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Teaching English online?

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Teaching English online?

Postby Winston » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:03 pm

Hi all,
Some of my relatives in Taiwan said that I could teach and tutor English online over Skype or an Instant Messenger service. They said that there are schools and agencies that offer this kind of service, but if you go through them to find students, you'd have to give them a cut of the money you make of course. However, if you found your own students, then you wouldn't have to give the agencies any percentage. One of my cousins said he is considering having his kids do such a thing with me.

What do you think of this idea? Ever hear of it before? I have heard of some girls in the Philippines teaching English to Koreans like this before. But it's probably one of those new things.

Are there any sites you can find students to do this kind of thing with, teach them English online in exchange for fees?

If so, that'd be another way to make money online.
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Postby gmm567 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:25 am

I think maybe you should organize trips to the philipines too.
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Postby Winston » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:33 pm

Well it looks like this teaching English online thing isn't as easy as I thought. Take a look at all the obstacles.

http://www.speakoz.com/english-articles ... nline.html

If you're planning to start teaching the English language to ESL students online using instant messaging systems, here are some obstacles to take into consideration. By James Hogan

"James, I am an ESL teacher and am wondering how you get started teaching english online and does it pay enough? thanks for the help! Jean"

The quick answer is it's easy but, if you have a family or other responsibilities, it doesn't pay enough!

The problem is being able to teach at times that are convenient to people other than yourself. So requests for lessons after 10pm my time (I'm in Sydney) are quite common and for me, not possible. Also, if you have children you'll find they don't like to see you at your computer talking into your microphone so they'll start screaming and trying to get your attention while you're teaching.

Not very professional so you have to try and find students that can take lessons when someone is taking care of your family, an extra cost to take into consideration.

If your time is completely flexible and you can give a lesson anytime within 24 hours, then online teaching will probably make you money.

The second thing that puts a knocker on it is that Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, ICQ and other Instant Messenger services have a feature allowing instant chatting with anyone around the world for free. If you just want to practice speaking English online, why pay a tutor? So lots of visits to your advertisement but when people find out that it isn't free, not many requests.

(I tested this by offering a free online automatic IELTS speaking practice service 'for a short time only' recently and got over 60 requests from India within a few weeks. As soon as I ended the free trial period - no one!)

The third thing that makes it difficult is that, while there isn't much competition in the real world for an English tutor, (I can easily make a living tutoring students in person in Sydney) there are lots of teachers doing it online and offering free trial lessons.

The fourth obstacle is that the countries with money that want to learn English (Japan and Korea) don't trust online payment systems or use credit cards online or PayPal. And the ones that do want to pay, want to use different payment systems that tend to cost a lot more in fees or take a while to get to you (money transfer systems). (My online student in Kuwait could only use Western Union Money transfer which required me to travel to and line up at a post office with ID to get paid)

The fifth obstacle is that you also need to know a lot about computers to troubleshoot any problems that your student may have with his connection. As I've also worked in IT I thought this would not be a problem but, try explaining a solution to a computer problem to a student with limited English and no understanding of how their computer works and you'll soon realise that it can be very stressful.

Here are some connection problems I've encountered so far: Incompatible IM program versions; people still using slow dial up; not enough RAM; students still using Windows '98 - Skype doesn't work properly with it; students who have computers running a large number of things that cause their voice to bubble but they're not aware of it and don't know how to turn it/them off - spyware, adware, viruses etc; students who insist on using loudspeakers to hear you so that you are distracted by hearing your own voice a few seconds later; PC's that keep crashing or programs that won't connect - most of your lesson is spent trying to connect to them resulting in a much longer and frustrating lesson, and other problems!)

Having said that it is a great way to supplement the income you already have if you're happy to put up with some of the hassles that come with it. :)

A quick way to get started is to set up your own website offering the service, then use an online advertising system, or free classifieds, to point to your site and promote yourself. If you already have students that want to continue lessons with you after they return to their country then online is a great way for them.

Hope this helps.

And, if you're wanting to add to your teaching materials, I recommend my Ebook - Become an English language conversation tutor. This is the second edition 2008 and features a detailed chapter on how to teach online.

Cheers, James
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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Postby Winston » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:33 pm

BTW, here is a website that connects you with students who want to learn English online. You get paid for it too! Check it out! What a great way to earn money from your computer.

http://www.verbalplanet.com/teach-english.asp
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

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I've actually tried doing this....

Postby gits » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:27 am

I've actually tried doing this....
the biggest obstacle I've found (without having yet read your link) is the time difference.
You think you can schedule good times, but California v. Taiwan is not a good set up for
times spent in front of the computer in each country.
Maybe using Verbal Planet, and teaching students that can do it within your schedule can work.
------------------------------
I've thought a little more about this, and must say, that teaching one on one is not great money when you think bout the opportunity cost of only being able to have one student at a time. Imagine if you can have scheduled classes online with several students at once.
The biggest obstacle I foresee here is the bandwidth issue.
there is a website called Ustream where this might be possible.
Here is an example of Leo Laporte's show online, he has multiple guests on 4 screens at once. Expensive start up, but once it's set up, possibly a great thing.
http://cdn1.ustream.tv/swf/4/viewer.107 ... rnish=true
these two links are his website which carry the same ustream show, but with limitations. The 2nd one is the chat room which always has activity, because his shows are looped. http://irc.twit.tv/ http://live.twit.tv/# Now I'll go read your link above on the obstacles.
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I just...

Postby gits » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:23 pm

I just did this last night , and spent 2 hours on Skype with a student. It worked out pretty well!
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Teaching English

Postby Gene and Viol » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:10 am

A friend of ours, Another American is doing just that. Lives here by Angeles City and teaches students in Taiwan. Makes good money doing so. I think the site he uses to advertise is free. But it also might be restricted to teachers. Our friend has a PHd and commands a prett fair amount for the teaching.
I'll get the web address from him if you like...
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Re: Teaching English

Postby ladislav » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:05 pm

Gene and Viol wrote:A friend of ours, Another American is doing just that. Lives here by Angeles City and teaches students in Taiwan. Makes good money doing so. I think the site he uses to advertise is free. But it also might be restricted to teachers. Our friend has a PHd and commands a prett fair amount for the teaching.
I'll get the web address from him if you like...


Could you please get the web address? I found the main obstacle to be - getting enough students to pay your bills. Quite a few sites and online schools are there, but how do you get enough students? I signed up with them and they sent me one or two students. WTF?
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English Students

Postby Gene and Viol » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:07 am

As I understand it, using the site my friend does, you list there and the students find you. Will get the address ASAP and will post it here...
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Websites to meet online students.

Postby gits » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:32 pm

There is a "generic" online language teaching site that I'll find again and post.

I have 5000 hours of classroom ESL teaching in the USA and Taiwan, but my education is MBA (check my resume in the Intro section).

The two websites in TW that focus on finding privates is:

http://www.tealit.com (Things may have changed, but back in the day I used to also meet women for dates on this site for free)

http://www.forumosa.com (Note, I never found students through this site, and found it quite difficult to log into the classifieds section. Also, you must get approved to sign up at this site)

The new site which requires "approval" to post by a real person
is pretty good because the students actually pay a few dollars
for your contact info, so you know they are more serious:

http://www.myu.com.tw

I just visited and updated my MYU account, and they had a new box to check : Online Teaching .

I'm sure the others are changing.
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Postby jenn » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:57 am

The online school (www.askforeducation.com/online-schools) is a relatively new concept for many EFL teachers but, in fact, it is an increasingly popular English-learning tool for students all around the world. I have been an online teacher for more than three years, and it still amazes me that I teach students as far away as Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Egypt, to name but a few. And remember, this is not email instruction; these classes are live. I work for an online school that has provided English language instruction to more than one million students worldwide. I do online teaching, from my office at home, for about 16 hours per week. It's the ideal job for a new mother like me, or for those teachers unable to work in a physical classroom for whatever reason. These jobs are like gold dust, though, and the online schools and colleges only accept the cream of the crop - those with several years of experience, and preferably with a Master's degree.
Last edited by jenn on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:45 am

I have figured out the formula.
Make an ESL resume and put it online at www.weebly.com
Have a verified ( connected to the bank) Paypal account.
Google ESL Skype English School and Online ESL English teachers wanted - send them a cover letter with a link to your resume URL.
Advertise at www.buddyschool.com and www.italki.com

Now, this gets interesting. Take the phrase "Skype English School" and put it into translate.google.com

Translate it into Russian ( later Chinese, Korean, Greek, French, Ukrainian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.)
Put the resulting 'gibberish' into google, and Skype schools in foreign countries will come up.

Open the URLs that read like schools -they will be like english.ru, englishschool. ru, etc

Now, put those URLs back into translate.google.com;

now you can read the sites in English, and then just find out how to contact them. Some have emails listed, some have Skype IDs listed. Send them your cover letter with your link.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Contact 50 schools like that. Then a 100 if you do not get enough results.

You will find work and be making on average of $8-15 an hour depending on the school. The average seems to be $12.

In a month or two you should have enough students to feed you. 8 hours a day of teaching is exhausting but you will make $1500-2000 a month and that is enough to finance your working retirement.

Source: I have been doing this.

Note: Your resume needs to have ESL teaching or tutoring experience and a diploma/certificate of some sort preferably. In other words- it needs to be a teacher's resume.

If you are not an ESL teacher at all, as in ever, you can get experience by volunteering in some immigrant program in your community while at the same time doing language exchange online- google " language exchange". You talk English to someone for one hour and they talk to you in Chinese, etc. Or start teaching ESL at italki.com for one dollar an hour- you will get students.

You can also google 'TEFL certificate' and do a short course and it will cost you a couple of hundred dollars.

Follow this formula and you will soon be teaching online and feeding yourself just fine. You will also be able to get married and support a family in a country like the Phils.

Not enough money to live on in New York or Tokyo but you get my drift.

The biggest sources of students now are Russia and China. Go to their schools' sites directly. If you only answer online ESL advertising for online teachers IN ENGLISH, you will face tough competition.
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Postby Renata » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:33 pm

This is two that I came across recently & interviewed with but no response yet, u guys might be luckier ...

Japan, http://www.e-cominc.co.jp/

http://jobs.ispeakuspeak.com/
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