Teaching English Online-Pros and Cons and What to Expect

Teaching English Online by EITESLJOBS.com

Check out www.eitesljobs.com job board for online teaching job opportunities.

All About Teaching English Online

Teaching English Online has never been easier. New companies are constantly popping up offering ESL courses online for all kinds of students in many countries at all English levels.

English lessons on the Internet are booming, and countless educators around the world are making the leap from the classroom to online English classes. As more and more companies invest, the opportunities for teaching online and teaching from anywhere and on your own schedule increases. If you are interested in teaching English online, there are some good companies that offer a wide range of courses.


Requirements for Teaching English Online

Due to the demand for online teachers, and the turnover of teachers at companies, there is no shortage of online English teaching jobs. These  companies are growing in a hot market.

Most companies will require that teachers are native English speakers, but, more and  more area accepting teachers from countries where English is a secondary language. The Philippines are an example. Filipino teachers are teaching online to students all over the world. Especially in China. The Filipino English level can be quite advanced and is of high enough standard for companies to consider. I have encountered online English teachers from Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. If you feel your English is fluent enough to teach at a basic level, then you may have a chance at a job. Prepare a few short videos of you teaching as part of your digital resume. Pretend you are teaching a 10 minute lesson online and show what you got.


Do you need a college degree to teach online? Although many online companies prefer their teachers to have Bachelor’s Degree, there are ways to get around this. A few years of college mixed with a CELTA or TEFL certificate may be enough qualification for you to teach online. If you continue to research online teaching methods and learn the craft, your skill will improve and thus online companies will be satisfied. This all depends on the companies you apply for.


What is great about Teaching English Online

There are some great things about teaching online that appeal to many teachers. Here is a quick list.

1) You can work from anywhere: All you need is a good internet connection, microphone and camera, and you can set up your class. You don’t need to be AT a place, in a classroom to conduct classes. Become a digital teaching nomad!

2) Set your own hours:  In addition to finding your own place to work, many companies allow you to set your own hours. 10 hours a week? 20 hours a week? 5 hours a day? You can choose to work as much or little as you please. The only problem is that if all your students are say in China, you will need to match the times your students can be in class.

3) The English online teaching program is organized: Online English teaching companies have their own curriculum, programs, and lessons organized. It is mapped out clearly what you need to teach. Most lessons are 30 minutes, so they move quickly and if you follow the script you can find yourself in a good rhythm.

4) Teaching English Online Pay is good: The pay for teaching English online is about $20usd per hour. So, this is including your prep time and actual class time. This is about equal to the hourly pay you would receive at many language schools around Asia.

5) You have a chance to meet students from around the world: Teaching English online is a great way to meet people from around the world, learn about new cultures, and possibly develop new friendships. For those looking for an adventure or new experiences, online teaching can be a great gateway.

6) Small Class sizes: You may often have on 1 student to teach. But at times this could grow to 3-4. But usually not more than that. This allows for a more personable teaching experience.


Some Cons about Teaching English Online


1) Technical Issues:  I mentioned above that you need to have reliable equipment and a good, fast internet connection. When this isn’t happening and your time class time is approaching, this can become stressful. You are now the boss of your class, and responsible for making sure it happens. Relying on a coffee house Wi-Fi connection probably won’t cut it. You may be regulated to places where your internet access and speed is best.

2) Cancelling Classes: This is a big no-no from the companies’ point of view. Not only is your teaching prowess considered highly, but may even more is your reliability. As in the go to work office world, if you miss too many days, you may lose your job. This is the case for online classes. Cancelling a class is frowned upon. You will be penalized by the company. Make sure you read the company policies and make more sure you can do the class you agreed to.

3) Time Zones: I mentioned above that you can work from anywhere, but you still must consider the time zones of your students. It may be 1:00pm where you are, but it’s 1:00am in  Beijing, and your 8 year old student is probably in bed. In the end, you will have to make choices and concessions on your classes. Not really as FREE as you think.

4) Online Teaching is a gig job: Gig economy jobs can be great for earning the money you need, but in the end you miss out on health insurance benefits, retirement, social security, etc.

5) Teaching English Online can be lonely: I did 6 months of teaching a few hours a week to mostly Chinese students. Yes, I got to know my students online, but that doesn’t replace building relationships in person, knowing the parents, and developing a reputation where you live. Once you finish teaching a student online, you may never hear from them again.

Where to apply:

Check the EITESLJobs.com Job Board for postings from these online English teaching companies:








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Here is a great article that gives more details on these online companies. Check it out.


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