Published 4th April 2020

teaching english online to adults

If you’ve been looking into teaching English online, you might have noticed that a lot of these companies teach English online to Young Learners. This is all well and good if you like dealing with children, but many of us would prefer not to make funny faces or play endless games and rather teach adults. Is that even possible online? Thankfully, yes.  Here are seven companies to work for if you want to teach English online to adults. 

English First (EF)

English First is a massive international chain of language schools. There are literally hundreds of them in China and there’s probably one wherever you are too. Now they also have an online school. Classes are 20 to 40 minutes long for 1-to-1 classes or 45 minutes long for group classes. TEFL teachers have access to in-house materials and lessons follow a simple procedure so no planning is required. Teachers earn from $12 an hour. Teachers need to be a UK or US citizen and a native speaker with a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate.


iTalki is a very popular platform with over 10 000 teachers but you can teach any language through iTalki, not just English. Teachers upload an introductory video, set their rates, and students book an available time slot with them. Teaching through iTalki is conversation-based, so teachers are responsible for any lesson planning they may do, and lessons are conducted via Skype. To be a Professional Teacher you need to have either a Bachelor’s degree or a teaching qualification like the TEFL, but to be a Community Tutor who just need to be native or near native level of English. 


Cambly is another platform which connects teachers to students. Lessons are conducted through Skype and are conversation-based so minimal lesson planning is required. Teachers are paid per minute and earn $10.20 an hour. You do not need a Bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certificate, even though we would recommend doing a TEFL course before teaching anywhere.

Open English

Open English is available to students 24 hours a day, so there is no shortage of opportunities for teachers. Teaching materials are provided and classes are conducted in a virtual, interactive classroom. Teachers need to be North American citizens, have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate. Teachers can earn $8 – $13 an hour.


Learnship offers language training on a corporate level. The training sessions (lessons) involve Business language coaching and intercultural training. Learnship is based in Germany and the majority of its students are in Europe. Lessons are 45, 60 or 90 minutes long and you can earn from $15 per 45-minute lesson. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree, teaching experience and preferably experience in business or teaching Business English. 


Similarly, Fluentify offers English language training (usually Business English) to individuals and companies. Students are able to have 1-to-1 lessons, follow a self-study course or do a mix of both. Teachers need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate and two years’ teaching experience, as well as experience teaching online and experience in a non-teaching job, and be a native speaker. As you can imagine, the application process is quite a rigorous one, plus you will undergo training before teaching. Teachers can earn about $25 an hour.


Skimatalk is a very simple platform to use. All you have to do is sign up with Skype, create a Skimatalk profile and you’re good to go. Students will find you, check your availability and sign up for 1-to-1 lessons. Lessons are 25 minutes long and teachers set their own rates, with a minimum of $8 per lesson i.e. approximately $16 an hour. What is very important with Skimatalk is your students’ feedback, as you will be removed from the platform if you receive negative feedback. You don’t need any qualifications to teach with Skimatalk but you need to be over 18 years of age and a native speaker of English. 

There are a number of other companies which allow you to teach English online to adults, but these are a good place to start. Remember, there is no reason you can’t sign up with more than one company to make sure your student numbers stay high – just make sure your schedules don’t clash!

  1. Hi! I am currently doing the TEFL course. I am a retired Teacher with 30 yeas of experience in teaching English as a foreing language. The last two, teching online, specially to young adults and adults. I have got a BA in English Language as well as an English Teacher Degree. My question is that I am not a native speaker, I am from Argentina. And most companies ask for native speakers. Could you please advise me about what I should do? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lucrecia. It is true that many companies may ask for teachers to be a native speaker but generally the requirement is to be a native-level speaker of English. This would mean holding a C1 – C2 level in English. In fact, across many countries and regions in the world, for example in the EU, it is illegal to request only native speakers. Companies must take non-native speakers into consideration also. Therefore, I would recommend applying for any positions that interest you and awaiting a response. I would also recommend getting in touch with our Student Services department if you have any queries or if you would like some job search support as a student at The TEFL Academy. You can contact them by emailing

  2. Good day

    I have completed my TEFL course here at TTA, no teaching experience and no degree, but I have a few other certificates and work experience, I am looking for employment either online or abroad can you steer me in the right direction or towards an agent perhaps?

    Thank you

    1. Hi There, thanks for getting in touch. Congratulations on completing your course! We’ll send you a Email now with some resources that may prove useful in finding work. Best of luck with it! 😀

  3. Please note.
    I omitted a number in my email address. The correct address is as above. Apologies.

  4. Good day. My name is Elizabeth and I live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Having completed the 120 hour Graduate TEFL Course in October 2019 I would like to teach English on-line, but not having taught before I feel I have a slight disadvantage. However, I also feel I could add fresh, new ideas and contribute a more modern, relaxed and creative approach in teaching English as a Foreign language to the young and old.

    Being an older more mature lady I have gained 40 years experience in administration, business economics and credit control, including a high degree of experience in the secretarial sector. I’m available any time of the day, week and weekends as I am semi-retired. I’m also willing to teach my first hour’s lesson for free.

    Thank you

  5. My name is Waheeda Khan
    I am a South African, currently residing in Durban.
    At present, I am studying towards my online masters degree in Data Analytics and Project Management through Arden University located in Birmingham (UK)
    I have a full National Diploma in Electrical Engineering.
    A level 5, 168hr TEFL certificate (distinction pass) – this certificate incorporates teaching children.
    Teaching English online 1-on-1 certificate (distinction pass)
    Business English certificate (distinction pass)
    All my English certificates have been completed through the TEFL Academy.
    I also hold advanced certificates for Project Management and Business Management.
    My experience in Business English is extensive. In my job as a customer services officer I developed, wrote and implemented training programs for many new policies and procedures within the Ethekwini Electricity Department.
    I have been avidly involved in my daughters school life and often tutor her and her friends as well as many underprivileged children in my area in English and maths.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Hi …I am currently doing the TEFL course through your company …. are there any agencies I can contact that could perhaps allow for me to do online teaching while I study ?

      1. Hi Fioannuala,

        I am also currently busy with the TEFL course and am also interested in gaining some experience while I study. Could ypu please send me the info that you have sent to Danielle?

        1. Hi there Celeste, we would be happy to send you more information. This has now been forwarded to you via email. If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

  7. Hi. My name is Shalan Singh. I completed the Tefl 120 hour and 20 Hour practicle training with The Tefl Academy, beginning of March 2020. I am interested in doing online training. I have applied with some online companies but my application was denied without an interview. Is there any way you can assist me?

  8. Thank you for keeping me informed.
    Interested in teaching English to adults.
    Have a teaching degree. Donot have tefl

  9. I am a retired teacher of English and have 41 years of teaching experience. I have a Bachelor’s degree with English as a major subject as well as a teaching diploma. I would like the opportunity of teaching English as I have a passion for teaching. . Thank you.

  10. Hi, i completed my TEFL certificate in October last year and am now available to start teaching full time or part time online on any day or time of the week . The past 5 years i did online training to Corporate Companies for Computer training and other teaching related experience although not online includes 12 years as senior Karate instructor, 4 years as a microlight flight instructor and 10 years in-house staff training at a Toyota Group. I do not have a degree but was a final year BA Psychology student at University. I have a designated office space and required equipment to teach and and kindly request your advice or assistance of an opportunity to teach as i have tried many online sites/ recruiters without success. Thank you kindly. Regards. Jacobus Jacobs

  11. Good Day, having completed your on-line course I would like to commence teaching on-line. I run a playgroup from home in the mornings for 18-month to 4 year-old children and am therefore available form 12h30 onwards daily, as well as weekends. Prior to starting my playgroup 12 years ago I worked in the financial services sector in administrative management, marketing and sales. I do not hold a degree but have much experience in staff training and people-engagement, in addition to teaching children. I would appreciate some guidance as have found little success in searching on-line. I have the necessary technology in place to commence immediately. Many thanks!

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