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Language Master Review Summary
Language Master ESL classes provide freetalk conversations, mock IELTS tests and Business English for adult Chinese students, conducted 1v1 through an app. Teachers require Near-Native pronunciation and are paid between $8-$22 an hour, but must regularly post videos on the platform to attract students.
|Pay (per hour):||$8-$22|
|Language requirements?||Near-Native English pronunciation|
|Teaching certificate required?||TEFL/TESOL/CELTA preferred|
|Teaching experience required?||Preferred|
|Student age?||18+ years|
|Class type:||1v1 online|
Minimum of 4 hours per month (evenings/weekends BJT)
Language Master Pros and Cons
- Minimal requirements to apply
- Teach from just your phone or tablet (no computer needed)
- Flexible schedule, with pick-up (‘freetalk’) calls
- Adult students are motivated and professional
- Any pay rises are charged to the student, making it more difficult to attract bookings
- Must regularly post ‘video expressions’ to build student followers for profile to be visible
- No child students for those who prefer them
- Course materials are too advanced for lower-level students and contain errors
- Several negative reports from teachers
What Is Language Master?
Language Master is an ESL-learning app from Changsha, China, that was created in 2015. It claims to have grown to more than 240, 000 registered students who are mostly Chinese adult professionals. The platform facilitates both freetalk classes and official Language Master programs:
- Freetalk = Impromptu conversation around a topic requested by the student, with the teacher providing corrections to their spoken English. These classes are unstructured and audio-only, with no teaching materials or whiteboard.
- Language Master courses in General English, Business English and IELTS = These lessons are conducted via video call with whiteboard functionality, and come with teaching materials provided. IELTS classes involve giving mock tests and feedback to students.
Responsibilities for Language Master teachers include:
- Setting up an attractive profile to encourage students to call you.
- Attending on time for booked classes.
- Answering calls from students and providing a comfortable and relaxed environment to practice English.
- Keeping the conversation going with interesting and engaging questions.
- Following the policies and rules of the app.
- Being familiar with the provided materials for any IELTS, Business and General English classes.
- Giving feedback to students in and after class, e.g. corrections.
- Creating short video expressions to attract students.
This Language Master video provides a visual guide to some of the app and its functions:
How Much Does Language Master Pay Teachers?
The Language Master pay rate is advertised as between US$8-$22 per hour, though some South African teachers have been offered ZAR 120-170 an hour which is slightly less than this at the current exchange rate.
As freetalk classes may be any length, earnings are calculated by the minute.
Pay rises of $2-$3 can be applied for at any time by messaging the platform assistant. One of your classes will then be scored against a rubric, and you will receive feedback if you miss out. You may reapply once corrections have been made. It is important to note, however, that the cost of any raises are passed onto the students, making your classes more expensive and providing a disincentive to them booking you.
Language Master Hours and Schedule
Language Master classes last 30 minutes for booked official courses and can be any length for freetalk sessions. These take place between 6-10pm (BJT) on weekdays and 9am-10pm at weekends.
The minimum commitment is just 4 hours per month, and you can cancel up to 5 hours before a class’ start time.
Teachers are flexible in deciding their schedules for advanced bookings and making their online status ‘available’ whenever they wish to pick up impromptu freetalk calls.
Language Master operates like a teacher marketplace, in that student bookings are not directly assigned or guaranteed by the company but are instead dependent on profile visibility. To stand a better chance of appearing near the top of the students’ ‘scroll list’, you need to regularly make yourself available and publish ‘video expressions’ (e.g. short clips of you teaching a specific concept), a creative process that will take additional unpaid time.
Language Master Eligibility Requirements
The Language Master requirements are fairly minimal. They want:
- Proficient spoken English with ‘Near Native’ pronunciation
- A clear speaking voice
- Quiet environment
- Phone or tablet with earphones
- Good internet connection
Teaching qualifications (e.g., TEFL, TESOL, CELTA) are preferred but are not mandatory.
To teach an official Language Master course, i.e. in Business English or IELTS, you must have experience of those subjects, preferably as a former IELTS examiner with confirmation certificate.
Language Master Application Process
There are two ways to lodge a Language Master teacher application:
- Send your CV/resume with a 3-minute self-introduction video showcasing your teaching to [email protected] or [email protected].
- Download the Language Master app for Android or iOS:
- Select ‘Teacher’
- Click ‘Me’ from the bottom menu then ‘Register’ with your email address, password and verification code (request this when you enter your email address).
- Click ‘Me’ again from the bottom menu and ‘Apply to be a Teacher’
- Submit your:
- Introduction describing your educational background, qualifications, teaching experience and strengths (500 characters minimum)
- Self-introduction video
Language Master Online Reviews
The Language Master Glassdoor page gives the company a low score of 1.8 out of 5, though this is averaged from just 4 reviews at the time of writing. These Language Master reviews complement the students, flexibility and convenience, criticize bookings and the amount of self-promotion involved, while the pay, materials and support receive mixed opinions:
- Pay: Language Master pays a starting rate of around $11 USD/hour. While this may sound low by US standards, it is on the higher end compared to similar platforms. You can apply for a pay increase at any time by messaging the platform assistant… Your salary can theoretically go up to $20+/hour, but I am not sure whether this is possible in practice.
- Support: The platform assistants responded quickly and thoroughly to all of my questions. They sometimes checked in to ask if I needed anything.
- Materials: LM provides all of the materials that you need to teach.
- Flexibility: While you will be more successful if you are available during peak hours (BJT evening hours), you can technically work whenever you want. You can take vacations at any time and you can cancel classes up to 5 hours before the scheduled time. The only real requirement is that you teach at least 4 hours per month.
- Students: The students are all adults and they are very professional and motivated.
- Fairness: LM does not penalize you for technical issues. They do not fire employees at random. Payments were sent regularly and were only delayed when payday coincided with a Chinese holiday.
- You can use your cellphone to do the lessons which is quite convenient and suitable for digital nomads.
- Flexible work when you want.
- Bookings: LM does not assign you students. You will have increased visibility on the platform during your first few weeks teaching, but after that you need to advertise yourself. In practice, this means that you need to regularly create and publish educational videos on the platform. Making these videos is quite time consuming and does not necessarily guarantee that you will attract students. You cannot realistically expect to teach more than 4 hours/day.
- If you are granted a pay increase your classes will cost more. Since the platform is already quite expensive, this will make attracting new students somewhat difficult.
- Materials: The materials provided by LM are appropriate for intermediate to advanced students. They are too difficult for lower-level students. Some of them contain mistakes. Not all of the exercises are well-designed, which can make students feel confused and frustrated.
- Very poor pay.
- Students are reluctant to book sessions and will often state that the price is too high. Its your job to get them to book with you the.
- Once you set your schedule as available learners can call you at anytime, they almost allways call just for 2 or 3 mins. Which is a couple of cents in your pocket. Not very sustainable.
- You are wasting valuable time looking for students just to get one or 2 a day.
- Not very good payment and support.
- Worst salary. Disrespectful employer. They might not give your money you earned.”
Language Master app reviews from teachers in the Apple Store provide an overall score of 3.2 out of 5. Again there is praise for the students and convenience with conflicting views of the support, and several complaints regarding the approval process:
Conclusion – Is Language Master Worth It for Teachers?
While Language Master promises a lot of flexibility in being able to pick up classes whenever you want from your phone, the reality is it requires a lot of work to build a visible presence that attracts bookings. While some may enjoy the creative process of recording video expressions, this takes unpaid time with no guarantee of it paying off. The high percentage of negative reports from existing teachers also offers a word of caution, meaning you may wish to consider alternative opportunities instead.