working from home
- Well paid, nice environments, friendly colleagues
- Rate per hour is good compared to most companies -Curriculum is good
- Online teaching is easy, there’s virtually none of the admin, planning or reports that come with a school job.
- Lesson planning is easy, Platform unsophisticated but easy to use, Small classes can be productive, Good if you want to move on to kids TV or TikTok videos
- Pay well. platform super fun and easy to use. great energy in class. 12 to 30 students. never a boring moment
- I had an excellent experience working with BlingABC; I found the teaching materials to be of high-quality, rarely had issues getting classes and found all the staff I interacted with super professional and helpful.
- I enjoyed the flexible and minimal hours. That’s it.”
- “Still not great compensation, although back in 2020 there were some opportunities to move up
- Inconsistent schedule, lack of communication about schedule, only use teachers for when summer/winter camp periods then no work at all, Same as most Chinese online companies
- In August 2021, Bling got rid of most of its contractors because the Chinese Government made it illegal for foreigners who weren’t China-based to teach Chinese elementary- aged children. It therefore had to hire foreigners based in China to teach on full time permanent employment contracts to teach the classes. In 2022 it must have found a loophole as by the end of the year it fired all of its full-time teachers and replaced them with overseas foreigners as independent contractors again (which is obviously much cheaper as their [sic] is no social insurance or other charges associated with permanent full time staff. Some of the FT teachers had only signed new contracts in October. Thus Bling has no compunction about seeing which way the wind blows and cancelling contracts post haste according to the whims of the Chinese government. If you work as a contractor and the loophole gets closed
- Large classes have minimal impact, Company promotes illegal working, Not really teaching – no input on materials, no communication with parents, no real reporting or development planning
- Dont have a lot of hours. big problem of over hiring and not enough classes. no understanding when emergency happen and you miss a class. got penalized for giving short notice of a missed class, it was an hour before the class… I went into labor.
- A lack of classes during the summer months.
- The staff was borderline unresponsive, the compensation was abysmal, and worst of all, I was terminated for taking too many sick days. They also dock you if you don’t have the logo in the background. The TICO system is Byzantine, there is no clear explanation of how it works. Also, beware, if you do work there, to 90% is in the bottom rank of teachers. They never explain this. -Unresponsive staff -Little pay -TICO system/Bonus structure is some of the worst I’ve seen.”
This teacher shared her experience on YouTube, where she also mentions a lack of transparent communication, and cancellation of her classes by BlingABC:
Conclusion – Is BlingABC Worth It?
For teachers who have missed having access to regular Chinese students in that timezone, then BlingABC will hold some appeal. However, it seems difficult to get a full-time schedule with the company, and there is limited flexibility to change your schedule once it has been agreed upon. While you may still wish to apply for BlingABC jobs, we suggest you first check out our full list of online teaching companies that are hiring to assess all options.