Verbalplanet Review Summary

Verbalplanet is an online teacher marketplace hiring Native Speakers of most languages. Teachers decide their pay rate and availability, with 1v1 lessons lasting 40 mins. No formal qualifications are required, though the company adds booking fees to your price and is selective about who they approve.

Pay (per 40-minute class):Decided by teachers (average is $10-$20)
Language requirements?Native Speaker in a major language
Degree required?No
Teaching certificate required?No
Teaching experience required?No
Student age?All ages
Class type:1v1
Class length/hours:40 minutes/
Flexible

Verbalplanet Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No formal qualifications required
  • Quick, simple application process with no interview or mock lesson
  • Hires Native Speakers of most major languages
  • Set your own pay rate and hours
  • No restrictions on location and teaching when traveling

Cons:

  • High volume of applications and periodic recruitment means they’re selective about hiring
  • Booking fees are added to your lesson price
  • Teacher saturation means you will have to offer low rates to attract students in the beginning. Hard to stand out
  • Not many reviews from teachers

Is Verbalplanet Legit?

Verbalplanet (sometimes confused with Verbling, which is a different company that’s hiring) is an online teacher marketplace that was launched in 2006. They claim to have since helped thousands of language teachers and students from over 100 countries. Verbalplanet’s legitimacy is shown by being registered on Companies House, having a Trustpilot score of 4.6 out of 5, and winning consecutive awards for their Italian language instruction.

How Does Verbalplanet Work?

Verbalplanet is an online marketplace where language teachers create and list a profile to attract student bookings. Most major languages are catered for, as well as business language training.

Teacher profile visibility and rankings are determined by an algorithm that factors in your booking history, how recently you completed a lesson, whether the class was a free trial/discounted or paid for at full price, and any incoming links to your listing from external sources (e.g. by promoting yourself through social media, forums or a personal website).

The tutor with the most-recently completed paid lesson is shown in 1st place for each language in the search results.

Verbalplanet online teaching is conducted through 3 video conferencing platforms, Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with teachers providing written feedback after each lesson (shown in this short video overview):

Verbalplanet Salary Information

Teachers decide what Verbalplanet pay rate they wish to charge for their lessons. The company claims the average is US$20 per 40-minute class, with new teachers advised to start on $10-$15 (or in pounds/euros depending on your location), though there are those that advertise less (and more) than this.

Be aware that the company pushes the use of free or discounted trial lessons and a student loyalty scheme of up to 15%, both of which will affect your income. You have the choice not to utilize these incentives, but will be up against teachers who do when competing for bookings.

How are Verbalplanet Payments Issued?

You may request a payout with a $10 balance or more, or this is generated automatically once the amount exceeds $200. Payments are sent via PayPal, which can take up to 30 days and may add transaction and currency conversion fees.

For students who have only made a part payment when booking your class, you will need to invoice them through your teacher dashboard. Student payments in full are automatically credited to your account.

Is There a Verbalplanet Commission Fee?

Most teacher marketplaces charge some sort of commission fee for advertising your services on their platform. Verbalplanet boldly states that they are “free to use with no membership fee and you keep 100% of what you earn with nothing to pay to us”.

However, whilst this is technically true that no deductions are taken, the company does add a booking fee on top of the lesson price advertised to students. It is thus a silent commission you will have to accommodate into your final Verbalplanet pricing, perhaps lowering your own take-home pay rate in order to not price yourself above competitors.

Verbalplanet Hours and Schedule

Verbalplanet teachers decide their schedule, from 24 hours to 10 weeks ahead. With an international client base, there are no limits to what times (24/7) you make yourself available.

Lessons start on the hour and are advertised to students as being 40 minutes in length, though the work planner allocates 45-minute slots (as can be seen from my teacher dashboard below):

Verbalplanet schedule planner

Verbalplanet Teaching Requirements

There are virtually no Verbalplanet tutor requirements, beyond having accounts for Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

The company does state that due to the high number of applicants, they only approve profiles that “demonstrate significant language teaching experience and supporting qualifications”, though they don’t mention any specific criteria in this regard.

Verbalplanet Application Process

To apply to become a Verbalplanet tutor, register with the following details:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Username
  • Password
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth
  • Native Language
  • Currency
  • City
  • Country
  • Timezone

Once you have confirmed your email, you will be able to login to the teacher dashboard where you need to submit your profile for approval once the following sections have been completed:

  • Add a Photo
    • Pictures must be JPEG format.
  • Show Your Availability
    • Click a slot to make it available. All lessons start on the hour. Slots can only be made available 24 hours in advance.
  • Communication Channels
    • Confirm you can deliver classes on Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
    • Skype ID Name
  • Section One – Languages You Can Teach
    • Click on ‘Add a language you want to teach’. Select a rate per lesson. 
  • Section Two – Languages You Can Speak
    • Add all of the languages you can speak fluently. Ensure that you add to this section all of the languages you have stated you wish to teach.
  • Section Three – Detailed Tutor Profiles
    • For each language you have added, click to begin creating your detailed profile. Ensure that you provide sufficient detail regarding your teaching qualifications and experience.
    • Complete detailed profiles in English with no more than 800 words.

The company only accepts profiles that “demonstrate significant language teaching experience and supporting qualifications.”

You may wish to first investigate what existing Verbalplanet teachers put in their profiles, as yours will be competing against them in the listings.

Verbalplanet Reviews – What Is It Like Working for Verbalplanet?

There is a surprising absence of Verbalplanet job reviews for a company that has been operating since 2006. There are no Glassdoor or Indeed entries for the company (at the time of writing), though a few Verbalplanet teacher reviews are buried amidst the students on Trustpilot. These include complaints concerning unapproved profiles and delayed payments, though there are more positive comments regarding the user-friendly platform, clear policies, communication and support:

Verbalplanet Trustpilot review
Verbalplanet teacher review
Verbalplanet tutor review
Verbalplanet job review
Verbalplanet review

The video below criticizes Verbalplanet’s teacher screening process and policy of not allowing student communication outside of their platform, recommending italki over both this company and Verbling:

Conclusion – Is Verbalplanet Worth It for Online Teachers?

It is unlikely that Verbalplanet will provide you with a large number of bookings, as there does seem to be teacher saturation on this platform. However, the lack of requirements and quick and easy application process means that it might still be worth adding to your portfolio of online teaching options that collectively contribute to your overall student numbers.

You can apply for Verbalplanet jobs or explore other alternatives from our list of online teaching companies.


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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