HOW DO I BECOME AN ONLINE ESL TEACHER?

Are you new to teaching English online and don’t know where to start?  Perhaps you’ve been thinking of becoming an online ESL teacher but it was too hard to start without help.  In this article we are going to discuss some easy steps to become an online ESL teacher and teaching English to students all over the world.
 
For students, the importance of learning to speak English as a second language is in high  demand as English is an international language – No wonder learning English online has become so popular.  The student doesn’t need to travel to attend an English class, can choose a schedule which fits in to their lifestyle and get easy access to a native (or non-native) English speaker.
It is becoming easier for an online ESL teacher who enjoys flexibility rather than having a job at a brick and mortar school, perhaps a mom who prefers to work from home or a teacher who is looking for an additional income, to get a job teaching English online.
 
Now here is the big question:  How do I become an online ESL teacher? 
 
Let’s look at the following steps:
 
Step 1:  Get TEFL certified.
Step 2:  Get the right hardware and internet connection.
Step 3:  Create a resume.
Step 4:  Create an intro video
Step 5:  Set up a Paypal/ Payoneer/ Bank/ Transferwise account.
Step 6:  Browse for online ESL teaching jobs .
Step 7:  Send in your application.  Get Hired. Teach!
 
Step 1:  Get TEFL certified.
 
To get TEFL certified is of utmost importance, especially if you want to work for a Chinese company.  The Chinese law states that an online ESL teacher should have a teaching certificate.  This also shows your students that you have the necessary skills to teach them English as a second language (ESL).  It’s always best to choose a TEFL company which is accredited by a TEFL body – The following next to a TEFL course is an indication of accreditation and is a great place to start. 
With so many TEFL companies to choose from, which one is the best?  Let’s have a look at some really good (and accredited) TEFL companies to teach ESL online:
 
 
Step 2:  Get the right hardware and internet connection.
 
-Minimum an i3 processor.  Some companies may require an i5 processor. Your pc must have at least 4gb of RAM.  This is a requirement I’ve seen many times.
-A webcam:  Some laptops have a built-in webcam, but if yours doesn’t or if it not good quality consider getting yourself an external HD usb webcam.
-A headset with a noise cancelling microphone to cancel outside noise so that you and your students can hear each other clearly.
-Stable internet connection: Be sure to ask the company you are applying to what the required internet speed is. Some will ask for only 2mb/s upload or download while some might require 20mb/s upload and/or download. Some companies also state whether they allow Wi-Fi-connections or prefer LAN-connection.
-Good lighting:  To have proper lighting is self-explanatory.  The student should be able to see your face without any shadows.  It’s a good idea to have lights on either sides of you and then one behind your laptop.  Make sure that the position of the light is not too high otherwise it will cause a shadow effect below your eyes.
 
Step 3:  Create a resume.
 
This is a crucial part of an online ESL teacher together with their intro video (Step 4).  If your resume or intro video is not correct, you will not be hired even if you have a master’s degree in language.  Your resume should be short and easy to read but contain all the necessary information. 
How can you create the best resume to send to ESL companies?
Let’s discuss some tips:
  1. Short and sweet – Remember, less is more!
  2. Only mention relevant teaching experience in the field of teaching (This can be online or at a school.) If you don’t have specific teaching experience, you can make mention of employment where you have interacted with children or adults
  3. Have a look at the following example:
A photo of you smiling
EDUCATION BACKGROUND (Your degrees and teaching certificate)
 
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT (Related to teaching/Experience working with children or adults)
 
COVER LETTER
Step 4:  Create an intro video.
 
This is the first impression an online ESL company will get of you.  It needs to be perfect!
 
  • About 1 min in duration.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Cater for your audience: If you want to teach kids, be animated and use lots of props.  If you want to teach adults, be yourself and smile a lot.
  • Make use of a plain white background.
  • Make use of excellent grammar.
  • Make use of TPR (Total physical response).
  • Cover the following information:  Your name, age, nationality, educational qualifications, teaching experience (in years), what you do in your spare time.  Always remember to thank them at the end for watching your video.
 
Step 5:  Set up a Paypal/ Payoneer/ Bank/ Transferwise account.
 
The ESL company you apply to will either pay you via one of the above mentioned platforms and will be mentioned to you during the interview which is mostly done via Skype.  That is why it is a good idea to put your Skype Id on your resume.
 
Step 6:  Browse for online ESL teaching jobs.
 
It’s good to remember that some ESL companies only hire ESL teachers from a certain company.  Luckily you can browse this site for companies that hires ESL teachers from your country:
 
Online ESL South African Teachers with a degree:  Click here
Online ESL South African Teachers without a degree:   Click here
 
Online ESL UK / Irish Teachers with a degree:  Click here 
Online ESL UK / Irish Teachers without a degree:  Click here 
 
Online ESL Canadian Teachers with a degree:  Click here 
Online ESL Canadian Teachers without a degree:  Click here
 
Online ESL American Teachers with a degree:  Click here 
Online ESL American Teachers without a degree:  Click here 
 
Online ESL Australian / New Zealand Teachers with a degree:  Click here  
Online ESL Australian / New Zealand Teachers without a degree:  Click here
 
Online ESL Non-native Teachers:  Click here
 
Step 7:  Send in your application.  Get Hired. Teach!

How Do I Become An Online ESL Teacher?