So, you’ve spent months completing that TEFL course and now you’re chomping at the bit to get out there and begin your teaching career! There are many ways you can enter the field of teaching English as a foreign language online, but what will be the best direction for you? It’s not a case of one size fits all. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. There are also many pitfalls and with such a large market with a wide choice of teachers, its dog eat dog out there.
First off you have the companies that will allow you to advertise your services on their online teaching platform. There are many online teaching companies which allow you to download a promotional video, advertising your online teaching services. The larger companies provide access to millions of students from around the world, many of them being Chinese.
If you’re a beginner, you can start by offering lessons in conversational English to get you off the ground. It’s up to you provide your own lesson content, so be aware of the extra work involved over and above the time spent teaching. You can set your own fees. This avenue will also allow you to build an online teaching reputation and demonstrate a history of quality, reliability, and high student satisfaction. You can use this reputation to find new students and future employers.
Next, look at the online teaching companies who will employ you through the usual channels (application, interview, mock class) and then market your skills to schools that they are engaged with. Many of these are schools based in China and other Asian territories. These companies will provide you with the lesson content and plan, making it less time-consuming and ensuring that you are teaching what the schools are asking for. There is flexibility with teaching hours, ranging from as little as 6 hours. It’s a generally a set payment per hour based on experience and qualifications and it may not be as lucrative as the previous avenue, but its guaranteed work.
Finally, why not think about marketing your own services independently online? Create your own site using a recognised website builder.
Just be aware that to stand out from the crowd you’ll need a great domain name, a memorable logo, a simple format, great aesthetics, easy accessibility for students and you need to get the reader’s attention with some interesting content. Having your own website points the student directly to you and is an excellent way to make you stand out from the crowd. Also think about having your own blog and sharing your services via Facebook and other online platforms, which are excellent ways to generate traffic to your website.
It’s a minefield, but with the right marketing tools and your ongoing commitment to the development of your teaching skills, you will be soon on the road to your goal of becoming a great teacher of English as a Foreign Language.