Teaching English is a popular route that reaps benefits that other professions do not. Teach English abroad, and you can make money while you see the world. Teach English online, and you can earn money from the comfort of your own home. Not only this, but you have the power to influence what and how your student thinks. BUT, when people think of the word ‘student’, they don’t often think of adults. Many enter the TEFL industry without considering the option to teach English online to adults. 

Teaching young learners is a popular route because speaking English is such a desirable quality in children, and parents are eager to sign them up. This creates a high demand for teachers for these young students. While children are more susceptible to our influence and need fostering, we also have the power to create a difference for adult students.

Teaching English Online to Adults

But maybe you don’t want to teach English to young learners online. Maybe you want to teach English online to adults and fortunately, you don’t have to be good with children to be a good teacher. Here’s why you should consider teaching adults, and how you can achieve this! 

In this article, we’re going to give you the fundamentals for teaching adults English. We’re going to give you a list of the requirements and the best platforms for teaching adults online. But first, let’s consider why you should teach English online to adults. 

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Advantages of Teaching English Online to Adults

Increasing Demand

‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ people say. But in a world that is becoming more and more connected, English is becoming even more prominent as lingua franca. Lingua Franca is the ‘bridge’ or ‘trade’ language of the world, the common ground between different countries. This means that university students and business professionals want to compete in the new job market with English proficiency. While you’ll come across professionals who want to improve their English in a specific topic (e.g cooking), you’ll also find students wanting to learn English as an interest.  

Motivated Students

If you teach English to adults, you’ll reap the same benefits of teaching children while diversifying your TEFL experience. Some children might be reluctant to learn and are only there to avoid the wrath of their parents. But adults will have willingly decided to sign up to learn English, and won’t view it as a necessary evil. In fact, they’ll be more focused and mature about learning and reaching their lesson objectives. 

Let’s be honest, when we were younger, we thought our parents were millionaires. We didn’t understand how their money was being spent. Adults will be sure to make the most of their money spent by actually turning up to the lessons. 

ESP Specialization

Many of your students will be doctors, business professionals, and so on. This means that many will want to be taught English for Specific Purposes. Teaching English for Specific Purposes will enhance your CV and make you stand out significantly among the TEFL crowd. 

Teaching Business English is one of the most popular forms of ESP. There are many ways you can begin teaching Business English, and one way is to complete the 30-hour specialist course. Having said this, many adults still want to learn conversational English or even the basics of English. 

You Can Do It Anywhere, Anytime

I’m going to give you an example and let Mark’s experience speak for itself. Mark has worked in the corporate world for over 30 years, with one company being Ferrero Roche. Covid-19 got in the way of life, as it did for everyone, and he had to maneuver to maintain productivity. Mark decided to take up teaching to pass the time, and what he thought would be a way to kill time became something he wished he had started earlier. 

Mark said about teaching adults: “After the second or third lesson you think to yourself, wow, I should have started this 5 or 10 years ago. That it’s actually fun and fantastic.” He decided to utilize his corporate experience to teach Business English to university students and business professionals. Mark is a perfect example that you can start teaching online from anywhere at any time.

The Power to Influence

“You must never underestimate the value that you can add,” Mark says. “[my student is] a highly qualified man with a doctorate, and I’ve just started teaching online and I’ve been able to assist this man in his high profile job.” Being the difference in someone’s career is hugely rewarding. If you’re looking for a job where you can see what your influence does, then teaching adults English is the right place. 

Requirements for Teaching English Online to Adults

But, what are the requirements to teach English online to adults? Are the requirements different for teaching young learners? It depends. While companies will have the same set of requirements to consider, they will vary significantly. For example, PalFish welcomes non-native English speakers, non-TEFL and non-Degree holders. Whereas Fluentify will require 2 years of experience, a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL qualification, and so on. Of course, the companies that have strict requirements will pay more handsomely. To teach English online to adults, you’ll have to look out for these basic requirements.

Teaching Certificate

Needless to say, this is something you should consider. While some companies don’t require TEFL certificates to teach, many do. Even if they don’t, if you don’t have one, it will affect your pay significantly. Becoming TEFL qualified is a smart investment, even if you don’t intend on teaching for a long period of time. 

Teaching adults English is also a special case. Since many of your students will be coming from a corporate background, you’ll need to differentiate yourself from the rest. Having a certificate in Teaching Business English will give you a significant edge in the TEFL market. 

You’ll receive higher pay, more opportunities to teach, and you’ll bulk up your CV. If you’re in this for the long hall, you better be TEFL certified. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered! Become TEFL certified now with the 120 hour TEFL course and specialize in Teaching Business English today! 

Experience 

Once again, the range of your experience required will vary from company to company. Obviously, you have to start somewhere. Many companies will still take TEFLers that are new to the game but will pay them more modestly. If you’ve plenty of experience, online or in-class, you could expect to earn a lot. Be sure to mention any indirect experience that you have with children in your interview!

Degree

Similar to the TEFL Certificate, some companies will accept applicants without a degree, but many will not. 

Equipment

Surprisingly, many overlook the aspect of what they’ll be using to teach. Turn up to an interview with a microphone that sounds like you’re gargling and a 240p resolution webcam, your opportunities will be limited. Students are paying for these classes, and the least they should expect is high-quality equipment to facilitate the lessons. Most teaching companies will require download and upload speeds of 4 Mbps, but if you have more, that’s perfect. “Test your online internet connection” before you begin teaching.

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The Best Platforms to Teach English Online to Adults

iTutorGroup

iTutorGroup caters to Asian students, and you can teach both children and adults on this platform. With a 24/7 schedule and the option to teach anyone of any age, it makes it one of the most flexible options around. 

If you teach English online to adults with iTutor, expect to deliver fun and diverse lessons. You could be teaching a lesson about the verb “be” one hour, and teaching fun facts about Otters the next. Many of the lessons are genuinely interesting even for the teacher, as you’ll be teaching lessons about business, climate change, culture, and much more. The catch is with iTutorGroup is that you have to commit to teaching 4 “peak” hours on the weekends. These peak hours will vary depending on where you’re teaching from, but they tend to be 6 pm – 10 pm Beijing time for adults. 

Pay: $5 base rate – bonuses for each lesson based on ratings left by students. Potentially $25 an hour

Experience: Minimum 1 year of teaching experience required 

Degree: Not required

TEFL Certificate: Required

Cambly 1-1

Cambly is different from most online teaching platforms. Meet students of all kinds of professions from all over the world, at any time you want. You could argue it’s not even a “teaching” platform. Here, both students and teachers can log in to connect whenever they want and communicate in a 1-1 video chat. The focus can be on conversational English, or maybe something more specific if the student desires. You could literally wake up one day feeling productive and decide to work. It’s entirely up to you!

Pay: $10.20 per hour hour

Experience: Not required

Degree: Not required

TEFL Certificate: Not required

Palfish Freetalk

PalFish is a popular platform to teach young learners, but you can also teach adults. The app is called Palfish Freetalk, and it allows adult students to converse with a native speaker. It’s a phone-only platform, which makes it very easy for you to deliver lessons. Who wants to carry a laptop in their pocket? 

PalFish Freetalk is unique, as you are allowed to market yourself as a teacher. It’s similar to social media, as it’s up to you to represent yourself and attract students. Update your posts, upload “moments” to document your day, and manage your platform from the comfort of your phone. Teach English online to adults while showcasing your pizzazz online!

Choose your niche, there’s a market for everything. Whether your expertise is traveling, cooking, or sports marketing, create personal lesson packages for the students who need them.

Pay: $10-$18 per hour

Experience: Not required

Degree: Not required 

TEFL Certificate: Not required

Fluentify

Fluentify is a place where professionals can share their background with students from all over the world. The platform focuses on students in the workforce, and you’re free to design one-on-one lesson plans to cater to their needs. With built-in video-conferencing software, lessons can be done from anywhere at any time. 

When looking at platforms to teach English to adults, Fluentify’s requirements are on the demanding end of the scale. Business and corporate experience are advantageous, as you’ll compete with other tutors from diverse backgrounds. You’ll also need to be Tech-savvy and create an immersive lesson for your student. 

Pay: $15 – $28 per hour

Experience: Minimum 2 years of teaching experience required

Degree: Required

TEFL Certificate: Required

Topica Native

Based in Vietnam, Topica Native is a platform that caters to ESL students from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. In fact, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to teach English online to adults, as it claims to have over 50,000 adult students.

Your responsibilities are to teach conversational English skills to adults, and you’ll be given material by the school. The lessons will come in the form of 45 minute conversational English classes of up to 6 students. 

Topica Native guarantees 20 hours of teaching a month, with room for more if you perform well. While class schedules are very flexible, they require a one-year commitment to the company. 

Pay: $8.50 – $16 per hour 

Experience: Not required
Degree: Not required 

TEFL Certificate: No / Preferred 

E-Space Vietnam

E-Space Vietnam is an online ESL company where students are provided one-on-one lessons with native speakers. Their objectives are to improve student’s communication skills to gain a competitive edge in the commercial world. Many of the students are either university students or corporate, and are tested in IELTS and need as much practice as possible. 

All classes are conducted in a one-to-one manner, and you need to work at least 10 hours a week. If you are experienced in teaching Business English or IELTS exam preparation, you’ll have a much higher chance of getting hired. Take a look at our specialized courses

Pay: $20-$25 per hour 

Experience: Preferred but not necessary 

Degree: Required

TEFL Certificate: Required

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Teach Online Independently

If you choose to teach independently, you’ll be able to tailor your own lessons to your student’s needs. This means creating your own syllabus and materials. In other words, you can make the lesson as fun and engaging as you like. You won’t be restricted by some terribly boring syllabus a school has provided you. We take a look at how you could get started and why you should teach English online independently and what free software you could use.

It’s up to You Now!

There we have it! We have given you the lowdown of not only how you can teach English online to adults but why you should. You need to consider your experience and TEFL or university qualifications and how they will affect your opportunities. Why you should is very subjective. But if you’re looking to teach motivated students and feel rewarded, then you’ve come to the right place. If you’re not TEFL certified just yet, remember, the demand for English Teachers is always growing and you can become TEFL certified from anywhere at any time.

Are you teaching adults? Let us know what platforms you use below!