Honest Nil English Review – Read Before Applying! (2021)

Nil English review

Nil English Review Summary

Nil English is a Korean ESL company teaching adults and children 1v1 online and by phone. They hire North American Native-Speaking graduates. The starting pay is $7.50 per hour plus bonus, with rises after 3 and 6 months. The application process is simple, but you must commit to 10 hours a week across 5 days.

Pay (per hour):$7.50-18.75
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?US, Canada
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No
Degree / diploma required?Yes
Adult / child students?Both
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):10

Nil English Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Pay rises after 3 and 6 months
  • Short and simple application process
  • Can build long-term relationships with regular students

Cons:

  • Relatively low starting pay
  • 10 minutes are unpaid in each hour (for writing up)
  • Must commit to at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week (10 hours a week) for 1-6 months – limits flexibility from week to week
  • You must be willing to teach both adults and children (cannot pick and choose)
  • It can take time at the beginning to fill your schedule

Neutral:

  • The shorter 10-minute and longer 60-minute classes will suit some teachers more than others

Is Nil English Legit?

Nil English is a legitimate ESL company based in Seoul, South Korea, that has been operating since 2017. Nil English teaches Korean adults and children one-on-one online, with 10, 20 and 60-minute classes.

How Much Does Nil English Pay?

Nil English pays on a per class, not a per hour basis. Nil English teachers start on US$1.50 for each 10-minute class they deliver, plus a 10% attendance bonus for punctuality and completing student reviews. However, only 5 classes can be taught in an hour, as an unpaid 10-minute break is scheduled for writing up class reports and evaluations, meaning the equivalent hourly rate starts at $7.50 ($8.25 including the bonus).

Teachers can receive an increase to their Nil English salary after 3 and 6 months:

  • 0 months = $1.50 per 10-minute class (5 classes+unpaid 10-minute break = $7.50 per hour)
  • 3 months = $2.00 per 10-minute class (5 classes+unpaid 10-minute break = $10.00 per hour)
  • 6 months = $2.50 per 10-minute class (5 classes+unpaid 10-minute break = $12.50 per hour)

The attendance bonus also increases the longer you teach there, by up to 50% after 6 months for some teachers, giving them $18.75 per hour.

Trial classes, student no shows and absences are all paid. There are also no cancellation penalties.

Nil English pays its teachers around the 10th of each month via PayPal.

Nil English Hours

To maintain a consistent schedule for regular students, Nil English teachers must commit to working at least 2 hours a day on 5 days a week (10 hours a week), Monday-Friday. Furthermore, these hours must be scheduled at the same time each day.

Here are the available teaching shifts:

  • Morning:
    • 6am-8am KST
    • 8am-10am KST
    • 10am-12pm KST
  • Evening:
    • 5pm-7pm KST
    • 7pm-9pm KST
    • 8pm-10pm KST
    • 10pm-12am KST

Classes can last 10, 20 or 60 minutes (Spicus is another company that offers 10-minute classes). Younger students tend to book shorter 10 or 20-minute lessons, while adults more often book 60-minute sessions. The same student will usually book 2-5 classes a week for between 1 and 6 months, and you must maintain the same schedule for the duration that they are booked for.

Nil English Requirements

  • North American Native English Speaker
  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree
  • Minimum hours commitment of at least 2 hours a day, Monday to Friday (10+ hours a week)
  • Good understanding of English grammar basics
  • Punctual, patient, and organized with strong multi-tasking skills
  • Must have a computer (PC preferred) and access to a reliable high-speed internet connection

Teaching experience and a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate are preferred but are not necessary.

How To Become a Nil English Teacher

The Nil English hiring process is relatively short and simple and, for most teachers, comprises just 4 steps:

  1. Submit a Nil English teacher application
  2. Attend a 10-minute interview
  3. Undergo platform training
  4. Submit supporting documents and signed contract

You can apply for Nil English jobs by completing a Nil English teacher application form here or here with the following information:

  • First and last name
  • The name you go by (first names only)
  • Nationality
  • Mailing address (Street, City, State, ZIP code)
  • Available shift (you must be able to work the same hours daily Monday through Friday – more hours can be added later)
    • 6-8am KST
    • 8-10am KST
    • 10am-12pm KST
    • 5-7pm KST
    • 7-9pm KST
    • 8-10pm KST
    • 10pm-midnight KST
  • Education – University
  • Education – Graduate year
  • Education – Major
  • Teaching experience
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Skype ID
  • Computer Operating System (OS)
  • Introduce yourself in summary and write any additional comments

Alternatively (if both forms have expired), you can email your resume or enquire about your application at info@nilenglish.com.

Try and be patient, as Nil English’s processing times have lengthened to a few weeks due to the increase in applications following China’s regulation changes.

Nil English Interview

The Nil English interview is relaxed and straightforward, lasting just 10 minutes, with general questions regarding your background and the information submitted in your application. Here is one candidate’s experience reported in a Facebook teachers’ group (‘Kayla’ was the Nil English interviewer):

We have heard of one applicant who was asked to also conduct a short mock class, however, the vast majority of teachers have not had to give any demo lessons. It may be dependent on experience and qualifications, or the company might be tightening their selection criteria, so if you encounter similar, please let us know.

Nil English Online Teaching

Nil English ESL classes are 10, 20 or 60-minutes long, conducted one-on-one via Zoom, Skype or over the telephone. A lot involve conversation and speaking practice, especially among adult students who prefer longer sessions, while children generally take the shorter lessons. Students can range from 6-60 years of age, and you must be comfortable teaching both adults and children as you cannot be selective.

Nil English course materials and curricula are provided, though teachers have the freedom to utilize their own resources too.

In each class:

  • You should be able to confidently go over the exercises in the teaching material
  • You should be prepared to explain words and terms that may be unfamiliar to the students
  • You should also encourage the students to speak freely and practice using new words, phrases and idioms
  • You should give regular corrections and feedback to students at the conclusion of each class

Nil English Reviews

The Nil English Glassdoor page gives the company an average score of 3 out of 5, though this is from just 4 reviews (at the time of writing). For ease of reference I’ve listed them all below but, in summary, the schedule, management, support, students, on-boarding and communication are all praised, while the biggest complaints concern the low starting pay, unpaid time and short classes, while one teacher was terminated because of a 3-day outage:

While several online Nil English reviews mention the company’s supportive, laidback culture, the aforementioned termination and the following account (posted on another forum) do indicate that this is not a universal experience:

Conclusion – Is Nil English Worth It?

Many teachers are put off by Nil English’s low starting pay rate. However, it does go up quickly (unlike companies that don’t award pay rises), to become more competitive after 6 months with the bonus. Many teachers appear to enjoy the company’s simple application process and more-relaxed culture, though the 10-hour fixed times across 5 days will be too rigid for those needing flexibility from week-to-week, while not everyone is comfortable teaching both adults and children and 10-60-minute classes.

You can apply for Nil English jobs by completing a Nil English teacher application form here or here. Alternatively, you can email your resume to info@nilenglish.com.

Other non-China companies can be found here.

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