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Engoo Review Summary

Engoo has no academic qualification requirements, they provide both child and adult students, flexible teaching with no minimum peak hours, and some incentive schemes, though the basic pay is towards the lower end of the market. This in-depth and impartial Engoo review will help you decide whether to apply.

Pay (per hour):$2-10
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No
Degree / diploma required?No
Adult / child students?Both
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):0

Engoo Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No experience or qualifications required
  • All ages of student
  • Lesson plans and teaching materials provided
  • Flexible schedule with no minimum peak hours

Cons:

  • Low pay and no pay rises other than incentive schemes
  • Cancellation penalties
  • No system for challenging unfair student ratings
  • Takes time to build-up bookings as a new teacher

What Is Engoo and Is Engoo Legit?

Engoo are a legitimate ESL company based in the Philippines. Engoo were previously known as Bibo (Global Opportunity) and were founded in 2013. They claim to be the number 1 ESL company in Japan, and the number 3 ESL company in both South Korea and Taiwan. They hire more than 6000 teachers from 70+ countries.

Engoo Salary / Pay

Native speakers at Engoo earn US$10 per hour, while Non-Native speakers will typically only earn 90PHP or US$2.4 per hour. There is no scheduled Engoo salary review, so what you’re offered is the amount you’ll stay on for the duration of your time with the company.

Engoo Payment

Filipino tutors are paid twice a month via GCash. The cut-off periods are as follows:

  • 6th-20th of the month (payment will be on the last day of the month)
  • 21st of the month to the 5th of the following month (payment will be on the 15th of the latter month)

International tutors are paid once, on the 20th of each month (for the period from the 11th of the previous month to the 10th of the current month). Payoneer is now the only acceptable payment method for most new international teachers, and you must have earned at least $50 for the payment to be made (PayPal is still accepted for Japanese tutors and countries where Payoneer is not available).

Engoo Incentives / Bonuses

Engoo offer different incentive schemes depending on whether you are Filipino or another nationality (Native or Non-Native Speaking).

Filipino teachers can receive a 500PHP ‘conducted lessons bonus’ for completing 100 lessons before the pay cut-off date. They can also earn an additional 500PHP ‘no cancellation bonus’ for having at least 100 lessons and no cancellations before then.

Other nationalities must conduct 160 lessons for each cut-off period to qualify for a conducted lesson incentive.

For new Non-Native teachers (excluding Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese), Engoo offer a ‘guaranteed booking rate’ incentive, whereby if you open at least 200 lessons within 30 days of becoming an active teacher, you are guaranteed to be paid for a minimum of 120 lessons, even if you teach fewer than that.

All Engoo teachers can participate in their referral incentive scheme. If you manage to successfully recruit an applicant from the Philippines you will receive a bonus of 500PHP/US$10, while successful candidates from other countries will earn you 1000PHP/$20.

Does Engoo Pay for No-Shows?

If an Engoo student does not appear by the 15th minute of a booked class or they cancel it, then you can tag it as ‘NO SHOW’ and you will get paid as normal.

Engoo Cancellation Penalty

As is usual with many online ESL companies, there is a penalty if you cancel your lessons. International teachers who give a cancellation notice have to pay US$0.6 for each class they cancel, unless 4% of their total classes have been canceled in which case the penalty rises to $1.8. If no notice is given, then the penalty is $1 or $3 depending on whether you’ve canceled fewer or more than 1% of your classes.

If you’re a Filipino teacher, the ‘with notice’ cancellation penalty is 20PHP per class (up to 5 cancellations per cut-off period), or equal your pay for more than 5 cancellations. The ‘without notice’ penalty is twice your pay up to 5 cancellations, and three times the normal pay over 5 cancellations.

Who Does Engoo Hire?

Engoo accepts both Native Speakers and Non-Native Speakers. Non-Native Speakers do receive a lower rate of pay and must clearly show their English Language skills during their interview lesson; a Certificate of Proficiency will be a plus in this case.

No prior ESL teaching experience or specific qualifications are essential requirements, so this is one of the few companies where you won’t need to possess either a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate or a Bachelor’s degree to apply.

Engoo Requirements

To apply to Engoo you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Proficient in English
  • Have a laptop or desktop computer
  • A headset and webcam
  • A High-Speed Internet Connection (you can test your internet speed here)

How to Apply to Become an Engoo Teacher

There are six steps in the Engoo application process to become an Engoo tutor:

  1. Registration: Create an account by registering your basic personal details, including name and nationality, and upload proof of ID.
  2. Basic English and Internet Connection Test: Check that your browser and internet connection are compatible with Engoo’s system, and record a short English test.
  3. Interview: Pass a 15-20 minute interview.
  4. Receive Training Materials: If you pass the interview you will be sent training materials to study.
  5. Complete the Training and Demo Lesson: Join a training session and conduct a demo lesson to show that you have studied and understood Engoo’s training materials.
  6. Start Teaching: Set your availability on Engoo’s tutor site and wait for students to start booking your lessons.

Should you fail at any point in the application process, you may reapply after six months.

Engoo Application Process

To register with Engoo, you must visit their site here and enter the following information (make sure you have a digital copy of your photo ID ready to upload):

Once you have submitted your registration details and confirmed your email address, there will be a quick video test where Engoo check the suitability of your browser and internet connection, followed by a short language test. The language test consists of two questions, one topical discussion and one checking your understanding and use of vocabulary. For each question, you have 2 minutes to record your response (your microphone and camera must be on for this). These were the examples we received when taking the test (we reloaded question 2 and it gave us an alternative question, so be aware yours might also differ):

  • Question 1: Is learning new languages important? Why/why not?
  • Question 2: Explain the following word as simply as you can: contemporary. Use it in a sentence.
  • Question 2: Explain the following idiom as simply as you can: from scratch. Use it in a sentence.

How to Pass the Engoo Interview Questions

If Engoo accept your initial language test they will invite you to a live interview lasting approximately 20 minutes (on average). To pass the Engoo interview you will have to answer questions about yourself, your experience, the company and teaching role applied for, as well as questions testing your understanding of English vocabulary and grammar. The interview is intended to assess your speech and pronunciation as much as the actual detail of your answers, so expect to receive a couple of random conversational questions seemingly unrelated to the job. To help you pass, we have compiled this comprehensive list of genuine, past questions posed to Engoo teaching applicants (while you won’t be asked all of these, make sure you’re able to answer each question just in case it comes up again for you):

  • Describe yourself.
  • Tell me more/something interesting about yourself.
  • Where do you live? 
  • What’s the weather like in your place?
  • What is your internet connection and speed?
  • What are some of your hobbies?
  • What is your favorite movie and why? 
  • What is your opinion regarding economical matters?
  • What is your opinion about the inauguration of the new president?
  • What are the advantages & disadvantages of renting a house?
  • What is your opinion on car manufacturers in the United States?  
  • Did you participate in a foreign exchange student program? Did you visit other countries?  
  • Is English important in today’s world? 
  • How good are your English speaking abilities?
  • When did you start learning English? 
  • Do you have any teaching experience?
  • What experience do you have in teaching English online and teaching English in general? How long?
  • Why do you teach English?  
  • Tell me about your education.
  • What qualifications do you have?
  • Do you have any teaching qualifications?  
  • What’s your work experience?
  • Are you employed with any other company?
  • Why do you need this job?
  • Are you comfortable working with different backgrounds?  
  • What’s your strength?
  • What makes a good teacher?
  • Why did you apply for this position/job?  
  • Why would you like to work at this position?
  • Why do you think this is a job for you? 
  • Where did you hear about Engoo? 
  • Why do you want to work for us/Engoo?
  • Why do you want to work as an ESL teacher?
  • Why do you think you would be a good teacher for Engoo?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your job expectations?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this job? 
  • How many hours would you be available for work?
  • What time will you be available for lessons?
  • Can you work full time?
  • What salary do you prefer? Why did you choose that salary?
  • Describe the perfect teacher?
  • What’s the difference between teaching online and teaching face-to-face?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of online teaching? 
  • What’s the difference between teaching children and older students?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of teaching kids? 
  • How would you greet your student?
  • How would you face different kinds of students?
  • What do you do when the student is shy?
  • What would you do with an unengaged student?
  • How will you motivate a child?
  • What will you do if your student cannot understand the lesson? 
  • Tell me about one of the challenges you faced while teaching – How did you handle such challenge?
  • How can you simplify a question so that it can be easily understood?
  • What is a noun? Give an example.
  • What is an adjective? Give an example.
  • What is an adverb? Give an example.
  • What is a proverb?
  • What is the difference between ‘later’ and ‘latter’?
  • What is the difference between ‘elicit’ and ‘illicit’?  
  • What is the difference between ‘disease’ and ‘illness’?
  • What is the difference between ‘stationary’ and ‘stationery’? 
  • What is the difference between ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’?  
  • What is the difference between ‘advise’ and ‘advice’?
  • What is the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’?
  • What is the difference between ‘accede’ and ‘exceed’?
  • What is the difference between ‘tenant’ and ‘tenet’?    
  • What is the difference between ‘found’ and ‘founded’?
  • What is the difference between ‘assent’ and ‘ascent’?  
  • What is the difference between ‘look over’ and ‘look at’?  
  • What is the difference between ‘license’ and ‘license’? 
  • What is the difference between ‘hear’ and ‘listen’?
  • What is the difference between ‘confidant’, ‘confident’, and ‘confidence’?
  • What is the difference between ‘good’ and ‘nice’?  
  • What is the difference between ‘clock’ and ‘watch’?
  • What is the difference between ‘cup’ and ‘mug’?
  • What is the difference between ‘proceed’ and ‘precede’?
  • What is the difference between ‘many’ and ‘much’?
  • What is the difference between ‘beautiful’ and ‘beautifully’? Use the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘beautifully’ in a sentence.
  • Can you please give me a synonym of the word ‘divide’? 
  • What is a synonym of ‘jewelery’?
  • How would you explain what a wall is in simple language, and how would you explain it without using words?
  • Spell and explain in your own words the meaning of vocabulary words, e.g.: abdicate, accommodation, adjust, advise, artificial, aspire, augmentation, avoid, bashful, book, braces, beverage, borrow, breathtaking, browse, carpet, chair, chef, colleague, consecutive, cooperate, corridor, crusade, cuisine, cupboards, decisive, descend/descending, describe, diminish, disappoint, embarrass/embarrassed, embrace, emphasis, encounter, encourage, enhance, exaggerate, exceed, exhibit, exquisite, extinct, fabricate, flaw, fragile, glitter, goal, government, guidelines, habit, headquarters, horizon, improve, incentive, intersection, inevitable, instantly, investigate, irresponsible, jacket, jar, library, lighter, loan, luggage, modesty, obtain, offensive, opposite, overwhelming, pasty, pollution, pork, postpone, pot, precede, premium, proceed, profound, property, receive, recommend, remote, respectively, routine, runway, severe, shelter, sink (verb), sleeve, soda, spaceship, stairs, stove, tiles, umbrella, vacation, vague, vehicle, window, wisdom.
  • Explain the idiomatic expression ‘head over heels’.
  • Explain what the idiom ‘it takes two to tango’ means.
  • Explain the idioms ‘take the bull by the horns’ and ‘hit the sack’.  
  • Explain the phrase ‘come to a head’.
  • Recognize the tenses in sentences (e.g. past perfect, past continuous, present continuous)

The Engoo interview receives a difficulty rating of 2.3 (out of 5) on Glassdoor, with 63% of teachers having a positive interview experience and 17% a negative one.

Engoo Demo Lesson

After you pass the interview, Engoo will send you training materials to help you prepare for your demo lesson. Just prior to your demo class you will have the opportunity to ask any final questions in a Q&A session. The demo class will last 15 minutes and is where you show off your English teaching skills to an Engoo employee acting as a student.

In order to pass your demo lesson, Engoo suggest the following tips:

  • Have a clean, plain background: there should be no windows, doors or random items behind you that might distract your student.
  • Call your student on time: Punctuality is extremely important in both starting and ending the class.
  • Welcome your student: Greet your student, introduce yourself and ask them to introduce themselves. Ensure they are ready to begin the lesson. Be friendly.
  • Coordinate with your student: Ask your student how they wish to proceed: what kind of class do they want, what topic do they wish to discuss, etc. If the student is unsure, make recommendations based on their English level and interests.
  • Adjust for comprehension level: Speak clearly and adjust your speed. Rephrase and simplify words/sentences when the student is unclear.
  • Provide effective explanations: Check if your student has any questions. If they ask for explanations on words/idioms, provide short, clear explanations. You can consult online resources but do not copy and paste online definitions – use your own wording with simple phrasing.
  • Use the chat box: Type the words/sentences the student asks about, as well as any corrections. Feel free to link pictures or supplementary materials.
  • Correct mistakes: Do not over-correct or use unclear, harsh language. Maintain a positive tone and phrasing, and reassure the student that making mistakes is ok.
  • Establish rapport and be a good conversationalist: Smile, be upbeat and friendly. Let (or make) the student talk whenever possible.
  • Be polite: Do not interrupt the student and listen to them mindfully. Be professional always.
  • End the class naturally: Inform the student once the lesson time has ended. Leave a positive impression by saying good-bye properly and not ending the call suddenly.

Here are recordings of two sample demo classes, to give you a clearer idea of what’s required:

Engoo Teaching Experience

Engoo lessons are 25 minutes long and are conducted one-to-one via Engoo’s own online teaching platform. Lesson plans and teaching materials are provided by Engoo.

The majority of Engoo students are Japanese, with others coming from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, Brazil and Spain. Engoo teach all ages of student, from young children to adults, and you can specify on your profile if there’s a particular age group you prefer teaching, which is an advantage.

Another advantage to Engoo online teaching is that their schedule is entirely flexible and up to you; there are no minimum, maximum, or peak hours you must fulfill. However, it can often take some time (occasionally months) before new teachers build up enough positive ratings to regularly fill up all their open slots.

One negative to Engoo is their rating system, where students will rate you out of 5 after each class. If a student leaves you a rating you consider to be unfair, there is no system to dispute it, which can potentially hurt your chances of attracting other bookings.

Engoo Tutor Reviews

Teachers on Glassdoor give Engoo an average rating of 3.2 out of 5, with 60% willing to recommend the company to a friend. The biggest positives according to these teachers were Engoo’s flexible schedule and working hours, and nice students, whilst the biggest negatives were the low pay and cancellation penalties. Here are a balanced selection of recent reviews (at time of writing):

Conclusion – Is Engoo Worth It?

Engoo are one of the lower-paying online ESL companies, and so whether they’re worth it depends on your level of qualification. If you have no prior teaching experience, no TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, and no Bachelor’s degree, then you should definitely consider them as they require none of these, in contrast to many other ESL companies. The incentive schemes offer a small potential boost to the low pay, while their flexible schedule and wide age range of students is also welcome. However, if you have any qualifications and prior experience then, in the first instance, you’d be better off trying higher-paid positions elsewhere.

You can apply to Engoo here.

Other non-China companies can be found here.

To help update this review or share your experiences, please use the contact form.


Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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