There’s a tremendous choice of online teaching opportunities out there nowadays. In this Dada Review, we break down exactly you can expect if you decide to teach online with Dada.
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What is Dada?
Dada is an online company providing ESL (English as a Second Language) education to children in China. Dada provides one-on-one, virtual classes, held on their educational platform.
Children and their parents select a tutor from their platform and attend weekly classes with the tutor. This allows teachers to build a schedule of regular students that they may see for years to come.
Teachers for Dada are located all over the world. Dada looks for native-level speakers of English to teach the classes.
Is Dada legit?
Dada (formerly known as DadaABC) is completely legit. It’s a well-established company that has been through some recent changes in the light of the coronavirus. However, the platform continues to serve the Chinese education market.
Dada is certainly not a scam. They have paid me every month without fail for a year and a half. I’ve never had to worry about not getting paid, and I continued to receive regular students who I adore.
Dada Review: Registering with Dada
The Dada website lists five things necessary to begin teaching.
- Sign up with your email address and fill in your basic information.
- Wait until you are approved.
- Dada then sends you preparation material for the interview.
- Complete the interview, which includes a “mock” class with a Dada representative.
- Sign a contract and begin teaching.
The Application Process
The application process at Dada takes approximately one week, depending on how quickly you complete each step.
Dada will also want a DBS background check to ensure you can teach children. This is what delayed my application by an extra week, but with some persistence, I got it sooner than I had anticipated.
Dada Application Tips
- Plan a good introduction and warm-up. You can greet the student, ask how they are and how old they are, for example.
- Create a simple, well-lit classroom environment. Have a plain or colorful background and be seated in a quiet environment, visible to the interviewer.
- Engage the student. Props and plenty of TPR (Total Physical Response) can help communicate a point to the students.
- Error Correction. Correct any mistakes the student makes by repeating the word or sentence they said incorrectly. Give the student time to recite it.
You need a TEFL certificate to teach at Dada. This TESOL article can help you determine exactly what you need.
Dada will ask for your TEFL certificate number in the interview process, so that they can check to ensure it is valid.
The Dada Curriculum
Dada provides all the lesson materials you need. All you have to do is show up and teach. Teachers are not pressured to finish the lesson materials in one sitting so you are free to move along at a pace that suits the student.
You’re allowed to be creative with the lesson material and ask lots of questions to check student comprehension. All classes are recorded for the students or parents to review.
An important aspect of teaching on Dada is connecting with the students. This will help you gain regular students on the platform that may attend your classes for years to come.
Students can earn “stars” on the platform as a reward for good behavior and performance. The teacher must correct the students’ mistakes and encourage them in the lessons.
After the lesson, teachers can complete feedback for the students. The feedback helps give parents an indication of how the student is doing and what needs to be improved.
Teachers are also expected to give homework. This could be a snippet from the lesson material, some questions from the lesson, or a file uploaded from a quick internet search, for example. Students rarely do the homework in my experience, but you receive a notification to check it when they do.
Getting Paid by Dada
For many, the most important information in this Dada review will be this part – about getting paid!
As of 2021, Dada pays teachers $15 per hour (roughly $12.50 for two 25-minute classes) as a base rate before incentives. They currently have a 0.70c bonus per hour if you teach more than 60 classes per month and have no performance issues.
There are bonuses and incentives based on the number of students you have and the number of hours you work each month:
Payment is made every month. Teachers can receive their pay via bank transfer, Payoneer, or Wise (formerly Transferwise.) I use Transferwise, which is the cheapest way to receive USD, without any hefty exchange fees. (We have an article on the site explaining how Wise works).
Dada Review: Pros and Cons
The following are some pros and cons of teaching through Dada:
- Work from the comfort of your own home. One of the greatest advantages to working from home is avoiding the long commute in the mornings.
- Travel anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. This freedom allows you to take your job with you and see the world if you desire.
- Great extra pocket money. Can work well for some additional income as a part-time job.
- Flexibility. You can teach as much or as little as you want, as there is no minimum hour requirement.
- Lack of communication. Dada is not very communicative with their teachers and announces sudden changes in policies outside of the tutors’ control.
- Time differences. Due to the time difference between China (GMT+8) and countries such as the US, classes are usually in the early morning for US-based teachers. This means that if you are not a morning person, Dada might not be a suitable option for you!
- Pay Cuts. Dada recently underwent many vicious pay cuts throughout the pandemic. This resulted in many teachers leaving Dada for higher-paying opportunities.
Dada Review: The Final Verdict
Is Dada Worth it?
All things considered, Dada is a good option as an online teaching side hustle. If you have teaching experience and a desire to teach online, you might like to try this gig.
A lot of teachers are very unhappy with Dada as the payment has been reduced significantly over the years. The sudden contract changes during the pandemic were a shock to the many teachers who work there. For this reason, Dada has faced a lot of backlash and controversy.
You may still be able to make a full-time income from it. This will depend on several factors, such as the number of hours worked and the cost of living in your country. It might be a good idea to work for more than one online teaching company so you can top up your hours.
As teaching in schools has become increasingly difficult, working from home or abroad has become a popular option for many people.
The final positive for this Dada review is the opportunity to connect with some really great children and students from China. I have enjoyed forming relationships with my regular students over the years and building their English language skills. The lessons are pretty relaxed and enjoyable, as I get to see the same faces each week.