Teach English Online (and What’s a TEFL?)

Is It Time for Something New?

Ready for a new career, but not sure what the best options are? If you’re a native English speaker, stick around.  Teach English Online (and What’s a TEFL?) will show you why you’ll want to put online tutoring at the top of your list.

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A Word About Change

Changing careers can be hard. Any change has the potential to be hard. Not because of what we need to do to go from concept to completion. The first job in your new career. Your first new client.

No way.

That’s easy compared to what comes in between. It’s facing the barrage of well-meaning, but soul-sucking comments and third-degrees from your family and friends.

They don’t mean any harm. Not really. They love you and want to protect you from harmful choices.

They have their reasons, and here are a few:

Reason 1

If you do things to change your life, there’s a good chance you’ll change all kinds of things about yourself. Where will that leave them? Maybe you won’t be as available to them as you are now.

Reason 2

If you go to all that effort to make the required changes, what does that say about them if they don’t want to work as hard as you’ll be working?

Reason 3

Maybe they don’t know anyone who’s done what you’re planning to do.

Reason 4

On the other hand, they might know someone, who knows someone who tried something sort of like what you’re talking about. And, they can’t wait to tell you what a disaster it was. They don’t want that to happen to you!

Reason 5

Perhaps it’s because change is scary. There’s always that frightening specter of failure that haunts so many of us. That, and fear of the unknown.

As you’re moving into your new future, remind your loving family and friends of a quote by a gentleman who was no stranger to career change. He believed that:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

–Abraham Lincoln

How do you create this future?

One you’ll enjoy?

Take a look at what’s in demand is a good place to start.

If you take some time researching the most profitable small business ideas, Tutoring Online and Education are always somewhere in the top 10.

Curious about number one? You can read about that option here.

More About Demand

According to FluentU, 1.5 billion, yes, that a B billion, people world-wide study English.

If you’re a native English speaker, that puts you in a very enviable position. You are one of the highly sought-after folks that have the first requisite to teach English online! It’s your mother tongue.

Lucky you!

Here’s Why

As a spoken language, English comes in second behind Mandarian Chinese. But, English is spoken in more countries world-wide.

According to the Oxford Royale Academy, English is the official language of 61 “of the world’s 196 countries,” the EU, UN, NATO, and European Free Trade Association, and many Commonwealth countries. Additionally, it’s the second language of many more countries, including Sweden, Germany, and Holland.

Need more convincing? It’s also the language of:

  • World-wide commerce
  • Education
  • Popular culture
  • The internet

Globalization and the Freelance Economy

As the world continues to shrink, and more and more of us look for ways to earn our livings without managers, administrators, or dark overlords peeking over our shoulders, the ability to speak English becomes an absolute necessity for millions of people.

  • From a monetary perspective, teaching English is a no-brainer.
  • From an educational equity perspective, teaching English is gratifying.
  • From a contemplative perspective, teaching English is brilliant.

Your Next Step

Does this sound like something you’d like to find out more about? Then let’s talk about what kind of training you’ll need and the best place to find it.

TEFL Certification

TEFL is the acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. As you do your research, you may also see the following:

  • TESOL, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • ESL, or English as a Second Language
  • ELD, or English Language Development. Designed for non-native English speakers.

There are some minor differences, but as you can see, they all involve teaching English to folks whose first language was not English.

In most circumstances, if you’re planning to teach English to students in other countries, you’ll need TEFL Certification.

There. Now you know what a TEFL is!

General Guidelines

Most schools want college grads, but not all. If you do have a degree, it doesn’t have to be in education. There is an established standard that you need to meet to be eligible to teach English in non-English speaking countries.

  • At least 100 hours of coursework. (The ITA online course provides 150 hours)
  • 6-20 hours of live, observed, practice-teaching to non-native English speakers (ITA provides 20 hours)
  • An accredited curriculum recognized by an independent organization
  • Qualified instructors with the equivalent of an MA in TESOL or a related field

According to information discussed during an information session for ITA, beginning September 2019, teachers working for language schools based in China must have 120 hours of TEFL certification or a state teaching credential.

Who Offers TEFL Certification

You can find all kinds of companies offering to get you certified, but be careful reading what they provide. Not all schools are created equal, and you want one that not only gives you the coursework that will be required by future employers. You should also look for one that aides you in researching the current job market.

We recommend getting TEFL Certified with International TEFL Academy, and here’s why:

  • ITA is one of the world’s largest TEFL certification schools to become professionally trained as an English teacher.
  • ITA trains more than 6,000 English teachers annually.
  • ITA offers internationally accredited TEFL-TESOL certification courses online and in 25 locations around the world.
  • All students and graduates receive lifetime job search guidance and graduates are currently employed as teachers in more than 80 nations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

You can take a look at ITA here.

Ready For Your Own Online Business?

If International TEFL Academy sounds wonderful, but it’s just not quite right, take a look at my #1 recommendation for escaping the classroom.  It’s a great resource for learning how to promote yourself, your aspirations, and your special concerns.  You’ll be joining over one million helpful folks there, many of them former teachers!

Learn How to Make Money by Proofreading Content

6 thoughts on “Teach English Online (and What’s a TEFL?)”

  1. Thank you for this great post, I do read about TETL certification but I never knew it can be a great way to a career boost. I will try and get this certification and see if it can help me with online tutoring. I will surely share my experience here with you. 

    • If you plan to teach English, having your TEFL certification is certainly the first place to start.  If you’re already teaching online, it should be very helpful to you.  I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  2. This article is really an educating one and it is informative. The issue of changing career is a really hard one because its like quitting a particular life for another, because I’ve been there before.  But, as time goes on, it’ll definitely get smooth and adaptation will set in. Also, about the couple of reasons why third party or family members take offence in your change of career are very true, and I’ve been a victim of it once. TEFL, TESOL and the likes are lucrative businesses worth changing career for and this article already shed light on it. The post has been resourceful for me, thanks. 

    • I’m so glad you found the  post helpful.  I’m curious to know how you handled the person who didn’t like your plans, and if they finally supported your choice.  I really think this is the hardest part of making a change like this.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  3. This is a really a nice offer, I must say. I know of so many people who don’t just understand English very well, but also studied English as a course at school, and have a certificate for it. So many of them are currently looking for better means of earning cool cash. I’d love them to try this program out and make some money from it. When getting this certificate are there charges involved?

    • The company I’m recommending International TEFL Academy is a school that teaches English speakers everything they need to know to teach English to non-native English speakers.  You can get more information about them here.  You can also check the costs of the different programs they offer at this site. If your friends need to improve their English, they might want to find a tutor who has a TEFL certificate from ITA.  They are an excellent TEFL school, with thousands of satisfied students.  

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!


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