Posted on November 27, 2018 | By Alex Boase
27th Nov 2018
What would you think if we told you that you can experience the thrill of teaching English to students in more than one continent on the same day? It’s true! It’s called teaching English online – and there’s a fast-growing demand for it across the globe.
Whether you’re a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Thailand yearning to earn some extra cash for your next trip, a stressed out parent in Birmingham attempting to fit work around the kids or an eager newbie English teacher in Melbourne wanting to tip your toe into TEFL before you head overseas, teaching English online could be perfect for you.
But where is all this demand for online English teachers coming from?
The demand for online English teachers
It’s a simple matter of maths combined with convenience in an ever more connected world. An estimated one billion people are already learning English and that number is rising. While many fantastic TEFL teachers are working hard in classrooms across the globe, there are simply not enough of them to go round.
Step forward online English teaching.
Online English teaching means that English teachers can pop up (virtually) in even the most remote destination without ever leaving home. It’s brilliant for students, who can find a teacher at all times of day or night. It’s perfect for finance-savvy schools, who want to include live, native English voices in lessons without paying the cost of a full-time teacher. And it’s wonderful for TEFL teachers who are looking for ways to earn some extra cash at a time and place that fits around the rest of their lives.
Sound enticing? Here are our top six destinations that are looking for online English teachers right now.
Unless you’ve been hiding under your duvet for the past decade, we hardly need tell you that China is rapidly becoming a dominant global market force. And to make this transition stick, Chinese workers need to speak English. Which means China has a HUGE demand for English teachers. In fact, China has the highest number of students learning English at any one time in the whole planet – an estimated 300 million at last count.
When you throw in the fact that this is a country that loves to embrace technology and has students flung across huge geographical areas, it’s hardly surprising that China has a massive demand for online teaching alongside more conventional classroom lessons.
Never one to be behind the curve, Japan is a leader in the online teaching world. With the country’s population increasingly interacting online, English lessons are finding a home there too.
Young Japanese students want to learn English as they eye up international travel, while many businesses stipulate the international English exam, TOEIC, as a desirable – or sometimes even mandatory – requirement of employment. It all adds up to a brilliant market for online English teaching.
Online English teaching in South Korea is growing almost as fast as in China – and covers all ages and levels.
South Korean parents want their children to learn English after school to have better life opportunities. South Korean adults want to pass their TOEIC qualification to improve their job prospects and South Korean businesses need English speakers to negotiate international deals. In other words, South Korea is yet another country with a strong demand for online English teachers!
Vietnam’s surging demand for English teachers, both online and in classrooms, has three main sources.
First, the country’s rapidly growing tourism industry has fuelled demand by hotel workers, restaurant owners and local businesses keen to communicate with their ever-rising numbers of visitors. Secondly, Vietnamese businesses are keen to improve their English language skills in order to become more competitive in international markets. And finally, Vietnam’s younger generation has fallen in love with popular culture from the English-speaking world. A desire to understand American films or British music is a strong imperative to study English hard!
Taiwan’s growing links with the US have led to a strong demand for English lessons from students keen to make the most of the opportunities on offer.
Combine this up with Taiwanese parents’ belief that learning English will open doors for their children to work and study abroad and the fact that taking on extra study in order to ace exams is almost part of Taiwan’s national psyche and it’s easy to see why there’s a big desire to find ways of learning English outside of the main school day.
English speaking countries
One area of online English teaching that’s often overlooked may be right outside of your window – native English speaking countries. At any one time, there’s a whole host of first and second generation immigrants looking to improve their English skills, not to mention students and temporary workers who need to keep their language skills topped up to be successful.
It might not feel as glamorous as teaching students in Asia – but when you’re sitting in front of your computer at home, it hardly matters where the person at the other end is based.
Start teaching English online
If all this has left you raring to go, you’ll find a huge array of companies and platforms that recruit online English teachers. Take a look at our TEFL jobs board and browse through the online vacancies for a sample of what’s on offer.
When you’re looking for online English teaching jobs, bear in mind:
Read our article How to make money teaching English online to find out more!