How to Become an Online English Teacher

The world today is ever-changing. What was commonplace yesterday is not necessarily the norm today. Technology has allowed us to evolve in many ways. One way that technology has changed our way of life is how we communicate with each other. There is no better example of that than as seen in education.

Today, more than ever, in-person learning is no longer seen as the only viable teaching method. Through technology and the invention of the internet, many schools, companies, and institutions offer some online programs to help facilitate students and teachers alike. One industry that has been a leader in this department for several years now is English learning.

Teaching English is a Great Idea for Many

English is the most spoken language in the world. It is said that 20% of the global population speaks some English. Learning how to speak English has proven to enhance not only educational opportunities but also professional opportunities. With such statistics, it is no wonder that the business of teaching English is booming.

More and more people are looking into the possibility of teaching English as a second language (ESL). With the number of people wanting to learn the language, the possibility is not far-fetched. Teaching English as a second language has become a bonafide career option for many.

English learners can be found all over the world. Not only are potential students living in English-speaking countries, many people live in their home country but want to learn English for additional opportunities. With English learners scattered across the globe, finding a method to teach students using qualified teachers is necessary.

It is not always possible to find English teachers in a home country where English is not the first language. It is also not always possible for the most qualified teachers to move overseas. Online teaching has made it easier for schools and programs to find teachers that live throughout the world.

If you are considering teaching English online, there are many factors that you may need to keep in mind.

What You Need to Teach English Online

If you are looking into teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), you may wonder what resources or qualifications you need. The first thing you will need to teach online may seem obvious, but we will mention it nonetheless.

To teach any online class, you will need a reliable device. Such devices include a desktop computer, a laptop, or a tablet. Any one of these devices will allow you to conduct your classes online. Of course, along with a device, you will need to have access to a stable internet. One of the beauties of being able to teach online is the fact that you can teach almost anywhere.

The type of device and internet you will require depends on your location or if you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling, a desktop computer may not be the best idea. WiFi through your home may not be ideal if you choose to travel while teaching; your best bets are laptops, tablets, and mobile internet service.

In addition to questions regarding devices and internet service, you may also want to know about teaching credentials. Thankfully, for the most part, teaching English classes does not necessarily mean you need a degree in teaching. Although many schools require their ESL/EFL teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree, what your degree is in is unimportant.

However, what has become a requirement is that most places ask that English teachers be TEFL certified; this means that teachers be certified to teach English as a foreign language. If you are not currently certified, do not fear. The TEFL Org company will help you to get a TEFL Certificate. Obtaining a TEFL certificate is relatively easy to do. Although not difficult to obtain, the certificate will require some of your time. Thankfully you can take the classes and receive your certificate online.

Making Your Online Classes a Success

Whether new to teaching or just new to online education, you want your classes to be a success. There are some similarities between in-person learning and online learning, but there are also things you should keep in mind as an online teacher. Some of the similarities include having a curriculum to follow and information to relay to your students. As with any class, it is always essential to relay the information you want to be taught and make the class engaging.

To have a successful classroom experience, whether, in person or online, you must know the material you are teaching and be prepared. You want to have a solid and noticeable presence in the class while also allowing the students to take the lead at times to assess and evaluate them. Find ways to engage with your students to provide feedback and answer any questions they may have. Be open and flexible.

One thing that will be different when teaching online is knowing the platform you are using. Companies and schools use different platforms. You want to be well-versed and experienced on the platform so that your online class can run smoothly. If the platform being used is new to you, make sure that you become accustomed to it before starting your course and it will help you to have an online classes success when you know about what are the real benefits of “online classes”.

Finally, as with any teaching experience, be prepared for the unexpected. You must always have a backup plan. This preparedness is true for in-person learning and even more so for virtual learning. As advanced as technology is, things do fail to work correctly at times. Be ready to provide work in other ways if need be.

The Bottom Line

Teaching English online is an excellent option for many. There is no lack of students wanting to learn the language, and several schools and platforms are looking for qualified teachers. If you desire to meet and teach others from various cultures and the readiness for adventure, this may be the perfect situation for you.


Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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