How to go from teaching English online to teaching in-class?

Transitioning from teaching English online to an in-class environment involves several key considerations. Assuming you have experience with online teaching, here are the three main factors to consider for a successful transition:

  • Worldwide Location: Teaching online offers location flexibility, but in-class teaching can be pursued globally, in both English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries. Research the cultural norms and teaching practices of the country you plan to teach in, as they can significantly differ from online settings.
  • Type of School: Consider the type of school where you wish to teach. Each school, whether public, private, international, or language-specific, has its unique environment and requirements.
  • Classroom Dynamics: Prepare for the shift in class dynamics. In-person teaching may involve different methods, larger class sizes, and varied levels of student interaction compared to online teaching.

Additional aspects to research include work hours, holidays, contract terms, dress codes, and local educational regulations. Depending on the country, your role may vary from a conversational English assistant to the primary English teacher responsible for the entire curriculum. Adapting to these changes requires flexibility, cultural sensitivity, and a willingness to embrace different teaching methodologies.

Table of Contents

Type of school

Type of class

Type of school

There are numerous types of institutions where you may find employment. These include, but are not limited to:

a) Kindergartens:

The number of kindergartens has significantly grown over the past decade. Most of these institutions are privately owned, and quality varies widely. Hence, it's crucial to do thorough research about the contract terms and speak with current teachers before signing any agreements.

b) State schools at 3 levels (state refers to the government, rather than a regional term):

These are usually classified as Primary (5-9 years), Middle (10-13 years), and Secondary (13-16 years) schools, though terminologies and age ranges may differ globally. As these are government-run, proper qualifications and teaching licenses are often mandatory.

c) Tertiary education:

This refers to education beyond the compulsory age, often including specialist schools for apprenticeships or schools preparing students for higher-level exams. These institutions can be state-run or private.

d) Private language schools:

These institutions, particularly prevalent in Asia, offer English language instruction and are typically regulated to some extent. However, the quality can vary significantly, making it crucial to examine the terms and conditions of your contract thoroughly.

Also read: What types of school hire English teachers abroad?

Type of class

The final factor to consider, which might be the most significant change when shifting from online to physical teaching, is the class size. Online classes usually involve one-on-one or small groups. In contrast, a physical classroom could have up to fifty or sixty students who attend out of obligation rather than interest. Thus, planning and delivering lessons to such a large group necessitates careful preparation. You can't treat a large class as a single entity, you will need to break it down into smaller units and have a clear plan to manage the class effectively.

Also read: How should I approach my first day in an ESL classroom?