Teaching English Online with PalFish | My Guide

by Nick & Raychel
Teaching online on PalFish
This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

What is PalFish?

PalFish is a one-on-one teaching app that you can download on iOS or Android. Children in China pay to use the app, and native English speakers teach 25 minute classes to students of all ages to earn income, teaching English online.

Prefer to watch, not read? Find this video on our YouTube channel here.

How to earn money on PalFish

There are two ways to teach online with PalFish:

  1. Freetalk | This is where you teach English to adults. There is no curriculum, you just talk about hobbies, travel, anything to help their conversational English.

  2. Official Kids Course (OKC) | You would need to apply to this job through a proper application, which there are plenty of YouTube videos about. I could also walk you through this process if you would like some extra help.

    The OKC is unique because it operates on a monthly payment tier, which is both a pro and a con (I will talk about this later). Here is the point system. The pay is based on completing a 25 minute class:
  • 0 Points – Level 1 ¥50 (base rate) + ¥5 (on time bonus) ($10.22 CAD)
  • 300 Points – Level 2 ¥55 (base rate) + ¥5 (on time bonus) ($11.14 CAD)
  • 700 Points – Level 3 ¥60 (base rate) + ¥5 (on time bonus) ($12.07 CAD)
  • 1100 Points – Level 4 ¥65 (base rate) + ¥5 (on time bonus) ($13.00 CAD)
  • 1500 Points – Level 5 ¥70 (base rate) + ¥5 (on time bonus) (13.93 CAD)

You earn “points” for any reason. For example, you get 5 points for finishing one class, 20 points for not being late for an entire month, 20 points for no absences, selling a package earns you 20 points. You can also lose points. 

You can lose them for any reason such as cancelling a class within 24 hours (-5 points), if you’re absent for a class you lose 20 points. The list is long but very clearly lined out for you in the OKC.

To be clear, you will never make less than ¥50 for a 25 minute class.

How you get paid

You register through Payoneer after being accepted to the course and your payment gets withdrawn on the 1st of every month. It takes a few days to process, no more than 7 days. You will be paid promptly on the 7th of every month.

PalFish vs. other online teaching platforms

There are many online teaching platforms that are similar to PalFish – you may have heard of them: VipKid, MagicEars, DadaABC. 

PalFish is different because it is the only online teaching platform that you do from your phone. 

PalFish also does NOT require a bachelor’s degree.

You use “AR” (filters) throughout the lessons and can do it from anywhere as long as you have your phone and your “virtual classroom” (I made a backdrop out of construction paper and markers).

PalFish also works a little bit like social media. Your activity and popularity on the app will boost your bookings. Every day, I post 3-5 “moments”, which are similar to Instagram stories or Facebook posts. I post a variety of selfies, travel pictures, read books on camera, etc. 

What qualifications you need

A TEFL (teaching English to foreign language speakers) certificate. You can get a TEFL certificate on Groupon to teach online with PalFish. You must be sure that the company you decide to go with can provide you with a certificate number, as you will have to enter the number in the application.

You must be a native English speaker from Canada, the US, the UK, Australia or New Zealand.

You must have an iOs or Android phone and a stable wifi connection.

The Pros

  • Competitive pay. I reached level 4 in the first month and started earning $26/hour + bonuses within 3 weeks of being on the app.
  • The ability to work your own hours. You can open and close timeslots as you please with no penalization. Want to take a week off? Sure. Want to open 5 slots a week? Ok. Want to work full time? Go for it.
  • You don’t need a computer to teach on PalFish
  • Many additional ways to make money on the app – such as doing live shows, creating your own lesson packages to sell, etc.
  • A great group of teachers offering support. Facebook groups, YouTube channels, and groups within the app to support each other and share tips.

The Cons

  • I live in British Columbia so my hours are all over the place. You simply need to be online when the students are available to learn. For them, this is after school and before school. 

This is especially difficult if you’re looking to do it full time. 

To be online at the peak Beijing times, I usually get up around 2am and teach online until 7am PST. I then teach again from 4pm to 9pm PST.

  • You have to complete after-class evaluations, which can take anywhere between 5-15 minutes (depending on how detailed your after-class write ups are) and you are not compensated for the time spent writing those reports.


I make around $1,500.00 – $2,000.00 USD on PalFish per month. The flexibility of being able to work from home and connect with kids every morning is completely worth it.

If you would like to use my referral code to apply, use code: 02851747

Any questions will be answered in the comments.
Good luck and happy teaching!

Want to see what a “day in the life” of working for PalFish is like? Check out this blog here!

Considering teaching overseas instead? We compiled a breakdown of what it’s like teaching online vs. teaching abroad.


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notluxetravel February 27, 2020 - 9:42 pm

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Emily April 10, 2020 - 9:50 pm

Hello! I watched your videos about Palfish and found them extremely helpful. I just passed my interview and I have my first lesson tomorrow! Are you still teaching with them or have you since moved on?


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