If you are a Jamaican or Caribbean National still living on the paradise in the Caribbean Sea this article is specially for you. Did you know there are many ways you make extra money to supplement your salary? Do you know how to teach English online from Home?
In recent times, no let me get that straight, from as far back as I can remember civil servants, especially teachers, have always been treated as the ugly cousin of working class. They are treated unfairly and it is like pull teeth whenever they are to get a salary increase.
Well I have discovered a job, even signed up and was successful but did not take up the offer, that people all over the world have been making thousand of US$ from daily. We Caribbean Nationals are technicians of excellence so I know this will not be much of a challenge.
So let me get right into it: Did you know you can teach English Online from the comfort of your home to Foreigners? YES! it can be done and people are doing it every day.
What is Teaching Online and Is there a Market for It?
In short, teaching English online is teaching English as a foreign language to a non-native English speaker over the Internet through the use of a computer and a webcam. The ongoing importance of English as an international language has driven the trend of teaching English online upwards.
Students can learn one-on-one or in a small group and the cost is usually cheaper compared to an in-person, face-to-face class. Both students and teachers are able to set their own times and schedules and the teacher can teach from whatever location is convenient to them.
There are thousands of people teaching English to international students from the comfort of their home thanks to new technology, this mode of learning has really caught on, especially in Asia.
If you’re a sucker for learning about new cultures and you love to teach, if you presently work as a teacher and are looking for a way to make a little extra money then teaching English via the internet is a great option. Who knows, you might end up making a career out of teaching abroad online.
Given the upsurge in the demand for teachers, it is more and more feasible for teachers to take advantage of these unique tech-meets-education opportunities. Read on for more information about teaching English internationally online and how you can get started in this emerging industry.
The Industry is Growing, It’s Your Chance to Get in Now
This form of teaching is booming. Online learning is just so convenient; both teacher and student can set their times and have classes when and where it suits them and no time is wasted traveling to classes. Students can learn 1-on-1 or in a small group at a fraction of the cost of a comparative face-to-face class and teachers save time on preparation, since the spoken classes are normally discussion-based.
It’s easy to see the appeal for both teacher and student and, as a result, there are already major employers in this industry. Each is rapidly expanding to offer convenient and cost-effective classes. Learning English online is well established in France and growing rapidly in much of China, Japan and Korea.
The Benefits of Teaching English Online
Teaching English online may seem kind of weird at first, but once you find out a little bit about it, it sells itself. Because there are so many routes to teaching English online, the job can really look whatever you want it to look like. Once you try it, you won’t want to miss the undeniable benefits.
Jobs are Abundant
There’s a high demand for native English speakers to teach online, so it’s really easy to get a job teaching.
If you don’t have any teaching experience or training, no problem. Most companies will train you, and some will even pay you for training hours!
Although the demand for non-native speakers is lower, you’ll still find plenty of opportunities to teach provided that your English is good.
Flexibility: The Job Works for You
Teaching English online is a fantastic option for anyone who wants flexibility and a mobile workplace. You can teach anywhere with a stable internet connection, and you can set your own hours.
Also, you can work as little as much as you want, meaning that you can make the job work for you. Whether you’re looking for a new full-time job or a side hustle, online English teaching can work for you.
The Job is Meaningful
Perhaps the most surprising benefit of teaching English online is the relationships you’ll make.
Because you work one-on-one with students, you get to form relationships with children across the globe, and you get the satisfaction that comes from watching children grow and learn as a result of your instruction.
You’ll also learn teaching skills that will serve you well on paper and theoretically if you ever decide to live abroad and teach ESL in person.
What Are the Requirements for Teaching English Online?
What Qualifications and Requirements Do Employers Ask for?
Because new online teaching companies are popping up every day, there are literally innumerable opportunities to teach English from home.
Requirements for teaching vary by employer, but by and large, companies require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and either be a native English teacher or speak with native fluency.
Most companies don’t require a TEFL/TESOL certificate, but they encourage it, and you may be paid more highly if you have a TEFL certificate, a teaching certificate in your home country, and/or teaching experience.
Can you Teach English Online Without a Degree?
While most companies require all teachers to have bachelor’s degrees, some companies are more flexible with their requirements.
Say ABC, for example, allows you to sign a 3-month contract before you’ve gotten your degree if you’re in your final year of university, and Magic Ears requires no degree at all.
Most marketplaces, such as italki, also allow you to teach with no degree, and if you teach independently there are no rules imposed on you at all — the world is yours!
What Personal Traits and Qualities Should You Have?
Teaching English online looks very different from teaching in a classroom, or, for that matter, almost any other job. To succeed, you should develop the necessary personal traits.
Be Energetic and Engaging
ESL teachers must create a vibrant and engaging lesson for a person halfway across the world who doesn’t speak fluent English. For that reason, being friendly, energetic, and engaging is essential for the job.
You should be able to keep a child’s or adult’s attention, use body language and expressions to illustrate concepts, and be instantly friendly and relatable so that students don’t feel intimidated or shy.
Be Disciplined and Self-Motivated
Also, because when you teach ESL online you’re effectively your own boss, it’s important to be disciplined and to be able to self-motivate. That way you’ll keep booking classes, waking up, and making money.
The blessing and curse of a job that allows you to make your own schedule is that if you don’t decide to work, no one will force you to.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Last, teaching online constantly throws you into new situations with people with various needs, English levels, personalities, and cultural backgrounds.
It’s exciting and gives you an opportunity to connect with different people all around the world. However, it can also be hard to adjust to all the different kinds of people you’ll meet.
A good online ESL teacher will be able to adapt to new situations and relate to people of all ages, language levels, and dispositions.
What Technical Equipment Will You Need?
Now for the nitty-gritty. If you want to teach English online, you need some basic tools.
Stable Internet Connection
For starters, should have a stable high-speed internet connection. Some companies, such as VIPKID, technically require that you have an Ethernet connection, but a strong, fast Wifi connection should be just fine.
Computer, Tablet or Mobile Phone
Most companies require that you teach from a computer on their platform, but some have apps that allow you to teach from your tablet or phone.
And if you choose to teach independently or through a marketplace, you’ll definitely be able to teach from a phone or tablet using Skype or a similar platform.
Webcam and Microphone
You should also have a good webcam, mic, and headset. The headphones that come with a Mac are perfectly good for teaching online, but some teachers prefer buying their own headsets for increased comfort and reliability.
Quiet, Well-lit Space
A quiet, well-lit environment is a must for online teaching. A home or office is preferable, but any spot will do in a pinch.
If you’re traveling, you may have to be creative to create the appearance of a professional classroom setting. You can set up your classroom in a closet, a quiet corner, or a deserted hallway.
All you really need is quiet and a patch of wall where you can set up your teaching background!
How to Teach English Online from Home from Anywhere
Well, what do you need to become an online teacher? Is it really possible to teach online and get paid?
When starting out, contrary to popular opinion, I recommend starting your online teaching career by working for an established company. If your teaching experience is limited and you’re not an internet wiz, working for a company can act as an excellent type of ‘internship’. The money can be low and the hours unreliable, but you’ll receive on-the-job training and technical and pedagogical support.
When choosing an established company, you’ll need to find one that has students looking for lessons in your working hours (your time zone). There are often advertisements on Facebook pages like Online English teachers, I haven’t worked for any of these companies. However, I am sure that you can request feedback from the teachers in the group that have.
Here are a few steps you need to follow to answer the basic question, “How to teach English online from home?”
Step 1. Be Fluent in the English Language
This is the basic requirement to become an online English teacher, and many learners might prefer native speakers too. If you have an excellent knowledge of reading, writing, speaking and listening you can probably start your career as an online English teacher without necessarily getting a specialized English language degree.
Step 2. Get Certified
This step is not compulsory to get started but is important if you want to build a successful online English teaching career. There are different types of English language certification programs available, among which the most popular are TESL, TEFL, and TESOL. These certifications can be obtained online as well.
Step 3. Get the Right Hardware and an Internet Connection
Pimp your workspace! You need to make sure that you have all the hardware you need to teach online and an internet connection, which includes:
- A computer – A laptop or desktop both work.
- Webcam – If you do not have an in-built webcam, then get a good quality external webcam. Students studying a language pick up a lot from body language, so they definitely need to be able to see you clearly.
- A headset with a microphone – So your students can hear you clearly too.
- Solid internet connection – This might be the trickiest aspect if you’re looking forward to some adventure traveling, but a hotspot (or what some folks like to call: a “wifi egg”) can provide extra security to teach on the go.
Step 4. Install the Right Software
Online classes work best when you can have a video chat with your students. One of the best and most widely used apps for this purpose is Skype. You can install the software and then search for tutorials on how to teach English online via Skype to conduct your lessons online. Or, you could work through an online English teaching company, and they can provide the software, lesson plans, and manage clients and payments, too. Most definitely, one of the most important steps in figuring out how to start teaching English online is to have the right software and hardware.
Step 5. Create a Resume and an Online Profile
Like you would for any job, you should create a resume that highlights your teaching, tutoring, coaching and mentoring experiences (you can find resume tips for teaching abroad here
Step 6. Setup a PayPal Account
It’s only fun to make money if you have a way to actually get the money! PayPal is one of the most used and trusted methods of online payments. Both independent and online language school teachers mostly get paid through it. Consider setting up your account before you can start to look for clients.
Step 7. Browse & Apply for Jobs/Students
This is the most important step. To become an online teacher, you need to find teaching jobs and/or students. The internet is full of job boards and online job markets; however, the trick is to find the most reliable and promising opportunities that will not only help you find students, but guarantee payment.
Step 8. Start Teaching!
You can get started teaching English online in less than a few months!
Then schedule that first class, open your webcam, and get ready to make amazing connections! Even with their students across a screen, online teachers are often pleasantly surprised at how much engagement they have with their learners. Even if taking a break from traveling later on, you can still make connections across the globe by teaching online.
Choosing a Platform to Communicate with Your Students
Skype is a very useful platform for online teaching. You can have free video or audio conversations with your students, as long as they have a Skype account. You can send files, type corrections and new vocabulary in the message box, share a view of your screen and also share a system sound, which makes Skype a powerful tool for teachers wishing to use videos in their lessons.
Zoom allows you to connect with students using an interactive video conference platform. The free version offers unlimited 1 to 1 meetings or group meetings which are limited to a 40-minute duration. The system automatically creates a copyable URL and invitation to join the meeting, which can be forwarded to your student, once you have created a new meeting.
When your student first connects they will be prompted to upload the Zoom plug-in, which only takes a few seconds. The call seems to be of a much higher quality than other video conference platforms, it works well internationally, and appears to offer a solution to students in some countries where Skype is not available.
Zoom’s features like screen sharing, system sound sharing, a whiteboard, screen annotation and meeting recording are ideal for an online classroom.
What are the Challenges of Teaching English Online from Home?
Teaching English online is, in many ways, an incredibly easy job.
You can roll out of bed in the morning, fire up your computer, and teach in your sweatpants. If you work for one of the major online teaching companies, you’ll never have to do lesson planning or much prep work at all. And best of all, your schedule is flexible.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Unconventional Work Hours
Keep in mind that a flexible schedule does not mean teaching any time of the day or night that you fancy it.
As many teaching companies are focused at teaching students in specific countries, they open classes at times that are convenient for their student base.
This means that if you work with students in China and you live in America your prime working hours will be early in the morning (as early as 3 am, depending on what time zone you live in), and late at night.
While this gives you the day for yourself, it does mean you have to keep unconventional hours if you want to get lots of classes booked.
It Takes a Lot of Self-Discipline
Additionally, you must be organized and self-motivated to teach ESL online. Without the structure and hierarchy of a traditional office setting, you’re in charge of maintaining your schedule, showing up on time for class, and doing the preparation you need to.
It’s easy to lose motivation or forget about a class if you don’t discipline yourself well, and if you miss lessons or get unsatisfactory remarks from parents you can get penalized or even fired.
Which Companies Allow Teaching English Online from the Caribbean?
There are a number of online English teaching companies you can work with.
You can also click here for a good list of companies that hire nonnative tutors and tutors from all around the world.
If you’re interested in a specific online English teaching company, just check their teaching requirements to make sure they accept Caribbean Nationals before applying.