Thanks for stopping by to read my DadaABC Review. Teaching online is a great way to make some extra money at home, and for some, it can provide a full-time income.
But there’s a lot of shady companies out there, as well as blatant scams so it's important to do your research. In this review of DadaABC I’ll cover the following topics…
Please note, I am not affiliated with DadaABC . This review has been researched with information and testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.
What Is DadaABC?
Since you’re reading this review, you probably have a good idea of what DadaABC is and how it works, but if not… they are a China based online ESL tutoring platform for children ages 4 – 16.
Founded in 2013, they’ve recently rebranded themselves to DaDa by dropping the “ABC”. Personally, I like the name DadaABC, but I’m sure they had good reasons to change it.
Located in Shanghai, the work-at-home opportunity they provide is a one-on-one teaching experience within an online classroom… which includes video and chat, as well as a virtual whiteboard with pre-planned lessons, animations, games, and drawing tools.
Is DadaABC a Scam?
When doing research for this review I started with the most common questions people were asking. I was surprised to learn how many were wondering if DadaABC is a scam.
It shouldn't surprise me though... there are a lot of good ways to make money online, but the good ones are out-numbered by the scams trying to rip you off.
And, just the topic of making money online gets people's defenses up, which makes sense. There are plenty of reasons to be suspicious.
But DadaABC is 100% legit. They provide an English education to more than 50,000 students online in China, as well as other countries such as Japan, Korea, France and Germany.
They are also partnered with prestigious educational organizations such as National Geographic Learning, Highlights, Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, and McGraw-Hill Education among others.
How Does It Work?
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) 🙂 that teaching for DadaABC requires you to be outgoing and good with children.
Previous teaching experience is preferred, but not necessary. They do provide some training.
With that said... having read many teacher reviews (including those from similar platforms), most say that teaching online is a lot different than the classroom and that an educational background doesn't always help.
I can't speak from experience here though, my only time in the classroom these day is volunteering when my daughters have events or field trips.
If you’re a native English speaker, you’re off to a good start. You’ll also need some post-secondary education. At one time, teaching for DaDa required a Bachelor’s degree (in any discipline), but their online application currently allows you to choose Associate’s Degree from a drop down menu.
They also require a commitment of at least 2 days per week, for a minimum of 2 hours each.
And, of course... you’ll need a computer, webcam, high-speed internet connection, a comfortable headset with a mic, and various props which you can find from a dollar store.
Getting hired is a 6-step process that includes a live interview and a mock tutoring session…
- Complete an online application.
- Skype interview.
- Training and testing.
- Dada will make you an offer.
- Sign a 12-month contract.
- 30-minute mock tutoring session; there is a 50 RMB (approx. $7.50) if your student decides to join Dada after the class.
If you pass all of the above with flying colors, you’ll be hired.
For those interested, the online application consists of the following questions and upload requests…
- Name, date of birth and gender
- Upload your photo (optional)
- Highest educational degree obtained
- County and city of residence
- Nationality and English accent (North American, British, Australian or Other)
- Time zone
- Phone number and Skype ID
- Main occupation and teaching experience (offline and online)
- Upload your teacher’s certificate and resume (optional at this stage)
- Chinese language competency
- Introduction video (optional)
- Availability for work (immediate, in a week, month, etc.)
DadaABC Salary and Payment Details
According to their website Dada pays between $15 and $25 per hour. Having read some reviews though, there seems to be some discrepancies.
These may be due to currency exchange...
Payments are made in Renmindi (RMB) which is the official currency of China (units are measured in Yuans) and depending on the exchange rate, your pay may fluctuate.
Salaries are calculated hourly and rates are based on your training results as well as your mock session performance. It’s important to get this right because pay raises are only granted every 12 months. Once your rate is negotiated, you’re stuck with it for awhile.
DadaABC will look at your classroom performance, attendance and punctuality when assessing salary increases.
One of the reasons many teachers choose DadaABC is because they also pay for your standby time. For example, if you’re scheduled for 3-hours but you have a 30-minute wait between two classes, they’ll pay you ½ of what you’d normally earn for that half-hour.
Payments are made monthly on the 15th and can be transferred through your bank, AliPay, WeChat or PayPal and may be subject to a transfer fee.
Also, it should be mentioned that you are an independent contactor, not a DaDa employee, which means you’ll be dealing with your own taxes.
There are a lot of happy DadaABC teachers... in part, because they offer a variety of bonuses. Specifics are hard to come by though so if you’re reading this and have more information please share in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
What I do know is that bonuses are based on things like class assessments, obtaining regular students, and reaching milestones.
Another way you can make money with DadaABC is through their teacher referral program. It’s seems to be a periodic incentive though so depending on when you read this, it may or may not be active…
Currently you can you can earn between 700 RMB – 900 RMB (approx. $100 - $130) per referral… depending on how many referrals you have.
To qualify, they must use your affiliate link (provided by DaDa), get hired, and teach for a at least 30 days.
Although DadaABC says you can choose your own hours, what’s not immediately clear is that you must schedule those hours at least 6 months in advance. If you need to make changes they require 30 days notice.
There’s are benefits to a strict schedule, but it might not be what you’re looking for. While some teachers wish they offered the flexibility that similar platforms do, the strict schedule has proven to be more reliable and provides you with regular hours and guaranteed classes.
Or… at the very least, half-salary payments when a class isn’t available.
Your scheduled hours are set in Shanghai time and depending on where you live, that could mean earlier than normal mornings, or late nights.
Your available work hours are…
Monday to Friday
6 pm – 9:10 pm (Shanghai Time)
Saturday and Sunday
10:00 am – 12:06 pm (Shanghai Time)
2:00 pm – 4.06 pm (Shanghai Time)
6:00 pm – 9:10 pm (Shanghai Time)
Hiring and Teaching Tips
- Since your interview and mock tutoring class will determine your 12-month salary it’s critical to plan and practice. Don’t just wing it.
- It doesn’t hurt to negotiate and ask for a higher rate than they offer (within reason). I’ll add a disclaimer here though… you need to “read the situation” and assess the risk vs. reward. Whenever you negotiate your salary (with any employer) you need to provide a reason why you deserve it.
- If you don’t already have a DadaABC teacher who is referring you, it’s worth going online and finding one (YouTube is a good resource) because they can help coach you through the hiring process.
- When teaching, use verbal cues… for example, point out syllables when you speak, sound things out, use visual aids and don’t be afraid to speak with your hands.
- Some teachers find puppets helpful when teaching younger students.
As you might expect, the reviews are mixed, but the majority are positive. Some of the good things being said are…
- Booking your schedule in advance allows DaDa’s coordinators to manage and fill in your schedule so you don’t have to.
- Getting paid for standby time, even if it’s only ½ your salary.
- All classes are one-on-one (no group classes).
- Being able to work with a variety of age groups (some ESL platforms assign each tutor a specific age group and keep you there).
It would be great if every comment and review was good... but to be fair, I should go over some of the complaints as well…
- The early morning (or late night) hours can be difficult depending on where you live and your home situation.
- No washroom breaks.
- While some people like the strict schedule, there are many who don’t.
- Some reports of poor treatment from management. I can only speculate, but since there are a many teachers who are happy working for DaDa these complaints I suspect are isolated cases.
What I Like
- It’s not an open marketplace where you’re constantly competing for work. The hours are reliable, and your schedule is managed.
- Lessons are pre-planned.
- DaDa doesn’t require expensive props.
- The teacher referral program.
What I Don’t Like
- It’s not for everyone. There are minimum education requirements and you need to be comfortable on camera. It’s best for people with high energy, an outgoing personality, and a unique ability to work with children.
- Only 2 minutes between classes and during that time you are required to write a quick review.
- For lack of a better term, you’re still married to a job. You have limited flexibility and passive income is not possible (you’re still trading hours for dollars).
Being an online tutor isn’t for everyone, but for the right person, DadaABC is the right opportunity. You won’t get rich, but the pay is decent and reliable.
And… depending on your income requirements, you may find it’s good enough to stay at home full-time.
If for some reason DadaABC isn’t your thing, there are hundreds of other legitimate ways to make money from home.
I hope my review has been helpful and if you have any comments or questions, please share in the comments section below.
Learn more about DadaABC here.