This guide provides all that you need to start teaching English online. Learn the basics of online English teaching and why it’s worth teaching at home.
Due to EFL teaching’s high demand and popularity, more people are now encouraged to start teaching English online. The industry attracts not only teachers but also college students and other professionals. After all, teaching English online offers a flexible and stable occupation as well as opportunities for personal and professional growth. Moreover, during the pandemic, home-based online English teaching has become one of the safest and least affected industries in the country.
If you are interested in becoming an online English teacher, this guide will tell you how to start teaching English online. Learn the essentials and discover the advantages of pursuing this kind of teaching.
Here are the basic requirements that you need to start teaching English online.
Since you will be teaching non-English speaking students, work on your English proficiency by practicing how to speak, write, read, and listen in the language.
Teachers and professionals can also learn online English teaching skills in-depth and improve their presentation skills by undergoing a TESOL certification program.
TESOL is an acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and it is the standard qualification for teaching non-native speakers living in non-native English countries and within English-speaking countries.
How to get TESOL certification
Many teaching and language centers offer TESOL certification programs, but teachers and professionals may also take the course online via credible organizations that offer an accredited TESOL course.
If you can’t afford the program, some online English teaching platforms still accept applicants without certifications. In fact, 51Talk offers free TESOL certification programs to help new teachers improve their teaching skills and increase their earning potential.
You can’t teach properly without the right equipment. Prepare these basic technical requirements to start teaching English online.
Computer or Laptop
Check if your computer or laptop has the following basic computer specifications required for teaching online:
- Intel Core (6th Gen or higher. Manufacture from 2015 and above) i3, i5, or i7
— Minimum usable RAM of 4GB
— Clock rate of 1.80Ghz or above
- AMD A Series A8 7500 and above
— Also known as AMD Ryzen
— Minimum usable RAM of 4GB
— Clock rate of 2.00Ghz or above
- MAC OS version 10.11 and above with 4GM RAM
- MAC OS 2012 model and above with 4GM RAM
- Windows 7 OS or up
It’s best to buy the latest computer or laptop model to get the best specifications available or upgrade your current computer to reach these recommended technical requirements.
Your web camera must be a high-definition (HD) webcam with at least 720p resolution. If you’re using an external webcam, use a clipped type model instead of a standing webcam. This way, you can position the camera in the center and make your video calls look visually even and professional.
Headset with Noise-canceling Microphone
A quality headset can make your audio loud and clear, allowing your students to understand. Use a headset with quality audio, a noise-canceling, extendable microphone, and an adjustable headband for a comfortable fit.
Bluetooth headsets are convenient to use, but these are recommended if you’re only teaching a few lessons. Meanwhile, wired headsets may be inconvenient because of the wires, but they offer a more reliable and stable audio quality.
The best Internet setup for teaching English online is a wired DSL Internet connection of at least 5 Mbps. Invest in a high-speed Internet connection to improve the quality of your video calls and avoid lags. Also, avoid wireless Internet connections, such as USB sticks and LTE, since these offer a more unstable connection.
Aside from these basic pieces of equipment, here is some additional technical equipment worth investing in.
Backup power source
In case of power outages, a backup power source will save you from missing lessons. Use a backup power source with an extended input voltage range and built-in surge protection to protect your computer equipment from any damages due to the blackout. It is an important piece of equipment, especially if your area is prone to power outages.
Backup Internet source
In addition, prepare a pocket Wi-Fi or a strong mobile data connection, so you can still conduct lessons during a power outage.
A ring light is a portable stand light or desk light, and it provides an easy way to illuminate your teaching space. Ring lights are perfect for dim teaching spaces. Use a stand or a clip-on ring light, depending on your desk setup.
Before you start teaching English online, here are a few more workspace essentials that teachers need to make teaching from home comfortable and efficient.
Get a desk dedicated to your teaching space, so that you can have everything that you need in one area. Maximize your desk by using drawers, organizers, or hanging shelves to store your teaching aids and keep your desk clean and organized.
Keep yourself comfortable and prevent desk hunch by investing in an ergonomic chair. Look for one that has good back support and an adjustable height. Otherwise, you can buy a lumbar support pillow to keep your back straight and comfortable.
Finally, don’t forget your teaching aids. Use toys, puppets, flash cards, photos, realia, and more to keep your students engaged during lessons. Prepare different kinds of visual aids to use for different lessons.
Not many people realize that online English teaching offers a rewarding experience and much personal and professional growth. Many 51Talk teachers have shared their stories of how their role gives them fulfillment and meaning. Moreover, many teachers have shared how home-based online English teaching has allowed them to provide for their family, spend more time with their children, and achieve their goals in life.
Trainer Chubi’s story is a perfect example. In her five years teaching at 51Talk, she has become a 51Talk teacher, home-based trainer, home-based lesson evaluator, and PHBEE club captain, while being a good mother to her daughter, a dependable provider for her family, and an inspiration to fellow teachers. Moreover, because of her hard work, she is now living independently and comfortably with her family and providing her daughter with a quality education.
Trainer Chubi says, “Being able to touch and inspire teachers from all over the platform, both old and new, gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Even if I’m a home-based teacher, I don't feel limited by the corners of my small workspace.” This amazing woman proves that one can flourish in the industry and achieve big goals as long as you have dedication and hard work.
This kind of achievement is why 51Talk, the leading online English education platform in the Philippines, empowers teachers and professionals to start teaching English online. 51Talk teachers enjoy flexible teaching opportunities, professional advancement, and competitive teacher fees, all to enable one to do more and be more. Are you ready to start teaching at home? Sign up with 51Talk today and achieve your goals tomorrow.
51Talk is looking for thousands of home-based online teachers to give one-on-one English lessons. You can earn up to Php80K as a full-time teacher and enjoy a wide range of perks –