YiYi English Review Summary

YiYi English is open to all English speakers (with near-Native pronunciation) and promises a lot but fails to deliver on schedule flexibility and pay, with teachers reporting having to work when the company wants while not receiving the money they were expecting, making YiYi English a risky option.

Pay (per hour):$13-21
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?Both
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?Yes
Degree / diploma required?Yes
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):15

YiYi English Pros and Cons


  • They accept Non-Native Speakers with ‘near-Native’ pronunciation
  • The reported pay rate is fairly good (especially for Non-Native Speakers) though it’s not guaranteed
  • Potential to establish long-term teaching relationships with the same regular students
  • Teaching materials are provided (though they can contain grammatical and typographical errors)


  • Lack of transparency regarding the exact pay rate, leading to teachers receiving less pay than anticipated (no payslips are provided)
  • Teachers have had their pay arrive late or be withheld by the company
  • Teacher experiences of having to work 7 days a week conflict with the company’s promise of flexible hours
  • Both a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate are required to apply

What is YiYi English and is YiYi English Legit?

YiYi English (meaning ‘one by one’ English) is an online ESL company serving the Chinese student market, with offices located in Beijing, Hangzhou and New York. It has been operating since 2017 as part of the Shoo-in Group, with over 7,000 teachers, and 95,000 students between the ages of 5-15 years. While YiYi English appears to be a legitimate company on the surface, their credibility as a professional organization is undermined by their lack of transparency and allegations towards them regarding the withholding of teacher pay.

How Much Does YiYi English Pay?

The YiYi English pay rate is not advertised by the company, but it’s reported to range between US$13-21.

YiYi English payment is supposed to be made on the 15th of the following month via PayPal. However, a number of teachers allege that they have received their YiYi English salary late and as a lower amount than expected.

YiYi English Teaching Hours

The minimum number of YiYi English hours required by the company is 15 per week.

While the company says you will be ‘fully booked in just 2 weeks’ with ‘classes that suit your schedule’, one teacher reports that a change in policy meant that they weren’t allowed to choose their own hours and were expected to work 7 days a week.

YiYi English makes a lot of promises regarding consistent, long-term income. They hire for at least a year (with the option of renewal) and offer ‘dedicated teacher-student pairs’ to allow you to work with the same student over that time. However, there are claims that the company switch up allocations when they want to.

YiYi English Requirements

To become a YiYi English teacher you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Native English Speaker or have ‘near-Native’ pronunciation (accepted from all over the world)
  • Have completed a Bachelor’s degree
  • Possess a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA or teaching certificate
  • Own a computer with a HD camera and microphone
  • Have access to a high-speed internet connection

It is preferred that you have past experience of working in English as a Second Language (ESL/TESL), though this isn’t mandatory.

YiYi English also specifies the following soft skills, which you’ll be expected to exhibit in your cover letter, videos and demo lesson:

  • Great communication skills
  • Commitment to responsibility
  • Dedicated to teaching long-term
  • Passionate about student learning – can make an impact in students’ lives.
  • Aspire for personal growth (personally and professionally) – not only teach, but mentor students.

This is the breakdown of the criteria YiYi English uses to assess its applicants:

YiYi English Application Process

There are three main stages to the YiYi English teacher application, which should take around 2 weeks to complete:

  1. Sign up for YiYi English jobs through their website and submit your personal and professional information and 3 recorded video responses.
  2. Set up a demo lesson with a YiYi English recruitment representative to show off your teaching skills.
  3. Sign your YiYi English contract and complete the onboarding training module.

The personal and professional details you will be expected to submit includes your:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Resume/CV (upload)
  • Cover letter
  • Age
  • Where you’re currently living
  • Current occupation
  • Number of years of experience teaching online

Alongside this, as part of your stage 1 submission, you will have to record responses to 3 short video tasks:

Video 1 – teach an intermediate level student how to pronounce “SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS”

Video 2 – demonstrate your non-verbal hand and face signals (TPR)

Video 3 – give an example of how you would introduce yourself to a new student (display your energy and passion)

Here is a recorded example of one applicant’s video responses:

YiYi English Interview / Demo Lesson

Should your initial submission be accepted, you will be invited to schedule a YiYi English interview on Zoom where you will have to give a teaching demo.

The YiYi English Demo Lesson will last approximately 15 minutes and will be conducted with a member of staff acting like a 5 year old child. You will be sent the teaching materials ahead of time, though the slides can apparently contain grammatical and typographical errors.

Note that it has been reported by previous applicants that the YiYi English interviewer has either turned up late or not at all to the demo, which again undermines their professionalism as an organization.

YiYi English Teacher Reviews – Working for YiYi English Online

The YiYi English Glassdoor page sees the company receive an average rating of 2.9 out of 5 (at the time of writing), with only 35% of reviewers willing to recommend them to a friend, which in both instances is comparatively poor.

YiYi English experiences in the most recent reviews are quite negative and focus on the discrepancies regarding pay and scheduling:

For balance, here’s a more positive recent YiYi English review:

Conclusion – Is YiYi English Worth It?

While YiYi English suggests a potentially decent salary (especially for Non-Native Speakers), the prospect carries a lot of risk with it, especially as precise pay rates are hidden by the company. The fact that a number of teachers have reported not receiving the pay they expected when they expected it is a massive warning sign that overshadows everything. Perceptions of such unprofessionalism are compounded by other accounts of interviewer lateness/no-shows, inaccurate teaching materials, and contradictory information regarding schedule flexibility, which means we cannot recommend this company and you’d be safer looking elsewhere.

You can apply on the YiYi English website.

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.

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