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How can I become an ESL teacher online?

Online English teaching is a very popular way to earn a living, either full time from home, or part time while traveling the world. The qualifications for becoming an ESL teacher online vary from one platform to the next, but will often include things like a TESOL certification, a university degree, prior teaching experience, and certain technical equipment. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to land the ideal online teaching job!

What are the requirements to be an ESL teacher online?

To become an online English teacher you will typically need a 120-hour TESOL certification from an internationally recognized and accredited institution. If you want potential employers to take your qualifications seriously and consider you for an online teaching position, you must ensure that your certificate comes from a reputable provider.

To distinguish yourself from other applicants and to learn the specific methodology, skills, and technology required in a virtual classroom environment, combining general TESOL certification with a specialized Certificate in Teaching English Online is the best option. A great choice for potential online teachers is ITTT's 170-hour course in teaching English as a foreign language with online specialization or the 220-hour Master Package.

Additionally, a university degree might be required for some online teaching positions. However, the degree can be in any field, but a major in English or education is a huge plus.

Prior teaching experience is also sometimes required to teach English online. While this varies by company, some will require you to have a certain number of years of experience teaching in a classroom or online. Remember that tutoring, volunteering, teaching practicums, and mentoring can all count as teaching experience.

When it comes to what it takes to teach English online, having the right equipment is essential. You must be able to meet certain internet speeds, which are determined by each individual company, regardless of where you apply. Almost all online teaching platforms will also require a headset with a microphone and a high-quality webcam.

Can I teach English online without a degree?

Yes, you can be an online teacher without a degree. Not all online jobs require a degree, and as previously stated, some employers only need to see that you are enrolled in a degree program (not that you have already obtained a degree). Even if a degree is not required by a company to teach English online, you may still need to meet other qualifications, such as a TESOL certification.

Can I teach English online if I am not a native English speaker?

While some companies may only accept applications from native English speakers, there are many platforms that also hire non-native English teachers who speak English fluently.

If you are not a native English speaker, you may be required to provide proof of fluency in the form of English language proficiency exam results or other documentation. Just keep in mind that there are plenty of opportunities to teach English online that do not necessitate being a native speaker, so don't be too concerned about this requirement.

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