China’s Ban on Online ESL Teaching – TeacherTee’s 2022 Guide on How To Adapt and Prosper

Do you follow TeacherTee on Instagram? If so, you might have read our post from August 2021 on the new ESL regulations in China, including a ban on online English teaching. Now, almost half a year later, the situation is still, well, complex. The new regulations are intended to ban private ESL tutoring, ban companies profiting from teaching school curriculum subjects, and ban on hiring foreign teachers from overseas. Yet, due to the lack of a clear timeline and more detailed information, it is very unclear which developments we might expect to take place. The status quo is that China has already implemented a 9pm curfew for online classes and has banned online teaching for preschool children, and that some companies and teachers have already been affected by the new regulations. Still, some uncertainties remain: What about companies who do not teach school curriculum subjects? What about lessons that have been paid for in advance? Will all companies have to register as nonprofit organisations? And, probably the most important question for you: What to do now as an online English teacher? Although we cannot predict precisely what is going to happen, that doesn’t mean all you can do is wait (in fact, there is a lot more you can do). While the online English teaching sector has been changing quite a lot recently, TeacherTee is here to provide all teachers and aspiring teachers with exactly the solutions they need! We’re in this together, so let’s figure this one out together.


The reasons behind the ban on online English teaching

“Why would they do such a thing in the first place?”, you might ask. Well, there are two good reasons in favour of the ban on online ESL teaching. In a cultural environment often advocating hyper-productivity, the ban is intended to increase the well-being of students and their families. For children, too much work, along with no time left for playing, socialising, or even resting, can lead to mental health problems, underdeveloped social skills and too much dependence. Have you ever taught a child when after they have had a full day at school, then came home to have 3-4 hours of online classes with only a short break for dinner in between, and struggling to stay awake in your lesson? We have and it’s not cool. In addition, since more and more parents tend to spend an increasing amount of money on their children’s education, the ban is implemented in order to alleviate financial burdens from families, thus decreasing the disparity between richer and poorer families and even fighting a declining birth rate. So, while the ban on private ESL tutoring entails a couple of challenges for companies and teachers, we should not forget that it is aiming at granting the children a chance to enjoy their childhood – and that is definitely worth making changes for. 


man video calling

Although times might seem tough, don’t forget what you are doing it for. Working as an online ESL teacher comes with a lot of benefits! Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash 


International online English teaching with one of TeacherTee’s partner companies

We can hear you ask: “Well, but what am I supposed to do now?” Don’t panic, we at TeacherTee are here to help you through this. Whether you have been teaching ESL online for years or whether you have just decided to embark on your online English teaching adventure: Please don’t let these changes set you back and do not give up on your online English tutoring dreams! What we at TacherTee would recommend right now is this: Go international! Why should you let an online English teaching ban in one country interfere with your ambition, when you can – the very second you finish reading this blog – go international and discover all of the chances and possibilities other countries have to offer? Going international is the perfect solution for online English teachers working with companies as well as freelancers, and TeacherTee can provide you with everything there is to know about both options. If you are new to the industry or prefer working with companies, you might want to look for an international one that teaches students from countries all around the globe. Companies also often provide you with students and have their own curriculum, meaning all you have to do is start teaching! Check out these 4 international companies TeacherTee works with – if you want to apply, just head over to our Job Board!


Preply logo

Requirements: To apply for Preply you do not need a degree or experience, just a TEFL Certificate, a reliable laptop and strong internet connection.

Pay: You choose your own rates. The company will then take anywhere from 18% – 33% off your earnings for all the lessons you do, with their cut depending on the number of lessons you give. Essentially, the more tutoring you do through Preply, the less commission you pay. Some of the best tutors earn over $2000 (£1530) a month.

Amazing Talker

amazing talker logo

Requirements: To work for Amazing Talker you need to be a native English speaker and have a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification.

Pay: You’ll get between $8 – $70 USD (£6.15 – £54 GBP) per hour on average. You set your own rates and the company will take a 15% cut. Some of the best tutors earn over $2000 (£1530) a month.


berlitz logo

Requirements: Ideally you are a native or native-fluent speaker and have some form of accredited ESL qualification, and a stable cable connection.

Pay: You’ll get between £17 – £21 per hour. Teachers are asked to commit to 4.5 hours daily availability.


VivaLing logo

Requirements: To work with VivaLing, you need to be a native level speaker of English (or one of the various other languages they teach), have a minimum of two years of experience and a TEFL or educational degree.

Pay: You’ll get between $20 and $26 per hour and are expected to be available over 12 hours in 4 days, as well as occasionally on weekends.


If you want to work with a company, you might consider taking a TEFL course online to get your TEFL certification. Create your perfect TEFL CV and ace your job interview with our tips and tricks. Also, maybe you want to read through our list of top 10 companies that do not require a degree

Woman with laptop in café

Maybe she is browsing TeacherTee’s website for a list of online tefl jobs? Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash 


Freelancing – the future of online English teaching!

Working with a company is not your thing and you prefer working on your own? Going international as a freelancer is perfectly possible, too! Even though it will take some time and effort to market yourself and get in touch with students from all over the world, it will be worth it. In comparison to working with a company, freelancing ESL teaching comes with 5 major benefits: You get to be your own boss, choose your students, create a flexible schedule, set up your own pay rate and teach your own curriculum (though you might want to take a look at TeacherTee’s lesson plans). In addition, creating your own curriculum can include looking for your individual niche. Maybe you are a brilliant business English teacher? Maybe you want to teach adult students instead of younger students? The possibilities are endless and the choice is completely up to you! What is more, although a TEFL might come in handy when setting up your own business and connecting with students, it is definitely not a prerequisite for freelance teaching. The only thing you might not want to compromise on is getting the best out of your online teaching experience! Maybe you want to consider reading our guide to a teaching friendly workspace and helpful equipment, or following us on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and tricks – and please feel free to contact us directly if you have any further questions! 

​​Now what about this option: work completely independently, and be your own boss and earn more than £50 per hour…

How do I do this?

1. Switch from general English teaching to niche teaching (don’t be a jack of all trades, be a master of one).

2. Transition from session-based teaching to program-based teaching

3. Cut out the middle man and go direct to the source, by finding your own students with modern, tactical marketing methods

4. Sell your professional services independently

Imagine selling a 10-week programme with an hour session each week for £1000… Thousands of teachers are doing this on a weekly basis, so why aren’t you? 

We are releasing a free eBook on how to do this successfully in 2022 – stay tuned for the release very soon.

We are living in a digital age and online teaching is becoming more and more popular. There already is a huge demand for online English teachers, which is only going to grow in the years to come. No need to stand on the sideline while others are living your online English teaching dream! Just keep in mind what TeacherTee has got in store for you, adapt and prosper!


By Johanna Brand