Published 22nd April 2020
South Africans, we see you. While the rest of the world prances around from country to country without even a second thought, it can seem like South Africans need a visa just to visit a website from a different country. Which is maybe why you’re looking into teaching English online. Teaching English online is a good idea for so many reasons, and we’re not only talking about going to work in your yoga pants. As a South African, teaching English online means earning dollars, pounds or euros, and we can all appreciate that right now. While there are a few companies which only accept North American or Canadian teachers, we are one of the preferred nationalities for teaching English, as part of the Big 7 – with U.S.A, U.K., Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. So before we start worrying about if you’re going to start teaching now, now now or just now, let’s have a look at a few of the top companies for South Africans to teach English online.
SayABC is a Beijing-based company. Teachers teach English to Chinese learners aged 5 to 12, in classes of up to 4 students. Learning materials, based on National Geographic resources, are provided. Before class, teachers need to review the materials and plan lessons accordingly. Lessons are taught through the company’s own online platform. Lessons are daily from 5pm to 9pm and also 9.30 am to 11.30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Because China is 6 hours ahead of South Africa, though the mornings could be tough the later shifts would be very convenient. To qualify you need to be a native English speaker, hold a Bachelor’s degree, and preferably have a TEFL or teaching qualification and/or 1 year teaching experience.
First Future is an online teaching company which is slightly different to the others. With First Future you will teach a class of up to 20 Chinese learners through live broadcasts. In other words, the Chinese learners are in their classroom while they watch and interact with you on a screen. Teachers are supplied with all teaching materials. Again, lessons take place from 6pm to 9pm Beijing time (12pm – 3pm SA time). Teachers earn $18 – $23 an hour but need to have a Bachelor’s degree, 1 year teaching experience and a TEFL certificate or teaching qualification.
iTutorGroup is a Taiwanese and Chinese company. You will teach children or adults (often business professionals) from China, Japan and Taiwan. All teaching materials are provided. Teachers need a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate or equivalent and at least 1 year teaching experience. Payment depends on the nationality of the teacher (ie you will be paid in Rands) and it will increase the more you teach and the better your student reviews are, but rates start from about $10 and some teachers have been known to make $30 an hour.
IQBar is a UK-based company which offers English and Phonics lessons to Young Learners and English and exam preparation lessons for adults and students. Besides these 30-minute lessons, teachers can also host 30-minute seminars, 1-hour Academic Subject Mentoring sessions and 1-hour University Consultations. Teachers need to be a native speaker of English or be fluent with a clear accent, have at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate or equivalent and 1 year of teaching experience. Teachers can choose to be contracted or flexi, but contracted teachers earn a higher rate. Teachers can earn £10 an hour on weekdays and £12 an hour on weekends, but you can earn more or less depending on the class if you are a flexi teacher or if you teach more than your contracted hours.
You’re not going to earn millions with Cambly but it’s a good company to use if you’re looking for a side hustle. With Cambly teachers don’t need a degree or a TEFL certificate. This is because Cambly does not offer a formal teaching environment. Teachers with Cambly chat with students via Skype for as long as the students want. Because of these low requirements and zero lesson planning involved, the rate of pay is quite low ($0.17 a minute, or $10.20 an hour) but it is precisely because there is no lesson planning that it can be an easy way to make a few extra dollars.These companies are a good starting point to find a job teaching English online as a South African (there are many more) but be sure to read all the requirements before applying. While we’ve tried to be as up-to-date as possible, the policies of teaching companies can change at any time. If you know if anything has changed, please let us know!