Teaching English Online: Teaching That Fits Your Life

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Teaching English online is just like it sounds teaching English as a foreign language to non-native English speakers over the internet.  There are very few jobs out there that allow you the freedom to make your own hours, live anywhere you want and still have the capability to help others.  Well, you could drive for Lyft, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of teaching.  Maybe you’ve taught abroad and would still like to use your TEFL certification from home. Or maybe you’re currently teaching in Thailand and are just looking for some extra cash. No matter your situation, the opportunity to teach English online is available to you!  And with such a fast-growing job market, there’s no better time get started.


  • Convenience.  You can work anywhere! Your house, a coffee shop, a hostel in Portugal—who knows! This job is wherever you are.
  • Make your own hours. Having the ability to choose your own hours mean that you can work this job into your busy schedule. Whether its morning or evenings, you have the power to pick.
  • Extra cash when traveling abroad. Remember how you can work from anywhere? This means that if you’re currently using your TEFL certification abroad, you can double down! You might be tired after a long day in the classroom, but with teaching online, you can cover your extra costs and go on that weekend adventure you’ve been planning.

How you can qualify

Tutors for ELS students can be anyone with a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certification, a passion for teaching English, and access to fast WIFI. We all know the latter can be a bit tricky!  Each teaching online organization has their own specific guidelines, but what they’re mostly looking for is English fluency.  If you checked ‘yes’ for all of these, (and your laptop is video capable) you should be good to go!

Online Opportunities

Demand for these positions is high!  Which is perfect for a young go-getter like yourself.

In typical digital classroom you’ll be placed in one-on-one session or in small groups ranging from 2-6 students.  These ELS students can range from elementary students from older adults, but this will be specified prior. The age and demographic of the students you’re placed with will depend on which organization you decide to teach for.

Your pay, hours and contracts will also vary depending on the organization. Contacts can range anywhere from no contact, to 3 months, or to an entire year. Standard pay rates typically range from $14-25 per hour or per session.

Some of the most well-know organizations are: VIPKid, SayABC, DaDa, and 51Talk.

All of these organizations are very similar, but vary in small ways, so its important to do your research to find out which is best for you based on pay, time commitment, flexibility, and qualifications.

Time to get started!

Like everything on the internet, it can’t all be trusted, so read reviews and teach with an organization than you can rely on.  Be on the lookout for red flags such as upfront payments, and unreputable job listing sites.

Like any new job, be prepared! Interviews are standard, so professionally (even if its over video), and tell them why you deserve the job. Don’t forget to ask questions! Make sure you’re clear on what your schedule and pay will look like.

 As convenient and helpful as it is for you, it’s even more helpful for the students you’ll be working with. So, take pride in knowing you’re impacting the life of another person. Now, with all of this in mind, you should have everything you need to start teaching English online!

If you’re still curious to learn more, check out some of these helpful articles!



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