Today, we’re going to jump into another online English teaching platform. This company is called Palfish and in this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about whether or not this is the right opportunity for you.
For this Palfish review, I spoke with my friend Miranda, who is a current Palfish teacher.
Miranda uses the Palfish app to teach and earn money while traveling the world full time.
If you’re interested in teaching with Palfish, check out Miranda’s review to decide if this is the right job for you.
Palfish Review: What Is Palfish?
Palfish is an online English teaching platform that serves young students in China.
These students range in age from 3 to 12 years old. As a Palfish teacher, it’s our job to teach, practice, and engage in English conversation with them throughout our lessons.
Palfish is different than other online ESL platforms because instead of teaching with a computer or iPad, you’ll be using your smart phone.
Palfish Official Kid’s Course Or FreeTalk?
Before we dive into the requirements and teaching hours with Palfish, we need to review the difference between the two Palfish courses: Palfish Official Kid’s Course and Palfish FreeTalk.
The Palfish Official Kids Course is very similar to VIPKID and other online ESL teaching platforms. You’ll book classes with students, show up, and teach the lesson materials provided.
On the other hand, the Palfish FreeTalk course is basically where you can be a tutor.
As a FreeTalk teacher, you’ll log in to the platform as a tutor and anyone of any age can call you and talk to you in English. This could be about anything: hobbies, family, food, etc.
Your free talk conversation will give them experience talking with a native English speaker.
Note: If you want to make money with the Palfish app, I highly recommend working for the Official Kid’s Course. It is much easier than the Free Talk course and you’ll have a steadier schedule.
What Are The PalFish Teaching Requirements?
In order to work as a Palfish teacher, you will need to meet the following requirements:
1. Experience Working With Children
This experience with children could be in any setting.
So, whether you’re a nanny, a coach, or you’ve mentored kids in your community, you’ll qualify as a Palfish teacher.
2. TEFL/TESOL Certificate
Another qualification that you must meet in order to work for Palfish is you must have a TEFL or TESOL certificate.
These certificates (Teach English As A Foreign Language) are required by the Chinese government as of 2019.
If you don’t have a TEFL certification yet, you can easily get one here:
I got my TEFL certification through Premier TEFL because it is internationally accredited, it’s easy to complete, and it’s one of the cheapest options out there (only $37).
This TEFL certificate works for any online English teaching company; I work for 3 different companies and Premier TEFL has been accepted everywhere.
3. Native Speaker
Palfish only hires native speakers from the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, ad the UK.
This company is looking for neutral accents, which is why they will only accept native speakers.
Note: Palfish also has a course called Palfish Philippines Course. This course is set up for Filipino teachers only. You will need a TEFL or TESOL certificate to be hired.
Do I Need A Degree To Work For Palfish?
Unlike VIPKID, the Palfish app does NOT require a Bachelor’s degree.
This is one of the few companies that hires teachers without degrees, so if you are looking for a great opportunity to work online, apply now.
What Are The Typical Teaching Hours With Palfish?
Since Palfish serves young children in China, your teaching hours will revolve around Beijing waking hours.
The peak Palfish hours start at 6pm each night and wrap up at 9pm (Beijing Time). On the weekend, you can fill your schedule entirely from 10am to 9pm (Beijing Time).
Of course, there are many more hours available to teach on the Palfish app. These peak hours are just when you can expect the highest probability of being booked.
Is There A Minimum Hour Requirement With Palfish?
Palfish does state that teachers must open at least 3.5 hours of availability each week, however, I have taken weeks off at a time and it hasn’t been an issue.
Note: You do have to have a certain amount of money in your account before you can withdraw it.
The amount is equivalent to two or three classes; so you do have to at least teach a few classes before you can cash out.
What’s The Pay For Teaching With Palfish?
Similar to other online ESL teaching companies, you’ll earn between $16-23 per hour.
Palfish pays its teachers based on a tiered scale. Every teacher will start at level one and move up based on how many classes they have finished and attendance.
The higher your level, the more money you’ll earn per class.
Here is what the Palfish pay scale looks like:
As you can see, the more points you accumulate, the more money you’ll make each class. Classes last for 25 minutes, so you can fit two classes into one hour.
Teachers at level one earn around $17 per hour while teachers at level five earn nearly $23 per hour.
Therefore, the longer you work for Palfish, the more you make.
Speaking from experience, it takes about a month to move up to level two and earn more per class.
A huge perk is that Palfish also offers their teachers bonuses.
If you teach a trial class and the student signs up as a regular student, you will earn more money.
The amount you will earn depends upon if there are any promotions for teachers at that time.
For example, I have received $15 for selling a package to a student and other times they have specials where you can make double the amount, so I made $30 for selling a package to a student.
In comparison, as a VIPKID teacher, you only receive $5 for getting a trial student to sign-up. With Zebra English, you don’t receive any bonus for having trail students sign up.
How Do You Get Paid From Palfish?
Palfish pays their teachers via direct deposit or through Payoneer.
Payoneer is very similar to PayPal and it’s a secure way to get paid from Palfish if you don’t feel comfortable giving them your banking information.
Payments from Palfish are made one per month.
Does Palfish Pay Weekly?
Unfortunately, Palfish doesn’t give teachers the option to be paid weekly. You will be paid each month, which might require some budgeting on your end.
Filing Taxes With Palfish
As a Palfish teacher, you are considered an independent contractor.
Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes, therefore, you should set aside 30% of each paycheck just to be safe.
In order to keep as much of your Palfish income as possible, I highly recommend hiring a professional CPA.
I use Jasmine from MomenTaxServices. She is professional, qualified, and works closely with online English teachers. She also works part-time for VIPKID, so she understands the online ESL world.
If you want to reach out to Jasmine about tax services, her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tell her Laura Peters sent you!
Palfish Vs. Other Online ESL Companies
A big difference is that with the Palfish app, you are teaching from your phone or iPad.
This company is a lot more mobile than other companies, therefore, if you’re traveling you don’t have to carry around a big laptop.
But you will need to still have classroom materials like props and the classroom background.
Palfish Review: The Pros
An appropriate review will include all of the positive aspects of teaching wtih Palfish.
Here are the things you can look forward to if you plan to teach fro Palfish:
✅ Easy To Get Classes
It has been much easier to get classes with Palfish compared to other online ESL companies.
With Palfish, the parents do book you, but the app works more like social media for English language learning, therefore, it’s easier to fill your schedule with students.
✅ More Room To Market Yourself
On the platform, you’ll have a profile where you can upload pictures and a timeline where you can share pictures with your students.
The parents can follow you, like your pictures, and book classes based on your profile.
There is more wiggle room to market yourself to the parents on the Palfish app, unlike other companies where you have one short video that parents can watch and judge you by.
✅ Simple Hiring Process
To start teaching with Palfish, you will sign up through the app, build your profile, upload pictures, and started to follow students.
You are able to quickly get yourself out there for students and parents to see.
Once you submit your video and get certified, you can open teaching slots. Palfish will then start to give you trial classes.
✅ Easier To Earn More
As other online ESL companies transition to the tiered pay scale system, Palfish offers an attainable way to earn more money per class.
With Palfish’s tiered pay scale, you’ll easily be able to increase your base pay.
Palfish Review: The Cons
There are plenty of cons to include in this Palfish review.
Here are the negative aspects you need to know about before applying to Palfish:
❌ Lots of Trial Classes
Unfortunately, trial classes make up a lot of teachers’ schedules.
The reason why trial classes aren’t as great as regular course classes is that there are only two or three trial lessons to teach. If you teach five classes in a row, you might end up teaching the same lesson five times back to back.
❌ Mediocre Coursework
Another negative with Palfish is the coursework. The teaching materials on other online ESL companies are much better than the materials on Palfish.
For a 25 minute Palfish class, you’ll have approximately 17-19 slides.
I find myself getting really creative to try to fill that time because there isn’t enough material. I don’t have that problem with other companies; they always give more than enough material to fill an entire class.
How Can Others Start Working With Palfish?
You can sign up to teach with Palfish through the Palfish app on your phone or iPad.
When you first sign up for the platform, you’ll become a tutor to do Free Talk. In order to teach for the Official Kids Course (which I recommend), you will have to sign up and submit a demo video.
What All New Palfish Teachers Should Know
Before we wrap up this Palfish review, there is one important thing you should know.
Other teachers will see that you have joined the app and that you aren’t yet signed up for the Palfish Official Course. These teachers will try to convince you to use their promo code to get a bonus.
The problem is, many of those teachers don’t actually help you get through the process.
Whoever your referring teacher is should also be your coach and be there to answer your questions.
Another teacher convinced me to use his referral code to sign up for the Palfish Official Course and then didn’t help me at all through the process.
I learned the hard way and I don’t want that to happen to someone else. I can assure you that as your referring teacher, I will be there to answer your questions and help you through the process.
Use my invitation code to sign up with Palfish: 50616622. We will get you up and teaching in no time.
The Wrap-Up: Palfish Review
Palfish is a great remote teaching opportunity and it will help you break into the online ESL world.
Use this review to weigh the pros and cons of teaching with Palfish before beginning your journey.
A huge thank you to Miranda Rios for taking the time to answer our questions and giving us an in-depth Palfish review. Miranda uses her online English teaching jobs through Palfish and VIPKID to travel the world full time. If this sounds intriguing, use her referral code to start the Palfish application process today!
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