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Skyeng Review Summary

Though their rate of pay is poor, Skyeng’s teacher satisfaction is generally high, their barriers to entry are low, and they also provide an opportunity to teach adult students. This in-depth, impartial Skyeng review will take you through their pay, hours, application process and teachers’ experiences, to help you decide whether this is a legitimate opportunity you should apply to.

Pay (per hour):$3-5.50
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?Yes
Degree / diploma required?No
Adult / child students?Both
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):20 (15 for Skyeng Talks)

Skyeng Pros and Cons


Pros:

  • European alternative to Chinese companies/students
  • No Bachelor’s Degree is required
  • Non-Native English speakers can apply
  • Opportunity to teach adult students
  • All teaching materials are provided
  • Flexible teaching schedule

Cons:

  • Low pay
  • High minimum hours commitment (15-20 per week)
  • Occasional technical problems

Is Skyeng Legit?

Skyeng is a legitimate, Russian company, founded in 2012. It claims to be the ‘leading online English school in Eastern Europe’, with 8,500 teachers, 84,600 students, and 7 million lessons (as of early 2021).

Note that alongside their standard ESL lessons, Skyeng also offers ‘Skyeng Talks’, a program of shorter, 15-minute conversational classes. We have a dedicated section for Skyeng Talks towards the end of this review.

How Much Does Skyeng Pay?

Skyeng Hourly Pay

Skyeng currently pays an average of 220 rubles (approximately US$3) per 50-minute lesson (with students aged 7 years and over), and 200 rubles per 25-minute lesson (with pre-schoolers aged between 4-6 years). This equates to an hourly rate of around $3-5.50. The company says that teachers who speak more languages can receive higher pay.

Bonuses

A 2,000 ruble ($27) bonus is available if you teach over 100 lessons in a month.

Do Skyeng pay on time?

Skyeng pays their teachers fortnightly on the 13th and 28th of each month. The preferred method is via bank transfer, but Payoneer can be used if your bank doesn’t convert from rubles.

We have received no reports of Skyeng being late or unreliable in paying their teachers, and many Skyeng teachers comment favorably on receiving their pay on time.

Skyeng Hours

You must open 60% of your working hours during Skyeng’s prime/peak times of 3pm-midnight and/or midnight-5am.

Lessons are 50 minutes long, except for those with pre-schoolers (4-6 years) which last 25 minutes.

The minimum hours required are 20 per week (15 for ‘Skyeng Talks’) and it’s possible to teach a maximum of 9 individual lessons each day.

There is a low season during Russia’s summer months (May to July), when students go on holiday, so expect fewer classes during this period.

Skyeng Requirements

Native/Non-Native Speakers

Skyeng accepts applications from both Native (UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and Non-Native Speakers with an excellent command of English. Location is not important.

Qualifications

The only essential qualification that Skyeng demands is a properly-accredited TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA certificate.

Officially, no Bachelor’s degree is required, though Skyeng recruiters on Facebook (in October 2020) have been seen seeking candidates with a Bachelor’s degree. However, if you don’t have this you should still consider applying directly through the Skyeng website.

Tech Requirements

  • A good and stable internet connection (test your speed here)
  • A laptop or PC
  • Internal or external webcam
  • Headset with microphone

Skyeng Application Process

The application process usually takes around a week, though some candidates report completing it within a day or two and, in an extreme case, 4 weeks. It consists of 4 main stages:

Step 1: Complete the short application form on Skyeng’s website.

Step 2: Record and submit a video interview.

Step 3: Skype interview, demo lesson and grammar test.

Step 4: Complete your training.

Skyeng Video Interview

After submitting your initial application form, you will be asked to create a short video interview ‘about your experience’. In this you will answer five ‘general questions about yourself, your experience of teaching children and the methods of teaching’. You will have 2 minutes to record each of your five answers, and can re-record them if you’re unhappy with your attempt.

Top tip: Skyeng suggests that if you are ‘active’ and ‘show your emotions’ in your video, then this is a ‘recipe for success’.

Skyeng Interview Questions

Once your video has been accepted (usually within 3 days) you will be invited to attend a Skype interview with one of Skyeng’s ‘Methodologists’. Here you will also have to teach a demo lesson and undertake a short grammar test. The whole interview process should last around 45-50 minutes in total.

You will have to answer questions regarding your qualifications, education, teaching experience, and pedagogy (teaching methods). Here are some specific interview questions that past candidates were asked, so it might help to prepare answers for these:

  • What is your name?
  • Where are you from?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How long have you been teaching?
  • What is your experience of teaching?
  • Why do you like teaching?
  • What is the reason you started online TEFL?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of teaching online?
  • What do you do to update yourself as a teacher?
  • How would you structure a generic lesson?
  • What teaching methods are efficient with children?
  • What would you do if you had students from different cultures?
  • How would you teach a student preparing for an English exam?
  • How do you suppose to combine your study and work?
  • What time do you prefer to work?

At some point in the interview you will be asked to complete a short grammar test, so make sure you revise this beforehand too.

Two-thirds of candidates on Glassdoor had a positive experience in their Skyeng interview, with a third reporting a negative interview. Teachers felt the interview had an average difficulty of 2.4 out of 5.

To get a better idea of what to expect, here is a recorded interview carried out with a group of Skyeng candidates (note, since this was recorded Skyeng has moved away from group interviews and most are now conducted one-on-one):

Skyeng Demo Lesson

For the demo lesson you’ll be provided with instructions in advance outlining the student’s level and the topic you should cover. The demo lesson should take 15-20 minutes (do not go over this time!). During this, you can expect additional questions, for example, how you would explain certain vocabulary to three different levels.

Top tip: Skying likes the teacher to have less talk time and give more opportunity for students to speak during the lesson.

Here is a sample lesson conducted for Skyeng:

Training

Within three days you should hear whether you’ve passed your interview and been hired. Before you can teach you will have to undergo training to become acquainted with Skyeng’s teaching platform and how to use it. Documents will be sent to help you prepare for this.

Upon joining you can use Skyeng’s Methodological Center, where ‘you will have access to the latest teaching techniques’, ‘learn to teach online’, and ‘be able to improve your professional qualification’ with free speaking clubs, workshops and online courses.

Skyeng Classes

All Skyeng online teaching takes place on Vimbox. Here, teachers are provided with pre-prepared Skyeng lesson plans, class programs, and interactive videos and illustrations for dynamic classroom activities. Vimbox also allows teachers to monitor whether students have completed their homework.

While nothing prohibits you from using your own teaching materials, Skyeng provides all that you need to teach different proficiency levels, age groups, and topics, as well as tools such as a whiteboard translator and dictionary.

Students

Skyeng claims to have 84,600 students (at time of writing), and one of its unique selling points, compared to the majority of online ESL companies, is that a large proportion of these are adults (though some children and teenagers are still available). So if you want to teach English online, but are less keen on teaching younger learners, then Skyeng might be worth consideration.

Skyeng Talks

Distinct from their standard ESL classes, Skyeng also runs a ‘Skyeng Talks’ program through a separate application process. For this, teachers are expected to conduct 15-minute conversations with students simply wanting to practice their spoken English. This would be a good option for those who prefer a shorter, more casual interaction requiring less teaching prep.

Skyeng Talks pays 20,000 rubles (approximately US$271) for 60 hours a month (15 hours a week), equating to 333 rubles ($4.50) per hour. With each lesson lasting 15 minutes, you will therefore be delivering 60 conversations a week, or 240 conversations a month. Skyeng does infer that there is the possibility of a pay rise, stating that ‘if you feel you can put in a lot more, then your reward increases proportionately’, though they don’t say precisely by how much. Payment is still made twice a month.

To apply for Skyeng Talks, begin by registering your contact details here. You will then be asked to record a video CV following a prescribed template. You will receive emailed feedback within 2 days and, if successful, you will complete onboard training and give a mock lesson before starting work.

Skyeng Teacher Reviews

On Glassdoor, Skyeng receives an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 from its teachers, with 69% willing to recommend the company to a friend.

While teachers generally comment favorably on Skyeng’s schedule, support, teaching materials and training, the only consistently negative comment leveled against the company concerns the relatively low pay rates they offer (if you have had an alternative personal experience you’d like to share, then please let us know in the comments below).

Here are the most-balanced recent Skyeng teacher reviews (at the time of writing):

Conclusion – Is Skyeng Worth It?

If money was not a factor, then we would certainly be recommending Skyeng online English school. Many teachers have had a positive experience working for them, it is relatively easy to be hired there (they consider Non-Native Speakers and people without a Bachelor’s degree), they offer pre-prepared teaching materials, adult students, a flexible teaching schedule, and no obvious penalties. One very important element holding them back is the rate of pay. However, while rival companies may offer more money on the surface, it is often at the cost of job satisfaction and security. If the cost of living in your country allows it, you may therefore wish to consider Skyeng ahead of some of its Chinese competitors.

You can apply to teach at Skyeng here.

Other non-China companies can be found here.

To help update this review or share your experiences, 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.

4 Comments

Jay · 09/22/2021 at 10:50 am

Things to note: The minimum hours are not a strict rule, you just need to have happy students.

The lessons are 50 minutes, kids are 25minutes.

They pay twice/week.

    Dr Daniel Spence · 09/23/2021 at 6:33 am

    Thank you for your comment, Jay. The article already mentions these lesson lengths. As for the minimum hours and payment frequency, we have an offer email from Skyeng (dated July 2021) clearly stating ‘The minimum of working hours per week is 20 hours’ and ‘Payment for classes is transferred to you each 13th (for the period from 16 to 30/31 of the
    previous month) and each 28th (for the period from 1 to 15 of the current month)’ (twice a month/fortnightly, not twice weekly as you suggest). If you can email evidence to the contrary, I’ll happily amend the review. Regards, Dan.

Caroline · 09/30/2021 at 4:55 am

Is that a joke? 5$?????
Tell me it is a joke…

    Dr Daniel Spence · 09/30/2021 at 5:02 am

    It’s an honest review, so no joke unfortunately, but I totally understand your incredulity. When I first investigated Skyeng at the start of the year the pay was double that, but there are a lot of desperate teachers out there at the moment so the company can obviously get away with offering less and know someone will accept it.

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