English teachers have been supplementing their income by taking on private students for as long as there have been private students. Teachers usually do this because their income from teaching English in a school is so low. When you teach in a school, the owner of the school usually keeps most of the fees the student has paid. The teacher – the one who does all the hard work, remember – gets to pick up the crumbs.
But today a revolution is taking place. Technology has now developed to the point that you can set up your own school on the Internet.
Startup costs are zero
If you already have a computer, a tablet or a smartphone and an Internet connection, you already have everything you need to teach English online. Many of the tools you need to develop an online business, such as Skype, Facebook, Google Hangouts, email, PayPal and iDroo are free to use. And billions of webpages containing videos, lesson plans, games and activities are also free. You can even market your online school for free.
The technology is out there
The technological revolution of recent years has made computers and mobile devices, as well as Internet connectivity, affordable and available for billions. It’s only been around for less than a decade, but tools like Skype and Facebook have made communication with people on the other side of the world fast, free and reliable.
Billions of people want to learn English
We live in a globalised world in which travelling across the world for business, study and pleasure is taken for granted. But a globalised world needs a global language and today that global language is English.
You can work from home….
….or from a coffee shop, a beach or the comfort of your own bed, anywhere you can get a decent Internet connection. No commuting for an hour or more every day, stuck in traffic jams or walking through rain, snowdrifts or sweltering heat. No bus fares or petrol costs. And if you have young children, you can work from home and look after them, without needing to pay for day care.
Many people, whether they have experience teaching or not, have considered teaching English online but don’t know where to start. How will I get paid? How will I find students? How can I keep students? What will I teach? How do I teach grammar? Do I need to use Skype? Do I use a coursebook? Where will I find resources? What do I do?
The Online English Teacher aims to answer all these questions and more.