Are you looking to travel and teach on the road or take up a part time or full time job teaching English online? Then this article will show you everything you need to know to get started.
To teach English online with no experience you just need to be fluent in English and not a qualified teacher. With no qualifications you won’t demand top dollar but you can still earn a nice wage.
If you want to teach English online but you do not have any prior experience you will have to:
- Prepare Your Teaching Equipment
- Laptop Or Computer
- Camera (Video Recording Equipment)
- Microphone (Audio Recording Equipment)
- Find A Suitable Online Teaching Company
- Magic Ears
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- English Teaching Qualifications
- Create Your Own English Course
- Outline Your Course
- Create The Training Content
- Host Your Materials
- Advertise Your English Course
Now that you know how you can teach English online without having any teaching experience it is time to get a better understanding of the exact steps you will have to perform.
Prepare Your Teaching Equipment
Regardless of the teaching method you are planning on using (teaching company or your own course) you have to prepare a set of hardware needed for online teaching. Below I will briefly explain what exactly you need in order to start teaching English online.
Laptop Or Computer
This is the most important piece of equipment you will be using when teaching English online. Your laptop serves the most important activities related to online teaching. There are certain specifications you need to take into account when choosing a laptop or computer. For example, you will have to consider the speed of the processor, the number of RAM gigabytes as well as the storage.
Generally any computer less than 4 years old or around $500 will do for this style of training. For most training online an i3 or i5 Intel processor with 4 gigs of RAM with a solid-state disk (SSD) or 8 gigs so RAM with an older style hard drive is more than enough. This does not take into account any extra educational software you may use on top of the one supplied by the Tutoring company. If you are going to be running other software at the same time you may wish to use an i5 and a minimum 8 gigs of RAM.
It is a great idea to check your computer’s specifications. You can find various tutorials on the Internet that will guide you throughout the entire process of specs checking. These links will help you start your research: Windows / MAC.
To learn more about which is the best computer setup for online teaching, I suggest reading the following article:
Camera (Video Recording Equipment)
If you are using a laptop then it probably has an integrated web camera. However, due to the poor quality of the footage, I strongly advise against using this for online teaching purposes. My suggestion is to spend some extra cash in order to buy a dedicated camera. This way your footage would have a way better quality.
Besides the enhanced footage quality a dedicated camera may include certain functions that we make your videos even more interesting. These functions may include but are not limited to:
- Light Adjustment
- Background Removal
Despite the general opinion you do not have to pay an arm and a leg in order to get a decent quality camera. If you can not decide what dedicated camera to buy I strongly suggest taking a look at the Recommended Tools page to find out what type of camera worked the best for me.
Microphone (Audio Recording Equipment)
Having a high-quality microphone is just as important as having a dedicated webcam. This way your students will be able to properly hear you during live classes. Just like a dedicated web camera, the microphone may have plenty of additional functions that will enhance the overall quality of your sound. These functions may include but are not limited to:
- Noise Cancelling
- Voice Filters
- Adaptive Sensitivity
- Volume Equalizer
If you are not yet decided on what you want to use, I suggest you take a look at my favorite dedicated microphone.
Find A Suitable Online Teaching Company
There are plenty of online teaching companies that allow teachers without any prior teaching experience to practice their teaching skills with real students. Besides the fact that you gain new experience, you will also be able to make some extra income and improve your teaching skills. This way you will be able to become an online ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor. Below I have prepared a list with three of the most popular online teaching companies that you can work for without having a diploma in English or any teaching experience at all.
Cambly is one of the most well-known teaching companies that allow native English speakers to have short conversations with adult ESL students. In order to be able to work for Cambly, you have to be born in an English speaking country such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom. Died behind this platform is to have 20-minutes conversations with your students and improve their English speaking skills.
The salary is as much as 10 USD per hour. You will receive your weekly payment over PayPal every Monday. If you are planning on working for Cambly then find out you have all flexibility of your schedule. Whenever you login on the platform you gain access to a set of students that are currently waiting for an instructor to chat with them. You also have the option to pre-book appointments with your student.
Magic ears is another quite popular online teaching platform that connects ESL teachers with Chinese children. Online educators teach groups of four children who will be between the ages of 4 to 12. Each class lasts for 25 minutes and the company provides you with all the appropriate teaching materials you will use during classes. In order to apply to magic ears online teaching platform, you must be a native speaker of English from either the USA or Canada.
Please note that you have to possess a valid bachelor’s degree. However, no teaching experience is required when applying for a job. If you are in trouble or simply do not feel prepared for actually teaching children you can take advantage of the online training sessions offered by magic ears for its new ESL teachers.
In terms of payment, you will learn anywhere between 18 and 26 USD per hour. All the payments are on the 10th day of every month. You can choose between people or wire bank transfer to gain access to your earnings.
This is another well-known online teaching platform that is designed for individuals looking to teach ESL students located worldwide. As an online English teacher, you expected 2D park in one-on-one chat sessions with your students. All students are generally adults that are trying to improve their English skills.
Each lesson lasts for about 25 minutes although students are encouraged to book back-to-back lessons with you in order to enhance the proficiency of the educational process. In order to become an ESL teacher on this platform, you do not have to possess prior teaching experience. Any native English speaker from Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Australia who are over 18 years old can apply for this job.
Before actually teaching you will have to complete an application test on the SkimaTalk website. The good news about this platform is that you can set your own rates full stop please note that the company pays 20% cost as service fees. The payday for this online English platform takes place once a month.
All payments are made using PayPal. After each lesson, the student you have taught will be asked to rate his experience. This is one of the main reasons why you should do your best when teaching on the SkimaTalk platform. Please note that not only the English teaching skills are rated but also punctuality and flexibility.
English Teaching Qualifications
While you can teach English online without any experience or qualifications if you want to increase your chances of getting a job, get paid more and know more about what you are doing you can get qualified.
Create Your Own English Course
If you do not want to work for an online teaching company then you can create your own English course. This way you will be able to gain full control over your courses as well as your rates.
The main drawback of this teaching method is that you will have to create the course yourself full stop this includes the training content and the actual outline of your course. Below I have preferred a simple but effective guide that will help you to create your first online English course.
Outline Your Course
This is the first and foremost staff you need to perform when creating an online course regardless of the subject. There are several aspects you need to deter me before continuing to the next step. These aspects include but are not limited to:
- Target Audience
- English Niche
- Starting Price
The first thing you need to consider is the target audience of your English course. In order to determine the target audience for your English course, you have to define your student persona. Upasana is a set of characteristics that are suitable for all the students who enroll in your course.
There are several characteristics you should include in your students’ persona:
- Geographic location
- English language competencies
- Prerequisites (educational background)
- Learning style
- Language, Literacy, and Numeracy (LLS) skills
- Working Domain
English is a quite complex subject. This is why you should narrow down the topic you are planning on approaching during your classes. For example, if your English skills only allow you to teach basic to intermediate level English then you should state that in the description of your course.
This way your students will be able to get realistic expectations of the outcomes of your course. Having an unclear description as well as them and clear title will only result in losing students from one place to another.
The starting price is a very important factor that will determine the popularity of your English course. Before actually determining a price for your course I suggest taking a look at other online English teachers to see how much do they charge for one class or for the entire course itself.
After this, you will have to consider a set of factors that will determine your overall starting price. There are plenty of factors that you should take into account when fixing a price for your content. Below I will briefly explain to you the main aspects you need to take into account.
The first and foremost is related to the expenses of your course you will have to include your monthly expenses This includes the subscription fees for the software you are using as well as the price of the hardware you’re using for teaching English online.
After this, you should take into account your personal time. How much does your time value? Last but not least you should also include your target profit. My suggestion is to target a profit of about 35% of the total cost of your course.
Create The Training Content
After outlining your course it is time to create your training content. To do so you will have to buy or download software applications that will help you create, edit, and manage the materials you are going to use.
Below I have prepared a set of useful tools that I have been using in my online teaching career. When choosing a suitable tool you have to consider the content format you are targeting.
- Google Docs (free)
- Apache OpenOffice (free)
- EditPad Lite (free)
- Microsoft Word (paid)
- LMS Text Editors (free)
If you want to create digital training manuals you can use one of the following:
- Movie Maker (free)
- OpenShot (free)
- Adobe Premiere (paid)
- Corel Video Studio (paid)
- Shortcut (free)
- iMovie (paid)
You can find out my personal recommendations for all of the above tools for all content types by taking a look at the Recommended Tools page. They are the ones I use myself.
Host Your Materials
After creating the training content for your online English girls it is time to host it online. At this point, you have two options full stop the first one is using a learning management system commonly abbreviated as LMS.
The most popular LMS are:
This type of hosting allows you to gain full control over your training content and chosen method of delivery. The other option is to join a third party teaching platform. There are plenty of such platforms available on the internet. The most important advantage of this type of platform is related to the free marketing there the platform itself provides you with.
This way you will not have have to advertise the course yourself. The moment you upload the training content on this type of website you gain access to a database that includes thousands and thousands of online students that are ready to enroll in your course. However, there is also a drawback to hosting solution.
Some of the available online party teaching platforms have a fixed pricing model. It means that the platform itself fixes a price for your training content. As a consequence, your overall income is reduced and you have less control over the incoming payment. It is up to you to decide which hosting solution suits your requirements.
The most popular training platforms are:
I suggest taking a look at the LMS section of our website in order to get a better understanding of the actual benefits of an LMS over a third party teaching platform.
Advertise Your English Course
If you have chosen to host your online English course on a third-party teaching platform then you can skip this section. However, if you are planning on delivering training to your students through the learning management system then I strongly suggest carefully reading the following lines. There are plenty of possibilities to advertise your online English course.
One of the most popular ways of recruiting online ESL students is by marketing your course on social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great starting points for your marketing campaign. My recommendation is to join ESL related groups on Facebook and scout for potential students.
Another great option but more expensive is paying for ads. For example, Google ads allow you to advertise any website or webpage by paying daily fees. Please note that getting more views does not necessarily equal recruiting students to your online English course. There are plenty of factors that influence the conversion rate of your ads.
If you want to learn more about how to recruit online ESL students for your course that I strongly suggest taking a look at the following article