The 10 Vital Steps For Teaching English Online Today & How to teach English Online in 2020 + Top Online Jobs
ESL Teaching Has become one of the biggest Opportunities World-Wide(AKA The Golden Age for ESL). This goes Both for Teaching English Online and Teaching English Abroad. So if you were wondering On how to teach English Online in 2020 and beyond, Then you have definitely come to the right Place, Because here you will learn the 10 Most Important steps for starting your Teaching English online adventure Today + Finding a GREAT Online teaching job for yourself.
For those who are eager to get started: Preply can also accept teachers who are currently still undergoing their TEFL course and you can get accepted within 24 hours! Click here to learn more! (No college degree required)
Living the Dream Life
Close your eyes and imagine a life outside the four walls of a boring office. Where your break room could be the beach and your lunch break could be in the mountains. Okay, that last part might be a little exaggerated, because you’re definitely going to need a decent internet connection, but you get my point. A life free from working at a fixed place to go day after day and instead you get to work from anywhere you want in the world with your computer by your side all along the way.
Well, you won’t have to imagine it for much longer, especially with the *new* and golden career of teaching English online. Students from countries all over the world are eager to learn English and prefer to speak with good English speakers any and every chance they get. The market is booming and waiting for passionate teachers just like yourself.
This is absolutely the golden era for teaching ESL(English as a second language) and this will remain so for at least the next 25 to 35 years to come, Humanity is globalizing rapidly and English is used everywhere, teaching English Online has never been more profitable as it is today! So whether you’re looking for a career change or have always dreamed of a nomadic and traveling lifestyle, a career as an online instructor could give you the freedom you’ve been craving for a long time.
Where to Begin?
You’re probably wondering, where do I even begin? While it may seem overwhelming at first, the truth is, it is quite simple and you can start taking the steps toward teaching online today. We have done some research and put together the ultimate 10 step guide for teaching online. After reading this you will have all you need to get started, beginning as soon as today(Preply can accept online Teachers within 24 hours!).
Now has never been a better time to make the change or start the career of your dreams, and we’re here to show you how. Plus, starting today means that you can start working your way up to bigger and better possibilities which we will discuss a little further down.
Before we get into that, first of all, let’s point out the reason why the possibility to teach English is on the rise. The percentage has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years with larger booms thanks to the introduction of social media and the globalization of products and cultures. You will find that there are several countries around the world that are pushing for English as a second language but why?
The World is Connecting
Above all, the reason is due to the fact that English is considered one of the biggest international languages. If you take trips around the world you will find that majority of places will have some level of English apart from their native tongue. As you can guess, this opens up lots of doors to children who may live in 3rd world countries or in places that are developing.
English is also considered the language of business. Most people who work in companies that have branches worldwide will require that their employees are fluent in English. Of course, this makes room for a ton of opportunities allowing professionals to move up the ranks to the top of their companies.
The US is one of the most Influential countries in the world and has made an impact globally. For this reason, a ton of shows, news, entertainment and movies are all made originally in English, which can keep those who watch them in the know. A good level of English keeps people more connected and able to stay up with the most current trends taking the internet by storm today.
These are just the most common reasons why students are looking for online instructors like yourself. There are tons of other reasons and there is a world full of students of all ages and levels with unique goals that are anxious to get started on their path to learning English. As an instructor, you will have the opportunity to meet students from all over the world who have all kinds of interesting stories to tell. How amazing would it be to give them the gift to share them with a larger group of people by teaching them one of the most common spoken languages in the world? You can, and it is a lot easier than you might have been thinking.
The 10 Vital Steps For Teaching English Online Today & How to teach English Online
You were probably already convinced before coming here about making a career change and taking the steps toward a career teaching English online. So, its time for you find out the most important aspects of Teaching English Online. Let us get right into the list so you can start taking the steps to start your new life today.
As we mentioned before we have gone into depth at every angle breaking down the basics into 10 steps. Each section is also filled with vital information from instructors who were at one time just like you thinking it was only a dream. Now however, they have turned those dreams into their reality and this is how they did it.
1. Look at the opportunities and Think Long Term
You have probably already envisioned how a career as an English instructor will be, while this is great and we encourage you to definitely follow your dreams, we do want to hit you with a reality check. This is because your options as an instructor are much larger than you may have imagined. As a certified instructor, you are a hot commodity and can take your pick at several different options. We have split these options up into different categories to help you get a better idea of the roads you have the option of taking.
Online school(most common)
As an instructor in an online academy, you’re generally required to work a minimum number of hours (around 20) which you can choose. The prices are set by the academies and are generally paid out monthly. The great thing is that you set your schedule most of the time based on the country in which you’re teaching. Don’t think that you’re trapped with one sort of student or one method of teaching, there are a wide variety of ages and levels as well as more specified academies for more focused and specialized English.
Instead of working a required number of hours or accepting the pay per hour of academies, you can branch out and do your own thing. There are several websites that you can join, uploading your profile and resume and setting your own prices and hours. This may take a little longer to get rolling but, comes with a lot of perks in the long run if you stick with it.
Build your own website(More for experienced Tutors)
In today’s market, everything is starting to go online. Even if you don’t have lots of technical skills, you have a shot at creating your own website from a template. You will have to create your own traffic but, will have the freedom to set hours, prices and curriculum. You are basically creating a brand, one that students of all ages and countries can stumble upon.
These are the most common and advanced methods of online teaching. Hopefully, these three things have gotten your wheels turning a bit, opening up your mind to the opportunities you have right in front of your eyes. You won’t have to decide this just yet, but this is at least something thinking about before you start taking a look at the market and where you will fit in best. Speaking of the market, what does it currently look like and can you expect to get work fast? It’s definitely a BIG yes, after all it is the GOLDEN age for teaching ESL!
The market is on the rise and has steadily increased throughout the years. The ability to speak English brings people lots of opportunities including big career enhancements and the ability to travel more comfortably around the world. For this reason, you won’t have any trouble finding your first job, and can probably have more than a few at your disposal. But in almost every case, you definitely need to get the next part before you can get started. let’s get down to business with step number 2, your ticket to ESL jobs of all sorts.
2. Get Certified
Just helping students to speak English is not the only thing you are going to teach. While you may be able to find some work just for being great English speaker, almost ever single job, especially the ones that pay the best and offer the most flexibility, require a TEFL certification of some sort. Surely, if you’ve surfed the web, you have stumbled across an announcement once in a while about some type of TEFL certification or course.
There are a ton out there, all promising to get you prepared for your new career as an instructor. The thing is, they’re not all the same and some are better than others or at the worst, a lot of them might not be properly accredited at all, which means it’s not a recognized course and the certificate you *earn* may not be useful at all.
So what types of certifications are out there and how can you tell if they are any good? Well, the top 2 internationally recognized certification programs are the TEFL/TESOL and the CELTA. Each come with a few differences and overall, the TEFL is much more popular nowadays for the options to get certified online. Here, we will take a deeper look into both, outlining the course plus the differences between them helping you to choose the one that is best for you.
TEFL CELTA(usually more suitable for teaching abroad)
Common cost range – $1600 – $5000
Where? Face to face in-class course or blended Face to face and online
Duration Online: self-paced, In person: 4 weeks Full time: 4 weeks
Part time: 15+ weeks
Accredited Internationally recognized Internationally recognized
You can use the table above as a guide for selecting the course of your choice. Basically, it all comes down to the time that you have and whether or not you would like to complete your course online or in one of the many locations around the world. We have reviewed some of the top courses and placed a few of our favorites below for you to take your pick.(Or you can just click here to check out our top 10 recommended Online and onsite TEFL providers and courses)
This is perhaps one of the most well-rounded TEFL provider we’ve seen out there. They offer a ton of Awesome TEFL courses and Students can choose to learn onsite, online or a mix of the two(blended courses), they have many locations in many countries around the globe.
Apart from that, they are well connected with schools around the world where new graduates can enjoy job placement, internships, and practicums. Their approach to teaching focuses on exposing aspiring instructors to all kinds of teaching methods along with presenting the possibilities that come from a career as an online English instructor.(for just Onsite certification in Thailand, SEETEFL is the expert in that location).
The courses from This TEFL provider is completely online which comes with the opportunity to be super flexible. We like their courses because, apart from basic training, students will have the chance to choose between a regular 120-hour course or a more extensive 180-hour course and it’s also very cheap. If you prefer to teach children or hope to teach business English then one of the specialized courses could be perfect for you. Because it is 100% online, you will also get a feel for how working and teaching online works.
This is also a great Online course provider that offers their 120-hour Ultimate TEFL course for anyone that wishes to teach English online or abroad. Their course is relatively low-cost and of high quality. upon course completion you can get accepted by many schools online or abroad.
Choose the most suitable choice for yourself
Choosing any of the providers that we have mentioned above will set you off on the right foot towards teaching English online. Some of them are online while others are on onsite with each option coming with their pros and cons. Decide which is best for you and your schedule and get it done. Some of the intensive courses come with the option to finish in as little as one month so, just think about it, in one month you could be on your way to changing your career and your life.
The best thing about some of the TEFL courses is that you can get your certification in as little as 2 weeks if you choose to do the self-paced online version, but that would really take some hardcore studying. You can use this certification as a tool to get you access to jobs that pay better plus, you’ll start off on the right foot, more prepared and ready to start teaching your first classes.
The thing that sets online classes apart is the flexibility and convenience but, that doesn’t come without the need to invest in some things that will amp up the quality of your classes. We are of course talking about equipment, which we will take a deeper look into coming up.
3. Work on a killer Resume
Apart from your certificate, you will need to send your resume to online companies as well. You may already have one that you have kept updated from your years in university or maybe after completing an internship or something of that sort. For those of you that do, go you! You are one step ahead. Anyone out there who does not have a resume should not be worried as you can complete one in no time.
Of course, just like with any job that you’re looking for, it is always best to make a resume that looks professional. You can find templates and examples throughout the web by simply browsing. To spice up your resume for landing a job as an ESL instructor, we have added a few tips to keep in mind and that may be a great addition to your resume.
Tell them about yourself
This is the spot for all your basic info, like contact info including Skype, your age, your location and all that good stuff. Be sure to add a picture of yourself, letting your students get acquainted and know your face before they ever meet you.
Define your reason for being a teacher and how you can help your students
Think about what it is that makes teaching so appealing to you. Why is this the career of your choice and how can you help others thrive? Don’t make it a long and drawn out statement but, a short and sweet one that defines you.
Impress them with your experience
Tell them about your education and most importantly your certification. This is also where you can add things like your experience working or anything that could be relevant to teaching, leadership, or responsibility. If you can, try to be subject specific.
Show off your skills
We know that some of you out there have mad skills and your resume is the place to show them off. List a few of your favorites that you think define you the best. Also list some that make you more attractive as an online instructor. If you’re tech savvy, list computer skills or if you’re artsy make sure to highlight your creativity, it will come in handy.
It is always great to have a well prepared and killer resume, not only for teaching jobs, but for any type of job in the future. As time passes, you can adjust it and make a few tweaks, adding to it the experience that you have gained. Don’t work up a headache trying to over-make your resume perfectly. If you don’t already have a resume, use the power of the good old internet to search for templates that you can use as an example when making your own.
4. Spice up your Software
Technology is advancing constantly and there are always new and improved gadgets hitting the market that make things online run smoother. Most devices come with a standard set up including a camera and sound system efficient enough for transmitting your lessons, but you should think ahead.
To set your classes apart from all the others and make yourself stand out as a professional English instructor, adding a few additions to your setup will do the trick. You want to give the best classes that make it seem like you’re right there in front of your students, avoiding any distractions by making both the video and sound crisp and clear.
Phone Vs. Computer
Nowadays with phones becoming more advanced than ever, you can use them for just about anything. There are ways to teach English from your phone but, is it a good idea? What is the difference between teaching English from your phone or from your computer? Actually, it just depends on the program you’re using. If you choose to go with an online teaching app and have a solid connection and mic then you’re able to teach only using your smartphone.
Skype also works perfectly so you have lots of options as you can see. However, you will want to use your laptop when teaching on certain platforms. You will also want to use it if the quality on your phone just doesn’t cut it. The key thing is the quality of your camera, audio and sound proof, so if you have that, you definitely can teach on any online platform.
First and foremost, and perhaps the most fundamental piece of technology you will want to improve is your internet connection. You should keep in mind that you need to have a solid broadband connection or wireless connection that comes with enough speed and memory to sustain you through your classes. The minimum speed to shoot for is 6/7 Mbps for easy and quick uploads and downloads.
Most companies that are dedicated to online teaching have speed tests that can give you a better idea of what you’ll need to prevent freezing and keeping your connection solid throughout your entire class. If you choose to start with only one investment in the beginning, go for a solid internet connection.
We know that some of you out there may be super organized. We applaud you for it, but the other half of the population just can’t seem to keep things in order. An online calendar or app could be a great tool for both you and your students.
There are some downloadable calendars like Google or Outlook that transfer from computer to smartphone in seconds where you can easily add events or check off completed tasks. Others come with the opportunity to share with your students, allowing them to browse your availability and select a slot if you have one open. Either way, organization is key, and can be a buzzkill for your classes if you are always late or missing classes.
Again, you can use your smartphone or tablet for this but, to make a drastic improvement in the clarity of your picture, you can opt to add a webcam to your setup. Nowadays, getting your hands on a camera that will create a clear picture is easy and inexpensive for the most part. Not that some of the newer phones are lacking, but we know not everyone out there is up to date with the latest phone in hand. If this sounds more like your situation, add a camera and set it up to work with your smartphone or laptop. Think about showing your students images or writing down words without any fuzziness in the background that may interfere with the quality of the video.
Of course, you’ll want to do all you can to make sure you’re heard loud and clear. You are teaching a language and correct pronunciation, intonation, and flow are essential. You can find economic mics that attach easily to your device or, go for a headset, that is the ultimate tool for online teaching.
These usually come with improved speakers and mics that make sound transfer through cyberspace clear. Some companies require you to have a headset to begin, as they know the way that sound can drastically improve the quality, your professionalism, and the audio of your lessons. At the end of the day, clear instruction and understanding is key.
Last on the list is something that is not quite technological but, can make a difference in your classes. We are talking about a whiteboard, one that you can either have on hand or download a virtual version online. You may need to explain some things or vocabulary in other ways like drawing or writing during class.
This could also be a way to show students your plans for the day to visually show the progress of the class and the accomplishments and information they learned. A whiteboard is also great for organization, something that is going to prove detrimental to your time as an online instructor.
Most of you have all you need to start teaching now, whether it’s your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Still, everything mentioned above could be a great tool to improve your classes and help to take you to the next level of the teaching game. Up next on the menu, your students, where do you get them and how can you keep them?
5. Find your niche
Finding Students is of course the key to making a stable income. Of course, if you start out with an online company, Most of them will send the students directly to you during the slots you have available. Other forms of online teaching are not set up in this way and leave you to find your own set of students.
Before we go into detail on how to find them, we’d first like to point out one important thing before you branch out and that is, to find your niche. What we mean by niche is, what types of classes you prefer and who do you prefer to teach? Is conversation your thing or are you a grammar enthusiast? Do you love teaching kids or have a passion for adult entrepreneurs(business English)? Finding your niche can clear out so many options and help you to hone in on the market you will need to research before beginning your journey.
This is a crucial point in your journey and one that several new instructors tend to ignore. This is because the market is filled with so many opportunities and sometimes, each individual student has their focus elsewhere. While it could be difficult to find your niche in the very beginning, you’ll need to keep that in mind. As you gain experience, realize which types of teaching call to you and choosing those that you enjoy the most. Like we said, this could be difficult, but can make all the difference. To get your wheels turning, we’ve narrowed down a few steps you can take to start choosing your preferred method of teaching
1. What is your favorite part of teaching English?
There are so many options when it comes to teaching a language. You can help students with their pronunciation and accent or even help them learn from scratch with little to no level. You could also put your motivating skills to work, using them to help your students gain confidence to start speaking in more settings. Narrow down which part of the English you would like to teach(maybe even multiple parts) and see how you can make it work for you by honing in on that or those area(s).
2. What’s your teaching Style
You may not notice this when you first start out, but every instructor has their own teaching style. You can maybe have the same lesson materials, but each teacher will find their own teaching method to transmit the meaning of the lessons to their students during the duration of the classes.
Some instructors prefer lecture while other prefer to do interactive exercises to get their students in on the action. You can browse the internet for inspiration looking to see what other instructors do, seeing which method you enjoy and would like to use yourself during your classes(or you can click here to check out some top free ESL resources and useful tips). While you can’t copy every style, you can learn more about your own and develop it into a rock-solid teaching method that students will love.
3. Learn from Feedback
While sometimes it may be hard to hear, feedback is the best thing to get you rolling and keep you on the direction you want. Ask your students what it is that they like most about your classes, what do they like the least? Listen in and learn, taking their suggestions and converting them into fuel for the future. This is also a way to help you see the style that you are already transmitting to your students, giving you a chance to develop your skills and improve in the areas where you seem to be lacking.
4. Fail and Fail Again
If you haven’t yet taught your first class the nerves may be bubbling. They do go away after a while, but you are more than guaranteed to feel a bit self-conscious at times. Every teacher has been there and it is OK, it will definitely get better, It’s all about experiences and trials and errors. This is a chance to learn from your successes and especially your mistakes and develop yourself and your teaching style while you grow.
After each class, it is great to sit and reflect, thinking about the things that you would change and how you can improve for the lessons to come. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but make it a goal to focus on to improving one point every time after class and watch how your lessons transform and your students flourish.
Finding your niche is an important part of the process but is something that you should not rush. The more experience that you gain teaching classes online the more you will learn about yourself as an instructor and how you can improve the lives and English level of your students.
When it comes to teaching or instructing of any kind, it is always best to keep in mind that the process of learning is also always continuous for yourself as well. You will always learn new things daily and sometimes perhaps at a faster rate than your students. Be aware of those lessons you learn and use them to your advantage to help you build better lessons and become a better instructor.
Patience is key
We should also note that when on the search for where you fit in the world of ESL, it is best to practice patience. Things will unfold little by little and everything might not be so clear from the start, but if you stick with it, you will see how successful you can become. Once you find a style or a type of teaching that you love, be consistent with it, building it up to what it can be in the future. The narrower you make your niche, the easier it will be to find your students and the more you can work on developing your skills to be the best that you can become as an ESL teacher.
Learning is Continuous
A career as an ESL instructor is rewarding and always comes with the opportunity to learn something new. The more you branch out and teach, the more you will learn about students from different cultures and around the world. As you gain experience and branch out, growing more into the method of your choosing, you will start to notice how those things carry over into your lessons and you automatically grow into a better and eventually a great teacher.
Your methods and your experience all grow at the same time. This is why starting as soon as possible is the best option, giving you time to flourish and grow as you learn more about Teaching English as a second language and about yourself.
6. Creating your Calendar
You may think that this goes without saying but, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A good solid calendar that won’t let you down and that can keep you on track can be a life saver. First of all, you need to set your availability. This may seem like a piece of cake but, be sure to take time zone into consideration. Some online classes are taught to students living on the other side of the world meaning that they are not always available during normal working hours where you’re located. So, we have some tips on how to set your availability plus, how to keep your classes super organized so you’re set and ready to go.
The benefit that comes with online classes is the flexibility that comes with the opportunity to set your own hours and make your own schedule. There are countries in all different time zones so you could seriously teach anytime day or night. No more nine to five, your schedule is open and totally controlled by you(when freelancing). However, with freedom comes great responsibility, requiring that you are strict on yourself. Make sure to create a schedule and hours that you can keep up with so that you don’t miss any classes, most companies have a strict policy and, if you’re building your own brand, your reputation could be on the line.
As a new instructor it is not uncommon to opt for open availability. This is okay, as long as you are taking the hours into consideration. Opting for open availability means that you’re okay with teaching sometimes at the wee hours of the morning or even really late at night. Make sure that you check out time zones to avoid any missed classes that could get you kicked out of the platform. Some sites will make this part easy for you, allowing you to select which hours you want classes and when you don’t.
Apart from your availability, it helps to know how many hours you would like to work. What would you like your schedule to be like? How much time would you like in between lessons to prepare? All of these are important to set your schedule up the way that you want it. Most of the jobs that you will find right off the bat are good for part time teaching hours which are around 10 to 25 a week. You can schedule more and that will put you around full time but, be sure to keep in mind your adjustment period as a newbie. This won’t take long, but just keep it in mind before signing up with an online academy.
7. Plan Killer Lessons
Before now we were looking into the more technical side of teaching and now, we will start getting into the fun parts, your lessons. Some teachers just have a natural sense of creativity creating lessons that all of their students love and begin to talk about to other students. Others sometimes struggle with the topic, finding it difficult to have enough content to teach their students for the duration of the class. We have some tips to help you create your first lesson plans so that you will be one of the most talked about teachers to gain more students.
We will start first with a question that gets tossed around pretty often, “why can’t I just wing it?” Well, while you may be a native English speaker, you surely do not yet have all the skills or experience necessary to teach a student and help them speak better English from the very beginning. Although we will say that some platforms come with the lessons already planned, making your job even easier.
For your personal classes, you can have a set of lesson plans that will work well with every student and for different ages you can tweak the content depending on their levels. But most importantly, especially if you’re teaching private students, it is best to get to know your students a little better before creating the lessons. You can create small activities but, be sure to get to know what they like and require so that you can make the lessons more interesting and tailored to their needs.
Creating a Lesson
From instructor to instructor, we would like to give you some solid advice here. For your first lessons, use a template until you find the style of lesson plans that you like. These can be different in format but, the most important is the content and outlook. Make sure that the type of planning and lesson that you create is used to optimize the lessons that you will be teaching. Who is the course for, a class or an individual? Also, what are the learning objectives of the individual or class? This can help guide you for at least the skeletal structure of your plan. The creativity and the meaty part of the lessons come when you add bits and pieces of your own creativity to make them stand out.
This is not something that comes overnight and may not be part of your preferred teaching style. Always pay attention to your students and see what they respond to. Think outside of the box and take some of their hobbies and likes into account. There are a ton of topics to speak about daily with new news hitting the front pages and trending topics popping up by the dozens.
Find a way to get your students speaking, giving them just enough vocabulary and even more confidence to get talking. One of our secret tips apart from finding templates is to take a look at how the experts do it. There are a ton of expert instructors on YouTube that offer free or demo lessons all the time. Watch how the pros do it and learn from them.
It will take a while to get adjusted to make lesson plans, but just like getting organized with your schedule, organizing your classes comes with a wide range of benefits. You will be excited to teach, be more organized, be able to refer to past lessons for quizzes and reviews, and most importantly, you will feel much more confident knowing that you have materials to teach. Take it from us, we’ve been in a class and froze up a bit unsure of what to do next and it is not fun. Having a plan will keep you on the right track and keep you away from coming face to face with this type of problem.
8. Work on your Profile
Another thing that you will possibly want to focus on is your profile. This is especially true if you choose a freelance route, as this is the first thing that your potential students will run into. It is also something that we all do before we meet someone new nowadays with the power of social media, a quick internet search. This is the same case with your profile that you choose to upload onto the teaching platform you will be using.
Your students, or their parents, will possibly be snooping around and checking your profile to see what type of person you are and what types of qualifications you have. This is why it is crucial to make a good first impression, introducing the best sides of you from the Start. Below, we have added a few things that you should consider when making your first profile for your first teaching platform.
For starters, your profile picture. We are not here to judge, only to give some insight based off of our experience. It is best to go with pics that are well lit and more of a head-shot. Make sure that you are smiling and appear friendly and approachable. Also, make sure that you appear professional or good looking casual clothing, wearing the proper attire for your upper body. We know, it sounds a bit picky but, trust us, it’s the truth.
Give it some style
Now, the next parts are going to depend on the type of English that you are teaching and the types of students you want. There are so many people in this world with all types of personalities. Some people get along just fine while others not so much, the best part here is to let your individuality and style shine through.
Apart from adding things like your experience and your education to show that you are qualified, try and add some flair to let a bit of yourself shine through. Don’t go too crazy boasting about all that you can do, save that for class material but, give them enough to keep them guessing and to keep them wanting more.
Add a video
Apart from these things, if the platform gives you a shot to add a sample video, do it. Your classes are more likely to be booked if you give them a preview of yourself and your teaching style. If you don’t already have one recorded, you should get this done ASAP as this is a great addition to profiles across the web. Shoot for a very simple lesson or just some type of introduction and make sure that the video and sound quality are crisp and clear. This is a guaranteed way to reel in more students, helping them to see the gem that you are and why they should be taking classes with you.
Let them see what your students say
In the same field and probably just as powerful as a video, are ratings. This is something that new instructors might not be comfortable with, but it is for your own good and for the good of potentially getting new students. Let new potential students see what your past students have said about you. This will get them more comfortable with you before they ever even meet you.
Also, this could be a good tool to help you learn more about your teaching style and how you could improve. Every criticism, even the tiniest one, is a step in the right direction, helping you to grow and become better every step of the way. If you receive some really good ones (which we’re confident you will!), you should highlight those and make those some of the first that your visitors will see when they look at your profile.
Put some of you into it
Again, we will mention a bit about creativity because it is really important and encouraged in this field. Depending on the type of students you have, make a creative profile that highlights you but also attracts your students. This is going to be different if you’re teaching adults or children, obviously using a bit more color and fun for the latter.
Still, don’t shy away from your likes and what you are comfortable with because at the end of the day, it is going to be you who they are taking classes with, not your profile. Give it a creative edge and add some personal touches, making it one that students will be itching to click on. Some online portals won’t give you too much space to be creative. However making your picture, video and experience all that, will set you apart, even these few things can make you shine, if you set them up in the right way.
9. Start Gaining Experience
Some instructors believe that speaking English is all they need to be ‘experienced’ and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything above should give you enough to add to your resume, but what about when it comes to your first class? It is normal to feel knots in your stomach if it is your first time but we are here to tell you there are a few ways that you can work those out and start teaching without a care.
Just like with other jobs, the higher pay and the better work conditions come with more experience. Sometimes, this experience you may have to gain without pay, but with teaching online it is different. This is because there are a jobs lined up and waiting only requiring that you have your certificate and nothing more.
Before we get into the seemingly endless job opportunities, let’s first take a look at the way you can start gaining experience today. Some of them pay, others don’t but in all cases, you will gain knowledge that you can take with you job after job.
Become an Intern
After your course you’re more than likely to be presented with several opportunities to put your new skills to work. One way that you can start to gain experience is to intern by taking up a practicum or choosing to help out the academy where you received your certification. Most of these internships are without pay, but you will be likely teaching or observing those who have done it a lot longer than you.
During this time, be sure to be observant and pay attention so that you can learn from others on how to be a cool and knowledgeable teacher. During your practicum, you are also more than likely to get some personal teaching hours of your own along with feedback and suggestions that you can take along with you to improve.
Like we said, the market is open and crawling with jobs. You can start right away on a platform and start taking classes in just a few days(Or within 24 hours). Some of these online academies come with a bit of formal training beforehand to show you the ropes before setting you free. Others will allow you to start teaching part time in a matter of days so this is for the brave souls that are ready and willing to jump right in.
This will gain you experience and fast, where you can teach and learn something and how to improve after every class. In most cases, especially the online companies that offer the best pay and benefits, you will be required to do some training first, but usually you will be compensated. This could be a great way to start making money and to increase your level of experience fast.
Become a Tutor
It may actually help you to only have one student at a time. You may be able to find online students in your home town and maybe even in your neighborhood. You can market yourself as a private tutor, helping those in the community around you. This can help you grow as an instructor fast, helping you to see what teaching techniques work and how your students respond. This gives you a much more in-depth and individualistic approach to things, using this to pump up your skills and increase your overall knowledge as an ESL instructor. Start with something simple like fliers and if around your town or, go for classified ads.
In the world of online teaching, sometimes it helps to have someone as a right-hand man in case you run into any problems along the way(like working as an online employee). You will find that there are so many people living the life you thought was only a dream. Keep these people close and learn from them.
Choosing any of the methods above, you’ll gain some experience that you can add to your resume. This will also help you calm your nerves taking away any of those first class jitters.
10. Getting Started
This last part will be short and simple(As it should be)
We know a lot of you starting ESL teacher might be nervous or even a bit frightened at the prospect of teaching English to foreign students online. Maybe you have never even taught anything before in your entire life. We get it and while getting yourself TEFL certified through a Proper TEFL course is a step in the right direction, you may still doubt your ability as an English language teacher.
The Truth is, It’s all going to be okay. Teaching is fun and becoming a good and cool teacher comes with experience, continuous self education and personal growth. Don’t think too much and don’t doubt yourself. Crush any self-defeating doubt by just getting started and get that experience! Even the most experienced teachers among us will feel anxious or doubtful about themselves, so dont worry about, just get started today!
Next up, we will dive into the job market. Everything above was to get you ready, prepped and pumped for the job hunt and now it’s time to leave the nest and head straight into head of into the unknown.
Checking out the job market today
Last on the list is checking out the online job market and what type of jobs are floating around online. We have already hinted at a few opportunities but, we will tell you how to spot the good ones and how you might possibly start working with an online company very quickly(even within 24 hours). First of all, what is a good company and where do you find them?
Well, a good company is one that will pay you well and let you make your schedule. Even better, some provide the teaching materials for you and even connect you to your students taking out all of the leg work that is involved with becoming an ESL instructor. How is the market? Booming! There are opportunities that seem to pop up daily in all types of areas. Some of the hottest online companies today are from China, Japan, and South-Korea, whom all hold the reputation for not only being abundant but also paying extremely well.
What do they look for?
Companies are constantly searching for new talent but, those top paying companies that you want to work for have a bit of a process and a few things that they look for in their new staff. Apart from a certification, most of these companies will require you to have a 4-year degree. It doesn’t have to be in English or ESL but it could be anything under the sun.
Most of the companies in Asia all look for neutral accents. This could mean American or UK, and those that are non-native will have to prove their level with an English proficiency test. The cherry on top of it all are the things that we mentioned above including your resume and experience which you will hopefully have before you apply for your first online teaching job.
How much should I charge? (When freelancing)
The average across the market is currently around $18 for one hour of class. This however is only an average and can go a lot higher and unfortunately also a lot lower depending on several factors. One of them is the amount of experience that you have including the certifications that you hold and of course, the amount of time that you have been teaching.
While you can follow the average and look to what your competitors are doing, it can also be beneficial for you to do some research of your own. What will make you comfortable and happy? What do you feel that you deserve for one hour of class? Put yourself in the student’s shoes and try to think about the cost from their perspective.
If you’re choosing to start off with an academy or online teaching platform, chances are you will have an amount already set up for you. While most will offer bonuses and raises for your time and your additional experience, others won’t so make sure that you keep this in mind so as not to get stuck making an amount that you don’t find fair.
Try to be reasonable
While these online platforms take out the need to hunt and do a lot of the leg work for you, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and make an amount that makes you happy. There are quite a few options out there and though it may take longer than you might like, it may be worth the wait.
No one is easily pleased with just another lesson, you have to show them the value of your classes and how they can continue to improve the more that they take lessons with you using your teaching methods. People are not going to pay a high cost if they don’t know your teaching method.
Also, think about making your students an offer for your lessons. It is always recommended to try and sell in packs and ahead of time so that you’re guaranteed to get your money. You can do this by offering a free class when they buy in bulk or also offering to cut down the total. Take a tip from the top marketing and sales gurus out there and make a good deal that your students won’t be able to pass up.
Finding the right online position
Which companies are guaranteed to treat you right? while there are definitely quite a few decent online teaching companies out there, very few of these companies don’t provide the teacher to exponentially earn more while they grow in experience, We have found one company that does We have added Preply which you can check out right now here below. You don’t need a college degree and they allow teachers to get started immediately while they undergo their TEFL certification courses. you can out your resume and certificate to these companies and start working with a top-rated company from the beginning.
Think of this as a freelancer’s dream. It is a top recommended online platform where you can set your own hours and rates. This is where your profile is going to shine so please review our recommendations above. For this platform, you can teach a variety of ages, levels plus, you can set your classes at the price you want. These classes could be given to individuals or group, so this is a perfect way to gain experience. Right now, other instructors have set their classes to minimum of $10 to $40.
These guys have a solid rep for being super flexible with hours. Not only that, but the site is also constantly improving the way that they do things, making it easier for both instructors and students to use. Also, compared to most other freelance platforms, they already have English teaching materials and lesson plans ready for tutors to use. You can also find the right set of students to teach or the students can find you. Preply is absolutely one of the best Online platforms to tutor on and also with one of the most highest possible income opportunities.
Important: How to get and retain students
Check out the video made below for free by Preply and the methods can also be used for a lot of other online teaching companies!
This company is just a great example to get you rolling but the truth is, there are so many more out online schools out there, okay maybe not as good as Preply, but still decent enough. This is also the reason why we stress on getting some experience first so that you can find your way later on and narrow down the list of your likes and don’t likes. the company mentioned above can definitely come with great pay and can generally get you up and running and teaching classes in a matter of just 24 hours, compared to the online companies that could take you weeks before you can get started..
In any case, once you grow in experience, your opportunities and definitely your income grow as well, your future is going to look more brighter and brighter. Speaking of what’s ahead, What are some of the things that you can expect from the future? Will the golden ESL age last a while longer? Well, lets find out.
Free ESL teaching resources
We have set up a special page with a ton of Free amazing English teaching resources and useful tips that can last you a life time! Okay, well maybe not that long, but still, there is a ton of cool materials on it for your benefit and that of your students.
The Future – different doors of opportunities
As the ability to connect online increases and expands globally, the opportunity to teach English online does too. Unlike before, English is becoming a necessity around the world, creating a boom in the market. It is the language of the economy and business and can broaden the horizons of your students. Individuals as well as businesses are contracting instructors left and right to help with their English level. Not only has the demand increased but so have the salaries that are paid to knowledgeable ESL instructors. Having this said, this is the perfect time to jump in and start sharpening up your skills.
If you are wondering what the future could look like for you as an instructor well, it really just depends on which direction you would like to go. You could remain teaching for the online company of your choice, enjoying salary increases as they come along and possibly other perks of remaining with the company.
If you’re more of the entrepreneur type, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips for starting and growing your own business. If you want to start your own business as an English teacher, the easiest way to start this is to use a third-party site as a freelancer. Doing this you can set your own hours and your own prices but, you will have to search for your own students and this may take some time. So the best way to approach this is a work and building your business Method, similar to work and study, just in this case, instead of studying, you will be working on your business, while you are still earning a salary from a online company.
Working for yourself
To cut out the middle man and start completely on your own, you can build a website from scratch and direct your students straight to you. This is something that you could look forward to if you want to continue to build your career as a professional ESL instructor. Here, you may have to take time to build yourself up and may want to keep your job with the company while building up your student base.
It is well known that the more comfortable your students are with you, the better your classes will go and the more they will recommend you to friends, these recommendations are exactly what you need to build up a base and start building rapport to keep others coming back for more. This is a big step, but you can start today and build a following day after day.
One of the most used methods for building a website is WordPress(like ours). Which, once you figure it out, gives you the option to customize certain parts to your liking. It could help to have a bit of SEO training or knowledge as well to help get your name and website out there. There are courses and information about how to set your website up to get traffic directed to you and start building up your business from scratch.
You don’t have to be an IT genius, not at all actually, but you will need to learn the ropes a bit, learning and growing step by step. If you are thinking further toward this direction, it can be a good idea to start thinking about how much you are going to be charging for your lessons. Once you set a price that is on the same level as the current market average, you can think of a safe and secure method of payment like PayPal or Payoneer.
Ever feel like getting bored of teaching the same lessons over and over again? It could be a good idea to record these lessons and make them into a course which you can market and sell. Online courses these days are going wild, with several types of instructors banking on the ability to market their courses and their way of teaching across the web.
To start, you will need to record videos and organize them in a way that you are sure to give students what they want out of a class. Once you have them organized and packaged, you can use these to create a course which you can later sell. Students that purchase courses are looking for a way to learn quick and remember easily along with an instructor that they know and trust.
If you are able to become a recognized and renowned name in the community of ESL, you could be making much more than you might be able to wrap your head around. This is also much easier than you might think though it will take a lot of effort from you. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, you are able to branch out and reach much more broad audience than you may have ever thought possible. Once you start to gain momentum and get the hang of things, you could start recording your grammar points and sending them to your students and/or posting them to social media platforms to get more followers.
Start your New Life Today
Now that you have all that you need to get started you have nothing else to do but well, start! Do not put it off and wait for the perfect time because there never is a ‘perfect’ time. If you start now, you won’t regret that you did. Of all the positives that come from teaching English online, one of the best is that you can do it from anywhere around the world including from the comfort of your home or a remote location that you have always dreamed of visiting. Traveling and taking your job on the go could be a wonderful addition to your classes, using the opportunity to get exposed to new cultures and new ways of thinking and living.
You now know the process from start to the finish, from where to begin all the way to landing your first job. If you follow our suggestions, you’re sure to rise above and beyond your competitors and also feel much more confident from the very first class that you teach. If you take anything away from our suggestions, we hope that you take away the idea of finding your niche and actually loving the act of teaching. Being able to teach students who are eager to learn English and to better their lives is a very rewarding career, one that can bring you lots of joy and lots of opportunities to travel the world and help people improve their lives and their careers.
Choosing to work for an online company is definitely a great start and will help you learn the ropes a bit faster with guidance and possibly training along the way, plus earning some income as well. If you choose to start from scratch on your own, be patient and trust the process. You have to give students the chance to find you first and start getting your name out there. Either one comes with pros and cons that you can weigh out to decide which to choose. No matter what type of teaching you do or where you choose to do it, know that it is a constant learning process which will always challenge you and always teach you something new.
Not only do you have the chance to be a digital nomad but you could make yourself into a brand(eventually start your own business). We are in the day and age where technology is advancing at a lightning fast pace, erasing the line between face to face communication. Jumping into a growing and trending career now could be a great move for your future, one that you can grow from and finally start living the life that you have been dreaming of and now is absolutely the golden age for ESL teaching. We as humans have a natural instinct to explore and we were not meant to be placed behind a desk 24/7. It’s time to stop day dreaming and start doing, your future career is calling, Start today!