How Do You Teach English Online?
This is the second blog in a series of five, to read the first blog click here.
So you’re interested in teaching English online either from home or as a vehicle to fund your adventures as you travel the world. But now you have questions like, “How do I teach English online?”, “What does a typical lesson look like from the inside?”, “Who will I be teaching and for how long?”
Well, let’s dive into it.
How do I teach English online?
We’ll begin with the basics. Teaching English online is teaching English to a non-native English speaker over the Internet using a computer and a webcam. So, you’ll need a computer or laptop, an HD webcam and a headset with comfortable earphones and a noise canceling mic.
There are so many online English teaching companies for you to consider when looking for online work. But there is more than one way to work online.
In this option, you interview for a position with an online teaching school, you get hired, you have a contract and they pay you a fixed hourly wage once or twice a month.
- They provide you with the students, materials, and curriculum.
- Very little prep work.
- Hourly wage can vary a lot ($5 – $20)
- Can’t choose your students
- Many require you to have a university degree
In this option, you interview for a position with an online teaching platform that connects students with teachers. You still need to go through a selection process, but that is for quality control, they do not hire you.
- Choose your own hourly wage, students and hours.
- More autonomy. Work as much and whenever you want.
- Much easier than finding your own students.
- Competition between teachers
- You must prepare all your materials yourself
- Income is not guaranteed
- They charge you a commission of around 10-20%
“What does a typical lesson look like from the inside?”
If you work for an established online school, you will be working with their software and curriculum. Everything is already set up for you. You just need to log in before your class starts and prepare the lesson which is usually presented in a series of slides (like PowerPoint) which you work through with the student eliciting responses and helping with pronunciation and vocabulary. See below.
“Who will I be teaching and for how long?”
In most circumstances, you’ll start by teaching young learners (5-8 years old) but most online schools will have classes with older children and adults, while others focus on business English or only exam preparation. Most online schools will also require that you do a minimum amount of hours per week. Usually around 4 – 7.
For children, lessons only last around 25 minutes while the longest adult class might only be 50 minutes. You will have breaks between each class to prepare the next one or go get a cup of tea.
Speaking of which, I’m going to get some tea and remember to join us tomorrow for the next blog in the series.