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Do You Speak English? You’re Perfect for This Business

It’s the same story around the world.


English has been the language of commerce for decades. And the spread of American movies, TV shows, music, and culture is global these days.

As a result millions of people, from China to Chile, from France to South Korea, all want to learn English. It’ll get them better jobs and maybe even career opportunities overseas.

Here in Costa Rica, where I live, everybody, especially young people, wants to learn English. And they show up in droves at language schools throughout the country. Their goal is land a high-paying job in a call center or at a hotel, tour company, or other tourism business.

And it’s not just folks overseas who are learning English. Plenty of immigrants to the United States need language help too. Kids pick it up easily because they’re going to school. Besides their brains are like sponges at that age.

It’s the adults that need help… to get a job, talk with their neighbors, go to the bank… everything necessary to navigate daily life.

So we’ve established there’s a great need for English language instruction here and abroad. What’s the deal, you might be asking.

Well, here’s the thing. There aren’t enough English teachers to meet the demand. That’s where you come in. One option is to sign up to be a teacher at your local community college or immigrant outreach center. That can be a fulfilling job. But it can be time-consuming. And with the pay you get, it’s more like a volunteer position. There’s a better – and more lucrative – way.

(By the way, before we dive in, let me make one thing clear: you don’t need to speak a foreign language to teach English either. In fact, English language instruction these days is based on the principle of “immersion,” where the student is spoken to only in English. It speeds up the learning process.)

Teaching English Online

In this day and age, there’s no reason to trudge to some school somewhere to teach in person. That’s why we have the Internet. As an English teacher now, you’ll be teaching virtually.

You teach through a combination of video chat, email, password-protected websites open only to students, online forums, and more.

In most cases you teach “live” through a video chat program, with all the students logging in from home. It’s just like teaching a class in the real world, except you and your students could be spread around the entire world.

In some cases you’ll simply record videos that your students can download and watch at their convenience. But the live chat-type class seems to be more popular with online schools.

Then you supplement that with assignments, quizzes, study guides, reading materials, etc. that you send by email or post on the class’s website. Students ask you questions by email and sometimes you monitor a chat room or forum too.

However your teaching position is set up, your commitment is just a few hours a week, more or less depending on the size of the class or how many different classes you are teaching. You can teach every level from beginner to intermediate to advanced.

Landing Jobs

The only qualification you really need to teach English is to speak English. If you’re a native speaker, you’re golden. English language students and schools are looking for that natural accent to imitate.

Finding your first job is easy because there is so much demand. Online schools will take just about anyone they can get. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take this job seriously. Your students are depending on you.

Anyway, your first step should be apply with the many online English schools. Simply go to their website and click on the link where they’re asking for teachers – just about every site has one. There are several in the Resources section below.

There are also online job boards and forums dedicated solely to teaching English, like Dave’s ESL Cafe (see below).

Earn a certification like Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and you can charge through the roof. But you don’t officially need either of these certifications or any other special education to teach.

I’d suggest you try teaching for several months first. If you find you like it, work at earning your certification while you continue to teach. These courses are offered, where else, online. So you can work on your schedule. The best part is you’ll be earning an income from your own teaching gigs at the same time.

If you’re into travel, you can also earn your certificate while living overseas. There are programs in just about every country that offer a certification after a few months of classes and classroom practice. The added benefit is that you get to live in Prague, Buenos Aires, South Korea, or another exotic hot spot.

Once you have your certificate you can ask for more money from your current employer or land higher-profile, higher-paying jobs from other online schools and services.

And at this point, there’s nothing stopping you from moving overseas to teach too. If living abroad is something you’re interested in this is a great way to do it.

A Smaller Scale Opportunity

If you don’t want to take on a class of students, but the idea of teaching English appeals to you, no worries.

You can scale things down a bit and be a tutor, working with however many individual students you want. You’ll be charging $20+ per session. In many cases, your clients will simply want somebody to practice speaking English with. You’ll correct their grammar mistakes, critique their pronunciation… easy stuff. In some cases, you might help them with assignments from an English class.

The great thing about being a tutor is that you can easily work on another online business or keep your day job while you do this in your free time. It’s not really “work.” You’re just talking. And you can tailor your tutoring job to your schedule, taking on as many students as you’d like. Once a week per student, with five students, and that’s an extra $100 a week.

Whether you teach online, in the real world, or overseas, English language teaching can be a fulfilling and lucrative career.

Good luck!

John Hollister

P.S. I just gave you the rundown on how to start turning a profit by giving out advice. But here are a few more resources to help you succeed beyond your wildest imagination!

Resources Teaching English Job Boards and Teaching Tips

http://www.eslcafe.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tesol.assn

http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-money-teaching-english-online

http://www.buddyschool.com/

http://www.colingo.com/teach

http://www.englishclub.com/

http://www.kukuspeak.com/online-esl-jobs/

http://www.usingenglish.com/

http://www.global-english.com/news/a-guide-to-how-to-start-work-teaching-english-online-freelancing-and-working-for-yourself/

Getting Certified

http://www.americantesol.com/

http://www.globaltesol.com/

http://www.globaltesolcostarica.com/


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