ESL, Teach English, teach english online, travel, Uncategorized, work from home

How I Started Teaching English Online With Zero Experience

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With the out pour of inquiries I’ve received recently from readers interested in online English teaching, I thought it high time I gather the most frequently asked questions together in one convenient place.

Note: The information presented in this post comes solely from my own personal experience with my online English teaching journey. Without further ado:

Q: How can I find legitimate online schools to apply to?

A: It will take some digging, but the legitimate companies are out there and growing by the day as the demand for online English classes continues to soar. Facebook, of course, is a nifty tool. With some passionate searching you can find groups dedicated to online English teachers such as this one. It’s a wonderful spot to ask questions, find job posts and meet other online teachers.

I see job postings for online English teachers constantly on I personally have not applied for online teaching jobs through them, but might be worth a browse.

Here is a list of websites that post online English teaching jobs. They were provided to me from a fellow traveler who knew someone teaching English online. That’s how I first heard about it, and this is where my job hunt began. This is also how I found the company I currently work for:

Q: What kind of certification do I need?

A: It differs from company to company. Many require a bachelor’s degree, but I know a couple of people who applied for online teaching positions without a completed degree  and were hired.

I highly recommend completing a TEFL certification. If you are familiar with, they often feature online TEFL course deals. I’m not sure how Groupon works country to country, but I completed my ACCREDITAT online course in a couple of months for $39 from the Florida-US based website.

I had no prior teaching experience of any kind before I decided to embark on this ESL escapade. I am a native English speaker, which is definitely preferred. One company I worked for only hired native English speakers with North American (US & Canada) accents and wouldn’t consider anything other.

I have a journalism degree, some English tutoring experience in college and I have studied abroad. Traveling long term and securing a TEFL cert “just in case” was a no brainer.

Tip: Get the TEFL cert and revamp your resume. Have you done any tutoring or volunteer work teaching English in the past? Have you taken any college classes geared towards education? Have you studied or volunteered abroad before? Are you bilingual? Use these experiences, no matter how small, to your advantage.

Q: How do taxes work with online teaching?

A: Good question ya’ll, still trying to figure that one out myself. Most online companies hire by contract. With my personal experience, the companies I work for do not provide any tax forms; indeed, it’s the teacher’s responsibility to find out what they need and to make the appropriate arrangements.

Tip: When interviewing for online teaching jobs, ask the company about how they handle teacher taxes.

Q: Laptop or desktop?

A: Whatever tickles your fancy, sugar. Just make sure that internet connection is secure.

What is online teaching all about? Read Teaching English Online: The Pros and Cons