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51Talk looks to hire 100k Filipino teachers

Online English-teaching platform 51Talk, which is aimed at the Chinese market, has announced it is looking to hire 100,000 Filipinos in the next five years to meet growing demand. 51Talk currently employs 18,000 online English teachers of which 16,000 are Filipino.

Children ages five to 12 years make up about 80% of 51Talk's students. Photo: Pixabay

Online education is estimated to be worth $50 billion

Launched in 2011, 51Talk – which translates to “I want to talk” in Chinese –  is the leading online education company in China. It is the first online education company in China to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol COE.

“Filipinos are a perfect fit to educate children ages five to 12 years, which make up about 80% of 51Talk’s students”

Speaking to ANC’s Early Edition, 51Talk CEO Jack Huang said he believes Filipino teachers are the best online English teachers in the world to teach Chinese kids.

Huang explained that over the next five years 51Talk is planning to recruit as many as 100,000 Filipino teachers.

“The reason is that Filipino English competency is very high because they speak English with a neutral accent,” he said.

They are “naturally happy and friendly” too, said Huang, and because they are rooted in Asia they “understand Chinese culture”.

“Filipinos are a perfect fit to educate children ages five to 12 years, which make up about 80% of 51Talk’s students,” he said, adding that online education is estimated to be worth $50 billion.

 51Talk Philippines country manager Sue Ting added that because Filipinos are very familiar with Western culture, it makes them the perfect choice to be English language teachers for Chinese students.

“Filipinos’ English proficiency is very high as evidenced by the rapidly-growing number of call centres in the country,” she added.

For those who want to make a career out of it, Ting explained that 51Talk allows teachers to move up in rank using a star system.

“When someone starts out as an English instructor, they are given a one-star rank. After completing a set amount of lessons and in-house training modules, they can move up in rank, all the way to 5-star.

The best performing teachers can earn more than P1 million [USD$18,821] in a year,” she added.

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