How to start teaching online

What do you need to start teaching online now?

If you want to start teaching online this post will show you how to get started now. Find out what you will need in order to teach online, who can teach and how it works. Get all the practical information you need – from doing a TEFL course to the technical requirements.

How to Start Teaching Online (quickly & affordably)

To start teaching online as soon as possible you need to consider certification and technical requirements first. With these two steps, you’ll be able to start teaching English online quickly and affordably without wasting time, money, and effort.

1. TEFL Course (teaching certification)

A great first step is to get your teaching certification. A TEFL, also known as TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), certification is the most common and widely accepted certificate. You can take a TEFL course online at your own pace.

Getting TEFL certified not only gives you the skills and confidence to teach but also helps you meet the requirements of online and face-to-face employers all over the world.

Your students also deserve an English teacher that knows what they are doing. Many students are paying huge amounts of money for English language lessons to invest in their (or their children’s) futures. As teachers, we have an obligation to provide the best possible instruction and this is what you will learn in a well-structured, accredited TEFL course.

2. Technical requirements

Step two is ensuring you have the hardware and software needed to teach online. As well as a suitable internet connection. You will also need to be computer literate as your career depends on it.

2.1. Hardware

You will need a computer with at least 4 GB of RAM and an i5 processor or equivalent. You’ll need an HD webcam (although most laptops now have them integrated) and a noise-canceling headset like the Logitech H390.

2.2. Software

To teach online you’ll need an up-to-date Windows or iOS installation. The hardware (mentioned above) will help you run the software needed. If you provide private English lessons, then you will need Zoom ( or Skype (  which are both free to download.

Zoom is the better choice as there are more features for online teaching. But you may have to upgrade to the paid plan to get all the Zoom features or if you want to deliver classes longer than 40 minutes.

If you also work for an online school, they will provide the software so make sure your computer meets these requirements.

2.3. Fast Internet

To teach online you need a good internet connection. If you are in a developed (first world) country this shouldn’t be a problem. 

You will need a fast, stable internet connection of at least 5 to 10MB/s download and 0.5 to 1 MB/s upload speeds. When you have an interview with an online school over Skype, they will test your speeds using Speed Test (

Fibre internet is usually the best in terms of speed and reliability, but some fast ADSL and wireless connections will also be sufficient.

Note: In some countries, you may also need to have a backup plan in place for dealing with power outages. Many teachers have a generator or UPS to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Now, start teaching English online!

As you see, getting started teaching English online is not that complicated. In fact, it is relatively quick and affordable. And, you can even do your TEFL course online from anywhere.

If you are you still unsure about how to start teaching online, take a look at:

Or view our online teaching courses to find out more:

We can help you find the right TEFL course or more comprehensive online teacher training.

Contact us at eTEFL Online and let us help you start teaching English online!

8 thoughts on “What do you need to start teaching online now?”

  1. Clarence Chirenje

    Is it possible to undertake a combined online and offline COURSE.kindly provide inclusive fees and commencement date for January 2021 an duration

    1. Jody Van der Westhuizen

      Hello Clarence, all our courses are taken 100% online. As they are self-paced, you can begin whenever you are ready and our support team will help you throughout the whole process. If you have any other questions, please email us here

  2. I am a qualified teacher with a masters degree BUT I do not teach English as a subject at all. My main focus of teaching is Computer Applications Tegnology and Maths to Gr 8 and 9. Can I still teach English online.

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