What is online English teaching?

 In Blog

Maybe you’ve heard people saying that online English teaching is a scam. Or others saying that it is the future. Those people are all wrong. It’s not a scam or the future, it’s an in-demand job and it’s now. But it’s understandable that people think that. You are able to work from home with a TEFL qualification that you can get in a few weeks? Only working a few hours per day? AND then get paid in US$? It does sound a bit too good to be true. But to understand how this is possible, we need to look at the industry funding it.

The e-Learning Industry

The e-Learning industry, that is all learning over the internet not only English, is currently valued at over US$ 100 Billion. That’s Billion, with a B. In 2010 it was US$30 Billion and by 2025 it’s projected to be over US$ 300 Billion. That’s DOUBLE the size of the chocolate industry! So, yes, this is a real thing and it’s only getting more popular and accepted worldwide.

The market leader in online English teaching schools, VIPKid, is valued at US$4 Billion. And that’s just 1 of over 300 online schools currently operating. Like VIPKid, many of these online schools are based in China where great emphasis is put on education and where the growth in this industry will be the greatest. If you want to teach English online, chances are you’ll be teaching for a Chinese company.

A Shortage of Teachers

There is also a massive shortage of native English teachers in Chinese schools so parents, and schools, are turning to virtual lessons to fill the gap. There are companies that live stream English lessons into Chinese classrooms, however, most lessons are delivered in one-on-one sessions that students attend online from home.

A Status Symbol

It is also seen as a status symbol; to be able to tell your friends and neighbours that your child has a private English tutor was once reserved only for the rich. And this point should not be dismissed out of hand. As human beings, social standing is very important to us on an evolutionary level and we’ll do almost anything to be seen as a leader in our social group. Just think about how much a new iPhone costs and how many broke people are going to buy one anyway.

So we’ve got 3 things driving this online learning revolution:
  1. An already massive, fast-growing online learning market mostly fueled by the Chinese companies.
  2. A shortage of native English teachers in schools teaching face to face and,
  3. A social status motivation pushing parents and students to participate.

So, if you are interested in teaching English from home, or from anywhere with an internet connection really, then now is the time to get started. There’s a shortage of teachers, the market it is booming and companies are hiring right now.

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  • Landia

    Great post – thanks! I’m busy doing a TEFL course (online) and it sure is good to know that online English teachers are in demand and that there are legitimate jobs out there.

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