how to teach english online course

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Team College Learners

Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching English

  • What is teaching English?‎Teaching English refers to the process for when a person who is skilled at reading, writing, listening, and speaking English helps others to learn the basics of the English language. Those who teach English are often certified in one (or more) of the three main categories of teaching English.These certifications would be Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The type of certification a person gets to teach English depends partly on which part of the world they plan to teach in.‎
  • Why is it important to learn about teaching English?‎Learning how to teach English can be a fun and creative experience for you. You might be teaching online or in a foreign country where you have the ability to communicate with non-English speakers. When you learn how to teach English, you can become equipped with the self-confidence to lead an instructional class in front of strangers, either in person or online. You also learn how to understand the nuances of grammar capabilities and learn the best ways to test reading and writing levels.Learning how to teach English can be valuable to you in corporate jobs, too, if your firm hires non-English speakers. You might get a chance to teach English to these persons as well and help your colleagues communicate more effectively.‎
  • What jobs can I get teaching English?‎Once you are certified to teach English as a second language, you can work locally in person through a school or a service that puts teachers and students together. This could be done at local community colleges or universities.If you want to try to teach English online, you can set yourself up as an independent contractor to provide the service, or find work through an online language school. Teaching English on a part-time or freelance basis offers you flexible hours, the ability to set your own rates, and the option to teach the types of classes that interest you most.‎
  • How can taking online courses help me to learn about teaching English?‎When you take online courses, you are adding new skills to your professional development in communicating English as a teacher. You are likely to gain extra knowledge in the details of grammar and punctuation rules, accurate sentence construction, and forming cohesive paragraphs in your English writing.Taking online courses about teaching English can also help you in presentation skills and enunciation ability. You may be able to use these new skills in different career professions later on in life.‎

This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

how to start teaching english online

Teach English online and get paid! Here are the eight steps to start teaching English online.

Well, what do you need to become an online teacher? Is it really possible to teach online and get paid? Here are a few steps you need to follow to answer the basic question, “how can I teach English online?”

How to start teaching English online

Step 1. Be Fluent in the English Language

This is the basic requirement to become an online English teacher, and many learners might prefer native speakers too. If you have an excellent knowledge of reading, writing, speaking and listening you can probably start your career as an online English teacher without necessarily getting a specialized English language degree. 

Step 2. Get Certified

This step is not compulsory to get started but is important if you want to build a successful online English teaching career. There are different types of English language certification programs available, among which the most popular are TESL, TEFL, and TESOL. These certifications can be obtained online as well. 

All three courses will help you learn skills that are necessary to become a good English teacher. You will learn different methods of teaching, different learning styles, how to plan lessons, how to simplify the language and grammar for your students and what kind of material to use for teaching etc.

Step 3. Get the Right Hardware and an Internet Connection

Pimp your workspace! You need to make sure that you have all the hardware you need to teach online and an internet connection, which includes:

  • A computer – A laptop or desktop both work.
  • Webcam – If you do not have an in-built webcam, then get a good quality external webcam. Students studying a language pick up a lot from body language, so they definitely need to be able to see you clearly. 
  • A headset with a microphone – So your students can hear you clearly too. 
  • Solid internet connection – This might be the trickiest aspect if you’re looking forward to some adventure traveling, but a hotspot (or what some folks like to call: a “wifi egg”) can provide extra security to teach on the go.

how to start teaching english online

Be sure to read teaching English online reviews so you can work with reputable companies.

Step 4. Install the Right Software

Online classes work best when you can have a video chat with your students. One of the best and most widely used apps for this purpose is Skype. You can install the software and then search for tutorials on how to teach English online via Skype to conduct your lessons online. Or, you could work through an online English teaching company, and they can provide the software, lesson plans, and manage clients and payments, too. Most definitely, one of the most important steps in figuring out how to start teaching English online is to have the right software and hardware.

Step 5. Create a Resume and an Online Profile

Like you would for any job, you should create a resume that highlights your teaching, tutoring, coaching and mentoring experiences (you can find resume tips for teaching abroad here!). 

Moreover, it is a good idea to create an online profile such as a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or a website so your students can learn more about you and your ability to teach.

Step 6. Setup a PayPal Account

It’s only fun to make money if you have a way to actually get the money! PayPal is one of the most used and trusted methods of online payments. Both independent and online language school teachers mostly get paid through it. Consider setting up your account before you can start to look for clients.

Step 7. Browse & Apply for Jobs/Students

This is the most important step. To become an online teacher, you need to find teaching jobs and/or students. The internet is full of job boards and online job markets; however, the trick is to find the most reliable and promising opportunities that will not only help you find students, but guarantee payment. 

Step 8. Start Teaching!

how to start teaching english online

You can get started teaching English online in less than a few months!

Then schedule that first class, open your webcam, and get ready to make amazing connections! Even with their students across a screen, online teachers are often pleasantly surprised at how much engagement they have with their learners. Even if taking a break from traveling later on, you can still make connections across the globe by teaching online. 

Teaching English online FAQs

Teaching online can still be a new concept to many, and you probably have a ton of questions. You probably want to know what type of benefits and pitfalls are in store for you, how much money you can make, and what the general requirements are. All this information is extremely important to make an informed decision and to move in the right direction. So before you start to search further on how to start teaching English online, here are some frequently asked questions about teaching English online to get you more grounded before you lift off. 

What benefits will I get as an online English teacher?

The internet has certainly added a whole new dimension to the profession of teaching and one of the biggest beneficiaries have been English language teachers. Perhaps as classes become more accessible, more and more non-native speakers, for different purposes, want to become fluent in English. This has given English teachers the biggest benefit: a strong job market.

Here are a few other benefits which make teaching English online a great remote-job option:

  • You get to decide your own hours. Especially when you’re traveling, you may want to block out hours or days to visit sites, take a class, or to move from one city or country to another. Flexibility is key when you have a changing schedule. With online teaching, you can mostly decide when you want to teach. 
  • You can do it from anywhere you want. You can teach from anywhere you want; it could be from the comfort of your home, at your favorite coffee shop or your friend’s place, or … while you’re traveling! Online teaching gives you the freedom to teach outside a confined classroom, and is something you can do on the road also. 
  • You’ll get a good source of secondary income. If you are already an English teacher abroad and want to supplement your income, then teaching online is a great option too. For teachers, you can make additional income still doing what you love, but you also get more teaching experience and can earn a decent secondary income.

How much experience do I need to become an online English teacher?

how to start teaching english online

Get creative with your online English teaching lessons

Teaching online is a pretty new field, so not too many people have a long history of online teaching experience. Don’t worry. You can still apply a lot of your previous teaching, tutoring and coaching experiences to teaching online, and employers and students will want to see that you’ve had some experience in facilitating learning, if not yet online. And with that, think about teaching and communication best practices, and perhaps about being a tad more animated and patient given the online factor. If teaching through a platform, they can sometimes provide guidance on online teaching techniques too. 

How are TESL, TEFL, and TESOL different from each other, and how does this affect my online teaching job prospects?

New online English teachers often consider getting TESL, TEFL, and TESOL certificates, and it might be helpful to understand what these three abbreviations mean. Here’s a more comprehensive breakdown, but if you just want an intro:

  • TESL. It stands for Teaching English as a Second Language. This term is often applied when you teach non-native speakers living in native-English speaking countries.
  • TEFL. It stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is used when you teach English as a foreign language to non-native speakers living in non-native English speaking countries.
  • TESOL. It stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and it includes both TESL and TEFL contexts.

When teaching abroad or online, many institutions or students will require or like to see one of these certifications. They can often offer the following benefits:

  • The training course teaches you new teaching skills and methods.
  • The training course will often require a teaching practicum, so you can get some English teaching experience. 
  • With all that, it can help you get more job opportunities.

Where can I find teach English online jobs?

Deciding “I want to teach English online” is the first step towards starting an online career—after that starts the real work. One of the most important things you need to know is how and where to find students online. One of the best ways to simplify the experience is to get hired by a renowned online teaching platform such as VIPKID, which was recently awarded a Top 100 Best Places to work by Glassdoor. 

What is the typical salary for an online English teacher?

Want to know your “teach English online salary” prospects? English teachers can earn money teaching English online but the salary may vary based on your qualifications, experience, certifications and from job to job, and if relevant, online employer. If you teach through online companies or language schools your per hour pay can range from $12 to $22 per hour.

Teach online and get paid, baby!

how to start teaching english online

You: “I want to teach English online” Us: “Let’s do this.”

Now you know how to start teaching English online! The market for online English teachers is better than ever and if you have the right certifications, the salaries are good enough to become a viable secondary source of income. However, it is important to find the right platform that offers you consistent job opportunities, which will help you get invaluable experience.