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Learnship Review Summary

Learnship is an online business language trainer that hires Native-level speakers in 12 languages. Pay is more than many ESL companies, though the recruitment process is selective and demanding, with an interview and 2 observed demos and only a 5% success rate. Existing teacher reviews are also critical.

Pay (per class):$17-30
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Native-level fluency
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No*
Degree / diploma required?No*
Adult / child students?Adults
Class size:1v1/group
Minimum hours (per week):0
*Either/or

Learnship Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Pay is higher than many ESL companies
  • Hires teachers of 12 core languages (not just English/ESL)
  • Paid training during recruitment process
  • No minimum hours commitment

Cons:

  • Selective hiring – only 5% of applicants are successful
  • Must be able to teach business languages to adult professionals
  • Lengthy and demanding application process involving an interview (including roleplay) and 2 critiqued demo lessons which can take months
  • Lessons allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis
  • Students frequently cancel and you will not be paid if they give 6+ hours notice
  • Corporate culture won’t suit everyone
  • Only a low percentage (21%) of existing teachers would recommend them (on Glassdoor)

Is Learnship Legit?

Learnship GlobalEnglish is a legitimate online and face-to-face training company. Originally founded in 2008, its 2019 acquisition of GlobalEnglish has seen Learnship language school grow to become ‘the world’s largest digital business language and cultural skills provider’. Based in Cologne, Germany, Learnship teaches professionals located in 75 countries. It employs more than 1,000 language trainers who coach 25,000 learners a year for over 2,000 corporate clients.

Learnship online teaching is delivered in 12 core languages:

  • English/ESL
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Dutch
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian Arabic

Here is a video introduction to the Learnship program you will most commonly deliver as an online trainer there:

Learnship Salary

The Learnship pay rate will vary depending on your qualifications, experience, and the type of class being taught, but generally it will be in the range of €15-€26 per class (approximately US$17-30). Learnship online classes last either 45, 60 or 90 minutes.

This is less than was offered pre-pandemic, with Learnship since having implemented 30% pay cuts.

Lesson planning and feedback writing time is unpaid, and while curriculum materials are provided, this Learnship trainer on Glassdoor warns that they can be outdated, contain typos, and are more suited for lower-level learners, creating additional unpaid prep work:

The Learnship cancellation policy allows students to cancel their class with 6+ hours’ notice without penalty. Less than this or a no show sees the teacher receive 33% of their rate (it used to be 100%, but this was also cut).

You will require a Wise account to receive your Learnship payments.

Learnship Hours

As students are located internationally, lessons are available 24/7. However, classes are released at the start of the day in Central European Time (CET) and allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, which will be the middle of the night for most teachers Americas-based teachers.

Learnship classes last 45, 60 or 90 minutes, and are delivered one-on-one or to groups.

There is no minimum hours commitment.

Learnship Requirements

The Learnship teacher requirements vary according to the specific language and position being applied for, however, for Online English Language Trainers they want:

  • Native-level fluency in English, including native-level intonation, accent, and pronunciation
  • Foreign Language Teaching Certification(s) and/or University Degree(s)
  • Experience teaching Business English to adults (strongly preferred)
  • Intermediate or higher-level proficiency in any language (a plus)
  • Additional non-teaching professional experience (a plus)
  • Weekend hours availability (a plus)
  • A high level of comfort using internet-based software and technology
  • A reliable broadband internet connection (DSL or cable) installed
  • Friendly, outgoing personalities

How Do You Apply to Learnship?

You can view the list of currently available Learnship jobs here.

It should be noted that the Learnship recruitment process is extremely selective, with the company hiring only 5% of all applicants.

To begin your Learnship application, click on ‘View job’ for the position you are interested in, where you will be shown the job description and requirements.

Click ‘Apply for this job’ and you will be taken to the Learnship application form, where you will be asked to provide the following details (you can also ‘Apply with Indeed’, if you prefer):

  • Personal Information:
    • Full name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Professional photo (PNG, JPG or JPEG format)
    • Upload CV or resume (PDF, DOC, DOCX, JPG or PNG format)
    • Cover letter
  • Questions:
    • What is your native language?
    • What is your coaching language?
    • What other languages do you speak at an intermediate or higher level?
    • Do you have any teaching certificates? If so, please specify.
    • How many years language teaching experience do you have?
    • Are you interested in teaching children/young learners? If so, what age ranges?
    • What is your current location? Do you plan on relocating within the next three months?
    • Are you a freelancer or able to work as a freelancer in your country of residence?
    • How many hours per week could you teach with Learnship?
    • When are your preferred teaching time slots? (workdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons, evenings) You can also give precise timeslots.
    • Would you be available to teach on a weekend?
    • When would you be available to take part in an interview? Please provide at least three possible one-hour time slots over the next 3 weeks in CET or CEST.
    • Please indicate the processor speed of your computer (How to check your processor)
    • Please indicate the memory of your computer (How to check your memory)
    • Perform a pre-call test for WebRTC and paste the text into the box below (Run the test here – allow access to Webcam and Microphone in your browser, and click ‘Save this data as simple text’)
    • Take an internet speed test and share your download and upload results
    • How did you hear about Learnship? Specify
    • Were you referred by another Learnship Trainer?
    • Is there something else from your profile that you would like to share?

Learnship Interview

Should you be invited to attend a Learnship interview, it will commonly take place on Skype and last between 45-60 minutes.

10-15 minutes of this will be a mini teaching demo, where the interviewer will roleplay as an intermediate student. For this, previous candidates have had to teach the meaning of a vocabulary word, such as ‘convenient’.

These are the Learnship interview questions that have previously come up for candidates:

  • What is your experience in teaching / Tell me about your teaching experience?
  • What are your certifications?
  • How did you start teaching?
  • What level of students have you taught before?
  • How is teaching business clients different from teaching general students?
  • What is your teaching style/methodologies?
  • What is your teaching philosophy?
  • What is your attitude towards the CELTA method?
  • How do you build your lessons?
  • What do you do during lessons?
  • How would you introduce/teach a point of grammar?
  • What interests you most about this position?
  • What do you expect from the job?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • What are your personal values?
  • How did you hear about Learnship?

You will also run an internet speed test, be told more about the company, and have the opportunity to ask your own questions.

Should you pass the interview, you will have paid training to complete ahead of two demo lessons which will be observed and critiqued. The whole process can take months.

Working With Learnship Reviews

The Learnship Glassdoor page gives the company an average rating of 2.9 out of 5, with just 27% willing to recommend them to a friend. When you filter by ‘Teacher’, this score drops even further, to 2.6 out of 5 and only a 21% recommendation.

To summarize these Learnship reviews:

  • There are a lot of complaints about pay (especially after the 30% cut), the lack of raises or promotions, the number of student cancellations and the policy surrounding it (no compensation for 6+ hours notice, 33% for less), and the amount of admin involved.
  • The company receives more positive comments about the Learnship virtual classroom and platform, the freedom offered in schedule and non-interference, and the professionalism and keenness of the students.
  • Opinions on the teaching materials and support that is given are more mixed.

Here is a selection of Learnship GlobalEnglish reviews:

The Learnship Indeed page gives the company a slightly better score of 3.6 out of 5, though this is averaged from just 11 reviews and with nothing more recent than 2019.

Conclusion – Is Learnship Worth It?

Learnship GlobalEnglish offers better pay than many online ESL companies, though they have a track record of cutting this, and existing teacher reviews are far from glowing. Coaching business languages will suit some teachers better than others, and you should be sure that this is the kind of work you want, as the recruitment process is long and demanding (with an interview involving a short demo, training, plus two more critiqued demos), you will only have a 5% chance of success, and there is no guarantee of lessons at the end of it as these are ‘first come, first served’ and students cancel regularly.

You can apply for Learnship teaching jobs here.

A list of other non-China companies can be found here.

To help update this article, share your experiences, or suggest other companies to review, 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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