How To Teach English Online With No Experience

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
    • Cambly
    • Magic Ears
    • SkimaTalk
    • iTalki
  • 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 what you need to do to teach online without a qualification lets dig into those steps and get you prepared for your first class. 

Prepare Your Teaching Equipment

Regardless of the teaching method you are planning on using like going through a third party website or creating and marketing your own course. You have to get the 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 i5 or i7 Intel processor with 8 gigs of RAM with a solid-state disk (SSD) or 8 gigs so RAM with an older style SATA 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 16 gigs of RAM minimum.

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 checking the technical specifications of your laptop.

To learn more about which is the best computer setup for online teaching, I suggest reading the following article:

ARTICLE: eLearning Authoring: A Perfect Professionals Computer Setup

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: 

  • Greenscreen
  • 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 a few 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. The idea behind this platform is to have 20-minutes conversations with your students and improve their English speaking skills. 

The salary starts at 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

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. Please note that the company takes 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 and this is critical for new students and repeat business for you. 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.


This is a great way as a native speaker to be about to teach without the enforced requirements of most platforms and some people are just looking for someone to practice their english with. So this is a great place to get your teaching experience up to the hours required for more formal platforms as well.

The money charged by teachers on this platform is from $4 to $80 depeding on qualifications and experience of the teacher and the demand for teachers in that language.

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 tutoring website 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. This includes the training content and the actual outline of your course. Below I have a simple but effective guide that will help you to create your first online English course.

Outline Your Course

Before you can build your course you need to decide on the three following things:

  • Target Audience
  • English Niche
  • Starting Price

Target Audience

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. The set of characteristics that are suitable for all the students who enroll in your course. 

There are several characteristics you should include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographic location
  • English language competencies
  • Prerequisites (educational background)
  • Learning style
  • Language, Literacy, and Numeracy (LLS) skills
  • Working Domain

English Niche

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.

Starting Price

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. 

PRO TIP: Review the rates and qualifications on an existing website like iTalki above to guide you on pricing vs experience and qualifications.

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.

For creating a training manual or workbooks you could use:

If you want to create more complex digital training manuals and allow for customisation and reuse:

For training Graphics you could use:

For training audio you could use:

For creating video and screencasts you could use:

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.

ARTICLE: The Ultimate Guide To Creating eLearning

Host Your Materials

After creating the training content for your online English class it is time to host it online. At this point, you have two options. The first one is using a learning management system commonly abbreviated as LMS. 

The most popular LMS are:

Alternatively to setting up your own LMS and buying a domain name and hosting is to use one fo the online teaching platforms like Youtube, Udemy or Skillshare. 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.

I suggest taking a look at the LMS article category 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. 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, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram are great starting points for your marketing campaign and you can pay for ads on them all as well. My recommendation is to join ESL related groups on Facebook and scout for potential students. Remember to tease students in with example tutoring on these platforms preferably video of you instructing.

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

ARTICLE:  18 Creative Ways To Recruit Online ESL Students [must read]

Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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