Manila, Philippines - The Philippines has become the global hotspot of back office process outsourcing and call centers in the past decade. Highly proficient in English with an understanding of American culture, Filipinos have become the top choice of companies looking for inbound and outbound voice-based services. It comes as no surprise that the Filipinos’ excellent grasp of English combined with their innate ability to help and serve, have made them prime candidates for distance-learning English teaching as well.
In 2011, a Chinese startup wanted to address a growing need for English teachers in China. This led to the birth of 51Talk, an Internet-based English education company that caters to Chinese people who want to have a good grasp of English and be at ease in holding a conversation in English. “51Talk was established to address the need in China of proper teaching of conversational English. In China, we learn English in school and at university for over 10 years, but we still can’t speak out and communicate confidently with foreigners. Even the top graduates from the top schools, they can’t really communicate in English,” 51Talk co-founder Sue Ting explained.
After the formation of the company, Sue visited the Philippines to find the English teachers that the company needed. “My background is in linguistics and second language acquisition, and I believe that the most effective way to improve one’s ability to learn or speak English is to have one-on-one lessons with English speaking teachers. I got to know that the Philippines is the top English speaking country in Asia and the
Filipinos’ English proficiency is very high as evidenced by the rapidly-growing number of call centers in the country. Filipinos are extremely passionate and very familiar with Western culture, making them the perfect choice to be English language teachers for Chinese students,” she shared.
Today, the company is the biggest online teaching company in the world and on June 10, 2016, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the stock symbol COE (China Online Education Group). “Education is about brand reputation. We’re the only online education company listed in the world, and the first listed high-tech company listed in the US in 2016. With our listing, we will keep recruiting the best teachers for our Chinese learners,” Sue explained. “Right now, we have over 8,000 teachers. Our teachers are from all around the country, from Manila, to Cebu, to Davao, and other cities in the Philippines.”
“With the money raised by the IPO, we hope to get the best teachers and more individuals who are passionate about teaching English,” said Sue. 51Talk aims to better engage the local English teachers, build up brand visibility in targeted areas, and deliver more training and development programs to their home-based online English teachers living in other parts of the country. “We give multiple training sessions every month to our teachers to ensure that they can pass on the best knowledge to our students in the most effective way,” she added.
For Sue, the success of 51Talk can be traced to the combination of innovation and ability. “We established our own online learning system and platform; and through the Internet, we can take our foreign teachers, who are mainly Filipinos, right to the student in China and deliver an intensive 1-on-1 English-only immersive lesson. Our students can take lessons every day, anytime, anywhere, which is very convenient for them and allows them to practice English in a real conversational environment. It is a very convenient and effective way for both teacher and student,” she shared.
51Talk continues to lead the online English education industry by providing a high volume of work opportunities — fulfilling, honorable, and noble English teaching jobs with competitive earnings in the Philippines. 51Talk’s unique teaching platform allows teachers to work from their homes, choose their own schedules, participate in regular and continuous teacher training, and have full access to the company’s online support and mentoring officers. These create positive lifestyle changes for 51Talk’s online English teachers — they can have more time to spend with their family and enjoy a flexible work schedule (no more commuting, no more graveyard shifts).
To learn more about 51Talk, visit www.51Talk.com/ph