Want to get paid to teach English online? Read on to learn how you can teach English online with no experience (and a TEFL certification).
Raise your hand if you’ve also been served a million scammy ads that promised you a million ways to get paid to travel the world? Oh gosh, I feel you! But what if I told you that there is a legitimate way to work online (yes, you’ll have to actually sit down and work!) while traveling the world?
And the best part? That you can teach English online with no experience, and it won’t take you years to grow a business and actually start making money (like it happened to me with this blog).
If you are a native English speaker, you can become an English teacher. Some schools will also allow you to teach English online as a non native speaker if you speak English fluently, but it will be more complicated.
Especially at this uncertain time where tons of people have lost their jobs, teaching English online can be a very remunerative and fun way to make a full-time income from anywhere in the world. Sounds good? Let me tell you all about it!
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But What Does Teaching English Online Mean?
Online English teaching refers to teach English to people who want to learn this language from zero, or people who want to improve or practice their English. People can teach English as a freelancer, or join a school which will provide the students.
The great thing about teaching online is that you can teach people on the opposite side of the world, which just a few years ago it would have seemd impossible. It’s such a great way to teach a valuable skills to people during this quarantine when people are looking even more for online activities, but it’s of course something you can do at normal times as well.
Depending on the school you’ll work for, you can teach in groups, in pairs, or one on one. Each school has their own platform and uses their own methodology, and teachers can generally choose f they want to teach English online to adults or children, and the topic they want to teach (General English or more advanced topics such as Business English).
Another great thing about teaching English online is that anyone with a mobile device like a phone, or a computer, can get access to such an important language nowadays. Students from any country and city of the world can do this and it is a great way for them to save time and money (like gas to get to the class by car or the bus ticket). But not only the students get all this benefits, let’s talk about the benefits for the teacher as well.
6 Advantages of Teaching English Online
▶ You can work travel the world: For me, this is the biggest advantage of teaching English online. No matter if you prefer to work from a resort in Cancun, from your apartment in Chiang Mai, Thailand, or while roadtripping Tuscany in Italy, you can. I’ve met digital nomads that traveled the world thanks to teaching online in every country I visited.
▶ ..or not! That doesn’t mean that you are obliged to go anywhere. If you just want to be able to work from home in your city, that’s also a great option.
▶ You make your own hours: As an online English tutor, you can work the hours you want, and at the time that works best for your schedule (although some schools require a minimum number of hours). You can easily teach English online full time if you want, or just a few hours a week.
▶ Save money and time: Working from home rather than from a school will let you save money (no gas expenses or bus pass needed!). But most importantly, you will save yourself the hassle of the commuting time, which means you can teach more hours, or you can just enjoy more free time.
▶ A fat paycheck: Online English schools tend to pay pretty well, which means it’s not too difficult to make a full-time salary by teaching online (even more if you decide to live in a country where the cost of living is low). I have a few teachers friends, and they make a few thousands dollars a month, without even working full-time! And if you don’t want to leave your current job, you can just teach English online part time or as a side gig, and make some extra pocket money.
▶ Learn about the world: If you like to meet people from different countries and learn about other people’s cultures, this is a great opportunity to do so…while getting paid.
What Do You Need to Teach English Online?
For teaching English online, you are going to need just a few basic things:
• a laptop (or a smartphone / tablet for app-based platforms);
• a stable internet connection;
• access to the books/platform for your school;
• and some teaching knowledge that you can acquire by doing the TEFL certification course.
Some schools will allow you to teach English online without a degree, while others require all their teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree (usually in any topic).
Let’s Get Started! Get Your TEFL Certification
TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language”. If you look online for jobs, you’ll see that most schools require you to have a certification that proves you are capable to teach English online.
Most schools in fact don’t require any prior teaching experience, but do require a TEFL certification. There are TEFL courses taught both in person and online, but seen the current situation, an online course is definitely recommended.
Getting a TEFL certification to teach English online (from home or wherever you want) is an investment in you and your future, and one that you can easily repay in just a few days of work once you start teaching English online.
What Course Do You Need to Take?
There are many types of TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) courses, but I recommend starting with a 120-hours TEFL course, as that is the minimum that is usually required by international schools.
TEFL.org offers a 120-hour Premier Online TEFL Course that is perfect for the current times. Imagine getting out of this pandemic with anew skill and a new life-changing job opportunity! This teach English course online includes:
➤ A 50-hour online TEFL course, where you are going to learn about classroom management, teaching styles and advanced TEFL methodology. This also gives you access to a personal tutor, the course forums, and it includes units on business English, young learners and teaching English one-to-one.
➤ A 30-hour online Grammar course, that will help improve your basic grammar and give you the grounding you’ll need to teach the language rules to your students.
➤ A 20-hour online video course, where you are going to be able to see a real teacher in action, observe the methodology she/he uses and even steal some ideas for your own classes.
➤ Two 10-hour specialist mini-modules – one 10-hour unit is about teaching over the telephone, and the other 10-hour unit will help you teach large classes.
And in addition to all this benefits, you will get:
➤ Lifetime access to the TEFL Job Center, where you can find online ESL jobs and jobs around the world, as well as career advice.
➤ A personal TEFL tutor through all the course that you can contact for advice and assistance.
➤ And most importantly, your internationally recognized TEFL certificate, in hard copy and PDF, that you can show to your employers.
And if I told you you I have a surprise for you? You can get this course for 50% off!
GET your TEFL certification HERE
USE CODE “STEPH20” FOR 50% OFF
Why You Should Choose a Trusted School
There are plenty of TEFL academies out there, but not all of them are legitimate or high quality. That’s why you want to do your research before choosing a school! Generally speaking, if a course seems too cheap, it probably won’t be a high quality one.
The reason why I trust TEFL.org is that they have the best TEFL accreditation, including the BAC (British Accreditation Council), ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council). They are an SQA approved center and run Ofqual Approved Level 5 courses, so you can be fully confident that your course is of the highest quality and recognized by employers worldwide.
Another thing I like about TEFL.org is that they provide over 100 teaching English online jobs opportunities to their students, which will help you find a job as soon as you get your certificate.
GET your TEFL certification HERE
USE CODE “STEPH20” FOR 50% OFF ON THE 120-HOUR PREMIER ONLINE TEFL COURSE
Ok! Now that you’ve got your TEFL certificate to teach English online (or in person later on), it’s time to find a job.
5 Schools To Teach English Online With No Experience (and a TEFL Certificate)
These are some of the best websites to teach English online to foreign students:
Cambly: Cambly is a platform that connects students from all over the world with English teachers. The classes are one on one, and you can teach students of all ages. The only requirements are to be an English native speaker or fully fluent, to have a laptop and the Cambly application. No prior experience necessary.
PalFish: It’s an app-based platform that offers online English classes to either single students or groups of students. Since the company is based in Beijing, you will have to work around Beijing time, but you can still do it from anywhere in the world.
The lessons are mostly conversation based. The payment is up to $22 an hour, and you can always get extra bonuses for example for punctuality. Apart from holding a TEFL certification, you must be fluent in English (non-native English speakers can also apply). You don’t need to have a bachelor degree, nor prior teaching experience.
Qkids: It’s a gaming-based learning platform where teachers give one on one or small group classes to children. Each lesson lasts 30 minutes and you will be paid $16 – $20 USD an hour. The different with otehr platforms is that to work with Qkids you need to be from the US or Canada, currently live there, and be able to legally work. Other requirements include a Bachelor’s degree. At Qkids you can teach English online without experience, but you will need a TEFL certification.
VIPKid: If you get hired by VIPKid, you will teach English online to Chinese students (children) on a one-to-on format. You can earn $14-18 per hour plus incentives. There is no limit in terms of schedule and how many hours you can teach.
You must have obtained a 4-year degree from a university in any field or major and be legally eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada (although you don’t have to live there). They recommend 2 years of experience in “teaching, tutoring, or mentoring” of any kind.
Gogokid: It’s another company that offers one-on-one, 25-minutes long English classes. You will teach english to kids online, and will be paid $14-$25 per hour. The requirements are a Bachelor’s degree, be a native English speaker from the United States or Canada, and have a valid ESL certification from an accredited organization with a valid certificate (TEFL).
With all this said, I really think that teaching ESL online is a great idea for you if you’re looking to reinvent yourself. It will allow you to travel around the world while working, which how cool is that?!?