In this article:
Cambly is proud to have students from an array of countries and backgrounds! We know tutors are excited to connect with students around the world.
The best way to help a student is to understand their learning goals and needs. In addition to checking out their Cambly profile for an overview of their learning needs, you can also ask the student directly, in case their goals changed. Periodically checking with students on how they doing and how they are liking the lessons is a great way to gather feedback on how you can improve and cater the lesson for their specific needs!
Prospective students have an option to purchase a 30-minute paid trial to make sure Cambly works for them. First-time students are sometimes surprised when a real person actually answers on Cambly! Sometimes their first reaction is to quickly hang up, so don't be offended. Usually, they build up confidence and rejoin the lesson.
Some first-time students are really shy. They may cover the camera and not say anything or they may point the camera at the ceiling. You should patiently try to engage them in conversation. Start introducing yourself and telling them a bit about yourself. Ask them a few simple questions. Usually, shy students will eventually begin talking to you.
What if the student doesn't engage at all?
We know keeping the conversation flowing can be difficult with some students! You can utilize the AI generated discussion topics tool to help guide engagement with the student. If after a minute or so there is no improvement, you have the option to very politely say goodbye and hang up. In this scenario, please select the “return lesson” button so that the student is able to call back when they are ready. For example: “I’d love to help you, but you should come back when you are ready to practice.” Then smile and wave goodbye.
If I speak the language of my student, can I use that to help engage with them?
Sometimes, you may encounter a student who has very little English knowledge. If you’re multilingual, go ahead and see if you have a common language. A lot of times, students have some basic English skills but are still working on their confidence. A common phrase you'll hear is: "I don't speak English" even from students who actually can speak some English. We understand these students can be the most challenging to tutor, but with plenty of patience, the tutor is sure to build a great rapport! Check out this article for more help with working with beginners.
How do I provide feedback for a trial student?
During a trial call, you are able to complete a brief, 3-question prompt that provides feedback for the student.
To navigate away from and back to the feedback questions, please use the newly added Quick Action button above the prompt.
Shortly after the lesson has ended, Cambly will send an email to the trial student. An example of an email can be seen here:
Students often look to tutors, the experts, to get input on their level and where to begin on their Cambly journey. Because tutors often take the time to message students with feedback after trial calls, this is a way to save tutors time outside of the lesson and benefit the trial students!
If you experience a lesson in which you are unsure of the answers to the questions or are uncomfortable completing the questions, simply leave them blank.
Can a trial student rate me?
Cambly excludes ratings from trial students.
What happened to free trial lessons?
Cambly finished offering free trial lessons to students on October 9th, 2023. Students who signed up for a free lesson prior to this date will still be able to use their free lesson.
Cambly will continue to evaluate the trial experience based on tutor feedback and the evolving needs of our Cambly community.
Is there a curriculum for trial student lessons?
Cambly trial students will always have a lesson that populates in the classroom. Trial students answer questions about their learning goals, and based on these answers, Cambly matches students with a trial lesson that is best suited for them. Because of this, we strongly recommend that tutors use the trial curriculum with the student. To preview trial lessons, please visit the Cambly Tutor Library.
Is there a way to avoid trial student calls?
You can filter out trial student calls by utilizing your visibility status. When you go visible on your tutor dashboard, simply select "subscribed students only (no trials)," or, if you only want to be visible to your regular students, select "regular students only."
Please note: "all students" includes free trial calls. While students are no longer able to sign up for a free trial, there is still a chance free trial lessons occur. Please see "What happened to free trial calls?" above for more details.
There are several ways to send content to your students on Cambly. Before or after a chat, you can send any links or attachments via the Cambly messaging system. You can paste links from published online resources or upload your own files to a cloud service (e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox, etc.) and share a public link with your students.
Prior to a chat, you can also upload your own lessons to Saved Links (be sure to upload an image file as well; this will be the thumbnail image that is shown to all tutors along with the title).
During a chat, you have a few more options:
- You can send links via the text chat box
- You can send an article in Saved Links by accessing your Cambly Library
- You can also screen-share. This allows you to work with materials displayed on your computer screen.
What if my student wants to share something with me?
If your students want to share something, such as their writing or resume, they can do it in two ways:
1) If they're on their computer, students can send the paragraphs over text chat or send a link to a shared document. This is the best way since they'll have a nice big screen to see both you and the text chat concurrently. Plus, it's just much easier to work with large bodies of text on a computer than on a phone.
2) If they're on mobile, you should ask students to message you the paragraphs and call you right back. If it's a long document, they can even add it as an attachment. That way, you can pull it up on your computer and have it ready for your session.
If you are having technical issues and want to reload the classroom, be sure to use the classroom refresh button. This way, you will be able to return to your current lesson when you sign back on to Cambly. Students also have the refresh button available to them.
If you notice a red symbol in the top, right corner of your video feed, this indicates you are experiencing weak internet connection.
You can find troubleshooting solutions in this article to help improve your internet connection.
If you are unable to complete a call due to technical issues, you will be able to leave the lesson within the first two minutes without cost to the student. Please see this article for more information about returning the lesson.
Student technical issues at the start of a lesson:
It is important to follow the guidance in the classroom if you answer an empty call, or a call in which a student immediately hangs up. If the call registers as a lesson and the student is able to rejoin, the system will prompt you to stay and wait for the 5 minutes.
If the system does not register it as a call, then the student is unable to return, and the Cambly classroom will tell you that it is ok to leave the classroom immediately.
Student technical issues during a lesson:
If a student leaves the classroom for any reason during a lesson, the tutor is paid for up to 5 minutes of disconnection pay. If it has been longer than 5 minutes, you are no longer being paid. It is up to you whether you choose to wait, unpaid, for your student to return.
If a student is experiencing technical issues, you will see the same red, weak connection symbol in the student video. If this happens, you can offer tech advice - for example, students should always be on the latest version of our app - but often the best thing to do is to direct the student to Student Support ("contact us" on the students' side), they're excellent and can resolve all sorts of matters nearly always in the students' native languages. Also, students can now request lesson refunds themselves on-screen as well as through Student Support.
When exactly is the lesson recorded in the classroom?
The lesson is recorded from the first time the student enters the classroom with the tutor until the lesson is complete – even during the time between when a student may leave and return to the classroom within the duration of a lesson. Please be sure to click the End Lesson button to confirm the classroom is closed and the lesson ends. As always, the red dot next to your tutor name is present when your video is being recorded.
📝 Please note: if the student leaves the new classroom for a few minutes and reconnects, the tutor is recorded during the time in between, as that is still considered part of the lesson. Tutors will still see the red dot during this time, indicating the lesson is being recorded.
What if my student says they're coming back, but it's been more than 5 minutes?
You will only be paid for 5 minutes of disconnection pay. After that, it is up to you whether you choose to wait, unpaid, for your student to return.
Am I required to wait for the full 5 minutes?
You are not required to wait the entire 5 minutes. You will be paid for the minutes you wait, regardless of whether you wait for all 5. Please note: this is different from late student pay in reservations, in which you must wait the full student grace period (10 minutes after the lesson start time) to earn the minutes of pay you waited for your student.
What if my student disconnects multiple times?
You are paid for a maximum of 5 minutes of disconnection pay. This includes across multiple disconnections. For example: if your student leaves for 3 minutes and reconnects with you in the classroom, and then leaves again for 2 minutes and reconnects with you, you will be paid 5 minutes of disconnection pay. However, if your student leaves for 3 minutes and reconnects with you in the classroom, and then leaves again for 3 minutes, you are only paid for the maximum amount of 5 minutes (not 6) whether or not your student returns. After 5 minutes of disconnection time, use your discretion to end the lesson.
Taking a Break / Logging Off Early
If you're on a Priority Hour, you have the option to take a 5-minute break. Simply click the green pause button in the top right of the PH listing in your dashboard to take a five-minute break once during every Priority Hour!
If you have some sort of emergency and need to end your Priority Hour early, no problem! Our system is designed to overlook one-off misses. If you have more PHs coming up that you will not be able to make, be sure to remove them from your schedule ASAP. Read the Priority Hours section of the Tutor Guide for more information about our PH system.
Please note that even though you can't tutor from your device, you can do pretty much everything else using your mobile browser (dropping Priority Hours, checking reservations, etc.)!