Becoming an ESL teacher online offers a flexible and rewarding opportunity to earn a living, suitable for both full-time home-based roles and part-time work while traveling. The journey to becoming an online ESL teacher typically involves several key steps. Firstly, acquiring a TESOL certification is often essential, as it provides the foundational teaching methodologies required for ESL instruction. Additionally, most online teaching platforms require a university degree. Prior teaching experience, although not universally mandatory, can significantly enhance your prospects. Technologically, you will need to equip yourself with certain tools, including a reliable computer, a high-quality webcam, a good headset, and a stable internet connection. By meeting these qualifications and preparing the necessary equipment, you will be well-positioned to secure a position as an online ESL teacher.
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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.
It is indeed possible to teach English online without holding a degree. While certain online teaching positions do require a degree, there are a number of platforms and employers that offer opportunities to those without one. In some cases, being enrolled in a degree program may suffice for these employers. However, even in the absence of a degree, other qualifications are often necessary to secure a teaching position. A prominent example is a TESOL certification, which can serve as a significant credential in demonstrating your teaching abilities and knowledge of English language instruction. Therefore, individuals without a degree but with a TESOL certification still have substantial opportunities to teach English online.
Teaching English online as a non-native speaker is certainly feasible. While it is true that some companies prefer native speakers, the online teaching world is broad and inclusive, with numerous opportunities for those who have achieved fluency in English. Non-native speakers may need to demonstrate their proficiency in English, often through standardized language proficiency exam results or similar certifications. It is important to recognize that the demand for English teachers is diverse, and being a non-native speaker is not necessarily a barrier. With fluency in English and the appropriate teaching qualifications, such as a TESOL certification, non-native speakers can find rewarding teaching opportunities in the online English education sector.