What is Palfish?
Palfish is an English tutoring phone app directed towards people in China. However, YOU (the native-English-speaking teacher) can teach from literally anywhere! There are three different platforms on Palfish, giving you many different ways to make money:
1) Official Kids Course –
This platform requires you to apply to be an official teacher. The OKC is a great way to teach children, using their pre-made lesson slides. All the lessons are planned out and there is minimal lesson planning needed. This is ideal for those who would enjoy a 1-on-1 classroom setting and having a “curriculum” to go by. There are also lots of opportunities to earn payment bonuses after each class!
2) Freetalk –
This is a great option if you prefer to skip the song and dance and just plain talk to adults. This platform allows you to charge your own rates/min for people to call you through the app and chat. The chats could either be just casual or even educational. You have the option to provide your own teaching material. Either way, people will call you to learn something new and you get paid to just talk to them! The callers are mostly adults who are looking to get more comfortable in their conversational skills, but occasionally there are children calling up to do the very same!
3) Live Broadcasts –
Like every social media network out there, Palfish has its own live streaming service. You could either charge for people to gain access to them or let them view for free. These streams get saved in your profile so people can watch them even after you have finished streaming. These shows could either be educational, such as reading a story, or just entertaining, to get more exposure.
What are the requirements?
Do I need to be from North America?
There are many companies out there that only accept North Americans. Palfish is a bit more lenient in this regard as they accept a wider range of nationalities. To be an “Official Kids Course” teacher, you will of course need to be a native speaker. You will need a passport or some form of ID from the following countries: USA/ Canada/ UK/ Australia/ New Zealand/ Ireland (I think that’s it). This is a strict Palfish requirement.
If you don’t have any form of ID (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, residency card etc) from those countries, do not be discouraged – you can still be part of Palfish! That’s why this app is so great and inclusive of everyone. You can still make money if you are not necessarily a “native speaker”. You can be part of “freetalk tutoring” and make money by chatting to kids and adults and helping them improve their English through conversation.
Do I need to have other certifications/qualifications?
As of March 2019, Palfish has enforced the regulation that the Chinese government imposed. It is now mandatory for everyone to get a TESOL/TEFL certificate — BUT that does not have to cost you thousands of dollars. There are different levels of certification and at the moment, they only require the bare minimum.
I completed my 120-hour TEFL certification for only $20 at this site.
At this current moment, I don’t believe you officially need a Bachelor’s degree to be employed at Palfish, however it will definitely help!
Do I need to have teaching experience?
It may sound too good to be true – but NO, you do not need actual classroom teaching experience. As long as you have the passion for teaching and working with kids, you will do great. If you have any teaching experience outside of the classroom (babysitter, camp counsellor, etc) that would be a great advantage so add it on to your application. Make sure you talk up your past experiences to spruce up your application. Refer to my free mentor program for further guidance on how to make your application stand out!
How do we get paid?
Surprisingly, this is a really common question that I get asked. “Is Palfish a scam? Is the pay real? Do we really get paid?” And the answer is YES – we do get paid through a super straight-forward platform called Payoneer, and every month the money just goes zoom right into your connected bank account. I actually think they charge less fees than PayPal. I can earn almost $2000 per month, depending on my schedule.
Here’s how the payment system works for Palfish:
For your Freetalk tutoring, you can set your own rates per minute. How good! But just something worth mentioning about freetalk: Palfish takes a 20% commission cut of your total pay. Although this seems relatively high, this is fairly standard compared to other online ESL companies.
For the Official Kids Course, however, the pay system works completely differently. There’s a level-based system which determines your pay. You will need to level up in order to increase your hourly rate. Each lesson is 25 min so essentially you will have 2 lessons per hour. If you attend a lesson on time, you will get a ¥5 bonus*
*Trust me, it’s not hard to do, you will (almost) always get this bonus so it’s pretty much part of your rate.
And there’s more! You can get bonuses! If you sell a package to a student, you will get ¥200 ($30 USD) extra to your name. So the more trials you successfully close, the more bank you make. Cha-ching!
How do you level up?
To get to each level, you will need a certain number of points. They have a great point system that rewards you for just doing your job! Each class you teach gets you 5 points. If you teach at 8pm Beijing time (peak time), you will get double the points, so instead of getting the regular 5 per lesson, you get 10. This helps you level up faster, and get higher pay sooner. If you don’t miss a class in the whole month, you will get 20 extra points. If you have no lateness in the whole month, you get another 20 extra points.
So if you really wanted to – you could easily level up in no time!
How does scheduling work?
What’s their scheduling policy like?
This is honestly the simplest and most user-friendly platform I’ve ever encountered. The scheduling is easy! Straight in your app you can choose if you want a time slot closed or open. That’s it! There’s no need to send your timetable to an admin, there’s no need to set a regular schedule every single week (though you can if you want to), and there’s no need to worry about time table clashes week by week. Everything is in your control. If you wanna take 2 weeks off and travel South America, that’s fine!
How viable is working Palfish full time?
Your schedule is up to you! Just open up as many slot as possible and you will be (almost) guaranteed to get a substantial amount of hours. I got 30 lessons booked in my first week! So work as much as you want or as little as you want. I think it’s definitely possible to rely on this as your full-time job – and I think many people do. With this type of flexibility, who would wanna turn down the opportunity?
How do you actually teach the classes?
As for the teaching, there is an interactive slide platform built into your app! You can draw, drag, color, use filters right on the app. The short video on the right demonstrates the different features that Palfish provides to keep your lessons exciting. It’s that easy. There’s no external software you need to download, such as zoom, manycam, etc. You just need one app. That’s all. There’s “Teacher Guidance” (TG) on the bottom of the screen that will give you a script on what to say/do during each slide so you will need minimal preparation. Seriously it’s fool-proof..
How do I join?
SOUNDS GREAT – where do I sign up?
If you guys think this is the perfect job for you, go to the app store and download the app:
Please feel free to use my referral code (72796812) if you feel that I’ve helped you with the process. I’ve spent a lot of time on this so if you would like to credit me that’d be amazing 😊 Shoot me a message and I will be able to help you out with any questions you have, that’s how strongly I feel about this app! If you do use my referral code, I will be able to give you access to my free mentor program, which includes one-on-one mentoring and tips and tricks to passing your interview. I will be there every step of the way to help you get hired!
Palfish has put together this FAQ document to give new recruits a better feel for what Palfish is about.