Teaching In-Class or Online: Which Pays More?
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Teaching English as a Foreign Language is such a flexible job. You can teach in most countries, your students can be of any age and nationality, you can teach in various educational institutions, you can teach one student at a time or 50 – and you can even do it online. This flexibility is one of the reasons many people decide to get involved in TEFL: why be stuck to a desk – the same desk – for the rest of your life when you don’t know what your life will look like next year? Why not rather choose a career that can go with the flow of your life and all the ups and downs that go with it?
Read more: 7 Unexpected Outcomes of a TEFL Life
This flexibility also means that TEFL teachers can choose whether they want to teach face-to-face in a classroom or online in a virtual classroom. There are, of course, differences between the two methods of teaching, but it’s perfectly feasible for any TEFL teacher to do either one. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between teaching in-class and teaching online.
The teaching qualifications for teaching English in-class and online are pretty much the same. Some jobs require you to have a Bachelor’s degree, some don’t, but all require a 120-hour TEFL qualification. Remember, if a degree is required, the field of the degree is not important, but it needs to be a degree and not a diploma.
Having said that, if you are teaching face-to-face in a classroom, no matter what country you are in you will probably need to apply for a work permit or visa in order to be able to work legally in the country. This might mean you need a few extra bits and bobs to apply for that permit, such as a clean criminal record or proof of your English level. If you are teaching online, this is not necessary as you don’t require a visa to work online.
Read more: What are My Teaching Options Without a Degree?
If you are teaching online, there are a few other requirements that come into play on a practical level. You need to have a decent laptop, a headset, a good internet connection, and a quiet space to teach. You will also need to prove your internet speed to your employer before you start teaching.
It’s difficult to speak in general about teaching schedules because they can differ so much from school to school, country to country, teacher to teacher. But here are a few possible scenarios for a TEFL teacher schedule:
- A TEFL teacher in a primary school in Thailand teaches five 45-minute lessons a day, Monday to Friday. They are required to be at school from 7 am to 4 pm. On occasion, they might be asked to attend an after-school function.
- A TEFL teacher in a language school in the UK teaches 7 hours a day, Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 6 pm. They only need to be present at the school for their lessons and staff meetings. Any extra work events they attend are paid for, though this seldom happens.
- A TEFL teacher at a language school in Vietnam teaches 5 hours a day, Monday to Friday. They teach 2 hours between 9 am and 12 pm and 3 hours between 5 pm and 9 pm.
- A TEFL teacher in Dubai teaches 4 hours a day, Sunday to Thursday. They teach between 8 am and 12 pm. In summer, they only work four days a week, and often those hours will be after 6 pm.
- A TEFL teacher working online teaches 25 hours a week, Monday to Sunday. These lessons take place whenever the students have scheduled them so their schedule changes regularly. Lessons are often late at night or early in the morning due to time differences between the teacher’s and the student’s countries of residence.
Now let’s get to the interesting bit: the difference in how much you earn. Again, this is tricky to put a definitive number on because it totally depends on where you are teaching and how much you are teaching. However, we are able to make a few points.
Firstly, a big difference between salaries when teaching online versus teaching in a class is that a school will give you a contract and you will be a salaried employee. This means that you have guaranteed work for a certain time period (usually 12 months) and you will be paid a salary at the end of every month. The salary amount might differ slightly from month to month depending on if you do a few extra duties, but generally, it is the same.
If you are teaching in a language school you will earn an hourly rate. You will be paid at the end of each month but your earnings will depend on the number of hours you have worked. This doesn’t usually change much from month to month, though.
Read more: 10 EFL Language Schools You Should Know
Teaching for an online company you are seldom asked to sign a fixed-term contract. You do not receive a set salary but you are paid per lesson taught. You can be paid on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. How much you get paid totally depends on the number of lessons you have taught. A portion of your earnings may also go to the company you are working for.
In terms of actual earning potential, we can’t put an exact number on it but we can make some generalisations:
- A TEFL teacher in a primary school in Thailand usually earns around THB 35 000 – THB 45 000 a month.
- A TEFL teacher in a language school in the UK usually earns around £20 an hour. For a schedule of 25 hours a week that makes £2 000 a month.
- An online TEFL teacher usually earns between $15 and $25 an hour. For a schedule of 25 hours a week that makes $1 500 and $2 500 a month.
Read more: How Much Money Can I Really Make Teaching English Online
Not all about numbers
But salaries are not only about the numbers. A teaching contract in a school, for example, can include many benefits. You might be provided with accommodation, or given a housing allowance. Your flight could be paid for or contributed to. You will get paid sick leave and paid holidays. You could be given a contract completion bonus, which is usually the 13th cheque. All of this can add up to a lot of savings.
Teaching online provides no such benefits. Any sick days or holidays you take are unpaid. There are no flights to be paid for and your employer does not need to worry about your accommodation. However, when you are an online teacher you do not need to worry about moving to another country, which is a costly venture. You do not need to pay for a daily commute, either in terms of petrol or public transport. Plus, that time usually spent commuting can actually be spent working, so you are not only saving money at that time but earning money.
As you can see there are numerous differences between teaching English as a Foreign Language in-class and teaching English as a Foreign Language online. Both are sustainable as full-time jobs. Which one you choose totally depends on you!
Read more: Teaching English Online Versus Teaching English Abroad
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.