Mastering The Art Of Teaching English Online: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering The Art Of Teaching English Online: A Comprehensive Guide
Summary: Learn effective strategies, tools, and techniques to enhance your online English teaching skills and achieve success in the virtual classroom.

Unlock The Secrets To Teach English Online

With the significance of English as an international language, the online teaching trend is on the rise. So, you have a TEFL certification, but aren't sure how to take it forward to build a career in online tutoring? Sure, there are some challenges with working from home. There are occasional feelings of loneliness as you are tutoring virtually and missing the chance to meet people in person. But the downsides are easy to overcome. Teaching English online is beyond worth it.

Want to know the best part? Flexibility. You get to choose your working schedule, and you are your own boss. You have full control over the money you make by teaching online. Sounds great, right? So are you ready to learn how to become an online English teacher? We have compiled a complete guide to help you decide if teaching English online is the right career path for you.

How To Become An Online English Teacher?

Teaching English online is a great career path as you don't need to meet the requirements for a regular desk job, and work from the comfort of your home. So here is what you need:

Own A Niche

When you are brainstorming about how to teach English online, you need to own your niche. Choosing a niche will give you a competitive edge, helping you know what tutors to hire, how to teach your students, and determine your marketing strategy. Here is what you need to ask when selecting your niche:

  • What is your teaching style?
  • What is the age group you enjoy working with?
  • What are you passionate about, and what do you love about online tutoring?
  • Is there a specific gap in the market that you can fill?

These are the top niches for tutoring English online:

  • Business English
  • IELTS exam preparation
  • Pronunciation
  • Specific nationalities
  • Teaching English to young children

Get TEFL Certification

Are you here to learn how to teach English online for money? If yes, I would recommend you to get a TEFL certification. An accredited certification will help you equip yourself with the right skills and qualifications needed. This secures your authority in the industry among your target audience, as qualifications and certifications are what most students and parents look for initially.

So how long does a TEFL certification take? The course might take between 4–11 weeks to complete and will be led by a highly qualified university instructor with extensive TEFL experience and a master's in TESOL.

If you are all set, there are TEFL courses in teaching English online during or after your course. Alongside enhancing your skills, this type of course will also boost your resume and help you differentiate yourself in the market.

Choose Your Preferred Method Of Online English Teaching

You are here to learn how to teach English online for money. If your goal is to become an expert English teacher online, you must determine your preferred teaching method. Here are three different types of teaching you can adopt when teaching English online:

Structured ESL Platforms Online

These are ESL companies that specialize in online education. It is an excellent choice for first-time tutors as teachers to get on a structured platform that includes an online classroom, preplanned lesson plans, and all the support they require. When working on structured online ESL platforms, the tutors have little preparation work other than reviewing the study materials.


  • Provided with all tools and lesson plans to run an online class successfully
  • Great for first-time teachers who aren't familiar with online tutoring
  • Get additional incentive-based hikes through positive reviews and other factors


  • Less effort also implies less control.
  • Offered a base rate of pay

Online ESL marketplace platforms

ESL online tutoring marketplaces allow tutors to market themselves and their skills to attract students. English teachers are required to create their own lesson plans and materials for every class they teach as their learner's ages and levels vary from young kids to adults. Some of the examples of online ESL marketplace platforms are Cambly, Preply, and iTalki.


  • English teachers can set their own tuition fees
  • Teachers work on their schedules as the platform has an appointment scheduling feature that shows the free slots of the teachers


  • Platform deducts a commission as its service fee

Tutor English online privately

If you are looking to become an online English teacher, you have the choice to teach English privately. But you will be required to market yourself privately to attain students, instead of a platform doing it for you. You can also consider building an online tutoring platform or an ESL marketplace like Cambly or Preply, where you can teach English and invite other tutors to do the same. This brings in extra income as the platform fee, besides the money you make by tutoring students. That's a double bonus!


  • The ability to tailor lesson plans according to individual student needs
  • Make more money per class as teachers can set their tutoring rates, and there is no revenue cut


  • It takes significant time, energy, and money to build a base clientele of learners and build the tutoring platform
  • Creating individual lesson plans for each student can take longer, especially when starting out

Ensure You Have Everything You Need To Reap Success

Being an online ESL teacher, especially when you are tutoring privately without relying on third-party platforms, is a challenging feat. Of course, you must invest in the right technology for teaching English online. The basic set includes a laptop, an HD webcam, a microphone, and high-speed internet or Wi-Fi. Here are some of the additional tools to help you ensure success when teaching English online:

  • A video platform that's user-friendly to teach online, like Zoom
  • Virtual whiteboard
  • Props to make your class more fun and engaging, especially if your students are younger
  • Lesson plans and class materials, based on your learner's levels and needs

What Are The Requirements To Teach English Online?

Are there any requirements to teach English online from home? Yes, certain things can prepare you for the virtual classroom and help you stand out. So let's dive into how to become an online English teacher:

  • Can you teach English online without prior experience?
    Are you new to teaching English online? If yes, you are also a perfect candidate to teach English online. Teaching online will give you the right opportunity to get experience.
  • Can you tutor English online if you aren't a native English speaker?
    Yes, you can. You may have come across online ESL companies hiring only native speakers. There is an advantage if you are a native English speaker, but many language schools will hire bilingual tutors as long as you meet some English proficiency needs. And if you are a private English online tutor, you have no barriers.
  • What equipment do you need to tutor English online?
    When teaching English online, most online tutoring companies will have their own platform or software that makes lesson plans for you. For beginners, you must have a reliable and fast internet connection. A general speed requirement would be 10 Mbps to 15 Mbps to conduct uninterrupted online classes. In addition, you need an HD webcam, a good-quality mic, and a headset. Make sure you invest in noise-cancelling headphones. If you decide to work as a freelance teacher, you must choose a video conferencing platform for your classes. If you have the budget to splurge on expanding your tutoring business, you can consider using online tutoring software to build an online tutoring website so that you don't have to invest in different software to manage your ESL tutoring service.

How Much Can You Make By Teaching English Online?

The salary of English teachers online varies according to different factors. For example, it can differ based on your qualifications, your prior tutoring experience, and more. On average, the tutoring rates range between $12 to $21 per hour. Online tutors who work through online tutoring marketplaces can set their own rates and can make around $20 to $25 per hour. Your tutoring rate depends on the size of your clientele and your learner's interest. A full-time online English teacher who works above 30 hours per week can earn around $1,000 to $3,000 monthly.


The market for online English teachers is good, and if you have the right qualifications, experience, and certification, you can make a good career by teaching English online. However, finding the right platform that gives you the right job opportunities to teach and make money online is important. Now you are all set to start teaching English online. Good luck.

eBook Release: Pinlearn
Pinlearn is an ed–tech company which provides eLearning software that helps tutors to start their own eLearning platform like udemy in minutes with no hassles. It's eLearning software integration and implementation comply with current technologies.