Why 2020 is the best time to get into online teaching


Why 2020 is the best time to get into online teaching

We’re living in a digital age

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, you’ll have witnessed firsthand how technology is taking over our lives.

The efficiency and speed of communication over the globe is increasing at an exponential rate – some may even say too fast with the implementation of 5G (but that’s another story…) Nevertheless, the need for face-to-face contact is becoming far less vital to our everyday lives, from socialising to even filling our bellies. Just think about it: we live in a time when we can tap a few buttons on our iPhone and make food arrive at our door an hour later. Pretty crazy, eh?

2020 brought this fact home with hammering realness. The global Covid-19 pandemic saw people forced to work from home, and not only did they survive – some thrived. Seven weeks after the UK went into lockdown, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey told his employees they would be able to work from home forever after reporting “no significant change in productivity” from his teams. And while the social media network trailblazes, we bet they won’t be the last company to allow their employees more flexibility as traditions of physically going into the office are looking ever more outdated.

Not only is WFH now a realistic option for many – it could be the way of the future.

So why teach English online?

We’ve explained why having a digital role is a smart move in this day and age, now let’s jump into why it should be an English teaching one. Here are just a few ways why ESL teaching is the best:

The industry offers such good pay and flexible hours. Schools will pay anywhere between £12 to £25 per hour, plus bonuses. The teaching times are from 11:00 – 15:00 GMT (for those based in the UK) and most schools let you pick and choose your hours.

It’s a progressive industry that is only going to grow. With around 300 million English language students in China, and simply not enough ESL teachers physically in the country – the demand completely outweighs the supply. Parents and educators are turning to online teaching schools – and they need people like you.  

There are an estimated 100,000 English teachers needed in China – a figure which is expected to grow further over the next few years. The graph below illustrates the size of the English language training (ELT) market in China in 2017 and gives a forecast for 2022.

English language training (ELT) market size in China in 2017 and 2022 (Statista)

Native-English teachers are especially in demand from Chinese parents. Even though a skilled Chinese native (or other foreign national) is perfectly capable of teaching English, parents still prefer native-speaker, or someone with native-speaking proficiency, due to the correct pronunciation and the development of cultural understanding for their child. Also, many parents hope their children will study in the UK or US in the future. 

However, the most important thing for any parents is your individual skills, how professional you are and your ability to engage with their child.

To conclude, all you need to teach English online and get started in this booming industry is a TEFL and willingness to try something new and develop your skills. Happy teaching!

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  1. Paula burgess

    This was really helpful!!! Thankyou ?

  2. Jake

    couldn’t agree more with this!! the flexibility that comes with teaching online has been invaluable for me in the past couple of months

  3. Alistair

    Really insightful article! had no idea that there was such high demand in China for English Teachers!

    Looking forward to completing my TEFL so I can be fully qualified 🙂

  4. Theo Smith

    Got my TEFL Course via Teacher Tee and have just started work this week!

    I work 11-3 everyday online and its SOOO Easy once you have your TEFL to get online and start teaching during lockdown!

  5. George

    Really glad I read this!

    It’s given me a far better understanding of teaching online and the benefits it can provide me in this growing digital age.

    Can’t wait to get started now on my TEFL course now!

  6. Dominic

    Great read. I’ve been using teaching online part-time for a few years, mainly to help fund my travels around the world. During the current C19 crisis it has demonstrated the power of online learning and its resilient to the current situation. As you can imagine there is actually more demand than ever!

    I have shared this article with a few friend. Thank you very much.

  7. Paul

    There has really never been a better time to start online language teaching.
    Working for one of the big ESL companies is a good way to get some experience.
    But after say, 6 months, you should really be thinking about branching out and becoming and independent online English teacher.

    If you correctly choose a market niche and promote yourself online, you can earn much more (and have greater career freedom) than if you work for one of the online “chain” schools.

    This article might give you some useful tips on how to pick a niche.

  8. emily

    So helpful! Thanks Teacher Tee


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