Posted on February 4, 2020 | By Simren Rait
Thinking of teaching English online but completely confused about where to start? We’re not surprised! With so much information about TEFL out there, it can seem a little overwhelming at first. But fear not! We’re here to help.
With teaching English online being the fastest-growing area of TEFL, it’s an amazing opportunity for any aspiring TEFLers to gain some experience, earn a full-time income and work from absolutely anywhere in the world, even the comfort of your own home – winner! But how do you get started? Well, carry on reading to find out…
#1 Get TEFL qualified
If you want to start teaching English online or even abroad, it’s absolutely essential you’re TEFL qualified – you won’t find a TEFL job without that all-important certificate! There are a number of different courses you can take to get TEFL qualified but it’s important you make sure the course you’re taking is accredited and recognised globally. To give yourself an edge, we’d recommend opting for a course that includes specialist training in online teaching so you’re fully prepared. Need information on where and how you can do this? Get in touch with our sister company, i-to-i.
#2 Decide what type of job you want
There are three main ways that you can find paid teaching English online work:
- Apply to work for an agency such as Cambly and PalFish
- Post your profile on freelancing websites
- Find your own paying students
Number 1 is probably the easiest way to get into teaching English online, but it can have its drawbacks. Although working for an agency is flexible, if you want full control over your schedule, pay, students and what you teach, it’s best to opt for freelance work. If you decide to go down the freelance route, it’s super easy to set up profiles on freelancing websites and once you’ve got a couple of students under your belt, word-of-mouth will help you get more!
#3 Perfect your CV/profile
Ensuring your CV or profile stand out from the crowd is crucial in securing a job and paying students. Add your TEFL qualification along with any other qualifications (specialist courses, degrees, additional training) as well as any relevant experience you might have. Need help perfecting your applications? Check out our Jobseeker Skill Courses.
#4 Get prepared
Teaching online does require some basic equipment and software to enable you to connect with your students and receive payments.
What equipment you’ll need:
- A computer or laptop
- A strong internet connection
- A headset/microphone
- A webcam
What software you’ll need:
- Video conferencing software such as Skype or Zoom
- Document sharing software such as Google Docs
- Payment software such as PayPal
Other helpful software:
- Skitch – offers super easy to use whiteboards that you can use in your lessons
- Calendly – can be used to schedule your classes and keep track of who you’re teaching and when
- Insightly – a basic customer records software (helpful if you have lots of different students)
- YouTube/Vimeo – can be used to host free videos
- WIX/WordPress/GoDaddy – all offer platform to build a website (great for when you’re a more established online TEFL teacher).
Good luck and happy TEFLing!