Teaching Online English – The Ultimate Guide

You are probably tired of the daily job system. Maybe you have a nice job that is great but doesn’t seem to interest you anymore. Your real interests lie with teaching. You are hoping to start teaching English to foreigners and individuals willing to learn from the comfort of their homes. But you know it’s not going to be an easy process, yes, it might end up working perfectly for you, enough for you to even quit that job you dislike. But you need to learn and gather information first. That’s why you’re here, trying to gain as much knowledge as you can about how to go about teaching English online. Well, welcome! You certainly choose the perfect place to visit. So, sit back and relax, get some popcorns too, because today, we will go in-depth, talking about everything you need to know before teaching English online.

Let’s get started!

What Do You Need to Get Started?

You are probably wondering about a lot of things you’ll need to set up before starting your journey, but the first thing that should come to your mind is about what you need to get started. What type of person can teach English? Do you need a degree or a certain qualification to do it? Let’s find out:

What type of person can teach English?

If you love learning about new cultures but find it difficult moving abroad or traveling if you’ve previously taught English abroad and now back home, you’re looking for a way to relate to your experiences, teaching English online would be a great fit for you. The opportunity is also open to native English speakers with the passion to teach and learn new things. With the right mindset and readiness to impart knowledge to the students, you can easily set up and get started. All you need is a good internet connection, access to apps like Zoom and Skype, and you’re ready to go.

Do you need a certain degree or qualification?

Having a certain degree or qualification is not necessary before you can teach English. But the first thing you should do before starting your journey is to get a TEFL certified. You may be thinking you don’t need any certificate at all since you speak the language and you’re used to it. But Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a different matter. One that you should take seriously. Remember that teaching English to native speakers is completely different from teaching the Language to foreigners and should be treated in that way. To learn the essentials, consider getting a TEFL course to guide you through the process. 

If you want to learn more and receive a concise guide on how to teach English without a degree, check out this article that explains everything in detail.

How to Get Started

You might have conjured up a ridiculous amount of things you’ll need before you can teach English to students online. It might have gotten so overwhelming that you even considered quitting at some point. Well, no need to fear, I’ve got you covered! There are two main ways you can begin teaching English online. You can either teach online with apps such as Skype or Zoom, or you can set up your website.

Teaching online with Skype or Zoom

If you decide to go with an app like Skype or Zoom, all you need to get started is a solid internet connection and a computer that will be powerful enough to take you through each session. Getting a decent computer is enough and you can get started without spending a lot of money. With these amazing apps, you can easily reach your international students without having to go through much hassle.

Setting up your website

The process of setting up your website can become a little bit technical and might require the help of a professional. You can easily set up your website with a platform like WordPress and host your sessions on your site. This will not only give you full control of everything but will provide you with more freedom concerning how you hold your sessions.

You’ll most likely be leading a student or group of students through several conversations and discussions. And you’ll also be expected to make the needed corrections and make sure each student has a fair chance of participation so using a method you find most comfortable will be in your benefit.

Best Apps for Teaching English

A lot of apps are available that make the whole process much easier. With these apps, you can easily sign up and apply when needed, and once you’re accepted, you can gain access to teaching different students online directly from the app without having to worry about how to get your student. If you are just starting out and barely know where to begin, using these apps will shorten your learning curve while also making it possible for you to earn while doing so. To get the most out of these apps though, you have to choose the perfect one that’ll fit your schedule perfectly and that will provide you with everything you’ll need. You also have to look at how much you get paid when teaching with these apps. 

Here is a list of the best apps that can get you started:

  • Cambly
  • Italki
  • PalFish
  • CafeTalk
  • Lingoda

To find out more about these apps and which one will be the best fit for you, here’s an article that will help you get started.

Pros and Cons of Teaching English Online

As with everything else, teaching English online has its pros and cons and in this section, we will go through the pros and the cons of teaching English online.


  • Flexible schedule and working hours.
  • You stand a chance of earning high income teaching English online.
  • You get to experience a taste of different cultures and places.
  • You can work from anywhere you want.


  • Finding international students to teach can be a major challenge
  • For beginners, getting started might be a little difficult.

Those are just a few of the pros and cons available when you decide to embark on the teaching English online journey. Although it may seem terrifying at first, once you get started it becomes much more fun.

How Much Can You Earn?

Although when you get started, the pay rate might be a little bit low, it increases for teaching specialist English, groups, or when you get a high satisfaction rating from students. A beginner that is just getting started might expect to earn around $10-$40 per hour, depending on your ability and qualifications. If you are working for a particular company, you can also get incentives that can boost your pay if you get outstanding results.

Normally, you are allowed to set your hours, which means that you can fit teaching into a part of your schedule. Giving you the time and opportunity to work a part-time job or have another means of income.

If you are on your own, PayPal is the perfect option for receiving payments. It has been around for a long time and most online teachers use it as their tool of choice, making it a legit means of getting your payments. It is also very important that you write your cancellation policy too. Keep it simple enough that your students can understand and if possible, make sure you explain in detail each point in the cancellation policy. That way, they’ll understand the consequences that might arise if they miss a lesson or when a lesson is canceled.

In conclusion, each year, the online learning platforms keep growing and more schools give their students the chance to be a part of learning a language online. Competition is fierce too as a lot of teachers keep joining every day. Letting the competition scare you is not an option. Instead, focus on the fact that the upsides of teaching English online are more than the downside. That way, you’ll be able to give your best to do what you love doing.

As this industry keeps growing, a lot of schools are opening up their doors and giving an opportunity to teachers like you. Teaching online is becoming the norm in a lot of places. Whether you plan to teach online for a long time or you’re looking for a way to make side income while experiencing other cultures, teaching English online is an exciting field to explore.

The greatest thing about teaching English online is that you can do it from anywhere and at any time. Because of the internet, you can get the opportunity to teach students from places you’ve never visited. Remember though that this opportunity might not be here forever. Use this chance now and try to reach as many people as you can, learning about them and their culture and connecting with your students.

It’ll be the best thing you ever did.

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