A Guide to TEFL Online

26 June 2013

Teaching English online is a relatively new way for students and TEFL teachers to learn and teach English as a foreign language. With innovations in technology it is only going to grow and may soon become a reality and revolutionise the way we teach and learn English as a foreign language. The concept may initially seem strange and many can’t imagine what it would be like to teach English without a classroom of students in front of you, but with its many benefits it is fast becoming a very popular medium of TEFL teaching.

The Benefits of Teaching English Online

Laptop8 1000PxYou may see the appeal in working from the comfort of your own home with flexible hours that can be built around your schedule to suit you. This means you can work if you have kids, you have more independence and will be your own boss.

You will get to meet students from all around the world without paying a dime in travel expenses or commuting costs. It’s not just you who benefits from teaching English online; you will be able to teach students who may not have time to attend English classes or get the chance to speak to native English speakers.

How is it Done?

You may be teaching one to one or leading a small group online. Depending on the job, material for teaching may be provided or you can use online “whiteboards” and it is very likely you will be expected to generate you own lesson material. Many TEFL teachers that have regular face to face classes may also choose to supplement their earning or fill in gaps between classes by teaching English online. Generally it doesn’t pay as well as teaching face to face so can be a great way to earn little extra without relying on it as you full time means of financial income.

What are the Requirements?

Firstly you will obviously need a computer, reliable internet access, Skype, a headset, microphone and web cam and a PayPal account to receive payment from students.

What will you need as a teacher? –  It will be beneficial to have a specialisation in TEFL, such as the 40-hour Teaching English Online Course, as this will make you more qualified for the job and differentiate yourself form others teachers, making you more marketable. A lot of the teaching is conversational in nature so being genuinely interested in your students and having a friendly manner will help and speaking English to a native level is a must.


Dealing with times zones can be an issue and may require you to be available to teach at unsociable hours. Even though you are working at home you will still have to be professional and punctual. Teaching English online provides a good means to combine childcare and work, but you can’t have noisy children in the background or stop a lesson short to attend to a crying baby.

Generally if you can overcome these issues, the advantages far outweigh the pitfalls which makes Teaching English Online a great option for qualified TEFL teachers.

For more information about teaching English abroad get a free brochure.

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