Do you have a passion for grammar and vocabulary (in whatever language)? Do you enjoy teaching people? Do you like the idea of being able to work wherever and whenever you want? Well, becoming an online language tutor with Verbling may just be the thing for you.
With Verbling, you can teach private language lessons to students through live video chat. While you don’t have to be a college professor or language specialist to teach on the platform, there are some basic requirements you need to meet in order to successfully earn money. Read on to find out if this money making idea is right for you.
What Is Verbling?
Verbling is an online language-learning platform that connects language learners with language teachers for private sessions through live video chat.
It was founded in 2011 by three Swedish former Stanford students — Jake Jolis, Mikael Bernstein, and Gustav Rydstedt — with headquarters based in San Francisco. Today, the company has over 500,000 members and has raised $4.4 million in venture capital funding.
Benefits of Working With Verbling
Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with Verbling is its flexibility. You set your own hourly tutoring rates, and you can teach from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a computer and reliable internet.
You’re free to adjust your availability at anytime on your calendar, which means you can take on as few or as many students (who will book private sessions) as you want. Since you’re able to adjust your schedule to your own personal preference, you can choose to teach full-time, part-time, or just occasionally, the app is a very convenient side hustle.
On top of that, if you’re already a qualified teacher or have previous experience in teaching, you can start making money without having to pay anything.
The most important qualification to become a language teacher with Verbling is to be a native speaker of the language you wish to teach in. This means the language you’re teaching in has to be the language you grew up with, not a foreign language you’ve learned later in life.
Because of this native speaker requirement, as a teacher on this platform, you’ll likely only be able to teach in one language — your native one.
Verbling also requires all teachers to have previous experience teaching their native language. You’ll need to list this in your resume, as well as be able to prove your teaching experience. You can do this by uploading a reference letter during your application process.
If you’re approved, you should expect to hear back from them within two weeks after you’ve submitted your application. (They do not send rejection letters.)
Since Verbling is all about allowing language learners to take lessons and chat with their language tutor through live video chat, you’ll need to have a computer (not a cell phone or a tablet) with a camera and microphone. You’ll also need these features to record and upload a video during your application process.
You won’t need to worry about having Skype or Google Hangouts installed, as all Verbling lessons are conducted using their very own video chat technology (which can be launched through the Google Chrome or Firefox browser). You’ll also communicate with students through the app’s own messaging system.
While you could technically work from anywhere in the world, not just work from home, you’ll need to ensure that you have access to a good and stable internet connection.
You’re also responsible for populating your profile page, which includes creating a written and video description of yourself and your expertise, coming up with courses and lesson plans, and setting your own hourly rates.
Languages You Can Teach on Verbling
The beauty about this platform is that you don’t just have to be an English teacher. They accept teachers for all languages (61 and counting) and are introducing new languages on a rolling basis. However, if you teach in one of their popular languages, you’ll improve your chances of getting a job faster:
What’s more, Verbling currently has language learning programs for other less popular languages, including:
No matter what your native language may be, there’s a high possibility that you’ll be able to earn some money giving language lessons on the platform.
How Much You Can Earn
Since working with Verbling is highly flexible, how much you earn will depend largely on two factors:
- The rates you’re charging
- How many sessions you’ve accepted
On average, English tutors on Verbling charge around $20 an hour. Be aware that the company charges a 15% commission, which means you’ll only earn 85% of whatever rate you charge.
To entice students, you can also offer a free 30-minute trial lesson or offer lessons in bulk at a discounted rate, all of which will have an impact on how much you earn.
You get paid weekly (either on Sunday or Monday, depending on your time zone) and you’re free to cash out whenever you want through PayPal, Payoneer, or TransferWise.
According to the company, some of their teachers earn more than $4,000 a month.
How to Get Students
Potential students “shop” for a teacher on the Find a Teacher page. With over 3,000 teachers on their platform (with some languages having more than 700 teachers active at the same time), you’ll need to stand out in order for a student to choose you as their teacher.
As mentioned, how much you earn will depend on how many sessions you’ve accepted, which means you’ll want to attract more students in order to provide more sessions.
Thankfully, Verbling has provided some useful information on how their algorithm works and what you can do to improve your position on the teacher list. Here are some tips:
- Strive to get good reviews from students — the more 5-star ratings you get, the higher you’ll rank
- Have a lot of availability
- Have a detailed video description on your profile
- Be active on the site (by writing an article or engaging in their Discussions threads by answering students’ questions)
- Have teaching status set to “Teaching new and current students”
Bear in mind that students rate you on three areas: audio quality, video quality, and teacher. This means you shouldn’t just provide a great lesson experience for the student, you must do it with great audio and video quality as well.
You can also create a coupon for a special promotion or to offer a discount off the cost of a single lesson with you.
Some students may also choose a teacher through the new courses page, so creating a unique course may also help you get new students.
Teaching With Verbling
Unlike language learning programs like Rosetta Stone, Verbling is an interactive, human experience, where you actually get to share your knowledge with someone else in real time through a video chat interface. Remember that students expect a personalized experience, which means that the lesson plan you design will be based on their fluency level, and what they hope to achieve from the lessons.
There are a couple of teaching tools you can use to help you do that:
You can choose to share your screen with your student when you need to show them something that’s on your computer.
You can upload all of your learning materials to Verbling, including files, homework assignments, lessons plans, and more. This way, you get to work through the same document and information together, as if in person. It’ll even show you which materials you’ve used with the students to help you stay organized.
You can also use Textpads or the Whiteboard function for real-time editing, or create vocabulary decks (or vocabulary flashcards) and audio/video snippets for your students to review on their own time between lessons.
Take Control of Your Time and Start Tutoring Now
Whether you choose to tutor online full-time or as a side hustle, you should consider signing up with Verbling. It doesn’t even matter if English is your native language since the platform offers lessons in more than 60 languages.
With so many languages on offer and the freedom to set your own schedule and work from anywhere you want, teaching with Verbling could suit your lifestyle perfectly.