Since 2016, we’ve been funding our digital nomad lifestyle by teaching English online. During that time, we’ve mostly worked with Chinese companies such as VIPKID and Gogokid. It was great for the most part, but things started to change, and not for the better. So we started looking into other platforms.
One such platform is Langu, which is based in London and has mostly adult students in Europe. I’ve been teaching with Langu since May 2020 and I wanted to share more info about the job and my experience.
An Introduction to Langu
The history of Langu starts a few years ago in 2017. Two Oxford graduates with a passion for language learning started the company to connect students with quality language teachers around the world.
One great thing about Langu is that it’s not just for English learners. You can learn dozens of languages on there, from Spanish to Chinese to Russian. This means that you can apply to teach on Langu even if you’re not an English speaker at all!
As my expertise is in teaching English online, I’m going to focus on Langu for English teachers. Based on a quick search on their platform, though, I can see that there are plenty of people teaching other languages and getting solid bookings.
Qualifications for Working with Langu
Even if you’re not a native English speaker, you can become an English teacher on Langu so long as you’re fluent (C2 Advanced level).
You also don’t need a degree or a TEFL certificate to become a Langu teacher. It helps to have both, but neither is necessary to get hired.
If you’re looking to get TEFL certified, be sure to read my post about the best online TEFL courses. I also have a video you can check out:
Not surprisingly, teachers with a degree and a TEFL certificate of some sort can expect to earn more on Langu. It’s definitely worth it to get an online TEFL certification if you plan on teaching English for a while.
They are looking for teachers with a strong background in training/education and great people skills. Here is a quote from Langu that sums up what kind of teacher they are looking for: “Qualifications and experience are important, but we also look for a mix of smarts, passion for teaching, and specialized expertise.”
Students on Langu
Langu is an example of what I call a “create a profile” platform for teaching English online. It’s basically a teacher marketplace where you market yourself and students look around for a teacher that matches their needs and interests.
Their classes are one-on-one and the students are mostly adults from Europe. A majority of my students so far have been Polish. This makes sense as one of their COOs founded the company because he wanted to find a Polish teacher and the other one is from Poland.
Students can set their goals on Langu to be either Life, Career, or Education. This helps better match teachers and students. For example, students who want to learn English to travel are more likely to find me as I’m a travel blogger. So far I’ve had similar interests with most of my students on Langu.
Moving forward, they are planning to go in a more business-focused direction. They noticed that more and more students whose lessons are being paid for by their employer. So Langu is beginning to market to the companies. This would be perfect for anyone with experience in an office or corporate setting. They will still have their normal B2C option as well.
Lessons on Langu
Lessons on Langu are 30, 60, or 90 minutes. As a teacher, you’re required to offer hour-long lessons but the others are optional. Personally, I don’t make 90-minute lessons available to my students.
Langu also recommends that teachers offer the option of a free 30-minute trial lesson for students. This is totally optional, though. I have been offering this to attract students as a new teacher and it’s worked quite well so far. I will explain this more when I break down the pay at Langu later on.
As far as the lesson material, that’s up to you. You will need to do your own lesson planning if you teach for Langu. I signed up for a year of Linguahouse.com for $50 to get access to a wide variety of ready-made lessons and have found it to be a worthy investment. They also have a premium option with more features for a higher cost. Click here to check them out.
Langu has its own platform that you log in to and do everything on. You can set your availability, change your profile, see your lessons, create your own resource library, and much more on the platform.
Their classroom looks just like a Skype video call. You can see your student and they can see you as long as your cameras are on and working. There’s also a chat box you can type in and a place to view a document, which must be a . PDF.
I’ve found the Langu platform to be very intuitive and easy to use for the most part. It took a bit of getting used to at first but I’ve gotten the hang of it after a few months.
As they’re a new and growing company, they are also easy to contact and very appreciative of any honest feedback or helpful suggestions as far as the platform goes.
They recently launched their new online classroom. It’s more interactive and reliable. I can easily share images, PDFs, YouTube videos, and audio files, all of which can be annotated by either user and displayed in sync for both users.
Here’s a screenshot to give you an idea:
How Much Can You Make on Langu?
Ok now to the most important question on your mind – how much can you expect to make on Langu? As this is a “create-a-profile” platform and you have a lot of creative control, that’s a difficult question to answer but I’ll do my best!
It’s up to the teacher to set their own price on Langu. This depends entirely on your qualifications, experience, and area of expertise. If you browse the English teachers on Langu, you’ll see prices anywhere from $13/hour up to $40.
For newer teachers with less experience, you’ll want to start in a lower price range to attract students. If you have 20+ years of experience and can teach test prep and business English, obviously you can start much higher.
Another thing you can do on Langu is to offer packages of 5, 10, and 20 lessons at a discounted rate to encourage students to book multiple lessons at a time.
I’ve been doing this and have found that most students take you up on the package deals. Keep this in mind when setting your prices so that you don’t end up charging too much or too little. It’s a bit tricky and it’s something I’m still learning!
Of course, how much you can make on Langu also depends on how much time you have available and how many bookings you actually get. The good news is that it doesn’t take that long to fill up your available times by having a consistent schedule and delivering quality lessons.
Another thing I like about Langu is that they run ads directly to my profile and I had to permit them to do this. I think it’s been very helpful in filling my schedule. Now I’m beginning to get new students just from word-of-mouth!
If you can build up a decent student base and manage to book a few hours each day for 3-4 days a week, you can definitely make around $400-500 a month. Not bad for a side hustle you can do in your living room!
Of course, you can make more if you can fill your schedule up and charge a higher price. It really depends on you and your experience, qualifications, etc.
As most of the students are adults, it’s pretty tough to make Langu a full-time job because they have their own lives and jobs. Cancellations happen and some days are light on bookings. This is better as a side hustle or a supplementary online English teaching job.
Getting Paid with Langu
One thing to note about Langu is that they take a 15% commission from all your earnings. You may want to consider this when deciding on your rates.
Students pay the price you list when they book lessons with you. At that time, Langu’s licensed payment provider holds that money.
After you teach a class, the money is transferred to your e-wallet. This happens as soon as a student leaves a positive review or after 24 hours if they don’t leave one. If you get less than 3 out of 5 stars on a review, you are not paid for that lesson.
Finally, you can pay yourself out whenever you want. The money gets transferred directly to your bank account, which may incur a small fee. For me, it’s usually only $1.40 each time I get paid.
My Experience with Langu
So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time teaching with Langu. I get paid less overall than I do on the Chinese platforms, but the time zone is much more bearable and I really enjoy talking with adults. It’s so much less tiring than being a clown to teach the little ones!
At first, I got lots of bookings for my free trial lessons. While this means I did a bit of work for free, most of those students ended up buying packages and many are still with me.
I don’t mind offering a free trial. It gives me a chance to get to know the students and them me. I also see it as an opportunity to pitch my teaching services to them.
Don’t feel like you need to sell every student that comes along on your services. You want it to be a good fit. Otherwise, you might not get along that well which could result in a less-than-stellar review for you.
I made the mistake of setting my prices too low to start so when you factor in the free trials and the package deals most students have bought, my actual hourly rate was between $7.50-$10 with Langu.
I started with lower prices to build up a student base and positive reviews. I enrolled so many students in my packages that I had to close my schedule to new students for a few months and didn’t teach any free trials. When multiple students told me my classes were “very cheap,” I realized it was time to raise my prices!
I have now raised my rates four times. Each time, I alerted my active students to let them know so they could purchase another package before the price increased. My average hourly rate has gone up to $17/hour.
As a digital nomad living in Mexico, though, that’s actually pretty great. The minimum wage here is around $6 per day. The cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is low enough that I can live comfortably.
Depending on our travel schedule, I generall open 9:00 am – 1:00 pm EST Monday-Friday. Not all of those hours get booked. I just want to make sure I have enough availability so my students can get the times they want.
I have full control over my schedule so I can open or close as many times as I like. It’s best to keep your students informed if you plan to take an extended period of time off. As most of the students are in Europe, most of them take a break in July and August.
So far, it’s been a great cultural exchange working with Langu. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about my students and their cultures. I have students from Poland, Italy, France, Morocco, and Argentina, so I get to learn a lot from them as well!
Last summer, I took some specialized TEFL courses through BridgeTEFL to get a certificate for teaching Business English and IELTS Test Prep so I could raise my rates even more. My goal is to reach an average hourly rate of $20.
How to Apply with Langu
Ready to apply with Langu? Here’s how to get started:
- Fill out the application (click here)
- E-mail your CV or a link to your LinkedIn profile to [email protected]
- Schedule a Skype interview
- Create your profile and set your lesson prices
- E-mail them to let them know that your profile is complete so they can approve it
To summarize everything, I really enjoy this platform because of the time and because of the students I’ve found.
Langu is a great online teaching job if you don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn and teach children. It’s also a great compliment to that schedule.
By teaching a few hours in the morning on a platform like VIPKid and then a few hours on Langu, you can make teaching English online a part or full-time job and live comfortably in a place with a lower cost of living as we are currently doing in Mexico.
Need Some Extra Guidance?
If you’re now thinking that this would be great but you don’t know the first thing about getting started, I would love to help you!
I have a free masterclass called How to Teach English Online, Even With No Classroom Experience. During this 60-minute training you’ll learn:
- the 4 common misconceptions about teaching English online
- the 4 F’s that make teaching English online fantastic
- the different types of online teaching jobs
- how much you can earn
- why you DO qualify to teach English online (even if you think you don’t)
You’ll walk away knowing how to approach it with the right mindset for success!
Not only that, but I take it a step further and show you my 5-step process to create your own online English teaching business and transition into a location-independent lifestyle, a.k.a. the ability to work from anywhere.
The best part is that you can watch this free masterclass instantly! Simply click here to register.
Teaching English online was a game-changer for us. I’m sure it can be for you too!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Thanks for reading 😀