How to Become an Online English Teacher

Hello everyone,

Do you want to teach English online and work from anywhere in the world?

Becoming an online English teacher is a great way to make money while having a flexible schedule.

In this lesson, we’ll go through all the steps you need to take to become an online English teacher.

What is an Online English Teacher?

An online English teacher teaches students English over the internet using video conferencing software.

The students can be located anywhere in the world. As an online English teacher, you help students improve their English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

Online English teachers work for companies that connect them with students.

These companies are based all over the world, but many are located in countries where there is a high demand for learning English, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and countries in Europe and South America.

The Benefits of Being an Online English Teacher

There are many great benefits to being an online English teacher:

• You can work from anywhere with an internet connection – whether that’s at home, a co-working space, or traveling the world.
• You have a flexible schedule and can choose your own hours.
• You can meet students from all around the world without leaving home.
• It’s a great way to make extra money on the side or have a full-time income.
• No formal teaching experience or certifications are always required to get started.

The main requirements are having fluent English skills, a good internet connection, a quiet teaching space, and some basic equipment like a computer/tablet and headset.

What Skills Do You Need?

While you don’t necessarily need prior teaching experience, there are some key skills that will help you succeed as an online English teacher:

• Excellent English communication skills in speaking, reading, and writing
• Patience and ability to explain things clearly
• Engaging personality to keep students interested
• Cultural awareness and sensitivity
• Basic computer and internet skills
• Good time management
• Creativity for designing engaging lessons
• Ability to troubleshoot technical issues

Most online English teaching companies provide training, a structured curriculum, and teaching materials. However, it will still be up to you to prepare and deliver engaging lessons.

How to Get Started

Follow these steps to start working as an online English teacher:

1. Research online English teaching companies

There are many companies out there that hire online English teachers, such as:

– VIPKID
– QKids
– DadaABC
– SayABC
– EF Education First
– Gogokid
– Cambly
– Preply
– Italki

Read reviews and compare factors like pay rates, schedules, hiring requirements, curricula, and teaching materials.

Make sure you meet the basic requirements for hiring, which typically include:

Native English speaker
Bachelor’s degree
Minimum hours availability
Technological requirements (computer, webcam, headset, internet speed)

2. Get TEFL/TESOL certified

While a teaching certificate is not always mandatory, getting a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification makes you a stronger candidate.

There are plenty of affordable online TEFL courses you can take, even if you have no prior teaching experience. A certification shows you have formal training in skills like:

Lesson planning
Classroom management
Teaching methodologies
English grammar rules

Many courses can be completed in just a few weeks or months through part-time study.

3. Apply to multiple companies

It’s a good idea to apply to several different online English teaching companies at once.

The application process typically involves:

Submitting your resume/CV
Completing a video submission
Participating in a live mock teaching demo
Background and documentation checks

Be prepared to go through multiple interviews and teaching demos.

Having a TEFL certificate, any teaching experience, or classroom footage to share can strengthen your application.

4. Set up your teaching space

Once hired, you’ll need to set up a proper teaching space with good lighting and minimal background noise/distractions.

You’ll need:

A desk and comfortable chair
Desktop computer or laptop
Reliable high-speed internet
Headset with microphone
HD webcam (many laptops have a built-in cam)
Backdrop, good lighting, and props to engage students

Your teaching space should be clean, organized, and professional-looking on camera.

5. Start teaching English online!

After passing any required training from the company, you can open your schedule and start accepting bookings from students.

Be sure to:

Prepare thoroughly for each lesson
Create a positive learning environment
Use props, visuals, and engage students
Give students opportunities to practice
Provide encouragement and feedback

It may take some time to get used to teaching online versus in-person.

But with practice, it will become second nature. The key is learning how to manage a virtual classroom effectively.

6. Build your experience

As you gain more experience teaching online, you can look for ways to increase your earnings, such as:

Earning raises or promotions at your current company
Switching to a company with higher pay rates
Teaching specialized classes or building your own course content
Creating an online tutoring profile on sites like Preply or Italki

The more experience you have, the more you can charge for your online English lessons.

7. Grow your teaching business

For many people, online English teaching starts as a side job but grows into a full-time career. There are opportunities to:

Maintain an international client base of private students
Build your own online school or course platform
Become a freelance curriculum developer or teacher trainer
Author textbooks, ebooks, or other teaching materials

The possibilities are endless for entrepreneurial online English teachers!

With some strategic thinking, you can turn it into your dream teaching career.

Does Online English Teaching Sound Right for You?

Becoming an online English teacher allows you to make money from anywhere while helping students around the world improve their English skills.

The startup costs are low, the schedule is flexible, and all you really need are fluent English abilities and a desire to teach.

While not getting rich quick, it can become a lucrative career over time.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, neutral English accent, patience, and cultural sensitivity, then online English teaching could be a great fit!

With some training and teaching skills under your belt, you’ll be ready to launch your new location-independent career.

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