COVID-19 & Teaching English Online

The Corona Virus came to town and rearranged everything.

Presidents and prime ministers assured us there was nothing to worry about, that it was just like the common cold. They told us everything would be back to normal in no time.

The numbers rose and they said, don’t worry, we will have a cure in a couple of months.

Some people stayed at home, others went outside. The numbers rose again.

Then people lost their jobs.

Over 36 million people as of writing.

What can these people do? Many of them are receiving little to no help at all. How can they survive?


Why not try Teaching English Online?


I would like to suggest teaching English online.

No, this will not make you rich, it will not change your life. There are many problems with the teaching English online industry.

But it could give you enough money to pay the rent, to eat, to pay your bills.

I know people personally who have told me they make $3000 a month. I have also read of average take-home pay of around $2000 a month.

Hardly the kind of money that will put anyone in the lap of luxury. But if there is nothing else, no other options, it could be enough to keep your head above water.


What is Teaching English Online?


You are teaching students online. You are teaching them English.

Mostly, you are teaching students from China how to improve their spoken English. There are many companies that offer this service to students and they are always looking for teachers.

These companies provide lesson plans of sorts and then they just expect you to get on with it.

I know one guy who teaches his students using online games. That is pretty much all he does.

It may sound easy, but teaching online is hard work. I have done some online classes, and quite frankly, I don’t like it. It requires much more concentration than classroom teaching, and you also use a lot of teacher-student interaction.

But effectively, you can just rock up to work in just a shirt.


What Certificates Do You Need?


To work for one of the big online schools, you just need a TEFL certificate. You can get one of these on Groupon for $25 as of the time of writing.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. If you were planning on teaching English in another country for a couple of years, I would advise you to do a class-based TEFL certificate.

But for you to teach English online for a year just to help you bring some money in, I think the Groupon certificate is perfectly adequate.


Who are the Big Players?


The two online giants are VIPKID and DaDaABC.

These two companies are both China-based and as such, have a huge glut of Chinese students.

They both say they pay up to $24 an hour, but I have heard that the average hourly rate is closer to $20.

Better than minimum wage — but just about.


Can You Do It Solo?


You can. But like with anything, you need to hustle for students constantly.

This may not be much of an option to anyone who just needs some fast and immediate cash.

But I know someone that does online English teaching as a business and they make decent money.


Is It a Career?


No. It’s not.

But it is a way to bring money into your bank account with not too much effort.


Can It Help Short Term?


Yes, I believe it can. The online schools are always looking for new teachers.

It could be the difference between keeping your head above water and drowning.


More Reading


Check out my other articles about online English teaching. In these articles, I outline the problems with teaching English online.

Online Teaching – A Brighter Future for ESL Teachers?

The Bad Side to Teaching English Online




I would really not advise doing online English teaching long term. It is not a career.

But I do think for the people that have lost their jobs recently, it could provide a much-needed cash injection. It is relatively easy to do and easy to get a full schedule of classes in a short period of time.

Yes, there are problems — and not likely to be fixed anytime soon.

If you were doing this full-time and long-term, I would advise you to think of other options.

But as a means to help you survive in times of this dreaded virus, online teaching could be a lifesaver.

3 thoughts on “COVID-19 & Teaching English Online”

  1. Even though I’m teaching an online course I designed before the plandemic, the topic of online teaching being imposed on teachers worldwide, puts me into a rage. I literally cannot talk about it without getting angry at the abuse being perpetrated on the human race with these regulations that infringe on civil rights and demoralize, bankrupt and snatch people’s autonomy, livelihood and creativity.

    1. We live in very strange times, Leona. Do you not think the virus is real? Or do you think it could have been handled more efficiently by the powers that be?

  2. The virus is real, like any flu, but the interesting thing about the way they handled this agenda was that they proceeded to create mass fear, havoc and bankruptcy worldwide. What are they trying to hide?? My guess is 5G which will compromise the immune system much more than a flu!

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