You might have heard of Mark Twain’s quote “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Whether you agree with him on this one or not, possessing the right skills for the role makes your job a lot easier.
If you are reading this, chances are that your English skills are pretty good. So, why not put them to good use? With English being the global common language in technology, commerce, and business in general, English language skills are the key that opens doors to better (or different) job opportunities.
Therefore, teachers of English as a foreign language (TEFL) are highly sought-after, both in-person and online.
Whether you choose to teach in a classroom or in front of a computer screen, you need an accredited TEFL qualification from a reputable provider. There are many different courses available, and choosing the right one for you can be difficult.
You might come across very tempting options, but beware of courses that promise the most comprehensive cheapest tefl certification in just one week. Does it sound too good to be true? It probably is! Do some research on what a TEFL course should include and make an informed decision.
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First Steps Into TEFL
Once you have your qualification under your belt, you need to decide if you want to become an independent online teacher or you prefer to freelance with the support of teaching platforms. These options are very different and both offer unique advantages.
Being an independent online teacher involves more than just exemplary teaching skills. Similar to any business, there’s a multitude of behind-the-scenes tasks associated with freelancing. As a freelancer and entrepreneur, you must dedicate attention to every aspect of your business, from marketing to administrative duties.
Recognizing the need to attract your own students, it’s crucial to understand the effort involved. Building a robust online presence through social media and maintaining an updated, user-friendly website demands time and energy. Your website essentially serves as a contemporary business card, communicating who you are and your offerings. Transparency about your services and fees is pivotal for both acquiring new students and retaining existing ones.
Additionally, the legal and financial aspects of your business, such as drafting contracts, handling payments, and managing cancellations, can be time-consuming, especially if you lack expertise in these areas. Therefore, starting a freelance online business from the ground up may not be suitable for everyone.
Established Online Platforms
You might be an exceptional teacher but lack business acumen, and it’s important to acknowledge that. The good news is that your business skills – or lack thereof – shouldn’t hold you back for your goal of becoming an online teacher.
Luckily, there are plenty of established online language schools that operate through their own platforms and are looking for TEFL teachers just like you.
Here are some of the platforms you could be working with:
Lingoda is a German language learning company that has become increasingly popular among both English teachers and learners. The platform stands out in the field of online language learning due to its flexibility and user-friendly features.
Lingoda offers initiatives like the Lingoda Marathon and Lingoda Sprint, allowing English learners to choose different timescales for building language proficiency. Unlike some other platforms, Lingoda provides a reliable and welcoming environment for both teachers and students.
Learnlight, founded in Europe in 2007 by Benjamin Joseph and David Liu, is a prominent EdTech company offering English language and soft skills training globally. Operating in over 180 countries, it utilizes award-winning technology to deliver personalized online and on-site specialized courses tailored to clients’ needs.
Known for its excellent reputation, Learnlight serves clients across diverse sectors, including telecom, automotive, engineering, and healthcare, catering to blue-chip and international institutions such as Hyundai and Siemens.
English Hunt (or Englishunt), established in 2000 by Korean entrepreneur Jung Hyun Oh, is a prominent online learning platform focused on providing convenient and affordable English education for Korean students.
It has grown into one of Korea’s largest online teaching companies, serving over 500,000 students with 1,000 instructors, expanding its reach to countries like Japan, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. English Hunt’s strong mission emphasizes unlocking individuals’ potential through quality educational resources, aiming to contribute to building a better world.
Novakid is a specialized online English teaching platform that focuses exclusively on children aged 4 to 12. Unlike other general English learning platforms, Novakid tailors its services to school pupils worldwide.
The platform connects experienced teachers with young learners, offering one-to-one lessons with qualified tutors at affordable rates. The platform provides interactive online lessons, creating a flexible and low-pressure learning environment for children.
From choosing the most suitable TEFL course for you to identifying the platform(s) you want to partner up with, starting a new TEFL career as a freelance teacher is a path full of important decisions to make, but it’s worth it!
Teaching English as a foreign language is a professional path that leads to personal and professional development while meeting many interesting people along the way.