Start Your Own Online English Teaching Business

by squidooprincess2012

Teach English online, and make the world your classroom. Here’s what you need to know when starting your own online English teaching business.

So you want to jump into the bandwagon and teach kids (and adults) with a diverse cultural background? It’s okay to be excited because teaching English online is one of the most flexible -- and don’t forget, profitable -- jobs you’ll ever have. All you need is to get online, and the rest will follow.

Some online English teachers start off working for an e-company, then they go freelance, and when they have enough capital and knowledge, they set up their own online school / academy. Here’s a thorough introduction on how to start your online English teaching business.

What is Online English Teaching?

To put it simply, online English teaching is providing English classes via video or phone conference calls. If you want to be technical, it’s actually under the umbrella of “distance learning” or “distance education,” or an unconventional type of education that doesn’t involve going to a physical campus or sitting in a brick-and-mortar classroom.

As you might already have guessed, online English teaching existed when the Internet was made available to the public. And since this process or platform is quite young, the ESL community is still wary about it as it doesn’t have a solid pedagogical foundation -- or at least not yet.

That said, many online English teachers are treating this “activity” using a business approach. No matter what ESL experts think or say about online English teaching, it’s here, and it’s here to stay. There’s a wide, unexplored market to be tapped into, so if you want to profit from it, now is the time to set up your business.

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What does an online English teacher do exactly?

You are expected to teach your students English, a language that is foreign to them. Every conference call, your objective is to teach an English concept that helps develop their communication skills. Therefore, you are expected to always be prepared for your online classes.

You’ll be brainstorming lessons that target the weaknesses of the student, creating lesson plans, assigning homework, and checking these homework much like a traditional teacher does.

Do you need a certificate to teach English?

For added credibility, yes. If you want to gain more students, or to easily get into an e-company, a teaching certificate like TESOL or an education degree will definitely give you an advantage. But if you don’t have these credentials, don’t worry because they are not necessary. As long as your first language is English and can teach it, you’ll be fine.

Can you teach English even if you’re not a native English speaker?

Yes, you can. There are excellent non-native speakers who are loved by their students because they are good. However, make sure that you know English very well, and that includes your grammar and pronunciation skills.

What are the nationalities of your students?

Your students will come from different walks of life, of varying cultures, and of different ages. But if you want an overflowing number of students, I suggest that you target East Asian countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea. These countries know the importance of learning English, so they invest so much in it.

How do you start an online English teaching business?

Before you buy computers and recruit teachers, I strongly suggest that you first learn the ins and outs of your future business by being an online English teacher yourself. And I don’t recommend going freelance either. I suggest that you browse through the Internet and find a company that hires and pays online English teachers well. Stay with the company for at least 6 months and learn as much as you can. Then, work as a freelance teacher, build your reputation, and eventually hire other teachers under your employ.

Here’s a step-by-step, crude guide on how to start an online English teaching business.

1. Have your gadgets ready.

First of all, you must have a laptop or a desktop computer, but having both is preferred. You’ll never know if you’ll run into an emergency and have to go somewhere, so with a laptop, you can take classes anywhere you are.

It’s also important to invest in a pair of good headsets and a webcam. There are different brands of headsets to choose from, but I strongly recommend Plantronics. I’ve been using this brand for years, and I love it. The headsets are well-cushioned, they give you a snug fit, and the audio is clear and crisp. Plus, the mic is super sensitive.

2. Make sure that your Internet connection is speedy.

The Internet is your lifeline. If you’re not online, your business is dead -- it’s that simple. So invest in a stable Internet connection. It doesn’t have to be super fast, but at least fast enough to download and upload files without much difficulty.

3. Prepare a convenient payment method.

If you don’t have a Paypal account, create one now. Choose a Premium account and verify it using a credit or debit card.

4. Devise your programs or courses.

Once all the equipment is ready, it’s time to sit down and plan what kind of English classes or courses to offer. Are you going to offer grammar classes? Conversation courses? TOEIC Speaking classes? Are you going to offer these courses 30 minutes a day everyday, or an hour 3 times a week?

This is the main reason why I suggest that you work for a company first. This is to make sure that you understand the demands of your students.  

Here are some books that can help you get some ideas.

5. Market your services.

Create a website and optimize it so it shows up on Google’s web searches. Create Youtube videos demonstrating your teaching skills. Advertise using Google Adwords. Advertise your services in online classifieds. Join forums.

It may take a while before you finally reap the fruits of your labor, but it’s worth it.

Resources, Tips, and Articles About Online English Teaching | Teach English Online
Read more about online English teaching in this website, learn how to handle adults and difficult young learners, read about phone etiquette when teaching online classes, understand your students weaknesses, and more!

Updated: 04/21/2013, squidooprincess2012
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Would You Try Teaching English Online?

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Veronica on 10/10/2015

Yes what a good idea. I am a qualified teacher anyway.

frankbeswick on 10/09/2015

Of course

Pamela Davies on 10/09/2015


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