10 Best Cambly Alternatives to Boost Your TEFL Income (2021)

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Cambly is an awesome platform, don’t get me wrong. 

It has one of the lowest barriers to entry. No TEFL certification is needed. No teaching experience requirements. Heck, you don’t even have to be a native English speaker.

This lets new teachers dip their toes in to test the water. You can see if English tutoring or teaching is right for you without committing to intensive TEFL programs (even though some are surprisingly cheap). 

But are there any Cambly alternatives?

Maybe you didn’t get accepted into Cambly. 

Or maybe you tried it for a while and are ready to find higher-paying work. 

Whatever the case, these alternatives to Cambly will get your juices flowing. 

10 Best Cambly Alternatives, Ranked

Here are the 10 best Cambly alternatives ranked from least to most requirements. (Lower rank = Lower bar to entry).

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Awesome guides to read next:
💰 How to get paid for casual English conversations
🇯🇵 How to teach English online to Japanese students
🇲🇽 Best sites to teach English online to Mexican students
🇪🇸 5 companies to teach English online to Spanish students

1. Preply

preply screenshot

Preply is the Cambly alternative with the fewest requirements—if you speak fluent English, you can become a teacher.

Preply is a 24/7 Barcelona-based company that reaches students of all ages in over 180 countries. The platform teaches more than 100 subjects, but English as a foreign language is one of the most popular. 

With Preply, you can teach using the same conversational style that Cambly uses. You’ll also enjoy a flexible schedule with no minimum hourly requirement.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Proficiency in English

PAY: Set your own rate, and Preply takes a commission. Their commission is pretty steep right off the bat—a crazy 33%. However, their commission does dip as low as 18% depending on the number of hours you’ve taught on their platform.

Preply also takes a 100% commission on trial lessons with every new student, which is a common complaint from Preply teachers.

Popular tutors report earnings of around $550 per week.

2. Engoo

engoo screenshot

Engoo is a 24/7 Japanese TEFL tutoring platform that focuses on Japan and Taiwan, but also reaches students worldwide.

There is no minimum hourly commitment. Unlike some other platforms, you can’t just log in whenever you want and start teaching. You choose ahead of time when and how often you want to work. 

However, unlike Cambly, Engoo provides you with teaching material.

Many reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor praise Engoo for being a great platform for making extra cash. The main con is their rates are rather low. But when you consider they have practically nonexistent requirements, it isn’t such a bad deal.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Proficiency in English

PAY:  Between $2 and $10 per hour (most teachers report far more than $2 per hour on Glassdoor).

3. SkimaTalk

skimatalk screenshot

SkimaTalk is another 24/7 Japanese-based company, teaching mostly adult students. They currently only teach English, but will soon expand to other subjects.

This platform works similarly to Cambly with an informal, conversational teaching style.

SkimaTalk teachers tend to be satisfied with the platform, but many Indeed reviews report tough competition.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Must be a native English speaker

PAY: Set your own pay rate and SkimaTalk takes a 20% cut.

4. Nice Talk

NiceTalk screenshot

Nice Talk is a mobile English-learning app based out of China.

Nice Talk students are usually looking for conversational help, so you will teach the same way you would with Cambly. 

You can either give lessons by accepting random calls from students during your working hours, or students can schedule ahead of time. When students schedule ahead of time, they first will get to see your reviews and read through your profile to see if it’s a good fit. 

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Must be a native English speaker

PAY: $10 per hour plus bonuses

5. iTalki

italki screenshot

Italki is a 24/7 language-learning platform based in Hong Kong that teaches over 150 languages to teach students all around the world.

There are two different teaching styles.

#1.) Community Tutor. Teach one-on-one lessons that include casual conversations or covering whatever your student wants to learn.

#2.) Professional Tutor. Teach one-on-one lessons through conversation or pre-designed curriculums. Professional Tutors require more experience and credentials, but they also make more.

REQUIREMENTS:
Community Tutors: No experience or credentials required
Professional Tutors: TEFL teaching certificate (or teaching license) and proof of employment at a language-teaching institution

PAY: Set your own pay rate, and iTalki takes a 15% cut.

For a more detailed comparison, check out this Cambly vs. iTalki showdown.

6. English Ninjas

English Ninjas screenshot

These guys have the best platform name, at the very least.

English Ninjas also works similarly to Cambly. They are a 24/7 platform based out of the US, with students located mostly in Turkey, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. However, they teach students worldwide. 

It is a work-when-you-want platform that follows the “free talk” teaching method.

With English Ninjas, you can either log in randomly and get new students every day you work, or you can set your availability and allow students to book lessons with you. 

Teachers flock to English Ninjas due to its low barrier to entry and the conversational teaching style. But some have complained about pay cuts and unpaid, no-show students. 

That said, it’s still a viable option for tutors with no degree or experience.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Must be a native English speaker
✅ Must have a teaching certificate (or be in the process of earning one)

PAY: Thanks to the pandemic, English Ninja reduced their rates from $9.60 per hour down to $6 to $7 per hour. Your exact rate depends on your experience and qualifications.

7. Verbling

Verbling screenshot

Verbling is a popular San Francisco-based online language-learning platform. They teach many different languages, but English is one of the most popular. 

It is also international, allowing you to teach to students around the world, on your own schedule, in your own way. 

Verbling has a tutor-rating system students use to choose their tutor, so it’s a bit of a popularity contest. 

The platform does not require a TEFL certificate, but since you’re competing with other highly qualified teachers, you may want to grab one.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Must have previous English teaching experience
✅ You do not need to be a Native English speaker, but you do need a C2 level of English 

PAY: Set your own pay rate and Verbling takes a 15% commission per lesson.

8. PalFish

Palfish screenshot

*UPDATE: As of August 8th, 2021, China has changed its after-school education laws to ban foreign teachers from teaching classes to students in mainland China. Though mainland China makes up a good portion of students using PalFish, PalFish is an international platform, and will still be allowing foreign teachers to teach students outside mainland China. Hopefully, this ban changes in the future!

PalFish is a Chinese-based, international English tutor app, and a popular choice for tutors.

The company has been vocal about how they teach students worldwide, not only in mainland China (even if that is where many PalFish students are located). So, you can absolutely still find success with this great service despite the recent law change in China.

PalFish offers you different teaching options, which is a bit different from some of the other platforms. Most options are either conversational or curriculum-based. 

With PalFish, you can choose to be either a PalFish (Freetalk) Teacher, or you can teach a pre-designed curriculum as a PalFish Official Course Instructor (and make a little more dough). 

For more juicy details, check out our full Palfish review.

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Must be a native English speaker
✅ Must have a TEFL certificate (except for freetalk)
✅ PalFish Official Course Instructors must commit to 10 hours per week

PAY: PalFish (Freetalk) Teacher: $12.70 to $18.00 per hour. PalFish takes a 20% commission

PalFish Official Course Instructor: Up to $22 per hour (+ bonuses)

9. Lingoda

Lingoda screenshot

Lingoda is a 24/7 language-learning platform based in Berlin. As we’re nearing the end of the list, our requirements are picking up. Fortunately, so does the pay (at least compared to other platforms that allow non-native English speakers). 

With Lingoda, you don’t have the freedom of teaching through conversations or student-led topics. Instead, you’re given a structured CEFR-aligned curriculum to follow.

You get to choose which type of classes you want to teach (either 1-on-1 or group classes), and then the platform provides you with all lesson materials. 

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ C2 or higher level of English
✅ Teaching certificate
✅ 2-3 years of prior teaching experience

PAY: Between $8 and $13 per hour

10. Tutoring (TutoringGo or TutoringLab)

Tutoring screenshot

Tutoring is a 24/7 TEFL platform based out of Korea that focuses on Korean students. 

Similar to Cambly, you teach one-on-one lessons with both adults and children. Tutoring allows you to choose your own hours—you can simply log in when you want to work and start teaching. Students can also find you from the tutor’s list and book a time with you in advance. 

Unlike Cambly, Tutoring provides you with teaching material called “Topic Cards”. 

The Tutoring application process is a bit more involved than the easier platforms on this list. It requires you to create an introductory video, so make yours as professional as possible to increase your chances of being accepted. 

REQUIREMENTS:
✅ Bachelor’s degree or above (or currently in the process of the degree)
✅ Prior teaching experience
✅ One hour minimum per week

PAY: $10 to $14 per hour

Next Steps

So there ya have it — a bunch of apps similar to Cambly.

Whichever company you choose, you’re gonna need some gear.

Several platforms use a mobile app. So in that case, you’re probably good to go. But if you are serious about making teaching English your “thing” for the foreseeable future, investing in a laptop for online teachers will make your job more enjoyable.

When you’re ready to take things to the next level, I also recommend this TEFL certification (grab their free brochure while you’re at it) — it’s one of the top-rated courses, and it’s the company I personally used to get certified. It will open up higher-paying opportunities for you and is a worthwhile investment if you love teaching English.

Alrighty, that’s it folks…happy teaching!

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Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).

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