You've heard of online English teachers. You've heard they're making a killing. And you're wondering–is Open English legit?
In this comprehensive review, we cover the cost and benefits of teaching English on Open English, the pros and cons of working for the company, and how to become a tutor.
What is Open English?
Open English is an online English learning company that has been headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela since it was founded in 2007, targeting Latin America.
The goal of the organization is to connect students with professional English teachers via a high-quality online classroom. Because Open English offers both individual and group courses, they are a good choice for those who want to learn or improve their English from home.
Daily or weekly classes are available, and all classes are taught by experienced Native speakers.
With over four million monthly visits according to Similar Sites, Open English seems to be doing something right! Let's take a look at what makes this online learning program unique and whether or not it's a good fit for you:
How Open English works
Open English is an ESL learning platform that offers English classes to students throughout the world. Tutors and teachers provide instruction in a variety of subjects such as grammar, writing, and conversational English. Because Open English provides education to non-native speakers, audio quality is a key consideration for the company.
As a tutor on Open English, you will be teaching either private or small group classes. This means that as an educator it's important that you are able to keep up with conversations and ensure that your students can hear you clearly.
Is Open English Legit?
If you’ve heard of Open English and wondering if Open English is a legit company, let me put your mind at ease.
Open English is a legitimate company based in Miami Florida and has been operating for over 15 years now.
A lot of people have this question because Open English is an online school. While there are a few scams out there in the world of online learning, Open English is not one of them.
It’s been around for almost 15 years and has good reviews from its customers as well as teachers who work there on a contract basis.
It was founded by Andrés Moreno (who still works at the company) in 2007 with business partner Gabriel Blasi, who left the company in 2010.
In 2012, they were joined by two other investors: GrowthPoint Technology Partners and IGNIA Capital Partners (which invests mainly in Latin America). They have offices all over Latin America, including Bogota, Peru, etc., but their headquarters are in Miami Florida and they also have an office in New York City.
How Much Money Can You Make with Open English?
Open English compensation is fairly low, at around as it pays $7 to $13 per hour. You will be paid biweekly via direct deposit or through Wise
Open English Tutor Requirements
Here are the requirements for this position:
- You need to be a diploma or a degree holder
- You need to be an ESL/EFL professional
- You should be a native English speaker with a North American accent.
- You must have some teaching experience (in-person or online) and can demonstrate your ability to teach effectively.
- You must have access to a reliable Internet connection that is capable of supporting HD video without buffering issues.
- You must be able to clearly explain instructions in English via written text chat or verbally through phone or VoIP calls.
Understanding of Latin culture and comprehension of Spanish and Portuguese languages come in as a plus!
How Do I Apply to Teach on Open English
Now that you know what Open English is, here's how to apply to teach on the platform.
The application process is straightforward and takes about half an hour to complete. It involves the following steps:
- Go to their teaching jobs page and click on the link for applying to teach. Record a short video sample of your teaching.
- Submit documentation (such as a degree certificate or teacher license).
- Take a speed test of your internet connection.
- Complete a grammar test.
- Submit your details such as name, address, email, etc.
How long does it take for your application to be reviewed and/or accepted?
Your application can take a few weeks to a few months before it's accepted or rejected. Open English generally reviews and hires teachers in batches, so there is no exact timeline for when your application will be reviewed.
As you wait to hear from Open English, you can try out other online ESL teaching companies as alternatives to Open English.
Open English Interview Questions
The Open English interview is a video interview where you will be asked to record 1-minute answers to 3-5 questions (you may re-record your answer up to 3 times). Some example questions include:
- Why would you like to work with Open English?
- What is your favorite part about teaching English?
- What motivates you to teach?
- How would you deal with different types of students?
- Give an example of how you would explain a specific grammatical structure to a true beginner-level student.
Open English Payouts
Open English pays tutors $7-13 per hour. Most are paid an hourly rate of $9-11. Open English usually pays its teachers via direct deposit at the end of each month, 2 weeks after the last day of your contract. If you don’t have a bank account, you can sign up for Wise here.
Open English Classes: What is Teaching on Open English Like?
- You need to be available for teaching at least 10 hours a week.
- Class sizes are usually 1-5
- Freedom to use our own lesson materials
- Paid only for the hours we teach, not the time we are logged in.
- When you have an open slot without a class, you can complete a given number of tasks to earn a full session pay.
Ages, class sizes, and levels
Open English has students of all levels so you need to be prepared for the whole range. You will have a range of ages: kids (8-14 years) and adults. You can choose to teach adults or juniors.
The sessions are either private (one to one) or small groups of up to 5 students each, although sometimes you might have a session where you will be teaching a large class remotely. The students would be sitting in-situ at one of the Open English learning centers but then they would also see your face on the screen via videoconference.
You will also teach at different times, not just evenings when we are in Europe or North America, but also during the day when we are working with Latin American customers. This means that if you take an early morning session it could well be 2 or 3 hours before lunchtime for you, whereas an evening session would mean working from early afternoon onwards or even later depending on your time zone
Open English classes are 25 minutes long. You can choose to do classic instruction or informal conversation, depending on the needs of your learner. After the class is over, you will have a few minutes to record feedback for each student you taught.
To teach, you will use the Zoom platform. You can download the app or just use your browser to log in to your teaching account. The app can be a bit tricky to use if you are a first-timer, especially for classes with multiple students.
Scheduling sessions can be tricky. Open English classes are prepared a month in advance. This means that sometimes, you may have a scheduled session but without a class.
Given that you won’t be teaching during this slot, Open English will only compensate you for it if you show up and complete short tasks such as marking assignments, proofreading written assignments, answering student questions, etc.
You will only be compensated for the time spent completing these tasks.
Teaching resources are provided to you by the company, so there is no need to buy a textbook or develop your own curriculum. Instead, you'll follow along with their lesson plans and engage with their content. This includes ebooks, worksheets, slides, and other downloadable resources that have been created by Open English's team of educators.
Pros of Open English
- Work from anywhere! Since Open English is an online ESL platform, you can teach English from anywhere in the world. If you have a stable internet connection, you're good to go!
- You're free to drop or swap shifts as you please, with no penalty. This makes it very easy to figure out your schedule and make adjustments if necessary.
- The application process is simple. Unlike some other companies that require multiple interviews, mock lessons, and extensive paperwork, Open English's application process is straightforward and painless.
- You can opt to teach adults or children
- Open English provides you with the teaching materials to deliver on your promise
Cons of Open English
- You must be a native English speaker to apply.
- There is no guarantee that there will be available positions when you apply—the vetting process and verification can take months, so you need to show patience with the process and an understanding that this might not pan out immediately.
- The pay is below average compared to other remote jobs, but it is competitive for the teaching industry.
Open English Complaints
|The company sees teachers as disposable, there is a high turnover rate, and it sees no value in investing in them.|
|Little room for professional advancement,|
|No pay raises based on experience or achievements,|
|No opportunities for getting references,|
|Limited student rapport,|
|No sense of classroom community|
Open English Final Verdict: Is Open English Worth it?
Open English is not for everyone. If you have zero experience as an ESL teacher and don’t have a teaching degree, then Open English is likely not for you. You will make less money, have fewer hours to work, and be very frustrated trying to do it.
But if you are an experienced teacher or have a teaching degree, then applying to teach with Open English might be worth your time. The pay is not better than most other online teaching jobs, but if you have good student reviews then you can easily fill up your free time.
However, most people who apply won’t make much money with Open English, because they won’t pass all the interview stages and get hired in the first place. And even once they do get hired, they won’t work enough classes to really make much money at all. So like I said before—for most people looking into online teaching jobs—I would recommend looking elsewhere where the pay is per student rather than per hour. Here is a list of other ESL companies that pay you to teach English online
Open English FAQs
Is Open English a Scam?
Open English is a legitimate company, so it is not a scam. They have been in business since 2007 and have physical offices all over Latin America.
Do you need a degree to teach Open English?
No, you don't need a degree. However, if you don't have a degree, then you need TEFL or TESOL certification
So, you don't need a degree to teach on Open English. You just need TESOL certification. You can easily get it online, and the best part is that there are lots of great places where you can do it for free!
And if you have a degree in any subject other than teaching? That's OK too! The good news is that your degree will still be valuable because Open English ONLY accepts candidates with degrees.
So even if they're not related to teaching at all, you still qualify to teach on the platform.
Does Open English Require a TEFL OR FESOL Certification?
You do not need a TEFL/FESOL certification to be hired as an Open English teacher. However, if you don't have TEFL certification, you need to have a degree
Is Open English any Good?
Open English is a great option if you want to make some extra money while improving your teaching skills. However, they micromanage teachers quite a bit and pay on the lower end of the scale of online ESL companies. If you're not doing this for supplementary income or as a stepping stone to better things, it might not be worth your time.
If you’re looking to make some extra money while picking up some teaching experience, Open English could be a good option for you.
Do you have to be an American to teach on Open English?
No! You don't have to be an American to teach English on Open English. Although a majority of the students are from South America, there are also many students in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It's important to remember that you must be a native English speaker.
How Much Does Open English Pay Per Hour?
You'll probably see a lot of people saying they get paid $10 per hour to teach English online because that's the average. The truth is, you'll make somewhere between $7 and $13 per hour—so it all comes down to how much time you put into the lessons, and how many classes you teach each month. Let's look at some real numbers:
In a given month, an active teacher will probably teach 20-30 hours with Open English. If they're making $10 per hour (the average rate), they'd earn about $200-$300 for that month
Now, if we wanted to figure out how much we'd make in a year by teaching English online with Open English, we just take those rates and multiply them by 12 months.