Because of the current global demand for expertise in English, it has reached the status of the top universal language. As such, the trend of teaching English online has reached new heights.

Because of online lessons, students do not need to travel to classrooms to attend classes. They also get better access to teachers who are native speakers of the language. Therefore, the demand for online English classes is burgeoning rapidly.

Teachers of online English classes can get adequate training by being certified with Certificate IV in TESOLDemand for trained English teachers is growingUnlike the rigours of a standard 9 to 5 desk job or a regular English class, online classes provide much flexibility. The advent of the internet means you can teach from anywhere at any time.

Following are top tips to teach English online:

Be fluent and get certified

The basic need of an online teacher of English is to be fluent in the language. Additionally, you may seek certifications like TESOL, TEFL or TESL. All 3 such courses will train you in skills to become a good teacher of English. For instance, you may learn about different teaching styles, how to plan lessons and how to simplify grammar. One can even take up TESOL courses online.

Get the right hardware

It is vital to ensure that all the needed hardware and internet connections for online classes are in place. These include:

  • Computer- Desktop or laptop
  • Webcam-In case there is no in-built webcam, arrange an external one. This is vital for online students to understand the teacher's body language.
  • Headset featuring micro-phone.
  • Robust internet connection

While teachers must have the right hardware for administering the course, broadcasting classes, interacting with students and grading their work, it is equally essential for students to have the right hardware, like a laptop, tablet or smartphone, to participate in the class.

Select platforms and tools for teaching

Before starting, you might be required to decide on a platform for delivering online English classes. One popular option is Google Classroom, a free service to schools for managing online learning. It helps to facilitate creativity, collaboration, grading and file-sharing and works well with other Google platforms.

Zoom is another platform for teaching and video-conferencing that has accomplished massive popularity. It features a built-in whiteboard for interaction, space for nearly 100 students, chat features, file sharing, etc.

Other options include Skype and Google Accounts. But they need you first to download the software and create an account. They are simple to use but not meant mainly for teaching.


Devote a significant piece of time for your first online English class to help students become familiar with using the technology and tools for the classes. Even though you devote half the first session to explaining the technology, it is much more time and effort-saving than explaining the details to every participant individually. Several platforms for conferencing and online teaching also include videos and guides to get teachers and students get started.

Resources and space

If possible, it is good to set aside a specific space in your office or home to base your teaching. Also, ensure that you have at hand all the visual aids and resources meant for the lessons. This will give a classroom feel while enabling you to be creative and spontaneous during lessons. This is key to classes for young learners for whom you need to use tools to break the boredom, like costumes, puppets and flashcards.

It is equally good if students set up specific areas designated for class attendance. Seek help from parents for this aspect if learners are very young. Such arrangements help students focus on the right frame of mind.

Also, ensure that no additional information like home address, bank details, or family details are inadvertently picked up by the camera, as online sharing poses a security risk.

Objectives of learning

It is quite distracting for students to take part in online classes. Bring them to focus by beginning classes by spelling out the learning objectives. Use an interactive whiteboard or chatroom to spell out what will be covered in the class and explain your expectations. This will keep students focused like in a regular, physical classroom. When the class concludes, both students and the teacher can reflect on the lesson delivered and whether the learning objectives have been accomplished.

Set a routine

Try your best to set up a routine for online classes. This will assure students of being part of a safe environment for learning and makes the delivery of lessons much more efficient. For instance, start with a warm-up activity, set class objectives, proceed with the lesson and grade or review homework. Also, mix lessons with mini-breaks or interesting games.

In sum, the internet has contributed to a new dimension to the English language teaching profession. One of the biggest beneficiaries is the teacher. The above practical tips can help much in the career of a professional online teacher of English.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I am Aria. I am a passionate blogger. Blogging is my profession. I love to write articles on several topics. Keep up the good work and Have a great day!