Supplement your income with conversational English


Cambly is an online teaching platform for English native speakers to receive income by having enjoyable conversations with English learners. Cambly teachers mainly tutor adults from around the world*, by audio-video feed, so operates 24 hours a day. It is unique in that teachers can sign in and chat with students at any moment they choose, and work as much or as little as they want, offering total flexibility. Cambly also offers teachers an opportunity to learn about different cultures and even make international friends. *Students are primarily from the Middle-East yet there are students from Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, China, Japan, Turkey and a range of additional countries.

With a straightforward application process, see if Cambly is suitable for you by trying it here. (referral link?—?if you refer someone and they complete 10 priority hours, you receive $20).

The application process is short and simple without an interview. You are required to:

· Sign up on the website and complete basic information about yourself (Cambly need to verify you as a native English speaker).

· Pass an automatic internet test.

· Film a short video introducing yourself and upload it for validation (Wait a few days for approval).

· If your video is approved then you can login and start teaching. For suggestions on video length and material to include in it, check out English Teaching journey begins in Asia.


Cambly pays $0.17 per minute, which works out at $10.20 per hour (at the start, you are unlikely to be working to a 60 minutes per hour average, so a lower rate of $7–8 is more feasible). The rate may seem modest but Cambly is more conversational practice than teaching based with very little planning and preparation time needed, therefore the low level of pressure offsets this. Cambly pay you weekly via PayPal.

Priority Hours

At times when demand for teachers is high, Cambly offer ‘priority hours’. Priority hours are 1 hour blocks where you are visible to students whilst receiving standby time pay as an incentive (guaranteed salary is at least 15 minutes and can be up to 30 minutes, subject to demand). In a nutshell, students call teachers that are free?—?sign up for these under the priority hours. These ‘classes’ will be your basic source of income from when you start until you’ve acquired a rating and begin to obtain bookings. Priority hours are appealing to many teachers, whether they have joined Cambly from other platforms or are first timers, as you can log in and commence teaching when you desire.

Tips and Information on Priority Hours

Bear in mind teachers can book priority hour slots beforehand, those who do will appear further up the teacher list, gaining greater exposure and more calls. Priority hours can be cancelled up to 12 hours beforehand so committing to a schedule increases the chances of further income. Teachers have the preference of booking priority hours each day and are not required to do this every week, so there is still plenty of flexibility. Like many ESL companies, the greater the time a teacher has been teaching, the greater the chance they gain students. I advise you gradually develop an audience and focus your efforts on marketing. As a result you should start to get plenty of calls.

Reservations format for classes

For those that covet additional hours and a more consistent schedule still, Cambly has a ‘reservations’ feature. Teachers can open reservation slots to acquire prior bookings and increase their amount of teaching time. Additionally, set your reservation availability or suggest a time for a regular student. When you have made a schedule, students are able to see it on your profile and see your scheduled priority hours?—?showing as times you are free for reservations. When a student reserves time with you, you will receive a reservation request via email.

What age group will I teach?


With regard to priority hours, simply select the hour you want to cancel (under priority hours tab) and click ‘cancel’. These should be cancelled up to 12 hours in advance if possible. There are no forfeits financially but cancelling a large amount of hours could result in your priority hour access being temporarily restricted. Cancel reservations by clicking on the student name and the arrow on the green box stating “I’ll be late”. This provides the option “I can’t make it.” Write a brief explanation message to your student as this may ease any disappointment. Cancelling one reservation won’t affect your account, yet if you cancel or miss numerous reservations in a row the system will temporarily limit your reservation calendar to solely regular students.

Destination Cambly?—?a personal summary

Since starting online teaching with DaDa in 2018, I have compiled research on teaching platforms convenient and fulfilling to my life as an expat. Before leaving DaDa, primarily timetable based, I considered Cambly and others in my search for further flexibility. Listening to a friend’s experience I applied for PalFish, quickly gaining acceptance to both the Official Kids Course and Free Talk. Predominantly teaching children for 3 months, I transitioned to teaching adults using conversational practice, an approach which has become my preference. I further analysed Cambly and discovered that they are exclusive in being global, offering free talk and have favourable teaching schedules. Depending on your commitments, Cambly is effective as a supplementary income to another job or as your main source of income. I signed up in July 2020 alongside working for PalFish but subsequently plan to take up Cambly as my primary role.

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