Find out how to become an online English teacher in this guest post from The TEFL Academy, a company that provides Level 5 TEFL courses to students across the globe.
If you’re just starting out in your career, have lost your job, would like to change careers, or are looking for a side hustle, teaching English online may be just what you’re looking for. In fact, if you’re reading this you’ve probably heard a thing or two about it, but you’re just not sure how to start.
Well then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s go through the steps you need to follow to become an online English superhero, I mean, teacher. So, how can I become an Online English Teacher?
1. Do a TEFL course
Even if you have a degree in Education, it’s still preferable for you to do a TEFL course. Yes, you can get a job without one but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack these days and for good reason. A TEFL course will teach you all you need to know about teaching English as a Foreign Language. Lesson planning, teaching methodologies, theories of learning, teaching techniques, classroom management and the foundations of English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are all taught to you to help you prepare to teach this crazy language to your students.
Just because you can speak the language doesn’t necessarily mean you can teach it and teaching History is not the same as teaching English as a Foreign Language. This is why you need to do a TEFL course.
2. Get your paperwork in order
Once you’ve done the course, it’s time to make sure all your paperwork is in order before you can start applying to jobs. Getting a job teaching English online is no different to any other job, so your paperwork will be the same. Update your CV, making sure you highlight any experience or skills you have that could be useful when teaching.
Certify your degrees and make sure you have digital copies of your certificates and ID. In terms of digital paperwork, you should also sort out a Paypal, Payoneer or similar payment portal so that your school or students can pay you quickly and easily. This can sometimes take a few days to be approved so do it sooner rather than later.
3. Do your research
At this point you need to think about what kind of teaching you want to do. Do you want to teach Young Learners or would you rather teach adults? Would you like to teach General English or Academic or Business English? How many hours a week would you like to teach? Once you’ve thought about these questions, do some research online and find some companies which suit your needs. Your teaching preferences will dictate which companies you will apply at.
For example, if you’re a North American citizen and you’d like to teach Young Learners, you can apply at VIPKid or Palfish.
If you’d rather teach adults and you’re in the UK, look at English First or Skimatalk. Make sure you know exactly what the companies require of their teachers to make sure you qualify before applying.
4. Apply apply apply
Just as with any other job hunt, now you need to apply for as many different teaching jobs as you can. It might take a while to find the right fit for you, but any demo you need to do can be from the comfort of your own home, which makes the application and interview process really easy!
What’s even better is that with online teaching you can work for more than one company, so you don’t need to worry about having to choose employers if you can’t decide between two.
5. Get teaching
By now you should have all the equipment that you need to teach English online.
Once you’ve been accepted by a teaching company and you’ve organised all the equipment and resources that you need, you’re ready to put a smile on your face, teach and change the world!
Simon O’Toole is part of the marketing team at The TEFL Academy, a company that provides Level 5 TEFL courses to students across the globe. The organisation provides information, skills and training for teaching English, as well as an overview of the TEFL industry as a whole.