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Exploring the World of Online English Teaching

Every year,  English language educators take on teaching positions worldwide, working with learners of various nationalities and language backgrounds. If you are considering joining the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) industry, you might have many questions: What is ELT and what does it entail? Where can you pursue English teaching? Who are your students? What essential knowledge should you possess about the English language?

World of Online English Teaching

Pursuing a new career path is a life-changing experience and it can be daunting. It’s only natural that you want to gain a deeper understanding of the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). For this reason, it is important to explore the avenues that this industry offers. 

Teaching English abroad

The traditional classroom-based teaching approach offers immense satisfaction both professionally and personally. Once you secure a teaching position in your desired country, you’ll be fully immersed in a new culture, exploring unfamiliar surroundings, and perhaps even learning a new language.

If you feel that face-to-face teaching abroad might be suitable for you, check out The TEFL Org blog content to teach English abroad to find out what requirements and qualifications are needed.

While having a bachelor’s degree makes it easier to find teaching jobs, there are numerous countries worldwide where a TEFL qualification is considered more important. This certification not only assists in your job search but also enhances your classroom skills, providing confidence and a solid foundation for your new career. If you’re interested in teaching English as a second language without a degree, consider starting your job search in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

When it comes to finding a teaching job, you have several options. You can seek assistance from an ESL recruiter who will aid in your job search and navigate the bureaucratic process. Alternatively, you can independently browse a variety of job boards available on the internet. In this case, it’s crucial to research schools before submitting your application or committing to work for them. Another option is applying for government programs offered in certain countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. While the process may take longer, acceptance into the program guarantees you a placement. 

Teaching English Online

While teaching abroad might be the most exciting and adventurous option, teaching online is without a doubt the most practical and accessible. Technology allows you to teach English to students worldwide without leaving the comfort of your own home or while travelling. 

The concept of remote learning is not new. Its origins date back to the mid 19th century, with correspondence courses delivered by post in the US. Online learning, however, started at the end of the 20th century. Unsurprisingly, online teaching has experienced significant growth since the beginning of 2020. So much so, in fact, that the number of students that rely on language-learning apps has sky-rocketed.

Teaching English online offers flexibility and convenience, particularly for those who want to travel. Ensure your accommodations meet your “teaching” requirements, with a fast and reliable internet connection and a quiet, easily accessible area for delivering lessons. It’s the ideal opportunity to embrace the digitally nomadic lifestyle

Finding your first online TEFL job

The simplest approach to online teaching is to rely on professional online language schools. They hire teachers to teach students who have already enrolled through their digital platforms. Many of these platforms provide a curriculum and ready-to-use lesson materials. Familiarize yourself with the materials in advance, and you’re ready to begin.

To secure a position, submit your CV and copies of your qualification certificates. Completing an accredited TEFL course increases your chances of being hired. Consider attending a specialized course to further develop your online teaching skills and learn industry tricks. This flexible approach allows you to work for multiple platforms throughout the week and to maximize your earnings.

It is important to understand that each of these online schools have different requirements and expectations. To narrow down your search, decide in advance who your target audience is going to be: age group, proficiency level, geographical location and so on.

Online language schools: some examples

Lingoda

This fast-growing edu-tech startup in Europe aims to actively shape the future of language learning by offering English, French, German, and Spanish courses. They cater to adult learners, mostly from Europe, organizing them into small classes based on their proficiency level. 

Lingoda provides excellent teacher support and high-quality pre-made lesson materials. They are open to hiring proficient near-native language speakers with a minimum of three years of teaching experience, either online or in-person, or a combination of both. A TEFL certificate is required to work at Lingoda, but a university degree is not necessary. Applicants should be willing to commit to teaching at least 5 hours per week.

Open English

This company prides itself on its state-of-the-art teaching platform and is a popular choice in the Latin American market. They offer one-on-one or group classes for adults and juniors aged 8 to 14. 

Open English provides ready-made lesson materials and opportunities for professional development. They prefer North American teachers with a TEFL certificate or training, and proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese is desirable. Prospective teachers should be prepared to commit to teaching at least 10 hours per week.

S-Lessons

At S-Lessons, you can teach Japanese children and set your own fee, but the school retains 30% of your earnings. Lessons at S-Lessons are short, lasting only 25 minutes, and you have the choice between the “regular” course where teaching materials are provided, or the “leave it to the teacher” course where you are responsible for selecting materials and language points for each lesson. 

S-Lessons offers great flexibility, allowing teachers to determine their own teaching hours without a minimum requirement. While a university degree and TEFL certificate are not mandatory, they give you an advantage over other candidates.

English Hunt

Targeting the Korean market, English Hunt offers competitive rates and allows teachers to set their own fees. Although the peak teaching hours are in the afternoon Korean time (1 am and 3 am EST), English Hunt provides ready-made teaching materials and gives a choice of two types of classes: video lessons or over-the-phone instruction. 

It’s worth noting that English Hunt requires specific technical equipment, such as a desktop or laptop running a Windows Operating System and an ethernet internet connection with upload speeds faster than 3.0 Mbps. Apple/Mac/Tablets/Chromebooks are not compatible with their classroom software. English Hunt requires teachers to be US citizens, although they can live abroad, and have a US bank account. While a TEFL certificate is preferred but not mandatory, a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 4 years of teaching experience is required.

In-person or online – what will it be?

The TEFL industry offers various opportunities for educators across the globe. Whether you choose to teach abroad or online, there are options to suit different preferences and circumstances. Teaching in a traditional classroom setting can be personally and professionally rewarding. On the other hand, teaching online provides flexibility and convenience, allowing you to reach students globally regardless of your location.

David is a technology specialist who has been writing about business, technology, and IT-related topics for the past 6 years. He loves working with brands to develop content that helps them connect with their target audience.