The covid19 pandemic has not only deprived many people of their loved ones, but it has also deprived many people of a stable income. The economy has taken a huge knock off and it will most likely take a while before everything is restored to its original state. In the meantime, what happens to those who no longer have a reliable source of income?
Perhaps you are a student looking for a source of income in these dire circumstances or you are a graduate who has not yet secured a place on the job market. Whoever you are and whatever your situation might be, teaching English online could be the solution.
I have been teaching English online for the past six months. The experience has been both financially and educationally rewarding. Each student that I teach always has something important to teach me in return.
What is teaching English online?
The title describes itself clearly, but in short, teaching English online is teaching English to a non-native English speaker over the internet through the use of a computer and a webcam.
Benefits of teaching English online
There are several benefits to teaching English online.
-Teaching English online provides you with an opportunity to earn an income in the comfort of your home.
– It is flexible because you set your schedule and decide when you want to work. Students approach you by requesting a lesson at the time that you are available. They make their decision to book a class based on your display picture and your introduction video. The introduction video is where you get to give more information about yourself.
-Teaching English online is a rewarding experience because you get to interact with people from all over the world. I, for one, have had the honor of teaching people in Brazil, Ukraine, Italy, Mexico, and many other countries. My knowledge of other people’s cultures, languages, and countries expands in every lesson. I have taught 465 lessons to approximately 98 students.
– Teaching English online can also boost your CV should you decide to apply for a job elsewhere, it teaches you basic skills such as time management, patience, and excellent communication skills. These are essential in almost all fields of work.
Do you need a degree to teach English online?
Several companies require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree and some years of prior teaching experience. Having a degree may mean a higher salary, but there are loads of other companies that hire teachers without a degree or experience. In this case, all you need is a neutral accent and fluent English.
Some companies might ask for a TEFL certificate (Teach English as a Foreign Language). This certificate can be obtained online through various TEFL academies. This certificate is not a prerequisite but it can boost your chances of working for a great company. If you decide to enroll for a TEFL course make sure that you choose an accredited academy. Examples of reliable and accredited academies are, ‘I to I ‘ and ‘Daddy deals’. I did not enroll for a TEFL course, because the company that I work for did not require that I have one before I start teaching.
What companies don’t require a degree?
Teaching with Cambly can be easy because the company provides materials you can use to teach. Cambly requires that you have a computer with a webcam, a mic, and a high-speed Internet connection. Payments are sent out weekly.
Italki provides you with the option of either becoming a professional teacher or a community tutor. Professional teachers are required to upload teaching certificates or show proof of teaching experience. Community tutors are not required to have any experience or certificate, fluency in English is the key to being chosen as a community tutor. Teacher payments are sent out on the 15th and 31st of every month.
While other companies use platforms such as Skype and Zoom to conduct lessons, Native Camp has its own platform. You are paid on the 15th and at the end of the month. Teachers have the option of either working part-time or full-time.
Aside from a degree, TEFL certificate, and English fluency, there are other important requirements to take note of.
-A strong internet connection
A good connection is a deal-breaker when teaching English online. I recommend using a cable connection if possible. Students want to get value for their money and this means a lesson with no technical problems.
A good pair of headphones makes it easy for your students to hear you clearly, making the lesson smooth.
You will need a good webcam to have your online classes. Most computers come with a built-in webcam but if yours doesn’t, you can buy an external webcam and plug it to your computer.
-A quiet space
It’s important to have lessons in an environment that is quiet and free of distractions. If you can’t have lessons in your home, you can try local libraries or quiet corners of cafes too.
How long does it take before you teach your first lesson?
It took me five days before I got my lesson request on italki. Shortly after, I have been receiving requests from students every day. There has not been a day that I don’t have a lesson unless I don’t make myself available for students to schedule a lesson. The maximum number of lessons that I have taught in one day is eleven.
How do you get paid?
You will be working for a foreign company so you will be getting paid in foreign currency. The companies do not pay the money directly into your local bank account, the money is paid to your Payoneer or Paypal account. These are companies that handle foreign currencies by sending it to your local bank account. I decided to use Payoneer instead of Paypal because the Payoneer conversion fees are reasonably low. Every month, I withdraw my earnings from italki into my Payoneer account and Payoneer then transfers the money to my local bank account. You can create a Payoneer account online on the Payoneer website.
I hope this information is useful and you get to make your mark in the world of online teaching.
Tell us: After reading this are you interested in teaching English online?