Teach English Online: How to Get Started and Succeed

Teaching English online has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in light of the current pandemic which has forced many schools and businesses to move online. As an experienced online English teacher, I have seen firsthand the benefits of teaching English virtually. Not only does it offer flexibility in terms of location and schedule, it also enables teachers to reach students from all over the world.

One major advantage of teaching English online is the ability to work from anywhere with a stable internet connection. This means that teachers can work from home, a coffee shop, or even while travelling abroad. Moreover, students can also participate in lessons from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need to travel and making education more accessible. As a result, online English teaching has become an attractive option for both teachers and students alike.

Another advantage of teaching English online is the ability to reach students from all over the world. Online platforms enable teachers to connect with students from different cultures and backgrounds, which can offer a unique and enriching teaching experience. In addition, teaching English online allows for a more individualised learning experience as teachers can tailor lessons to meet the specific needs and goals of each student. Overall, teaching English online has opened up a world of opportunities for teachers and students alike.

Requirements for Teaching English Online

Teaching English online has become an increasingly popular opportunity for people seeking a flexible and location-independent career. However, there are specific requirements that you must meet to start working as an online English teacher. Here are some of the essential requirements:

Education and qualifications

To teach English online, it’s important to have a bachelor’s degree as this is often a requirement for most online language companies. Additionally, English language certifications such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are commonly required by employers. These certifications are not necessarily mandatory to teach English online, but they demonstrate your competence in the subject matter and your teaching abilities.

Native-level fluency

You must be a native English speaker, or possess a native-level fluency of the language to be a successful online English teacher. This means that you should be able to communicate fluently without any difficulties, and have a clear and concise manner of delivery. Teaching English as a native speaker will help students to learn the intricacies of the language, including its grammar, pronunciation and idiomatic expressions.

Technical requirements

As an online English teacher, you will need a reliable computer or laptop with a high-speed internet connection. It’s also essential to have a good quality webcam and headset with a microphone so that you can communicate clearly with your students. You should also have a quiet room to teach in, with a professional background to provide a welcoming and distraction-free learning environment.

Teaching skills and experience

Even if English is your native language, teaching skills are also essential to teach English online successfully. You must be able to plan and deliver engaging and stimulating lessons, tailor-made to the level and needs of each student. Having teaching experience will give you an edge over other applicants and increase your chances of being hired.

In conclusion, to teach English online, you need to have specific qualifications, technical equipment, and teaching skills. By meeting these requirements, you can position yourself as a highly sought-after online English teacher and open new doors of opportunity.

Choosing a Platform/Company to Work With

If you’re considering teaching English online, choosing the right platform or company to work with is a crucial factor in your success. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a platform or company:

  • Reputation – Look for platforms or companies with a good reputation in the industry. Research reviews and feedback from current and former teachers to get an idea of the company’s credibility and support.
  • Pay and benefits – Compensation can vary significantly between platforms and companies. Look for those that offer competitive pay rates and additional benefits such as health insurance or professional development opportunities.
  • Teaching requirements – Some companies may require specific qualifications or certifications such as a TEFL or TESOL certificate. Make sure you meet the necessary requirements before applying.
  • Schedule flexibility – Consider the platform or company’s scheduling options and whether they offer the flexibility you need. Some may require fixed hours, while others allow teachers to set their own schedules.
  • Student base – Consider the type of students the platform or company serves. Some may focus on children, while others cater to adults. Look for one that aligns with your interests and teaching style.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that every platform or company is different, and what works for one teacher may not work for another. Consider your own unique situation and goals when making your decision.

Here’s a comparison of some popular online teaching platforms and companies:

Platform/CompanyPay RangeTeaching RequirementsStudent Base
VIPKid$14-$22/hourBachelor’s degree, prior teaching experience preferredChildren in China
Qkids$16-$20/hourBachelor’s degree, experience working with children preferredChildren in China
Teachaway$10-$30/hourTEFL/TESOL certification, Bachelor’s degree preferredVarious age groups worldwide
PreplyVaries by tutorNo specific requirementsVarious age groups worldwide

Remember to do thorough research and consider all factors before making a decision on which platform or company to work with.

Creating an Effective Online Teaching Profile

When teaching online, your teaching profile serves as your digital storefront. This is where potential students learn about you and decide whether or not to take your class. Therefore, it is important to create an effective online teaching profile that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Here are some tips that can help you create a successful online teaching profile:

1. Use a professional profile photo

Your profile photo is the first thing potential students will see, so make sure it looks professional. Avoid using selfies or photos with distracting backgrounds. Instead, use a well-lit headshot that represents you in a positive manner.

2. Write an attention-grabbing headline

Your headline is the first thing that potential students will read, so make sure it’s eye-catching and reflects your teaching style. Instead of “Experienced English Teacher,” try something like “Dynamic English Teacher with a Passion for Helping Students Excel.”

3. Create an engaging bio

Your bio is your chance to introduce yourself to potential students, so make it interesting and engaging. Be sure to highlight your teaching experience, your qualifications, and your teaching philosophy. Avoid being too formal, and write in a conversational tone that resonates with your potential audience.

4. Highlight your unique selling proposition

What sets you apart from other online English teachers? Figure out what makes you unique and highlight it in your teaching profile. Perhaps it’s your teaching style, your experience with teaching English to a certain group of students, or your academic qualifications.

5. Showcase your teaching materials

Include samples of your teaching materials, such as lesson plans or videos, to show potential students what they can expect from your class. This will help them get a better idea of your teaching style and can help reinforce your unique selling proposition.

By incorporating these tips, you can create an effective online teaching profile that showcases your skills and attracts potential students. Remember to keep your profile up-to-date with new information as it becomes available.

Setting Up Your Online Classroom

As an experienced online English teacher, I’ve found that setting up a comfortable and efficient online teaching space is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience for both me and my students. Here are some tips on how to set up your online classroom for success.

1. Choose a quiet and well-lit room

It’s important to choose a room that is quiet and well-lit, as this will help you focus and provide a professional atmosphere for your students. Avoid areas with background noise or distractions, such as areas near windows or high traffic areas. Also, make sure that your face and workspace are well-lit so that your students can clearly see you and any materials you’re using.

2. Invest in reliable equipment

Having reliable technology and equipment is key to conducting effective online lessons. This includes a high-quality microphone, webcam, and a stable internet connection. You may also want to invest in a headset to eliminate background noise and ensure clear communication.

3. Use a virtual whiteboard and other teaching tools

Using virtual teaching tools such as digital whiteboards, screen sharing, and interactive activities can enhance your lessons and engage your students. There are many online platforms and resources available for teachers to use these tools, such as Google Classroom, Nearpod, and Kahoot.

4. Create a comfortable and personal space

While creating a professional environment is important, it’s also essential to ensure that your space is comfortable and personal to you. Consider adding some personal touches, such as plants or pictures, to make your teaching space feel more welcoming and comfortable.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a comfortable and efficient online teaching space that will help you and your students succeed.
Preparing Engaging Lesson Plans for Virtual Learning

As an online English teacher, one of the key skills I have had to develop is creating engaging lesson plans that keep my students motivated and interested. Teaching online presents several challenges, and it’s important to tailor your approach to the medium.

Here are some tips I’ve found to be effective when preparing lesson plans for virtual learning:

  1. Start with clear objectives – Before creating your lesson plan, be clear on what you want your students to achieve by the end of the lesson. This will help you structure your activities and ensure you achieve your aims.
  2. Keep it interactive – Engage your students with interactive activities that encourage them to participate actively. This could include quizzes, role plays, and discussions. Use technology such as videos and games to create a dynamic and engaging learning experience.
  3. Use a variety of materials – Students have different learning styles, so use a range of materials to cater to their individual needs. You can use videos, articles, songs and other resources to support your lesson plan.
  4. Make it relevant – When creating your lesson plan, consider your students’ interests and experiences. You can relate your lesson to current events or topics that are relevant to their lives to make it more engaging.
  5. Monitor progress and feedback – Keep track of your students’ progress throughout the lesson and provide feedback where necessary. This will help you assess whether your lesson plan is effective or requires tweaking.

As virtual learning becomes increasingly popular, it’s important to develop creative and effective lesson plans that work for both you and your students. By adhering to the above tips, you can create an engaging and productive learning experience that helps your students achieve their language-learning goals.

Maximizing Your Earnings as an Online English Tutor

If you are looking to teach English online, there are several strategies you can use to maximize your earnings. As an experienced online English tutor myself, I have found the following tips useful in increasing my own earning potential:

  1. Choose the right platform: Not all online English teaching platforms are created equal. Choose a platform that is reputable, popular and allows you to set your own rates. This way, you can earn more money for the same amount of teaching time.
  2. Specialize in an area of expertise: Specializing in a particular area of English teaching such as business English, exam preparation or conversational English can raise your rates and make you more in demand.
  3. Create your own materials: Create your own teaching materials that you can reuse with different students. This saves you time and allows you to charge more for your expertise.
  4. Ask for referrals: Ask your satisfied students for referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool which can bring in new students and help you earn more by teaching less.
  5. Be professional: Always be punctual and reliable. This builds trust with your students and can lead to longer-term contracts at higher rates.
  6. Continually improve your skills: Take courses or attend workshops to hone your teaching skills, keep up to date with the latest teaching techniques and broaden your knowledge of the English language.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively increase your earning potential as an online English tutor. Remember to always be proactive and continually improve your skills to stay ahead of the competition.


Teaching English online has become a popular profession in recent years, and for good reason. The benefits of being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world, set your own schedule, and earn a comfortable income are hard to resist. However, it requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to providing quality education to your students.

Through this article, I have shared with you the essential skills and tools you need to succeed as an online English teacher. From having a clear and engaging teaching style to using the right technology, a thoughtful lesson plan, and building a strong rapport with your students, there are many factors that contribute to your success as an online teacher.

As you begin your journey in teaching English online, remember that there will be challenges and setbacks along the way. Be patient with yourself and your students, and always strive to improve your skills and knowledge. With persistence and hard work, you can build a career that offers flexibility, independence, and personal fulfillment.

Now, it’s time for you to take action and start your journey as an online English teacher. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours!