CREATED: 13.06.2024UPDATED: 13.06.2024

What Do I Need to Teach English Online?

What Do I Need to Teach English Online?

Have you ever thought about teaching English as a foreign language? Many people want to learn English, sometimes for career prospects, or simply to expand their skill set. Around 750 million people speak English as a second language, and there are at least 375 million English learners at any given time. So, there’s a real opportunity for skilled English speakers to make a career of teaching what they know.

However, it can be difficult to know how to get started. If you’ve been wondering, “What do I need to teach English online?” we’ve got the answers you need, from qualifications to online course platforms. Read on to find out more.

What Do I Need to Teach English Online: Understanding the Reasons People Want to Learn English

English is considered by many to be one of the harder languages to learn. So, why do so many people want to do it? Below, we’ve listed a couple of the key reasons there are so many millions of students learning English as a foreign language.

Change of Career

Many people learn a foreign language as a way to get ahead in their careers or begin a completely new career. Some of your students may have aspirations to work for an international company. Businesses that have headquarters or other offices in English-speaking countries will always seek confident English speakers. Other career options may require bilingual applicants, such as translators, sign language interpreters, or proofreaders for companies that deal with multiple languages.

Learning a second language can simply be an extra skill to add to a resume to impress prospective employers. Many customer service teams are more likely to employ multilingual staff, as it helps them serve a wider variety of customers efficiently.

Integrate With a Local Community

When somebody moves from one country to another, or even one city to another, there can often be a language barrier. If someone has grown up in a non-English speaking community and now wants to integrate elsewhere, your English course could be the key to helping them achieve that.

Learning English can help students:

  • Gain employment
  • Shop for groceries, clothes, and other essentials with ease
  • Make friends
  • Seek out other educational opportunities
  • Enjoy their new life fully

When planning your course, you might consider supporting these goals by creating modules that help students learn how to deal with these specific aspects of life.

What Do I Need to Teach English Online – The Basics

What Do I Need to Teach English Online – The Basics

Getting started teaching English online is easier when you know the basics. In a nutshell, your courses require structure and you need a way to get paid for offering them. It’s also important to ensure you can always connect with your students and vice versa. Take a look at this basic guide to discover what you need to teach English online.

A Reliable Internet Connection

It goes without saying that in order to teach online, you need a decent internet connection. If your connection is constantly dropping in and out, your students will become frustrated. They may leave the course, but worse than that, they may leave bad feedback online. That could stop other students from signing up.

Test your connection by running Zoom/Teams calls or another VoIP service. Get a friend or family member to go online with you for the duration of a lesson to see if the connection is stable. You may also consider recording course materials as videos and uploading them to a trusted platform. This removes the reliance on a continual, stable internet connection, although it’s still good practice to check in with students online from time to time.

A Good Grasp of English

Even if you’re a native English speaker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the knowledge to teach your language. After all, if a student wants you to explain what the subject of a sentence is, or the perfect future tense, you need to be able to explain those concepts simply.

If you’re rusty on grammar, consider taking a short refresher course yourself. Decide what level you’re going to teach – beginner, or advanced? More in-depth courses could net you higher course fees, but they will be more challenging to produce content for. Your teaching will be held to a higher standard, and you’ll have to deliver in order to retain students.

If you already have a qualification in English, make sure you include this in your marketing or social media materials. It could help attract potential new students and set you apart from your competitors.

A Trusted Qualification

On that note, you don’t need any sort of special qualification to create a business as an online tutor of English. However, a qualification can help you better promote your services by showing that you’ve been certified by a trusted entity, such as TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language). Internationally accredited certificates help you promote yourself as a legitimate educator and could help you get students faster.

Plus, if you’ve never taught English before, training for these qualifications helps you learn how to structure your learning and give the most to your students. You learn how to provide them with a potentially higher level of education. English teaching courses also help you figure out how to assess students and how to award them with their own certification. Without an accredited teaching certificate yourself, you won’t be able to award any sort of official qualification to your students. You can create your own certificates, but students may be looking for official accreditation to add to their resume.

If you’re hoping to teach English online as an employee of another company, be aware that some employers do expect degree-level education. Of course, if you’re setting up your own online video course, that’s not necessary.

Confidence and Patience

Confidence and Patience

As an English teacher, you need to be very patient and understand that some of your students may be learning this language from scratch. Additionally, if they’ve had tutoring in the past, they may be trying to unlearn poor English language habits, which could mean they require additional support. Accept that not all your students will be at the same level. If you offer one-to-one catchups as well as video learning, be prepared to work with people with different levels of English language proficiency. It could even benefit you to learn a few words in the language of your students, simply to put them at ease.

As well as patience and compassion, you also need to have an air of confidence. When your students truly believe that you understand the topic, they’re more likely to knuckle down and study hard. If you “um” and “ah” your way through videos, you make the language harder to understand. Plus, students will lose faith in your methods. Practice speaking, do a few test runs, and use editing software to make your videos as seamless as possible.

The Ability to Take Feedback

When you set your course up, make sure you offer a way for your students to provide feedback. No matter how experienced you are, you can always improve. You may find that students prefer some videos over others, and that can help you tweak your overall course content to be more appealing. And, if some videos turn out to be ineffective, you can dump those and replace them with something better.

Be receptive to feedback and try not to see it as students “complaining.” After all, they’re paying for a service and it’s okay for them to have certain standards. Plus, what you see as complaining may actually be simply their inexperience with English – which you’ll be helping them with.

An Accessible Platform

What Do I Need to Teach English Online: An Accessible Platform

Our final answer to the question, “What do I need to teach English online?” is that you must have a platform where students can connect with you. Ideally, this needs to be a stable, secure platform where students can log in and view their progress. It should also offer high-quality video content that empowers students to learn at their own pace.

Platforms like BlurBay allow tutors to create entire courses of educational videos. Students can pay a set fee for the course, which then gives them access to the videos in the specific order you determine. There’s no need for English tutors to spend time and money building their own website, as the platform does everything for them.

The best video course hosting platforms don’t charge any subscription fees – just a small commission on every course sold. That means it’s in the platform’s interest to make your course as visible and accessible as possible. The more money you make, the more money the platform makes. It’s a win/win/win, for platform providers, teachers, and students.

What Do I Need to Teach English Online: A Trusted Video Course Platform

So, what do you need to teach English online? A great internet connection, an excellent grasp of a specific language, and a video course platform you and your students can rely on. Students need to be able to log in and instantly access the content they need. You need a way to quickly upload course updates and accept payment from students for your services. When you find a platform like this, you can get straight to work building your career as an online English tutor.

Unlock the true value
of your content

BlurBay is perfect for visual artists.
Start selling photos for money and let the world meet your talent.