Teaching English online is a great alternative to teaching abroad. With my TEFL certification, I’ve had the opportunity to teach English online while traveling and making amazing memories all over the world.
It’s allowed me to live and travel throughout Europe, SE Asia, and now the UK. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my (almost) one year teaching online experience. I’m gaining professional work experience, experiencing other cultures, meeting new people, and making a difference in the lives of many students.
How to find an online teaching job
There are a few ways to teach Englishonline:
Teach English Online to Young Learners
Two well-reputable online teaching platforms that many teachers enjoy are GoGoKid and VIPKid. These companies are both based in Beijing, China, and students range from about 4 to 12 years old. With GoGoKid and VIPKid, all lesson materials are prepared for you and if you decide to teach on either platform, you will enjoy the flexibility of choosing your own hours and making your own schedule. Plus, you have the freedom to be based from anywhere in the world since you are teaching entirely online. If you’d like to learn more about GoGoKid or VIPKid, including application/interview process, salary, and hours, go to GoGoKid or VIPKid
Teach English Online Using Freelancing websites
UpWork is a well known global freelancing platform. Just create a profile and they will highlight ideal jobs for you. You can also search through the platform yourself for projects and clients.
Preply allows students to find and contact you for lessons based on your availability that you set. You get to set your hourly pay and make your own schedule.
Tandem makes it really easy to teach online through their app. They take care of everything, including scheduling, payments, and even the lessons themselves.
No degree? Don’t worry. You can still teach online!
Even if you don’t have a degree, your TEFL Certificate gives you plenty of options to teach adults or kids online. Here are a few suggestions:
Cambly connects you with adult students from around the world. Since there are students all over the world on Cambly, you can log in and find students at any time. No teaching experience is required and there are no minimum hours. All you need to teach is a phone or computer.
You can tutor adult students across the world on Amazing Talker. Teachers set their own fees and no minimum hours are required.
With iTalki, you can be a Professional Teacher or Community Tutor on their platform. If you are TEFL Certified, you qualify to apply to be a Professional Teacher.
Essential ESL Strategies You Need to Teach Young Learners Online
TPR. Total Physical Response is using physical movement and hand gestures to help teach language and vocabulary concepts. It’s really important to use this during your lessons and especially during your interview.
Props. Having props like a whiteboard, stuffed animal, or flashcards helps make the lesson more engaging, interesting, and can help with student comprehension.
Simple Language. Use level appropriate sentences and TPR to limit any extra language when you speak to your students.
Student Output. We always want to increase STT. Your student(s) should be speaking for at least 50% of the class.
Modeling. “I do, we do, you do.” Use TPR and your props to help you demonstrate a task to your student if they seem confused. The teacher will do the task first, then help the student do it, then the student will try to do it independently.
Positive Student Corrections. We never tell the student “no” or “you’re wrong.” Instead, praise the student for their efforts and simply repeat the mistake with corrections.
Pace Yourself. You want to make sure you spend an appropriate amount of time on each slide so that you can finish the lesson within the allotted time (usually 25-30 minutes). One minute per slide usually works well, but this will depend on the number of slides and the length of your lesson.
To read more about teaching online in Da Nang, please go to teaching in Da Nang
The Equipment you Need to Teach English Online
1. Laptop or computer with a good internet connection. There are plenty of free internet speed tests online.
2. Headphones with a microphone. This is the best way for you and your student to hear each other clearly. You can find over-the-ear headphones with a microphone on Amazon.
3. Classroom setup. Some companies like to see a decorated classroom behind you. This can be as simple as a map and a sign with your name on the wall behind you.
What to Keep in Mind if You Decide to travel and Teach English Online
Time difference. If you teach online with GoGoKid or VIPKid, your students will be based in China. If you teach through a freelancing platform, students can be based anywhere in the world. You need to be mindful of the time difference between the location of your students and where you are planning to live or travel.
Internet connection. You must have a good internet connection to conduct your online lessons. If your Wi-Fi is spotty, get a data plan on your cell phone and try using the hot spot instead.
Availability of a quiet space. If you’re staying in hostels or hotels and not in your own apartment, you will need to find a quiet space to teach. You can try searching the web for local co-working spaces in your area.
Resources for ESL Teachers
Off2Class.com offers interactive PowerPoint lessons and a student management system. You and your student log in to the website to view the lesson and can connect via Zoom conference. They offer a 30-day free trial for teachers who want to check out the platform before committing.
BusyTeacher.org has a huge collection of free worksheets and lesson plans that are all printable. There are also a lot of great resources specifically for teachers. You’ll find a section of articles about essential ESL topics, including how to teach grammar or how to use realia.
LearnEnglish.BritishCouncil.org offers a lot of great resources for both students and teachers. They have many different free activities you can use to assess your students listening, reading, writing, or speaking skills.
CambridgeEnglish.org has a lot of great teaching resources for those preparing students for the IELTS exam.
Hi there! My name is Christine. I attended the 190-hour TEFL course in Barcelona in July of 2019 and have been teaching online ever since.