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Online ESL Job

ESL means “English as a second language”. People usually use the word ESL to talk about teaching English to people who do not speak English. Usually, ESL teaching happens in an English-speaking country. Often, ESL students are people who came to live in an English-speaking country and do not speak English very well.

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If we talk about teaching or learning English in a country where English is not spoken, we usually use the word “EFL”, but “ESL” is sometimes used, too.

Although more and more ESL teachers are becoming less reluctant to use technology in the classroom, going completely online is a big step, one that most have never even considered. Some can’t even imagine what it would be like to teach a class and not have your students sitting in front of you. Still, teaching English online from home is a very attractive possibility for many these days, and it’s a choice that is gaining popularity fast among ESL teachers and students, mostly because of the advantages.


  • Firstly, you have all of the benefits that come with working from home. You save money on commuting costs; mothers can stay home with their kids; you set your own schedule, hours, etc…; you work within the comfort and privacy of your home, in your pajamas or sweats; you have greater freedom and independence…among others.
  • Thanks to the advances in telecommunications technology and devices, you have the possibility to reach students from across the globe, students who may not have the time to take a regular course, or don’t usually have native English speakers to talk to. 


  • Working at home while you care for your children can be both an advantage and a complete nightmare. It’s great for a mother who has recently had a baby to be able to work from home, but you must be professional and reliable at all times. This means that if you have a student who is paying good money to talk to you for one hour, you’d better be prepared to give your student his or her full hour; you can’t run off to see to a crying baby in the middle of your lesson. Nor can you have kids running around with noisy pets in the background.
  • Dealing with time zone differences can be a little tricky, particularly if you have Asian students.
  • Some online payment systems are not available in some countries, so you’ll have to offer students other alternatives.
  • Although it may be great to get up from bed and get to teach English online without having to shave or change, there’s the inherent risk of spending far too many hours at home and not enough outside socializing; it’s important to go out once in a while, maybe at least once a day, to do some shopping, go to gym, have lunch with friends, play some tennis, etc…

While the drawbacks may seem numerous if you’re able to handle the issues that may arise when you work from home, you’ll find that the benefits of teaching English online far outweigh the disadvantages.


Make decision on what to teach online

Will you help students build vocabulary, answer grammar questions and clarify doubts, or merely offer students the chance to speak to a native English speaker? Whatever you choose to do, you must be absolutely clear on what it is you will offer and provide some form of structure, like lesson plans or at the very least some guidelines in reference to what you will help your students accomplish. Although you may come across students who only want to talk (and have you just sit there and listen), this may not be what the majority wants. It is important that you offer what you know best. Are you great with idioms, slang, or specific vocabulary? It’s important to identify your niche.

Becoming an ESL Teacher

English as a second language (ESL) teachers instruct students whose first language isn’t English, in reading, writing and conversing effectively. These professionals are also sometimes called English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers. These teachers approach English skills from a real-life perspective, often focusing on conversational and job-related communication skills. They can help students function in an environment built upon the English language, or they may work abroad to introduce students to English. Travel may be required, and teachers might need an abundance of patience when working with students who may become frustrated when trying to learn an unfamiliar language.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for an ESL teacher. Most workers earn degrees in education, English, writing, or teaching English as a foreign language. Students may also earn education degrees that come with a bilingual concentration. Applicable coursework includes using technology to teach, motivating adult learners, working with learning disabilities, developing lesson plans, and teaching diverse cultures.

It’s also a good idea to learn a second language. While being fluent in a language other than English is not necessary for employment as an ESL teacher, it’s useful to have foreign language skills for this job. Training specific to acquiring a second language may be earned through certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs.

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Obtain ESL Training

Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, aspiring ESL teachers typically must complete an ESL training program. For example, a certificate program in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) can provide the basic skills needed to teach ESL and attain licensure. Individuals will learn how to assess students’ language skills, teach grammar lessons, and practice conversational skills. While many certificate programs do not require prior teaching experience, some ESL certificate programs are designed for working teachers who have already earned their teaching licenses.

Get Licensed

Like other teachers, an ESL instructor needs a teaching license (sometimes called certification) to work professionally. Requirements vary by state and internationally, so it’s beneficial for aspiring ESL teachers to research the steps necessary to teach in a specific geographic area. Common requirements include holding a bachelor’s degree and completing an approved teacher training program. Some states have specific license requirements for adult education teachers, which an ESL teacher might fall under. Aspiring teachers may also need to pass a teaching test and a background check.

It might also be worth looking into a master’s degree. Licensed ESL teachers who want to increase their employment opportunities might want to consider earning a graduate degree in ESL. Classes can include a number of research seminars and cover topics like linguistics, literacy development, and academic English. The program often ends with the completion of an original thesis.

Gain Experience

ESL teachers with prior experience are particularly sought after, especially for overseas jobs. Patience, empathy and a desire to work in a multicultural environment are also essential for working as an ESL instructor, and experience can help workers sharpen these skills. ESL teachers may apply for employment in diverse learning environments, such as elementary and high schools, international education programs, intensive English language programs, adult schools, community colleges, and corporations. According to, ESL teachers earned a national average annual salary of $41,000 as of 2016, with experience level and specific languages increasing that amount by as much as 29%.

Earning a bachelor’s degree, obtaining ESL training, getting licensed, and gaining teaching experience are all part of becoming an ESL teacher.

Become a Certified ESL Teacher

Teachers of English as a second language (ESL) work with non-native English speakers to improve their understanding of American customs, reading, and comprehension and speaking of the English language. ESL teachers work with all levels of English learners and receive specific training and credentialing that enables them to work in school settings, with community programs, and for private companies. According to, in 2016 the median annual salary for ESL teachers was $39,956 per year.

Starting your ESL Online class

The very first decision you’ll have to make is whether you will work for an online school, tutoring service, or run your own website. If you want to teach at an online school, you’ll have to go through the application process just as you would for any other school. You’ll most likely be required to have TEFL certification and experience. There are websites where all you have to do is sign up and create a profile to attract students, which is very easy to do, but you must realize that your profile may compete with hundreds of others. If you want to have more freedom and ultimately higher profits, then running your own website is clearly the best choice, but you must be prepared to work hard to promote your services and find students.

You can set up your own online business teaching English online with a minimum investment and watch it grow. Or work for an established online school. The choice is yours, but the important thing here is that teaching online is no longer the future. It is a reality.

Technologies to use

Online schools usually have their own online platform, usually in some form of a chat room. But if you work on your own, you’ll need to have an instant messaging service, like MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, or Skype, but also Internet VoIP service for the calls you’ll need to make to practice listening and speaking. Don’t forget that there are video conferencing platforms that are very easy to use like MSN Messenger’s where all you need is a Webcam and a microphone to deliver lessons that are just as real as face-to-face classes. You may also choose to record podcasts or audio files in MP3 format. Explore the possibilities and make use of all of the technological resources available on the Internet.

Deciding cost of service

Online schools usually transfer payments to your bank account, PayPal account, or use some sort of payment processor. Some may even send you a check. For those who run their own online business, PayPal offers some very useful services, but you may also choose to accept payments through other means like credit cards. As for rates, online English teachers charge anywhere between $15 and $50. Do a bit of research and find out what your competitors are charging. The lowest rates are usually for conversation, with no grammar teaching or lessons.

Promoting your online business

If you decide to start your own online business teaching English, you won’t find any students unless you promote it. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do this online:

  • Advertise on websites with a lot of English learners.
  • Find online tutor databases, like Tutor Agent, sign up, and create an engaging profile to attract students.
  • Actively participate in ESL forums and always leave your signature.
  • Promote your business on several social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…
  • Drive traffic to your website with SEO strategies, PayPerClick campaigns, and other forms of Internet marketing; add a blog to your site and provide useful tips and advice for students.

These are the simple step-by-step guide that could help you in achieving your dream of becoming a licensed and certified online ESL online English teacher without much hassle.

Happy Teaching!    

Teacher Daniel 🙂

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Teach ESL Online from Home


Motivating your Online ESL Students when Teaching English Online from Home



Online ESL Job

Inspiring online ESL students are among the most difficult challenges when you teach English online from home, but lighting the fire is crucial to ensuring active online ESL students. Here are four things to motivate students for a more exciting online ESL class for students and teachers alike.

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1# Share your excitement: If students don’t find your online ESL class intriguing, they are unlikely to spend the energy it takes to really engage with the material being taught. Sparking this interest starts with online ESL teachers sharing their passion with students.

Some Parent Feedback from my classes:

“The teacher’s pronunciation sounds super safe, always energetic, enjoys teaching. But has very sincerely pointed out what needs to be strengthened. The teacher also appropriately expand some extra-curricular content, very good!”

“Very patient, infectious, good atmosphere.”

“Alan’s best favorite teacher, more and more interactive, more and more lively and interesting class, class is getting harder and harder”

2# Encourage your students: Use these words of encouragement when you teach English online from home. On average I use about 10 or more encouraging phrases in a 25-minute class. Here are some of them: Wow, that was great!, Wow, nice!, Excellent!, Excellent job!, Love it Awesome!, Very good!, Great job!, Wow, you got it!, You are doing great!, You are getting it!, Way to go!, Awesome Job!, and Nice!.

3# Have a reward system: Have a reward system outside of what your online ESL school has. It keeps your online ESL students motivated to learn. I have 5 main rewards systems that I use when I teach English online at home. I have monkeys, frogs, zoo, fish, and happy face rewards systems. I know others that do this via a green screen but right now I’m trying to keep it simple.

4# Get to know your students and let them into your life: I have taught over 2,300 students with VIPKID in about 530 days. I would say most of them I know if they have any brothers or sisters, what city they live it, what foods they like, some of their hobbies, etc. My students know about my life too.

These are the 4 key elements that you need to teach English online at home. Online ESL teachers need to have all of these key elements in each of their classes every time. Students have to feel your passion and know that you truly care about them.

Here are some more Happy Parent Quotes:

“Daniel teacher will use an interesting way to guide children to repeat, strengthen memory, not boring.”

“Daniel teacher class atmosphere is active, patient teaching will interact with the child to ask questions.”

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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Don’t Fail to Teach Phonics Blending when Teaching English Online from Home


Online ESL Job

For many children, phonics teaching is the root of education to read. In this article, you’ll learn the need for sound spelling, blending, and dictation in phonics teaching. When teaching Online ESL students, they need to learn how to decode and comprehend the connection between written and spoken the language. Some online ESL teachers believe that it is hopeless to meet such numerous distinct needs simultaneously, but over the last few years, teachers have learned to use specific strategies which help different online ESL students to meet these goals.

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Firstly, that irrespective of their degree, online ESL students may reap the benefits of explicit instruction in phonics, or the connection between letters and sounds. Though phonics should never be the only component of literacy education when teaching English online from home, give your students a firm foundation in phonics and they will be better equipped to decode unfamiliar terms, be more powerful spellers, and eventually be more fluent and independent readers.

When teaching English online from home, online ESL teachers should use an extensive range of approaches to work on phonics with Online ESL students. Probably the most crucial aspects of phonics are sound spelling.

#1 Sound spelling refers to transcribe speech sounds into written language, whether the sounds are in circumstance. Online ESL students who can correctly spell out sounds poss a strong phonological consciousness, sounds connect to one another and operate in the word as well as syllable level. Here are some fun ways to transcribe speech sounds into written language:

  • Example: Sort images based on the initial sounds, center sounds, or ending sounds of words, then write the words in such a manner as to emphasize the sounds they share.
  • Also, listen to books, poems, and songs, then jot down the letters and sounds they hear.
  • Most games involving listening to producing rhymes, all the while discussing the manner the rhyming syllables are spelled.

Emergent readers frequently need several possibilities to spell out the initial letters or mixtures in words, whereas more experienced readers and writers are willing to work on more advanced areas, like spelling ending or center sounds, or spelling polysyllabic words.

When you teach English online from home you can include the strategies above into your daily teaching if it isn’t in the online ESL curriculum that you are using.

I focus on Phonics when I’m teaching to make sure the students are saying each part of the word phonically correct. Here are a few quotes from some of my student’s parents:

“Three consecutive classes with Teacher Daniel. Although the teacher is not particularly funny, the teaching experience, pay attention to the child’s mouth, pronunciation, but also with the child appropriate to expand knowledge. We like the teacher very much!”

“Very patient, pronunciation standards, daughter likes.”

“The teacher is very good, his sound is very big, and the child interaction is very good, this is the most successful class, the child finally dares to speak loudly, the teacher corrects the wrong pronunciation unceasingly, satisfies.”

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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How to stay healthy while teaching English online from home

It can be easy to neglect your health when you are teaching ESL online from home but that can be a huge mistake to make. If you stop exercising and taking care of your health, your energy levels will also be quite low and you won’t have the enthusiasm you need in order to teach and inspire your students. If that happens then it might be the 6 cups of coffee day. I have had a few of them!

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The best way to maintain your health if you have very little time to work out is to take 5 or 10  minutes before you shower. Try the the Ultimate 5 minute Morning Workout before class. You can do the 30 second intervals between classes that are in The 5-Minute Morning Workout. 


Furthermore, the key to good health is taking the proper vitamins and supplements. I teach more than 70 hours per week. Sometimes I get very tired. I tried GNC Mega Men and Centrum. They just didn’t work for me. My wife was using Jeunesse AM/PM and the Reserve product (it is like juice). It worked for me! I have the energy level now to keep up with my students and their AM/PM product helps me sleep at night. 


Lastly, if you feel that you need a break and sometimes we do. What I do is reduce my class load for a few days to do stuff with my family or go see a movie to get my energy back. Sometimes you just need to get more sleep.

If anyone has other workouts, tricks, or supplements too for keeping health while teaching ESL online from home please let me know. I will add them to the article or create a new article with them in it. Thanks and Happy Teaching!

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Stupid things to avoid when teaching English online from home


Online ESL Job

The process of teaching online is a bit different from teaching ESL students who are in the same room as you are. There are some mistakes that many online teachers make that can be easily avoided. In this article, we are going to give you some details on the things that you need to keep in mind when teaching ESL online.

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Bad microphone placement: Your students might not be hearing you properly if your microphone is not placed in the right place at the right angle. Always do a quick check and ask the online student or students if they can hear you clearly.

Bad camera placement: Just like it happens with the microphone, your camera could be at a bad angle that is not optimal for students to see you. Sometimes it is too high or low. If the camera is placed too high then it might look like you are always falling asleep when teaching.

Optimal lighting: If you don’t have the right light setup then the students will see shadows. This might make it difficult for the student to see your face when you’re trying to correct them and show them how to pronounce certain words.

 Not giving students time to talk: Avoid over talking and always ask your students questions after you say a few important things. Take your time and give them a chance to respond or ask questions. If it is a low-level student write on the slide and show them pictures so they can understand what you are saying. This is what I do for the lower level students.

Making sure you have the best equipment. You don’t want a student not booking your lesson because of technical problems. Remember teaching online is your small business and treat it as one. That way you can become successful and leave the rat race behind you.

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How to get started teaching English online from home

Online ESL Job

The requirements for teaching online ESL are fairly essential like a TESOL Certificate, Bachelor degree, and being a little tech savvy. Some programs that are used to teach ESL online are Skype, WeChat, and Zoom. But many companies are now creating their own platforms and many are video based. If you don’t know how to use one of the above programs, go to Skype WeChat, or Zoom and follow the simple directions.

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There was a move recently away from the computer and pupils need to really have their lessons on the phone or iPad. During the holidays, some of my students have taken lessons in restaurants and even in the car. But this can be problematic because of all the background noise and sometimes it is hard for the student to focus on the lesson.

Furthermore, You may want your students to use a noise canceling earpiece or Bluetooth. This will help reduce the background noise so it is easier to correct and hear the student.

Don’t let classroom management scare you off from teaching ESL online, most online schools should have a reward system in place. But I would also have a secondary reward system just in case.

Constantly remember that it is not the technology savvy that makes the best teachers online, it is essential to have a passion for teaching as well.

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Teach ESL Online from Home