Continuing on with my online ESL teaching update series, today we’re looking at ALO7. As it was a while back now that I kicked off this series, I’m just going to start off with a bit of a recap of some of the general info from when I started off the series, then I’ll get into the specifics relating to ALO7.
So, I loved my time as an online ESL teacher, and when I started planning this series I was really looking forward to providing a terrific, updated resource for aspiring online ESL teachers. However, when I sat down to actually start this series, I pretty quickly came to an important realization, and here’s the blunt truth of it: I am just not deeply enough involved in the online ESL world anymore to give you the kind of fully comprehensive resource I wanted to. I’m so busy between my wonderful family life and my home-based transcription business (you can read about that here and here), that I am just no longer fully immersed in the busy professional and social networks that comprise the online ESL world. And the online ESL world changes fast, sometimes really fast.
I could have chosen to dive into many, many hours of research, communicate back and forth with the companies, hit up my best teacher contacts for info and provide you with detailed company summaries that I’d be happy were both comprehensive and accurate, but, with the speed with which some of these companies are evolving and growing, some or lots of that info may be out of date and inaccurate quite soon. So, while super comprehensive company summaries weren’t really feasible, what I do still know about online ESL teaching is where to look to find the latest info and current teachers happy to give you advice and insights. So, that’s what this post series evolved into: For each company I’m providing you links to the best resources I know of relevant to that particular company.
Now, onto ALO7:
I’ve been really looking forward to writing this post about ALO7 for you, as, while I haven’t heard heaps and heaps of online chatter/discussions/reviews of ALO7 in the online ESL teacher community, literally everything that I have actually seen or heard has been positive, and there aren’t many companies you can say that about. No matter how great a company is, generally some people (rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly) will have some criticism or negative feedback about them, so ALO7 had definitely caught my attention with their consistently positive feedback in the online ESL teacher groups I belong to. For the sake of being thorough I did some additional research to check if there was any negative feedback out there in the wider online world, and the only thing I could find was one Reddit thread from a few years back with someone saying they weren’t happy with their experience. Definitely do your own research of course, but the overall impression I’ve found of ALO7 has been overwhelmingly positive.
ALO7’s website is here, and they have general information, teacher testimonials, and a FAQ page that is one of the more comprehensive I’ve seen, so it’s definitely worth your time checking it out. There are easy links you can follow to start your application from their home page when you’re ready. Another useful and unique thing about ALO7 is that they also have a blog on their website, with recent posts including a piece on how to impress Chinese parents as an ESL online teacher, and also an interview with ALO7’s 2019 teacher of the year, which I’d definitely be checking out if I was looking to apply to work with this company.
As I mentioned with my Dada review, it obviously goes without saying that official company representatives and your contract itself are your official sources of information, and you should do your own research, read your contract very carefully, make sure you understand it, and make sure you’re happy with it before you sign on. There are however various other resources and social media channels you can look to for informational videos, teacher groups (official and unofficial), and detailed (and sometimes animated!) discussion of some of the latest happenings with various online ESL companies. While it pretty much goes without saying in this day and age, don’t believe everything you read/see on the internet. It’s up to you, of course, to sift through the information and characters you find online and determine for yourself what is legit and useful, and what’s not.
One resource that can be useful for pretty much all of the online ESL companies I’m writing about in this series is the FB group ESL Educational Rockstar. It’s run by a woman named Lily, who is a recruiter for a few different online ESL companies, and it’s a place for discussion of anything ESL teaching related. You’ll find lots of discussions here about a wide variety of online ESL companies (just use the group search function to narrow it down to the specific company you’re interested in). A little searching and scrolling will show you some of the positive commentary and reviews I’ve already mentioned about ALO7, and you can of course ask questions here too, and you’ll usually find more than one person who’s happy to respond and give you their opinions and share their experiences.
ALO7 has an active presence on Facebook, though as I’ve never worked for this company and as such have not joined their company-specific groups, I personally can’t comment as to the validity of these groups. However, the two groups I’m referring to here, Nani’s Newbies- Teach Online with ALO7 (Hiring Support) and Pili’s Playhouse (ALO7 Teachers’ Group) are both private groups that are advertised as being officially ALO7-sponsored, and given the quantity and quality of information and guidelines for participating in the groups in a positive, professional, and respectful way that is provided in the ‘About’ section for each group, I get the distinct impression that these would be very useful online networks for aspiring or current ALO7 teachers. ALO7 also has a general Facebook page that you can find here.
I’ll just quickly also mention here that a simple search on YouTube will also turn up the ALO7 YouTube channel for you. While, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve not personally applied to this company, and thus I haven’t watched their videos and can’t personally speak to their quality and usefulness, there is certainly an impressive array of videos available, covering everything from aspects of the interview and onboarding process, classroom teaching skills, through to more social and fun videos such as a Shanghai office tour/meet the staff video, and some travel clips highlighting different areas in China. I’d definitely recommend you take a look at this channel if you’re looking to apply.
So, that’s it for ALO7, guys. It was slightly more difficult to write a detailed piece like this for you about a company I haven’t actually worked for, but you know that I’d never highlight to you a company that I didn’t believe to be legit and a good, reputable option for home-based work. Everything I’ve seen about ALO7 I really like, from their professional and useful website and wider online presence, through to their positive reviews on social media. Please do get in touch and let me know if you do apply/have applied/are currently working for ALO7, as I’d love to hear about your experience and possibly interview you for an upcoming piece in 2020.
Happy job hunting,