You might not be familiar with this one, but one of the leading but lesser-known platforms for teaching ESL online is called DaDaABC.
This is a fantastic side hustle for just about anyone, but especially for moms who want an interesting job that they can schedule more or less around their kids' needs.
That means they can make money and be available to their families. Talk about work-life balance!
Type of side gig – Teaching English to Chinese kids
Hires – Teachers from North America with English fluency
Schedule – 6 pm to 9:10 pm Beijing Time, Monday through Friday; 9 am to 12:10 pm, 2 pm to 4 pm, 6 pm to 9:10 pm, Beijing Time, Saturday and Sunday
Pay – $15-$25 / hour to start with the possibility of receiving bonuses, monthly payment via direct deposit
It's worth noting that the company recently launched Spanish and French programs, so if you have knowledge in these areas, you might be able to teach other languages.
If you want to jump to the DaDaABC reviews section and find out what teachers truly think about this job, click here.
What is DaDaABC?
The company itself has been around since 2013 and has some impressive credentials. They have forged partnerships with Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, and Nat Geo’s Learning program.
The founders of the company are called Dennis Lee and Hui Zhi, and in spite of the name and the web address of dadaabc.com, they operate legally under the name Shanghai Zhuo Zan Education Technology Co., Ltd.
The DaDaABC address is:
2nd Floor, Building 3
1555 Lane C1 area
Jinsha River Road
You can also contact the company via telephone on (861) 010-8898.
The email address for generic information is firstname.lastname@example.org, though you're probably best off finding their information and specific contacts via the site.
In 2019, the company has around 5,000 employees, some permanent and full-time, while others, i.e. the teachers, work on a part-time basis.
The company makes some pretty impressive promises to their teachers.
Not only do they offer to help with your career development and offer a huge amount of flexibility, they promise a full-time support team at your fingertips, as well as the the promise that they always have students available to teach.
On top of this, their philosophy is to allow you to teach in a 1-to-1 environment rather than burden you with larger classes, which can be rather difficult, especially online.
They also promise to provide all the teaching content you need as well as an “industry-leading 2-way interactive learning platform.”
Is DaDaABC legit?
Though DaDaABC may not be a perfect company, it's a good opportunity.
A lot of people wonder whether DaDaABC is legit or whether it's a scam.
Naturally, anything that promises an opportunity to make money online from the comfort of your own may seem suspicious; however, the company has thousands of employees and works with over 50,000 people around the world providing English lessons.
What's more, it has raised a lot of venture capital, with the latest being provided in a 2019 round of funding. This proves this company is a real business and not a scam.
DaDaABC application process
The application process is generally pretty painless. You can apply on the website, and though they ask for an email address first and foremost there is plenty of other information you need to provide.
The information you will be asked for includes:
- Your full name
- A recent photo
- Your gender
- Your nationality
- Any other job you may have (as some people do this as a side job)
- Your current country of residence
- Qualifications including the highest level of degree you have obtained, and the subject obtained in
- Phone number
- Skype ID
After filling in this essential information, you will also be given the opportunity to upload a resumé. If you're planning to make a real impression, then the resumé is a chance to do this. Show your individuality and provide information on why you're perfect for this role.
The application process culminates in an interview where you will be asked to carry out a DaDaABC demo class to show your skills.
Before you jump in and start spending time making an application to work with the company, ensure you meet the requirements. Some of these are a must while others are recommended.
The absolute must-have requirements to be a DaDaABC teacher are:
A bachelors degree. This is not optional. When a parent signs their child up for classes on the platform, they are promised at the very least the teachers will have a bachelor's degree.
You can’t do these sessions just with a phone or an iPad; there are certain things you need in terms of tech. This means a computer with a webcam which is preferably high definition.
You need a WiFi connection which is stable, a headset with microphone, and the DaDa software and/or Google Chrome installed.
On top of this, while it is not an absolute requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have some sort of English teaching qualification. ESOL and TEFL qualifications are looked upon very favorably when making your application.
In fact, new laws and regulations in China, which will take effect in late 2019, will require that all online English teachers have a teaching certificate.
DaDa interview process
Once you’ve decided that this is a legitimate opportunity and applied, you may have some questions.
How do you go about getting a DaDaABC interview? What does it look like and how does the interview take place?
If you meet the criteria and the company likes your application, they will invite you to an interview, which will take place via their own private platform.
This has a few different purposes.
They use it to test that your internet is of sufficient quality and your connection is reliable. The representatives also ask you to go through a DaDaABC demo class to determine if you’re able to do the job and if so, what your rate of pay should be.
Skills you may need and will be tested on include your ability to keep the attention of people over the Internet and also the ability you have to be clear, even when someone doesn’t speak any English.
The DaDaABC interview process doesn’t leave you totally on your own. They will provide a lesson plan which you can have on the screen in front of you. You can also look at this in some detail beforehand.
You’re probably wondering: how much does DaDaABC pay? The company doesn't pay a salary in the traditional sense. Instead, the DaDaABC pay scale is hourly.
Though there are no DaDaABC bonuses, the rate of pay you receive is based largely on how you perform in your interview.
The company, like many language companies in a similar position, are quite secretive. It is unlikely that you will be told the exact rate of pay you will be on until you are offered a position (if you get that far).
Generally, they pay between $15 and $25 per hour.
As is normal for this type of work, things can be a little up and down. Don’t expect to know what you are going to earn in a year when it starts. Instead, your income will fluctuate depending on how many classes you teach.
The rolling 12-month contract basis that most teachers within DaDaABC are on also acts as a chance to review your performance.
If you don’t get employed at their top rate of pay, don't worry, as it could be the case that in a year’s time you can renegotiate. This will be based on how well you perform as well as how reliable you are, so try not to miss any days of work.
DaDaABC classes take place on weekdays from 6 pm until 9:10 pm, Monday to Friday. On weekends, the classes are held from 9 am until 12:10 pm, 2 pm to 4 pm and 6 pm until 9:10 pm.
Remember, this means Beijing time. Depending on where you are in the word, this time will be different. If you are really lucky, the time might coincide with the hours your kids are either sleeping or at school.
You don’t have to teach all of these times.
Once you sign the contract, you have committed to teaching 2 hours a day and at least 2 days each week. You set your availability and then your students are set for you based on which days and times you wish to work.
Once you have set this up, the company expects you to honor it for the near future. If you need to alter your availability for sessions or change the days you're available, then you need to give 30 days of notice to the company.
The times that are available to teachers and students are set in stone. There is no way to alter this, even if your students ask you to.
This can also be a negative for people who want to do more hours of teaching during the week. The only days on which you can do something resembling a full day of work is the weekends.
However, if you are looking to work for DaDaABC as a job to do alongside raising the kids, then these hours will be perfect and allow you plenty of time to spend time with your family.
DaDaABC teacher login
DaDaABC teachers are provided with a login for their online system which provides learning materials and classes as well as information on their diary and classes.
The platform they use to teach their classes is called DaDaClass. The way it connects you with your students is very simple and very similar to Skype.
There is also an interactive screen which allows you to draw and give awards and positively reinforce things with your learner. The main way the lessons are delivered through the teacher login is video, so ensure you’re comfortable with this.
To make your life easier, you can also see lesson slides on the screen to guide you and the student through activities.
It's great to learn about the company, but what's it like to work for them? This is the real question.
We reached out to current teachers to find out exactly how they feel about the company, the platform, the students, the salary, the policies, and more.
Ready to find out what it's really like to work for DaDaABC? Check out the 9 testimonials below.
"I like that they organize all the bookings for you, they have amazing tech and customer service support, they offer training to their staff, and the platform is easy to use."
My name is Mel. I’m from Australia and I currently live in Mexico. I have a BA and have completed a 120-hour TESOL certificate. I’m an online English teacher with DaDaABC.
I’ve been with the company since May 2019.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate them a 10. I really enjoy working with Dada.
I like that they organize all the bookings for you, they have amazing tech and customer service support, they offer training to their staff, the platform is easy to use, and they allow you the freedom to teach to the students’ abilities rather than having to complete ‘x’ number of slides or complete certain content during a class (like some companies make you do).
But most importantly, I love the kids, especially my regular students.
The hiring process was very simple. After passing the initial screening questions, I scheduled an interview. The interview was a short, standard job interview, followed by 2 5-minute mock classes with the interviewer. A few days later I was offered a contract, which I accepted. I opened my schedule a few days later and began teaching.
The absolute best aspect of working with DaDaABC is watching my regular students improve their English.
The worst part of the job is the time difference. My first class begins at 4:30 am, which means I get up at 3:30 am. But I’m starting to get used to the early mornings, and coffee definitely helps!
Overall, I have had nothing but a positive experience and would recommend them.
If I had to pick one area for improvement, I would say they could improve a small portion of the content that I think is a little repetitive and boring.
The students I teach range from 4- to 16-years-old. Of course, there are few kids that don’t want to be in class and can be a challenge to teach, but mostly the kids are happy and keen to learn.
The classes are what you make of them. I try to make my classes as fun as possible. DaDaABC provides all the learning materials, so there is no need to spend hours planning lessons.
Dada doesn’t micromanage their teachers. They trust that their teachers are professional and know what they’re doing.
For someone who’s thinking about working with this company, my advice is this: like any job, you need to make sure it’s going to suit your circumstances, lifestyle and abilities.
Remember this is an online job teaching children, where you often have to be bubbly, friendly and animated.
If you do apply, feel free to use my referral link!
"The absolute best aspect of working for DaDa is that I can wear my pajamas while I work. Who doesn’t want to do that? It’s also great money for the work involved, and only a few hours a day. It works out pretty well."
Hi! I’m Breanna. I’m from Newfoundland, a tiny Island in Canada. I work both as a job coach for adults with autism and as an ESL teacher for kids in China. I have a husband and a little 6-month-old baby girl.
I’ve been with DaDaABC since December of 2017.
On a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being awesome, I would rate them an 8. It’s good money and they provide all the materials for you, so that makes it pretty easy; however, no company is perfect.
The hiring process wasn’t hard, just long! I applied the end of November online. I had to post my resume, proof of my TESOL certificate, and experience. They contacted me and asked me to do a Skype interview with a rep for their company.
The interview was only about 15 minutes, and he showed be the software they use and asked me about my work and volunteer experience.
Once I passed that, I had to do a demo class. They gave me all the material to prepare to teach. It was a lesson on teaching A, B and C, and they connected me with a live student who was 4 years old. I had teach a 15-minute class. They have since changed the protocol and it’s now conducted with an adult from the company.
After that, they went over my demo and, based on what they saw, they decided to hire me. I then signed a 6-month contract.
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDa is that I can wear my pajamas while I work. Who doesn’t want to do that? It’s also great money for the work involved, and only a few hours a day. It works out pretty well.
There are a few drawbacks, though.
1. You have to teach on Beijing time. So their afterschool hours in Beijing is 6 am where I live, so I need to be up before then to be ready to teach.
2. The language barrier. You’re working for a Chinese company and English is their second language. All tech support and troubleshooting is sometimes difficult because they use online translators.
3. Growing pains. As they get more sign ups for classes, and more teachers, a new company took over the old one, so things are changing like bonus structures, etc. and that can be a pain to keep up with.
4. The courseware is outdated and can be improved on.
5. You can only work from 6 – 9 am Beijing time, so only 3 hours a day so you can’t only work at this job and make ends meet. You need something to supplement.
Overall, I like it. Granted, some people have trouble with it (I find those people are the ones who find trouble with most things) but all in all I’ve found them good to work for.
As for the students, they are interesting. The website says they are 4 to 16 years old, but you’ll occasionnally get a kid that’s younger. The younger kids are harder, obviously, because you have to keep their attention, when the last thing they want to do is learn a different language.
The older kids are great. Some of my 14-year-olds and older speak English as good as I do! I’ve gotten to teach about tectonics, tsunamis and more!
The classes are as fun as you make them! They give you the information you need to teach and it’s up to you to make classroom activities, crafts, games and more! Most of my kids love games and English songs like Baby Shark.
The three most important qualities in an online English teacher are:
Being adaptable. You teach different lessons to different kids and only get 2 minutes between classes.
Being outgoing. You need to be willing to be foolish and funny.
Being patient. You’re dealing with small kids over an Internet platform speaking a language they don’t understand. You need patience! They are driven by parents to be scholars at a young age and some don’t want to learn, so it can be difficult.
As for equipment you’ll need, you need a laptop with decent RAM, good Internet, a headset with a mic (usually a full over-the0ear set with an attached boom mic, not earbuds), and a few props (they don’t need to be expensive). You can easy make them for a few bucks!
You also need a background. Mine is a world map with a string from Newfoundland to China. They want an educational background with the company logo on it.
You can also invest in Manycam, which is a computer program. I only ever used the free version and it worked great. It lets you put things on the screen for special effects and a background when you need it.
For anyone thinking about working with DaDaABC, obviously, do your research. You have to sign a fixed contract for 6 months with the same days and hours, so you need to make sure you’re willing to do that. If you’re game for that, it’s a great gig! I’d recommend it to anyone!
"The absolute best aspect of working for DaDaABC is the bookings. Hands down, over the past 2 years, DaDaABC seems to consistently have more bookings and students than other companies."
Hi there! I’m Kat, or “Kat Teacher,” and I’m originally from Houston, Texas. I graduated with a marketing degree, but I soon realized that I wasn’t really cut out for the business world, and I left to be a nanny, then teacher, then online teacher abroad, and I’ve lived all over the world teaching English as a second language (ESL) and making English materials since 2011.
I also have a blog about teaching English!
I started with DaDaABC back in October 2017! Whoa! I didn’t even realize it had been that long!
On a scale of 0 to 10, I’d say they’re a 7 or an 8. Teaching online can be different from person-to-person, and listening in on any company’s Facebook group would make you feel that every company deserves to be at a 2 or a 3.
Personally, I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs with different companies, and some months DaDaABC may be a 9 and some more like a 6.
The hiring process has changed a lot in the past 2 years, but for me, having classroom experience (i.e. getting tired 5th graders to perk up and speak English!) and being a naturally smiley and friendly person, I found it very easy to get hired and get my paperwork in, even while I was living abroad.
The process was fairly straightforward: I met a recruiter via Skype and she asked me some basic questions about my life and who I am as a teacher. This was done by a non-native English speaker and felt very quick, as most do, since recruiters often have to meet hundreds of candidates a week.
I then moved on to submitting documents and preparing for a demo lesson. In the past, the demo lesson was taught with a real student, now it’s with a person pretending to be a student.
The main things people are looking for are using your hands to gesture and convey meaning, good lighting, sound and connection, a friendly face and a clear voice.
Speaking slowly but naturally, keeping to simple sentences and using a puppet to encourage and mimic a dialogue will all help you score more points!
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDaABC is the bookings. Hands down, over the past 2 years, DaDaABC seems to consistently have more bookings and students than other companies.
That’s not to say that everyone is getting booked or is full consistently, but overall, new teachers tend to get bookings and regular students much faster.
The worst part of this gig are the fines. Fees and fines are a big part of the online ESL industry. Yes, there are a lot of respectable teachers who are 100% trustworthy, but for the percentage of teachers who slack off or don’t care, companies have to hold their teachers responsible for showing up to class on time.
I’ve found that overall, Dada has a fairly relaxed style and approach for its teachers, allowing free talk and conversation to trump rigidity and strict timing of lesson materials. I really appreciate that when it comes to allowing me to use my own style of teaching in the classroom and not feel robotic or unnatural.
I definitely feel that DaDaABC as a whole is slowly moving towards this, however they could improve in having customer service managers/social media managers who are fluent in the nuances of problem solving and giving clear directions in English.
This would help cut down on confusion and give posts and directions a more professional/personal/empathetic feel.
While I tend to teach younger students from 3 to 8 years old (A0, A1, super beginner and false beginners), I know some teachers who teach higher level teenagers.
Because parents have the ability to choose you as well as being placed by the company, there’s quite a variety of students. In saying that, I would definitely say that younger children are being introduced to English earlier and earlier, making it mostly younger kids on the platform. Of course, levels and attitudes vary, but for the most part, I was very happy with my little ones.
The classes are whatever you want them to be! While I always go by what the parents want, I tend to have parents and students who are young and want to play and talk.
Sometimes we stick to the lesson, oftentimes I judge their mood and check out the activities we could do to supplement or completely revamp the lesson.
The lessons are there for you, but for me, they’re a starting point once I figure out what the parents and students want to get out of our time together.
The basic equipment you definitely need is as follows: a computer, a headset is nice (although some teachers have gone with a quiet room and headphones), a mouse to draw on the screen, and a stable Internet connection.
While I’m on the road I use some fancier things, like Manycam, to produce digital props. It’s a video streaming program that’s free to get started, and I have lots of ideas, basic tutorials and props on my website! Check them out here!
One thing people might not know about DaDaABC is that, while new teachers are hired in what we call the “new contract,” allowing for more flexibility and being paid in USD, older teachers (me included) are on the “old contract” which is paid in RMB (the currency in China) and has set contracted hours, so while I often keep up-to-date with new teachers and the new contract, most “older” teachers will have no idea what’s going on!
My advice for someone who’s thinking about working with DaDaABC is to avoid Facebook groups that have a lot of negative energy. That’s true for most companies.
Take the time to speak to several people working for the company and find a referral who will actually help you through the process (like me! Here’s my link) instead of simply giving you a referral link and leaving you on your own!
"A lot of other companies won’t accept British tutors, only North American tutors who have been taught themselves by the North American curriculum, so DaDa is a great opportunity for British, Irish, Australian and South African tutors, wherever they’re based."
I’m Charlie, I’m from Yorkshire in the UK and I’ve been teaching exclusively online since completing my TEFL course in Costa Rica in March 2018.
After spending my 20s a little lost, bouncing from one admin job to the next, I finally threw caution to the wind and applied to train in my dream country. It was the best decision I ever made!
I’ve been working with DaDaABC since June 2018. I was lucky as a hiring ban came into force shortly after.
I would rate them a 9.
The fact there’s basically no lesson planning required really helped build my confidence in the early days; all the lessons are pre-planned for the student. Although it isn’t perfect, I’ve had a great experience with my interactions with the DaDaABC team.
The courseware isn’t perfect, so now I know that my regular students can be frustrated when they’re on the wrong course for them, but I try and communicate with the team about this as much as possible to ensure appropriate action is taken.
It was relatively easy when I was hired, but I’ve heard there have been changes to the process. I did a trial lesson with a student when I started, which was a great way to get stuck in at the deep end, but I’ve since heard new tutors just have an interview and mock exercise with a DaDaABC recruiter.
The absolute best aspect of this job is working from home on a 1-to-1 basis with the best students. I don’t know how brick-and-mortar teachers cope with a class of around 30!
As for the worst part, honestly, the pay package has recently changed. My salary is on the old system until my contract ends, but now the base rate is much lower, and tutors have the opportunity to make various commissions per class.
There’s no longer a 50% pay for classes cancelled within your contract time. It is advertised that you can earn more on the new system but I’m skeptical of this as the guaranteed base rate is so small.
Overall, this is the best job I’ve ever had. It allows me to be creative and stay in touch with my inner child. I’m so fond of my regular students, and the contract is flexible enough for me to work around my master's studies and still pay the rent.
In terms of improvements, the salary structure was great when I started. We got bonuses for retaining regular students, which to me is proof of your value to the company if students and parents want to stay with you. This clearly wasn’t sustainable for them, but I think they advertised too much for new tutors and not enough for new students.
I’ve taught ages 1 (yes 1!) to 16, but most are between 6 and 12. I’d say 80% of my students are focused, enthusiastic and hard working, while a small handful can be a little sassy or struggle more than other students.
It’s been a real learning curve in knowing how to adapt my teaching style and when I do engage a student who’s been struggling for weeks it’s such a feeling of accomplishment.
Some of the courseware is great, some is monotonous! Though it’s all planned out, DaDa encourages us to include activities to reinforce the courseware. I try and make imaginative games, but most students just love a question & answer based tic-tac-toe! The younger ones love nursery rhymes. Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
One thing I found when I was looking to teach online is a lot of other companies won’t accept British tutors, only North American tutors who have been taught themselves by the North American curriculum, so DaDa is a great opportunity for British, Irish, Australian and South African tutors, wherever they’re based.
My advice for someone who’s thinking about working with DaDa is to not be nervous teaching young kids. The DaDaABC team is there to guide you. It’s also quite easy to pick up part-time hours, so if you’re unsure at first just, pick up a contract for 2 to 3 days a week. You can always increase this at a later date if you wish.
"Some days, you’re feeling weary, tired, but a kid comes along and shares some love. It shows me that this is a proper career and passion and that I'm helping kids learn and feel empowered! DaDaABC is all about empowering children through ESL."
My name is Róisín and I’m from Mountrath, Co. Laois in Ireland. I am the youngest in a family of 6, at 28 years old.
I began university very young (at 17 years of age) and became ill, so I had to drop out in my second year and enter treatment for an illness. I had been studying a bachelor of education in modern languages and found it so hard to teach teenagers when I was only 17 starting university myself anyway. I had so much stress and poor health. I couldn’t cope or adjust well to university.
During my gaps out of university, I studied via blended learning (online learning) so that I would still feel like I was being productive. I did lots of courses online (FETAC Business Administration Level 5, Saylor.org introduction to business, etc).
I kept wanting to learn and do something in my recovery, and show that my imperfections or illnesses didn’t define me, because they don’t.
Now, at 28 I have completed a BA in French and German, the 140-hour master TEFL certificate with TEFLINK, TKT KAL with the University of Cambridge, FETAC Level 5 in Business Administration, CPD in Digital Marketing, BAC in HR…. I have been to Paris to study French, I worked as an au pair in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), I have worked as a ghostwriter and a freelance online translator.
I think if you’re flexible and adapt to things easily and are outgoing then TEFL/TESOL/ESL online is a great passion. I began putting my full effort in to ESL teaching online after graduating in 2017 and worked for DaDaABC for just over a year.
I loved it so much! I am considering re-applying with them in the future, but for now I work with another company named Palfish. ESL is a great job if you want to work from home.
I worked with them for 13 months in total.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate them a 7, because I think that’s a good score. They’ve been good to me personally, when I had to take sick leave and they tried their best to accommodate me.
Sometimes they were slow to respond to e-mails, but the IT is always at hand if something goes wrong in a class and they help you reconnect to the student ASAP.
I applied as I had seen the job advertised on Dave’s ESL Cafe website. I didn’t know what to expect and had to Google RMB to EUR often to see how much my wages were, but that was the fun of it when I was starting out. They gave me a fixed rate outlined in the contract and I was happy enough with my rate.
I spoke with an interviewer on Skype, named Grace, and she was very polite. During our first session, she asked me to decorate my background more and fix the lighting and try again.
So I made a corner in a room into my virtual classroom with the DaDaABC logo and some props. And I went out to purchase some light blue blouses, as this is the company’s color (or at least it as at the time).
The next session was a mock lesson and it went great. I had to teach a trial session to a 4-year-old and they said I passed it. This was all followed by some training and quizzes and I would estimate that you could start properly working for them 10 days after passing the interview, once the contract has been drawn up and the training is done.
If you’re unhappy with the rate they offer, then I’d advise to say it before signing the contract. From what I recall, it can be anything from 90 RMB to 135 RMB per hour.
The best part of working for DaDa? When a kid says something like “I love you teacher” during your last lesson of the day.
You’re feeling weary, tired, but a kid comes along and shares some love. It shows me that this is a proper career and passion and that I am helping the kids learn and feel empowered! DaDaABC is all about empowering the children through ESL.
I also liked using TPR (Total Physical Response). “Total physical response is a language teaching method developed by James Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University. It is based on the coordination of language and physical movement,” according to Wikipedia.
Since I got the job with Dada, my overall body language has improved outside of work too, since I am conscious of my presence. In TPR you use hand gestures, clapping, cusp your ears e.g. when you say “listen,” point your finger when you say “point,” etc. This really helps the kids to learn.
I embraced the challenge of teaching complete beginners and through some Chinese YouTube channels, websites, and even Google Translate, I learned basic Mandarin for the classroom such as circle, draw, click, repeat.
I think Dada offers some lectures on this on the portal and some advice as to how to use some basic Mandarin for beginners.
You can sign up for extra hours outside of your contract and they nearly always approve them, once you haven’t been absent or late for many classes.
The worst part of the job is the no-shows! This can be frustrating sometimes. Lack of consistency sometimes in paychecks too. Come months you might get a lot of trials and earn more money, other months are quiet, but you have to remember it’s like all businesses and you are in control of managing your wages and hours.
Sometimes, too, the reminders to “smile more” feel frustrating when you are tired here in Ireland at 5 am trying to teach BJT, but luckily the coworkers on our page reminded me that this was an automatic message from Dada.
Feedback can sometimes feel like a let down if you are aiming to be perfect, so you can’t aim to be a perfect teacher and you must take any advice constructively.
Overall, it has been a pleasure working with DaDaABC! It was a great phase of my life to look back on, and maybe even another experience to look forward to if I re-apply in the future and am rehired.
One thing they could improve? Some of the courseware is a bit boring for students, but I think they are constantly asking teachers and students for feedback to update their courseware.
Students range in age from 3 to 16 years old. Most younger kids are accompanied by parents in the background. If this bothers you, then don’t sign up for the job, I would say.
It seemed to bother some teachers, but this 3-year-old kid needs help, so the mother or father might be in the background trying to help the kid, too.
Older kids can get bored or stubborn in class but you can give them a lower rating after class to show they haven’t put in much efforts or email/report them to Dada for bad behavior, if necessary.
The classes are mostly fun! Some units are less fun than others. In regular classes (classes that aren’t trials), we are encouraged to do a bit of free talk, so my students used to love listening to Baby Shark for 5 minutes or playing a card game. When you have regular students, you can use your creativity and plan 5 minutes of what to do with the student for the free talk portion of the classes.
It’s important to note that a BA is mandatory for this job, alongside some sort of TEFL qualification too. It doesn’t HAVE to be TKT KAL/CELTA/Cambridge certificate. In fact, some workers found courses on Groupon and this sufficed.
My advice for anyone thinking about working with DaDa is to buy some blue shirts, put on your red lipstick and give it a shot!
Decorate a background/ designate a little teaching area and try your best to pass the interview! Positivity will get you places!
Don’t shake or act nervous, smile or give a little giggle and move on after making any mistakes. Check out all the YouTube videos for tips and tricks.
"For anyone interested in working for DaDa, my advice to you is to watch YouTube videos, talk to current teachers, and find out if it’s a fit for you. There will be difference of opinion with every school, but it comes down to what fits you as a teacher."
Hello! My name is Janna. I’ve been working for DaDaABC for almost 6 months.
I would rate them about an 8; they are an excellent school. The curriculum could use a little bit of work, possibly to make it more exciting, and the pay is average, but all in all it’s a good school with good teacher support and the kids and parents are lovely.
Getting hired was straightforward enough: there’s paperwork, an interview and a demo with a recruiter.
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDa is the 1-1 environment and the feeling where I can be myself and get to know the kids on a personal level.
The worst part of the job? Some children (mostly trials) can be as young as 4 or 5, with limited English, so keeping them occupied for 30 minutes can be hard.
Overall I’ve had a mostly positive experience.
In terms of improvements, they could increase the salary a bit and maybe change the curriculum to include more modern material suited to the Western world.
My children range from 6 to 11 years old. The younger ones have a lot more energy (which is normal as I have a 5 year old!) and the older ones are normally good.
As for the classes, I think you make the fun yourself. The classes are just slides and you can draw or write on the slides or add props, toys, short videos or your own touch.
If you want to be “just a number,” then go for DaDaABC. That’s what I wanted, just to be left to do my own thing. I didn’t want to be micromanaged or constantly worried about classes, etc. My bookings are decent (90%) and my parents and kids lovely. The DaDa staff have been good also.
For anyone interested in working for DaDa, my advice to you is to watch YouTube videos, talk to current teachers, and find out if it’s a fit for you. There will be difference of opinion with every school, but it comes down to what fits you as a teacher.
"During the short period that I have been working with them I’ve had no issues. My schedule is full, if I have a problem I contact the coordinators and they respond as soon as possible, the IT team is great and my pay is on time."
My name is Emily. I’m from Ireland. I have worked abroad for 5 years in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Spain, Germany and Italy as an English teacher.
In 2018, my boyfriend and I decided to move back to Ireland. I commuted to work, which took up 4 hours of my day, so I decided to start teaching online from my home full time.
I have been with DaDaABC for only 2 months. I work 15 hours a week, but I will increase my hours in September.
I would rate them an 8. During the short period that I have been working with them I’ve had no issues. My schedule is full, if I have a problem I contact the coordinators and they respond as soon as possible, the IT team is great and my pay is on time. The pay date is the 15th and it’s in my bank account the next morning.
Getting hired took a week, from application to setting my hours up on the app. If you want to have a quick and swift process, make it your priority.
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDa is the booking system. After 1 week of opening my hours, my days were busy.
The worst part of the job are the penalties. I haven’t experienced any penalties yet, but if you’re late, miss a class or book more than the recommended time off per month, you’ll get penalized.
Overall, I enjoy my time with Dada. The bookings are great, the platform is easy to navigate and the pay and incentives are good.
One thing they could improve are the lessons. Some of the lessons are outdated and not as interactive as other platforms. Also I would improve the time between classes. You have 2 minutes or less between each class. When you have 4 hours of classes, it can be difficult to have a bathroom break!
The students are great. The majority of students are between 4 and 10 years of age. All of my students are respectful and enjoy learning English. Remember, the students will get as much out of the lesson as you put into it.
As for the lessons, some are short with only a few slides. Be prepared, have warm-up games at the beginning of the class, bring flashcards, and have songs and videos for the younger students. It’s okay to have conversations with the older children.
One thing people might not know about DaDa is that they offer extra hours and part-time hours outside of your regular hours if you need some extra money.
For someone who’s thinking about working with DaDa, my advice would be to be punctual. If getting up early in the morning doesn’t suit you, then don’t apply. You will get penalized and it won’t be worth your time.
If you like structure and want good booking rates, DaDaABC is great.
"The absolute best aspect of working for DaDaABC is being able to work from home, and being able to teach from anywhere. I travel back to the UK quite often so I just take my laptop with me, which is a real bonus."
My name is Justine. I’m British and have been living in Slovenia for almost 8 years. I already had a part-time job writing for a local magazine and was looking for something else that would fit into my schedule.
I’ve been working with DaDa for over a year now. I’m currently on my 3rd 6-month contract.
I would you rate my experience with them a 10 as I really haven’t encountered any major problems.
Getting hired was pretty straightforward. First there was a Skype interview, followed by a technical skills test and then a trial class with a real student. I think the whole process took less than 2 weeks. They were flexible with start dates so my contract started a couple of weeks later, as I had travel plans.
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDaABC is being able to work from home, and being able to teach from anywhere. I travel back to the UK quite often so I just take my laptop with me, which is a real bonus.
The worst part of the job? Previously I would have said taking time off, but they have recently changed this to make it more flexible for teachers. I have to admit that I don’t really have cause for complaint.
Overall I really enjoy it. I’m fortunate that being in Europe means I teach classes at lunchtime, and working from home is great. Their customer service is very helpful and if you encounter a problem during a lesson, IT are available immediately to assist you.
In terms of improvements, they recently updated their contracts, though I am still on the previous one. I know some teachers are unhappy with the changes but others welcomed them.
From what I understand, if your schedule is full, then you benefit financially because of bonuses, but if you have empty slots then you don’t receive standby pay, which was half your hourly rate on the old contract.
They also have a bonus system which you can redeem points for Amazon vouchers but they only make a certain amount of vouchers available every few months so there’s never enough for everyone. This is a pretty poor system that could easily be improved.
I currently have 6 regular students ages 4 to 10. Some of them speak well enough for free talk and others very little, so a parent stays with them to assist. They’re all fun to teach and enjoy the classes.
Classes and coursework are all planned for you, and you can preview the lessons in advance. Because I mainly teach younger students, I do repeat quite a lot of the same content, but it’s still fun to see how they each respond, or perhaps I need to change methods or expand more.
My advice for anyone considering this gig is to give it a go! Make sure you understand all the terms in the contract, as they do seem to cause some confusion.
There’s a great Facebook page for teachers so there’s always someone that can help with minor questions rather than going through DaDaABC themselves.
"The best part of DaDaABC are the parents, they are so kind. They appreciate the pacing and how the teachers personalize the lessons for their children. I haven’t had any unkind parents. They show me pictures and pop their heads in to say hello."
I’m LaShundra. I’m from Omaha, Nebraska but now reside in Oklahoma. I was a preschool teacher in the child development setting for almost a decade. I finally decided to put my skills and experience to use and become a certified teacher.
I first obtained my bachelor’s degree and took the Oklahoma state certification test. I was elated and began teaching right way! I wanted more so I quickly obtained my master’s degree. Both of these were done in my 30s.
I wanted my children to know that, although I didn’t follow the traditional plan, I could still do all I want to do and more. I now solely teach online and am a published children’s author. Five books and counting!
I’ve been with DaDaABC since August 2017.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would say on average an 8 but when I reflect I give an overall 9.5.
I say 8 because I truly love what I do and the freedom DaDa gives you in the classroom. It’s been the closest to teaching in the brick-and-mortar format in terms of being able to move through the lesson as I see necessary, in most cases, and truly making the class student centered. Not just check marking off a list of what I have to do to complete each class.
However…! Big however! I hate the fines. I’m not a very punctual person so the struggle is real! I always fear fines for being late or oversleeping.
Now of course, every job expects punctuality pretty much. So when I really think about it… psshhhht! I’m at home. I need to just manage my time better. I have no regrets so that’s when my 9.5 pops in. No fines for last-minute teacher cancellations will give it the missing 0.5. Ha!
It was fairly easy to get hired when I started with the company. You actually had several chances to get it right to be considered. Now it’s a one and done type of deal, though it’s still fairly easy. That’s why I make so many videos to help teachers.
When I first started there were zero videos on DaDa. After teaching for just 3 months, I sought to change that and started pumping out videos to help others and make it easy. The interview and mock demo is now all done in 1 sitting. You just have to make your resume popto get the interview.
Check out one of my videos below!
The best part of DaDaABC are the parents, they are so kind. They appreciate the pacing and how the teachers personalize the lessons for their children. I haven’t had any unkind parents. They show me pictures and pop their heads in to say “Hi.”
Even the parents that started off as helicopter parents back off and give me the reigns, trusting I have their child’s best interest. It’s flattering to have the same regulars for years (most of them) and still get requests to add days. I’m like, “Don’t you get tired of my face?”
The worst part is waking up early. It’s the pits! But quite honestly I would never want to do it in the middle of the day since I’m a mom. Doing it at night is even worse. I tried that when I went to China. I felt like I only got to live, like, half a day. Yuck!
So in short, I’m hard to please, I guess. If I had to choose, it would be in the mornings as it is now and I would still complain about waking up early since I’m such a night owl.
Overall, working for DaDaABC is almost like working for myself. I really freestyle in the classroom. Zero prep time. Now, I don’t recommend that for everyone, but for me, it works.
I learned lots of tricks as a brick-and-mortar teacher. It makes sense that most of these companies want experienced teachers. There are no scripts and I can truly invest in it being a student-centered classroom. My students’ parents are always open to my suggestions.
I wish there were options for more interactive lessons for the younger ones. Nowadays they’re so absorbed in technology. I’m not fancy enough for ManyCam, so I use my iPad to show pictures for examples, games, and entertainment.
What are the students like? The itty bitty ones really try. Some seem start struck. I get it! I’m different from the teachers most of them see in their schools. They are sweet and say, “I love you.” The “littles,” as I like to call them, really want puppetry and rewards to pop out all over the place. From 9 and up they really just want a game and conversation.
They are pretty relaxed most of the time. Here and there I will get a serious student that wants it strictly business.
The lessons could get pretty monotonous. Some of the lessons get a bit dry and tedious. Fortunately, I know how to spice it up and add my own flavor to it. I still don’t plan it out though. I go off their vibes and expand based off illustration, context, questions, or anything that pops up in my mind.
Sometimes I have the mind of a cartoon. It’s planned out for you, but like I stated before, there are now scripts. Some lessons require a whole lot more expanding than others. If you like a script and feel lost without specific direction, it may not be the platform for you.
It’s really up to the teacher, in most cases, to make it fun. For me, it’s like the brick-and-mortar setting. I was one of those dancing, PowerPoint-making, putting on shows and plays, music in the classroom, open book test kind of teacher.
Something people might not know about DaDaABC is that they don’t freely give out their little panda bear mascot! I got mine from China. You have to win a competition (which are rare) or visit the headquarters to get your hands on a DaDa bear.
DaD’s schedule is a bit different and takes some getting used to. The lessons are each 30 minutes with a 2-minute break between. Only trial classes are 25 minutes long.
Now, with the 2 minutes in between, that’s what makes it weird. So if you teach 18:00 BJT and it’s a 30 minute class, the next class will be at 18:32 BJT. Then the following class will be at 19:04 BJT… see how it gets weird? You never technically get a full 2 minutes because you have to be in the next class on time.
Once you are part of that world it becomes second nature though. DaDa also isn’t crazy with their teacher evaluations.
My advice for anyone who’s thinking about working with DaDaABC is to train like an Olympian between classes! Ha! Really, just keep your water close. Empty your bladder before you start your shift and make sure your bathroom isn’t too far off from your teaching space.
Lastly, be natural. Natural shows you are genuinely interested in them and their personal lives outside the classroom. They get attached pretty quick to their teachers and most will want you exclusively to teach them and share all their weekly news with you as soon as they know how to express themselves. Also, it’s a myth that you have to Joker smile for 30 minutes!
"On a scale of 0 to 10, I’d give them a solid 7 as they pay on time, give reasonable raises and fill my available slots."
My name is Kathleen. I’m British, a teacher, a writer and an editor of English as a foreign language. I’m married with 2 children that are young adults.
I’ve been with DaDaABC for 22 months.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I’d give them a solid 7 as they pay on time, give reasonable raises and fill my available slots.
It was easy to get hired. I had an interview and a mock lesson.
The absolute best aspect of working for DaDa is the reasonable pay for working from home.
The worst part of the job is the changeable work conditions.
Overall, this job is fine for me, though they could improve the courseware.
A lot of the students are bright and fun. Some can be uncooperative or naughty. I’ve had students ages 4 to 16.
The classes aren’t fantastic, but having the freedom to adapt them makes them doable.
I think they treat you well if you’re a good teacher who doesn’t miss classes.
My advice for prospective teachers? If you don’t enjoy kids, this gig is not for you.
DaDaABC vs. VIPKid
VIPKid is another big player in the world of teaching English as a foreign language online. The company is often compared to DaDaABC and has a lot of similarities. For instance, they have similar salary structures.
One difference is that VIPKid pays fully for any canceled major course classes. This means that if you turn up for a class (virtually, of course) and the student doesn’t, you still get paid. If it is a trial, you will get paid.
With DaDaABC you can lock in contracted hours which then means guaranteed stand-by pay, and you will work the same each week. Casual, part-time hours may mean not getting paid for cancellations.
DaDaABC is not as flexible as VIPKid or some of the other online English schools. It requires a lot of notice if you need to change the days you can work or your availability, whereas VIPKid has a more fluid system where you can change your hours with slightly less notice.
Some people get around this by only committing to minimal hours with DaDaABC, but this comes with its downside as you then don’t have as much guaranteed pay.
To find out what VIPKid teachers think about the school, read 36 employee interviews right here.
Other online English schools
Magic Ears is a similar online English school. It has some strict criteria for becoming a teacher, and they prefer that teachers have experience already in online tutoring.
Their teachers are known for being very energetic and they encourage their employees and students to have a lot of fun and vibrant classes.
There are progression opportunities within the company, so you can go on to become a trainer if you want it to become more of a full-time opportunity, but this doesn’t suit those moms and those who want something part-time.
Find out what Magic Ears teachers think about the job right here!
Golden Voice English
Golden Voice English is another English company which pairs up tutors with students in China.
Their lessons are synchronized with the Chinese-English Curriculum and are often preferred by many parents in China.
Golden Voice prefers you to have experience and, at the very least, a bachelor's degree.
The company has a big advantage over some others, and that is their mobile platform, which isn’t something many of the English teaching companies online can offer, at least not reliably.
TwoSigmas is a company which works closely with a lot of Chinese students, but also they describe their company as operating "all over the world."
This means that they can pair you up with students in other countries which can lead to more convenient times for moms to work with students.
As with the rest, you need a bachelor's degree and a qualification in teaching in a foreign language such as TESOL.
Why this is a great gig for moms
DaDaABC only requires you to sign up with a relatively low commitment in terms of hours. It's a great choice for moms for lots of reasons, especially if the hours fit with your lifestyle.
In some parts of America, the time difference is 12 hours, which can make the 6 to 9 slot great for early risers. The weekend classes that are available may be suitable for moms who are willing to give up some time on their weekends, like if dad is home and taking care of the kids!
Of course, the 12 hour time difference is dependant on where you are in the world. As long as you have Internet connection and your laptop and webcam, you can do the lessons anywhere in the world.
DaDaABC looks favorably upon their teachers who can give a level of reliability and consistency when it comes to hours, and as long as you know your kids' schedule and when you can be free, this will suit you well.
Yet another reason a lot of mothers find DaDaABC a good choice is the support they offer and the fact that lesson plans are provided.
Outside of the classes themselves, you won’t be spending much time on admin, planning, grading, or anything else that eats into your day. This means that the time you spend with your own children will be maximized.
Though there are a few competitors with similar offerings for teachers, it is worth considering DaDaABC. If you can make a good impression during the interview, you may even be paid slightly higher to work for the company.
Please note: These are the opinions of a small selection of teachers. Not everyone has had or will have the same experience and these types of schools and platforms tend to adapt frequently to the changing online education landscape. We would advise you to do plenty of research on your own before applying.