Teaching English as a Second Language – The Secrets You Must Know Before You Get Started

Woman Teaching

Teaching English as a Second Language: Face-to-Face to Online to Niches and Everything In-Between

If you have heard about teaching English, but are thinking you have no experience as a teacher so have no chance… think again!

While much of what we hear about is teaching English online to Chinese kids, there is a whole other world out there of ESL teaching opportunities. 

We wanted to share some of the different niches and ways people are teaching English as a second language both online and face to face and how you can get in on this huge industry.

Teaching English as a Second Language - What You Must Know Before You Get Started

Teaching English as a Second Language Face-to-Face

Teaching English as a second language face-to-face can be:

  • In private language schools, in schools both private and public and universities
  • Working for a business or working for yourself
  • In paid and volunteer positions
  • Be paid a salary for the semester, by the hour, or by the class
  • Salary may include bonuses
  • In refugee centres or community organisations
  • Use pre-made lesson plans or self designed lesson plans
  • Follow a curriculum or student directed
  • In small groups, large groups or one on one 
  • To toddlers, adults and everyone in between
  • Either in your own country or in a foreign country
  • For beginners and advanced students
  • May require qualifications such as university degree, TEFL/TESOL certificate, CELTA, DELTA depending on each individual country laws 
  • In all sorts of niches which we will cover below

Click here for further reading about Face-to-Face Teaching


Teaching English as a Second Language Online

Teaching English as a second language Online can:

  • Be taught online from almost anywhere in the world as long as you have access to reliable and fast internet
  • Be for private language schools or open platforms
  • Be working for a company or working for yourself
  • Use pre-made lesson plans or self designed lesson plans
  • Follow a curriculum or student directed
  • In small groups or one on one 
  • To toddlers, adults and everyone in between
  • May require qualifications such as university degree or TEFL/TESOL certificate
  • Students may be provided, Students may choose you as their teacher, or you find your own students
  • Be paid by the hour, or by class time and/or by number of students in the class
  • Income may include bonuses
  • In all sorts of niches which we will cover below

Click here for further reading about Online Teaching


Niches in Teaching English as a Second Language

You may have heard this term a lot and not really understand what it means! Well in the context of teaching English as a second or foreign language it basically means what topics you will be teaching. Due to the immense demand from China, teaching English online to children is one of the biggest niches and the easiest way to get started teaching English online.

But never fear there is more to teaching English than that! No matter what your background or skillset is no doubt there is a niche for you. Most of them can be taught either online or face to face, but some niches might have better opportunities teaching online just to be able to get enough students.

So here’s a basic list, some you may have thought of, some you haven’t. And for some of them you may find that you want to be your own boss and start your own tutoring business.

  • Business English
  • Academic English
  • Medical English
  • IELTS testing
  • Conversational English
  • Travel English
  • Pronunciation training 
  • Accent training
Start Your Own Online ESL Tutoring Business

So if you have experience working in any professional role you could teach business English! If you have worked in the medical field you’ve got a great niche there! And even if you have not done much of anything at all you can still teach general conversational or travel English using your day to day experiences. 


How Easy Is the TEFL Course?

Common questions we hear about the TEFL course are:

  • How easy is the TEFL course?
  • Do I have to do 120-hours to get my certificate?
  • Should I do the course online?

Find out by reading:

Is Doing a TESOL/TEFL Certificate Really That Easy?


Are You Ready For The Next Step?

If you’re ready to take the plunge, find out how to get qualified!

Further Reading:

Teach English Abroad: What You Need to be Cautious About

Teaching English Online: Don’t Let Not Having a Degree Stop You

13 Ways to be a Better Online ESL Teacher

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Teaching English as a Second Language - The Secrets You Must Know Before You Get Started

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