To teach English mainly to international students does not require much and your native understanding of idioms and natural turns of phrase is that matters really.
English tutoring is fast growing due to globalization which has let to larger need to learn universal languages for both social and business purposes.
If this is not great news for you then I do not know what is.
The work-from-home opportunities are growing each, each year and there has never been a better time to be involved.
The Internet has opened a door for people to earn a full-time or side income from anywhere in the world.
From teaching English online, learning how to start a blog or being a brand ambassador for large companies. All these are simple ways with which ordinary people are making that extra coin from the comfort of their homes.
In more professional terms the teaching of English online to international students is commonly known as ESL meaning “English as a second language” and varies a lot with teaching English in person.
Forget using old textbooks that are outdated and photocopying boring worksheets.
Teaching English online is better since you can access so many resources including videos on YouTube and online ESL language apps and games to spice up the learning experience.
You may not be in a position to meet your students physically, but with apps such as skype you can easily observe their non-verbal cues and gauge the students progress.
Another difference is that your student and yourself may be operating in two different time zones where you may find that your student lives in China and you are based in the US meaning one of you would have to sacrifice and work against their time zone and most times the teacher has to be the one who does that.
It goes without saying that management of time will be very crucial so as to avoid missing classes.
Who exactly can teach English online?
So, like most online jobs, English tutoring is a service offered by companies that will hire you to provide the service and earn a commission from the pay you make. Almost all companies will require the following from you before they accept you:
- You need to be a Native English speaker or near a native English speaker.
- Strong and fast internet connection a microphone, webcam and a quiet space which will help you and the student communicate easily.
- A university degree that you’ve finished or currently enrolled in. (Optional)
- A TEFL Certificate (Optional) depending on the company.
- Be from a first English language country like Canada and United States.
- Be patient be flexible and have the ability to roll with the ups and downs realities of being an English tutor.
TEFL which means “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” certificate may be quite necessary when you come to think of it because teaching English to a native speaker compared to a non-native speaker is not the same.
The course will help you gain the skills you need even without any teaching background.
Just because you help your small sister with their English homework does not mean it will be the same experience. A TEFL course would be a really good investment especially if you are a beginner.
The course gives you tools to create a successful lesson and better help your students to learn.
Subsequently, getting the course may be quite a hustle especially if you are a self-sponsored student.
It may be a little pricy for some, but nothing you cant manage with a little saving up.
In most cases prior experience is not really necessary but it may help if you have worked with younger children or any students for that matter in the past which will give you a proper understanding of how to run a class even though it is online.
Many students have degrees on other courses not necessarily English and may not really know what to do with it. Getting an English tutoring job is your chance to make that degree useful.
As you create your profile make sure to include it on the application.
Being an online teacher opens up a lot of creative opportunities for you as a teacher where you get the ability to choose your teaching path and do what you think is best for your students.
An advantage of doing this online is that there are no geographical restrictions of the sort and this gives you a diverse array of students.
You also have the leverage to charge however and whatever you want though this is if you choose to become an independent contractor and not work under online companies.
Moreover, you can still teach English online with no experience zero degree and no TEFL certificate.
If you are a native English speaker then you have the odds on your side but for the best jobs you are going to need to get some sort of certification at least like the TEFL certificate.
Generally, there are three main ways you can teach English online. These are:
- Find your own paying students as an independent online teacher.
- Find an online teaching job on sites such as VipKid which is only eligible for U.S. and Canadian residents only.
- Posting your profile on freelancing websites.
Companies that let you teach English from home
The following are some of the companies that would give you a chance to teach English from anywhere in the world including the comfort of your home:
The company is an international teacher recruitment company that places certified ESL teachers in a position around the world to get to teach.
The company is based in Canada the US, UK and Australia.
It was started in 2003 and offers a variety of international teaching jobs with English-speaking education organizations, public and private schools.
Every year hundreds of teachers explore the world and experience a new culture through the company’s programs.
This is only for those who intend to move physically to the new countries but for online teaching, it is only offered to Chinese students who also get the service at the comfort of their own house.
The good thing about the company is that they provide lesson plans, teaching materials, content and schedules which are provided before you start.
Time schedules are set and you and your student get to choose when you would like to have the class. Their pay scale is generally between $10-25 per hour.
English from A to Z
The company was started by a passionate language enthusiast who felt the need to have a platform that would give people around the world a chance to learn English from qualified personnel because sometimes getting a qualified teacher who is also a native English speaker is stressing.
The company does not only focus on providing private lessons for the sake but make sure the lessons are interactive, all-encompassing and evolving.
The company requires you to be a certified ESL instructor and have international experience and also a background of teaching foreign languages would be a plus.
The pay is hourly ranging between $18-72 depending on number of students in the class.
To join you need to register with the company on their website then get down to write your profile since that is what your potential students will see and choose you from.
Your profiles are posted on the website wall where you get to be assessed by your clients. The company focuses on teaching people from all over the world.
This is an online education company based in Beijing China and focuses on teaching Chinese students English.
They offer personalized English channels with experienced ESL teachers who are all native English speakers.
Their requirements are that one has TEFL or the TESOL certificate or teacher certificates, be American/Canadian native speakers and teaching experience may be preferred.
The student ages who mostly get to be taught are between ages 3-8 and the class schedule is from 7:10pm-8pm Beijing time since they only teach Chinese. Other requirements before joining the company are:
- Minimal weekly hour commitment to be 2.5 hours.
- Must use Ethernet instead of WIFI during class.
- Bachelor’s Degree
Their pay rate is $15 per half an hour class, the salary range is $30-40 per hour and can go up to $45.
The responsibilities are that you must have a fast and stable internet for the online lessons, have a well-functioning laptop/computer and maintain punctuality at class time.
What about the hiring process you ask? One is required to submit their application form-send a Demo video-IT check and training-conduct a Demo lesson-trial classes then if you pass their preliminary screening, you get hired.
You must think that you need to be in China to get the job but that’s not the case since that’s the point of an online job.
The company focuses on teaching students in China 3am-6pm BST.
It is a global tutor pool consisting of highly professional staff with a couple of years of experience in a range of aptitudes.
It is based in the UK and in the country, there is a status called Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which is a bonus if you have but generally, they would want someone with a TEFL certificate which should be good enough.
They also require you to have an enhanced DBS which is a background check done in the UK. The best thing about the company unlike the rest is that they hire native and non-native speakers. To join you have to:
- Register your details adding as much information as needed. Make sure to add your contacts for them to get back to you.
- Once they receive your request you will receive an e-mail requiring you to finish registering. No registration fee required.
- They will communicate and tell you the date for the interview while discussing your credentials.
The pay rate per hour is minimum $22 and the maximum $32 per hour.
The company is formed by a group of highly qualified professionals with extensive experience in online teaching.
It is based in Spain and they focus on teaching children and adults from across the world.
They prefer native speakers and do not necessarily teach English only and additionally teach exam preparation courses.
Their pay varies depending on the country you are from for some reason but they claim to pay up to $35,000 per year through PayPal.
Since they have not updated their page since the release of Windows 7, they require a minimum of 512 kips upload and 2Mbps download.
This is an online ESL teaching platform that provides a virtual classroom setting for teachers and students in China specifically children between the ages 4-12.
It was founded in 2013 and have been a recipient of a couple of awards such as the US-China Entrepreneurship Leader Award.
The company is not a scam but a legit “side hustle” for teachers to leverage their skills and education to make money online and even in-turn make it a full-time job and earn a decent income for yourself.
The process of joining the company is quite strict and you will require a Bachelor’s degree and do no make exceptions.
After passing that successfully, you have to go through an interview and a demo lesson process.
In the demo you will have to demonstrate how you will elicit complete answers from our students, your time management and your ESL teaching skills.
Unlike other companies, their lesson plans are entirely the teacher’s work which needs to be engaging, fun include educational activities.
Their base rates range from $7.00-9.00 USD per half hour or $14 to $18 per hour including the incentives.
So, the difference between QKids and other companies we have learnt about above is that they accept applications from current university students though it’s not only for them.
Their requirements are that you need to commit to a minimum of 6 hours per week.
All teachers receive a base pay of $16 USD per hour with a $1 attendance bonus for being on time in addition to other performance bonuses.
As you work at home in the US and Canada, you are connected with their students inside a virtual classroom which has drawing tools, animations, games, unique characters and pre-planned lessons.
At least the lessons are planned by the company and not the teacher’s responsibility.
Your class schedule is set weekly and you can check your schedule for your next week in the QKids portal every Sunday Evening.
The process of becoming a QKids teacher is:
- Apply online with your resume, availability, a screenshot of your computer specs and a 1-2-minute intro video of yourself.
- Then the initial screening.
- Have the first Demo interview.
- Second Demo Interview.
- Trial classes and a background check.
- Then a contract offer from the company.
Cambly is also a company where it provides you with a platform to engage in short chat sessions with students from around the world via webcam and experience is not really necessary.
Most people who use it are students more than adults.
The company looks for native English speakers from the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
It tracks the time you spend tutoring and pays $0.17 USD per minute which ma add up to $10.20 USD per hour paying you through PayPal.
Also, the tutor makes his/her own hours so you can work as little or as much as you want. To become a tutor at Cambly, the process of applying for it include:
- Making sure your connection can handle video streaming easily where Cambly will test your video and audio and automatically let you know if they pass the connection test.
- You will have to record an on-spot short introduction video
- Then fit your tutor profile as you would like it to be viewable to students. This is that chance to market yourself to students on the company and then submit your application.
Is an app-based platform where you can teach both one-on-one and larger groups of students.
You will need an iOS or Android cell phone/tablet in order for it to work for you.
Also, it is not only for native English speakers but also encourages other non-natives interested in teaching to apply.
Unlike many other companies, PalFish does not have a specific reference of countries they’d want but seek to provide a platform for everyone worldwide.
The basic requirements include:
- Be fluent in English
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Be creative and energetic.
- Be passionate about teaching students English.
- And due to changes by the Chinese government, getting that TEFL/TESOL certificate will be important after all.
For the pay you set your own pay rate and the company does not influence your decision at all.
For one on one classes, the average pay rate is approximately $10-$18 per hour though there are teachers charging more than $30 USD per or and are quite popular.
Also, something to note is that the pay only through Payoneer so if you do not have one make sure to set it up first since you will need it when applying.
The time commitment is all up to you hence is quite flexible. The application process is quite simple considering it is an app. The process includes:
- Download the PalFish app and follow the application process in the app.
- Choose an avatar which should be a clear picture of yourself.
- Write your self-introduction which must not be less than 100 words. Be as creative as possible.
- Record a self-introduction video which must be longer than 30 seconds in length and should majorly highlight your English pronunciation and proficiency.
- Go to the “My Wallet” icon on the app and fill in your payment information. Once that is done the account verification can take up to two business days.
The online platform looks for native English speakers with American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or any other country of English dialect.
For others who are not natives than those listed above are told to wait till SkimaTalk expands its teacher qualifications.
A teaching certificate is really not necessary and more of their clients are students more than adults.
The requirements to join SkimaTalk is that you must be a native English speaker, 18 years of age or older, prior teaching experience/training though it is not that necessary.
Then lastly what they need is commitment, passion and professionalism in doing the work.
The pay is self-set but SkimaTalk charges a fee of 20% of whatever session price you set.
The remaining 80% of the session cost is passed directly to the teacher who also caters the PayPal fees.
The pay comes once a month.
The working hours are all dependent on you as the teacher and you get to set your own schedule. Becoming a SkimaTalk tutor is made up of these few steps:
- Create an account by signing up on their website.
- Fill out your teacher profile and record your video introduction that should not be less than 30 seconds.
- Complete a few short simple tests and then wait for approval and your account activation.
The company was founded in 2007 and is a pretty new company though is still the market leader in online English learning in Latin America.
The small groups and private classes run 24/7 with on-demand interactive and native English-speaking teachers.
The high advantages of the company are that they rally for professional development have flexible schedules in-cooperating other work you would like to do besides and a convenient shift drop/pick-up system.
The pay is up to $15 USD per hour.
The requirements are quite simple: qualified ESL professionals who are native, if you have no degree, they would still consider a TEFL/TESOL certificate and at least 1 year of ESL teaching experience.
Also, if you can also speak Spanish or Portuguese, that s also an added advantage.
Open English as I said earlier is a great company for those who have busy schedules working or studying.
Teacher must have to provide a minimum of 10 hours of availability every week and may be scheduled a maximum of 26-36 hours a week depending on location.
There are no guaranteed hours and can vary.
The application process for the company will be a process where you will also get to learn about the classroom experience and technical requirements while also providing information about yourself.
After completion your application is reviewed and may sometimes may be held if there is no position open at the time.
If you get lucky enough to be selected you will go through an on-boarding process and you must complete training to become familiar with the platform.
Those are just a handful of online companies that offer a platform to get too teach English to international students.
After looking at all those companies, it is only right to note that some requirements seem to sip through all the companies and are quite important.
It is quite important to consider the TEFL certificate since it is more considered than a Bachelor’s degree when it comes to teaching English as a second language.
The TEFL certificate gives you the tools to create a successful lesson and better help your students learn.
When you apply for the job and you have the certificate, the hirer believes you know what you are doing and what to expect.
The certificate gives you more confidence in the classroom you learn more essential teaching and classroom management strategies, it makes you qualified for better paying jobs and who wouldn’t want that and it is a way of testing out if teaching is really for you.