How Does The ESL Company 51Talk Compare To DaDa, QKids, VIPKID, and SayABC?

Chinese based ESL Companies are huge. They are an easy way to make extra money in your own home. There are several large companies, and most of them own one or two smaller sister companies.

In my previous article entitled, “Which Online ESL Company Is Best, VIPKID, QKids, SayABC, or DaDa?,” I reviewed and ranked each of the companies based on a set of criteria. Another large company to consider is The China Online Education Group. This company owns the two platforms 51Talk and HAWO. 51Talk is their specific brand name for private instruction, while HAWO offers 45-minute group classes. 

Here was my previous line up:

  1. DaDa
  2. QKids
  3. VIPKid
  4. SayABC

As a reminder, here is how I determined the past rankings: 

“In this article I focused on the 4 largest and most widely known companies that pair teacher’s with children. To assess them I created a ranking system based on their pay, ease of booking students, hiring process, and company reviews. Since all of these companies come with some type of curriculum (that means minimal prep work), I did not include that in the scoring process.” 

So… how does 51Talk and HAWO stack up? 

For this second review, I am simply going to add 51Talk/HAWO into the line up. If you wish to see the break down of the other four companies, please refer to my previous article. 

Since HAWO and their group classes are somewhat new, reviews on the HAWO work environment are difficult to find. Below I will only rate 51Talk since they share the same resources and technology as HAWO. 51Talk is compared to the same companies in my previous post: VIPKid, DaDa, QKids, and SayABC.


  • Pay – $15-$22 per hour (2 lessons per hour): This is actually not a bad pay scale and ties 51Talk with VIPKIDS. Employees mention that they have halted pay increases at this time, but the HAWO LinkedIn website still mentions bonuses. 
  • Booking – One-on-one is similar to VIPKIDS (you set your availability monthly and then students pick you). However HAWO has the group classes scheduled. The employee can pick various scheduled classes. The classes run up to 10 weeks at a time. : Compared to the other companies, their set up is the same as VIPKIDS. This set up relies heavily on students and parents choosing you consistently. 51Talk also charges large penalties if a teachers misses a class (most of the time much larger than the class would actually pay out).
  • Reviews – Average review of 3.0/5: 51Talk had pretty low reviews across Indeed, Glassdoor, and Facebook. Unfortunately this average score is the lowest of the five ESL companies.
  • Hiring – 47% positive interviews: This is score is not quite as bad as SayABC’s hiring process. Keep in mind however, that many employees expressed concerns of lack of communication from management, poor teaching materials, and poor training on how to even use the technology. 

In conclusion, DaDa is still the reigning champion for ESL remote tutoring companies. Unfortunately for 51Talk, their poor reviews and problems expressed by employees, place them in last place. 

When comparing the best part time ESL company, I still endorse DaDa or Qkids as the leaders in the industry. 

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