What Tools Do I Need to Teach English Online?
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Considering teaching English as a foreign language online? Welcome to the future! The next question you’re probably wondering is: what do I need to teach English online?
Teaching English online is a booming business right now and it seems its popularity is not going anywhere anytime soon. And there’s no reason it should. Online learning is convenient for both the teacher and the students because it can take place anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t matter if the teacher and the students live in different countries, on different continents, even in different time zones. Plus, there is the added convenience of not having to travel for lessons.
Even better, there is not much you need in order to be able to teach English online, which means it’s a viable career option for most people. Yes, even you!
Not convinced? Let’s answer the question: What do I need to teach English online?
A TEFL qualification
First things first, you’ll need to get yourself a TEFL certificate. Look online and you’ll find hundreds of TEFL courses on offer for you around the world or online. Do your due diligence and pick the TEFL course that suits you.
Read more: How Do I Choose the Right TEFL Course?
A computer and accessories
Yes, we know you know this but it’s worth repeating. You can no longer think of your computer as a means of communication or a way to stream Netflix. Your computer is now your livelihood. Make sure it is a decent computer or laptop and also that it has a good antivirus. Make sure it is regularly updated so that it can run smoothly.
Then, you also need a headset or a microphone. There are loads you can buy but try not to go for the absolute bottom of the range. You don’t need to break the bank but these will be used a lot so they need to be of good quality. Besides, cheap electronics have a tendency to break quickly so you’ll end up replacing a cheap pair soon anyway.
Depending on your “classroom” situation, it might make sense for you to invest in a laptop stand and a comfy (but ergonomic) chair. If you’re teaching for hours on end, this could save you loads of money in physical therapy later on!
Obviously, you need an internet connection but bear in mind it needs to be relatively fast and reliable. When you sign up with an online school they will ask you to do a speedtest to confirm the speed of your internet. The speed requirements vary from company to company but usually, they ask for an upload speed of 10 to 15 Mbps, though the higher the better. You can test your internet speed yourself at Speedtest.net.
Then, if you’re in an area where the internet connection or power supply is a bit unreliable (hello, South Africans!), you should consider investing in a UPS. A UPS is an Uninterruptible Power Supply. If there is a power outage, a UPS will power your computer and wifi for a few hours – hopefully until the power comes back on. There are different sizes available but you only need a small one for home use and thankfully, there are not overly expensive – and totally worth it since your livelihood relies on it.
Props and backgrounds
We have all learned through the last few months of Zoom meetings that we always need to be careful about what’s in the backgrounds of our screens. When you are teaching, this is understandably a big concern. To make sure you won’t suffer from any embarrassments, try to keep the wall behind you clear. But, if you would like to make your background a bit interesting, you could choose a few nice artworks or posters to hang behind you.
If you are teaching English online to Young Learners, then a bland background just won’t cut it. You’ll need a backdrop of some sort of posters to hang up behind you. You can also have a map, maybe a whiteboard, your name written somewhere, and even a calendar or the day of the week.
During your lesson, you want to introduce realia into your lessons. This could be something as simple as pieces of fruit if you are teaching fruit, or clothing if you are teaching clothing. Many teachers have a mascot in the form of a soft toy or puppet to “assist” them in their teaching.
While it’s possible to note everything down online, there is something to be said for the ease and convenience of a whiteboard. You don’t need a giant one. There are mini versions that will suit your purposes just fine. And don’t forget you’ll need a few different colour marker pens too.
Flashcards are also a good idea if you are teaching Young Learners.
Read more: Using Flashcards to Teach Vocabulary
A teaching platform
You might be wondering how you actually teach your students online. And the beauty of the internet is that you actually don’t need to worry about that. Most commonly, your online school will have its own teaching platform which you will have access to. This should have a classroom as well as an interactive whiteboard, a shared screen, and messaging capabilities. You will also use this platform to check your class schedule and bookings, give feedback on your lesson, and request payment. Each company will work differently but you will be provided with adequate training before you start teaching.
If your school doesn’t offer this, there are other options available to you. Skype used to be very popular, but Zoom is becoming more so these days, probably because it offers a lot more by way of interactivity. Either works fine, you’ll just need to check them both out and see which one suits your needs best.
If you’re lucky, your school might provide you with your lesson materials for teaching English online. This means you don’t need to worry about a thing besides showing up and teaching. Of course, you’ll look over the materials before the lesson but you won’t need to make time to plan your lesson or source materials.
If you do, there are tons of different sites to help you out. Some of them are subscription sites but there is still a lot of free materials available to you. Here are a few of our favourite sites:
A payment method
The easiest way to get paid from abroad is through a payment website, such as Paypal, Transferwise, or Payoneer. The majority of online schools pay through Paypal and it’s very simple to use. You’ll need to sign up and link it to your local bank account – but that’s it! Easy peasy.
That’s it! You’re all set! With these tools at your fingertips, you’re ready to conquer the online world and teach English.
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert) Observed Teaching Practice Course 40-hour observed teaching practice course
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- We are ELEARNING FUTURES LTD (trading as The TEFL Academy) a company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
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- These Terms shall commence upon the date you receive a confirmation email from us to accept your order and
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- The duration of the TEFL Courses shall be as follows:
Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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Extension type Extension fee pre-expiry Extension fee post-expiry Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 30 day extension $66 $84 Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 90 day extension $96 $114 Top-up Course 30 day extension $36 n/a Observed Teaching Practice Course No fee No fee
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Name of course Price Combined Level 5 TEFL Course $ Online Level 5 TEFL Course $573 Online Level 3 TEFL Course $348 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course $220 Top-up courses $195 Observed Teaching Practice Course $275
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awarded a pass grade in.
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marking before your end-date, you will need to apply for an extension.
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- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
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13. Complaints Handling Policy
- If you have any questions or complaints about the TEFL Course, please contact us. You can telephone our
customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or write to us at [email protected] or The TEFL Academy, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL, United Kingdom.
- If your complaint is not dealt to your satisfaction with you may make a complaint to the course accrediting
body. You can find the contact details for the accrediting body in the The TEFL Academy’s Appeals Policy which
can be found here.
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students, staff and external organisations. Disruptive or antisocial behaviour could result in being asked to
leave the course.
- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
found guilty of plagiarism will be removed immediately from the course without refund.
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Academy uses your personal information.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Who we are
- This website is owned and operated by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD , (we) a limited company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
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Information Governance & Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
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In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
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We collect and use personal information to offer people information, products and services. This policy will apply in all locations where we operate to all forms of information and to all systems used to collect, store, process or transfer information.
With your prior agreement, we may share your data, such as name, email and CV, with potential employers.
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- explaining why it needs personal information, only asking for the personal information it needs and only sharing personal information within the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD and with other organisations as necessary or where the person concerned has given their consent
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We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
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We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
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We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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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.
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- 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.