Native Camp Review Summary
Native Camp hires almost any adult with an internet computer and an intermediate level of English, and offers a flexible schedule teaching adults or children 1:1. The salary is low, however, and the company fails to support teachers against problematic students, inhibiting ratings, pay and long-term employment.
|Pay (per hour):||$2-18|
|Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?||Both|
|TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?||No|
|Degree / diploma required?||No|
|Adult / child students?||Both|
|Minimum hours (per week):||0|
Native Camp Pros and Cons
- Low requirements – no degree or TEFL/TESOL certificate and only intermediate English needed
- Flexible schedule – classes available 24/7 and no minimum hours commitment
- Can teach both children and/or adults
- Open to both Native and Non-Native Speakers (though the pay is too low for most Native teachers)
- Not transparent about low pay for most classes
- Will side with students over teachers
- Many accounts of troublesome students giving poor ratings and affecting pay
- Filipinos need 6 months+ English teaching experience (none required for other nationalities)
- Lesson/student numbers will be limited until you acquire teaching material badges for multiple textbooks
What Is Native Camp and Is Native Camp Legit?
Native Camp is a legitimate online ESL company, founded in Tokyo in 2015. They are one of the largest online English language schools in Japan, with over 13,000 teachers and half a million (mostly Japanese) students.
How Much Does Native Camp Pay?
The Native Camp salary is not advertised on their website, a practice in the industry that usually indicates teachers are offered varying amounts (most often based upon nationality). To confuse matters further, teachers are paid in ‘Native Camp Coin’ (NCC) which is then converted, with 1 NCC the equivalent of 0.02084 USD or 1 PHP.
Anecdotally, we’ve been informed that North American Native Speakers can earn $9 for each 25-minute booking they receive ($18 per hour), though to acquire these you have to make yourself available to pick up short-notice spontaneous sessions, which only pay $3-4 a class. Filipino teachers also earn less, around 60PHP per class (approximately $1.25). The Native Camp hourly rate thus ranges widely between $2-18 per hour.
If you are hired, there is (at the time of writing) a Native Camp new registration incentive worth $45 if you successfully deliver 100 lessons within 2 weeks of your account being activated. Other Native Camp incentives include a referral scheme and periodic competitions against fellow teachers.
How Does Native Camp Pay?
Native Camp Working Hours
Your Native Camp class schedule is totally flexible and dependent upon your own availability as a home-based teacher. Native Camp peak hours are 12.30-7am (Japan Standard Time), but you can choose to teach at any time, 24/7, and there is no Native Camp minimum hours requirement. However, the lessons (and students) you will be allowed to teach will be limited until you pass additional quizzes and acquire all the ‘teaching material badges’.
What Are the Requirements for Native Camp?
There are relatively few Native Camp requirements to become a teacher with them. You must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Speak English to an intermediate level
- Have access to a laptop/PC with a webcam, microphone headset, Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox browser, and stable internet connection with a minimum speed of 2 Mbps (You can check your internet speed here)
Despite the company’s name, there are no nationality restrictions and both Native and Non-Native Speakers can apply (though the pay will likely be too low for those living in Native-Speaking countries).
You do not need a degree or a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA teaching certificate to work for Native Camp.
Due to an increasing number of applicants following the outbreak of COVID-19, Filipino candidates must possess over 6 months of English teaching experience (other nationalities require no experience). This exception is supposedly temporary until the pandemic ends.
Native Camp Application Process
There are eight steps to the Native Camp teacher application:
- Native Camp registration – Visit the Native Camp website, click on ‘APPLY NOW’, create an account with your email address and password, and verify.
- Submit basic information (name, date of birth, country, nationality, timezone) for your Native Camp online application.
- Pass a 20-minute English Proficiency Test comprising 40 questions (this can only be attempted once).
- Undergo a system check on your computer, webcam, headset, microphone and internet speed.
- Study the Native Camp Learning Kit to prepare for your demo lesson.
- Teach a 25-minute Native Camp demo lesson as part of your interview.
- Pass the Teaching Material Comprehension Quiz consisting of 25 questions.
- Fill out additional details to complete your registration and start Native Camp online teaching.
Native Camp English Proficiency Test
The first assessment you’ll have to take, immediately after registering and submitting your basic info., is the Native Camp English Proficiency Test. You have one attempt at this and must answer at least 30 out of 40 questions correctly within 20 minutes in order to pass. Below is a recorded attempt (achieving 88%) to help you prepare:
Native Camp System Check
Once you have passed the English Proficiency Test, you’ll be able to undergo the system check, where an administrator will test that you’re using their recommended browser (Chrome/Firefox), your HD webcam video quality, microphone and sound quality, and internet connection speed.
At the same time, they are also checking you out as a professional teacher, in particular whether your environment and appearance are suitable for online teaching, so dress appropriately and have a well-lit, uncluttered background with no distracting noises. At this time they will ask you your name, teaching experience, whether your internet connection is wi-fi or cable, and to provide a short introduction about yourself.
A full list of past (and potential) interview questions are listed below:
Native Camp Interview Questions
During the application process (as part of the system check and/or demo lesson), previous candidates have been asked the following questions (which we suggest you be prepared to answer):
- What is your name and age?
- What is your nationality and country of residence?
- Tell me something about yourself?
- What is your educational background?
- What hobbies do you have?
- Do you use a cable or wireless internet connection?
- Is your connection stable?
- Are you using a desktop or laptop?
- Do you have headphones?
- Does your microphone and camera work well?
- Do you have any teaching experience?
- How long have you been teaching? How many years of experience do you have?
- Why do you want to be an English teacher?
- What’s your teaching method?
- What makes a good ESL teacher?
- How did you find out about the company?
- Why are you interested in working for this company? Why did you choose Native Camp?
- Would you like to work full time or part-time?
- Do you like team work?
- Tell me about the time when you outperformed yourself.
- How are you going to handle students that are beginners in the English language?
- Why do we add ‘s’ to the verb in 3rd person singular?
- What is the class flow? (see below)
Native Camp Demo Lesson
The main part of the assessment is the 25-minute Native Camp demo lesson.
Native Camp lessons are scripted, and you’ll be expected to prepare beforehand with teaching materials found in the ‘Learning Kit’ tab on their website. It is important that you follow the ‘class flow‘ laid out by the company and structure your lesson in this order:
- Greetings (remember to start by saying “Welcome to Native Camp”)
- Audio/video check
- Short self-introduction (ask if the student wants to be called ‘San’ after their name)
- Speaking speed (identify a preferred speaking speed for your student)
- Lesson style (confirm what type of lesson)
- Lesson proper (use the chat box efficiently)
- Wrap up (words learned – let the student repeat after you three times)
- Feedback (mispronounced words and grammatical mistakes – let the student repeat after you three times)
Here is a YouTube video of one of the Native Camp demo lessons, showing the textbook materials and how to deliver them:
Teaching Material Badges/Comprehension Quizzes
The number of lessons and students you receive will be restricted until you acquire ‘teaching material badges’ by passing comprehension quizzes for each of Native Camp’s textbooks. Here is a list of previous examples (all answers are ‘true or false’):
- You should give the students some topics if they don’t have any topics to talk about. True/false?
- If the students ask you something, you should answer it by using a long time. True/false?
- You can ask them personal questions in a free talk session. True/false?
- Even though it is a free talk lesson, you should correct their mistakes on grammar, pronunciation and so on. True/false?
- You should try to give responses to their answers clearly so they would think that you are listening. True/false?
- On the first part, you have to let students read the article silently. True/false?
- On the second part, you have to read the article and let students read it out loud. True/false?
- After they finish reading out loud, you have to pick up the words students couldn’t pronounce and type them in the chat box. True/false?
- On True or False part, if students give you the wrong answer, you have to explain the reason why their answer is wrong. True/false?
- On Discussion part, you should try to give responses to their answer clearly so they would think that you are listening. True/false?
Intercultural Communication (Culture)
- On Let’s Pronounce and Find the Meaning part, you have to read the statement together and let the students repeat after you twice. True/false?
- On the Short Conversation part, you have to read the conversation together twice. True/false?
- You have to type the student’s answer in a chat box for review purposes. True/false?
- On the Short Conversation part, you don’t need to do a roleplay. True/false?
- On Let’s Guess part, before the student guesses the answer, you have to give them the example answer. True/false?
- You can say what’s written in blue in the textbook. True/false?
- On New Words / Expression part, you have to let the students repeat after you once. True/false?
- On Role Play part, you have to let the students repeat after you twice. True/false?
- On Role Play part, you can say phrases monotonically. True/false?
- When you confirm blank questions, you should use chat box to write answers. True/false?
Native Camp Teaching Reviews
The Native Camp Glassdoor page gives the company an average score of 4.1 out of 5, with 84% willing to recommend them to a friend. The majority of positive comments praise their flexible schedule. More-negative Native Camp experiences emphasize the low salary and student bias of the company, with little mechanism to challenge unreasonable ratings, which affects penalties, pay and deactivation. Technical glitches are another complaint, especially as a disconnection results in zero pay even if most of the lesson has been taught. Another worrying accusation we’ve seen more than once in Native Camp online teaching reviews is of fake students who deliberately lower teacher ratings:
A Native Camp teacher from South Africa contacted us to share her own experience of fake reviews, poor administrative support, and technical issues surrounding the website:
Here is a balanced sample of Native Camp English teacher reviews on Glassdoor:
And this is Native Camp’s response:
Conclusion – Is Native Camp Worth It?
While almost any adult with an internet computer and an intermediate command of English can apply to Native Camp, in our opinion, their flexible hours are not worth the low pay they offer, while the company’s unwillingness to support their teachers against problematic students leaves the system open to exploitation, undermining prospects of longer-term employment and creating more trouble, stress and frustration than is compensated. There are plenty of other online ESL companies that treat and pay their teachers better.
Should you wish to, you can apply on the Native Camp sign up page here.
Other non-China companies can be found here.
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