Lime English Review Summary

If you are a North American or UK teacher, Lime English offers attractive pay and opportunities to teach children in multiple subjects without TPR, though some applicants experience problems at interview stage, you must have a year of classroom teaching experience, and be able to commit to long-term slots.

Pay (per hour):$18-25
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?US, Canada, UK
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?Preferred
Degree / diploma required?No
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1-4
Minimum hours (per week):0

Lime English Pros and Cons


  • Relatively high pay
  • Offers teaching in several subjects (not just English)
  • No need for TPR, singing or props/realia – students are treated like adults, suiting teachers uncomfortable with performing
  • No minimum hours
  • Classes allocated by the school (not parents)


  • Only hires teachers from the USA, Canada and UK
  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree and a year of classroom teaching experience (TEFL/TESOL certificate preferred)
  • Interviewees have been cut off prematurely or been rejected after being told they got the job
  • Must commit to the same teaching slots for 8 months

Is Lime English Legit?

Lime English is a legitimate, online ESL school based in China. Founded in Beijing in 2016, they also offer classes in other subjects, such as French, Spanish, Mathematics, Science, Economics, Philosophy and Journalism, with the aim of improving Chinese students’ reading and writing ability. The Lime English website is a little misleading with its headline ‘join thousands of educators’, as this refers to the industry, not the company size which is seemingly quite small with just 45+ teachers.

Lime English Online Teaching

Lime English teaching is conducted online via ClassIn. The Chinese students are between 5-12 years of age with a beginner to intermediate level of English. One-on-one classes last 30 minutes, while group classes (for 2-4 students) are 50-60 minutes long.

Lesson plans and materials are provided and, unlike many Chinese ESL companies, there is no need for TPR, singing or realia, as Lime English wants their students to be treated like adults, which will suit teachers who are uncomfortable with over-the-top performing.

Here is the Lime English job description:

  • home based work
  • prepare class and deliver lessons as required
  • give feedback after class and correct homework
  • instruct K12 English according to core standards
  • teach students aged 5-12 years with intermediate level of English

Lime English Pay / Salary

Lime English pay is between US$18-25 per hour, depending on the subject you’re teaching (some subjects like Science and Mathematics pay more than languages). This can be topped up with the following bonuses:

  1. Homework correction = $1 per homework
  2. Feedback = $0.50 per feedback
  3. Sign-up/referral bonus = $1 per sign-up

Payment is made on the 10th of every month through Paypal.

Unlike many online ESL companies, there are no penalties for emergency leave.

The contract length is 12 months, with a 1-month notice period. However, it has been claimed by one applicant on Facebook that they were asked to sign a waiver forfeiting $500 if they resigned within 6 months:

Lime English Hours

Lime English peak hours are 6-8pm (Beijing Time), Monday to Sunday, plus 8am-12pm on weekend mornings. Additional hours are sometimes available depending upon individual student demand.

There is no minimum hours requirement, you can select the slots you’re available for but must commit to teaching that fixed schedule for 8 months.

Classes are allocated by the school (not chosen by parents), and teachers should expect at least 10 classes per week within 2 weeks, should they perform well.

Holiday leave is allowed on a case by case basis, and there are no fines for emergency leave.

Lime English Requirements

To apply to teach with Lime English, you must:

  • Be from the USA, Canada or UK
  • Speak English with Native/C2-level proficiency
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant subject (Education, English, Literature or History for ESL, or subject-specific for Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Economics, Journalism teaching)
  • Minimum of 1 year of K12 classroom/in-person teaching experience
  • Be computer literate and familiar with ClassIn (or willing to take training)
  • Commit to a regular weekly schedule
  • Be creative and energetic, able to deliver engaging and interesting classes

A TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate is preferred.

Lime English Interview

To apply for a Lime English interview, you can submit your email address at the bottom of the Lime English website, or email your resume to [email protected].

Should your resume be accepted, you can expect a response within 15 working days to schedule an interview (if not, your application has been unsuccessful). You will be asked to submit a short video answering three basic questions:

  1. Do you have the legal right to work in the US, Canada or UK?
  2. What are your qualifications and where did you obtain them?
  3. Can you work Lime English’s teaching times for the duration of your 12 month contract?

Here is a recorded example of one candidate’s responses:

The actual Lime English interview should last around 15 minutes and include a teaching demo where the interviewer will act like one of their (5-12 year-old intermediate) students. Lime English wants their students to be treated like adults and discourages the use of TPR, singing and props/realia, so focus on the teaching content. One demo lesson features a story called ‘Little Flap Learns to Fly’:

Unfortunately, you can find several reports online of applicants who were verbally told by their Lime English interviewer that they had gotten the job and should expect a contract in the coming days, only to later receive a written rejection:

We have also received reports of a Lime English interviewer terminating interviews prematurely by feigning technical issues. Below is an email received from one applicant who experienced this, followed by a corroborating account shared in a teachers’ group on Facebook:

Lime English Job Reviews

The Lime English Glassdoor page gives the company an average rating of 3.1 out of 5 (at the time of writing), with 33% willing to recommend them to a friend, though this is from just 5 reviews.

While there are 2 negative Lime English reviews from 2020, they are not very balanced and offer little detail beyond a complaint about pay and support staff. Reviews since 2021 have been more positive and directly contradict the previous entries by praising the support staff, pay and platform, though they add that bookings could be better:

Lime English Glassdoor review
Lime English Glassdoor review
Lime English Glassdoor review

It seems that Lime English did experience some organizational problems in 2020, as this Facebook post from that year conveys:

However, we received the following testimony from a Lime English teacher in March 2022, who echoes the upward trajectory seen in later reviews (though the aforementioned interview problems persist):

“I have been working as a remote ESL teacher for LIME for just over four months. I have been quite happy with this position as well as the staff.
Regarding the position, I have found the students to be polite and dedicated to their studies. Having taught in China in-person for two years, this is not a surprise to me.
Regarding the staff of LIME, I have been extremely pleased. I was given training initially and have received on-going support whenever needed. I love the structure of this teaching. I only need to click on the program and can quickly see my schedule. As there are changes periodically, especially during festivals, the staff inform me first and then update my online schedule. The feedback process is great. My opinion is well respected by both the staff and the parents. As time has gone one, I have received a significant increase in my pay rate and been given the opportunity to weigh in on important matters.  
In summary, I enjoy my work with LIME very much. I feel both respected and supported.”

Upon being asked whether there was anything that Lime English could improve upon, they replied:

“I believe some of the parents have invested in classes that were either too easy or too difficult for their child. Then they are ‘stuck’ with their choice. I have worked with youth who simply could not learn at that level and I have worked with some youth who were bored by the ease of the lessons. I feel there should be more input provided to the parents prior to their selection. Hopefully this input would come from a qualified teacher.”

Conclusion – Is Lime English Worth It?

On the surface, Lime English’s potential pay rate, opportunity to teach multiple subjects (beyond ESL), and absence of TPR or props might be appealing to experienced North American and British teachers. However, while there is no minimum hours requirement, people have experienced problems at the interview stage, and the need to commit to the same slots for months, once picked, means Lime English are not worth it for teachers requiring more week-to-week flexibility.

You can apply to Lime English here or by emailing your resume to [email protected].

A full list of other online teaching companies can be found here.

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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.


Anonymous · 08/19/2021 at 7:27 am

I recently had an offer of employment and decided to not pursue the opportunity. The job advertisement and contract did not match in several places, including base pay. The interview was rescheduled after I was waiting in the right location for it to begin. The main contact is extremely unprofessional and erratic in his behavior and communication. I also was being pressured to take demo classes without having had time to review or sign the contract. I was told they didn’t know what to do with the students if I said no. I said no as I had questions about the contract and other things that I still needed to clarify. They would not answer my questions about how curriculum, class scheduling, and other basic details worked. After some communication exchanges to get details, the main contact became even more unprofessional, so I decided to decline the offer.

    Dr Daniel Spence · 08/19/2021 at 3:23 am

    Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience.

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