Teaching English online is now one of the easiest ways native English speakers can earn a little extra money. There are many different websites that allow you to teach English full time to children and adults across the globe, all you need is a TEFL certificate and you’re on your way! A couple of months ago when I decided I was going to teach English in Spain I decided to earn my TEFL certificate online. I knew that having this certificate would make it a lot easier for me to start working especially as I had no previous experience in English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching. Once I had the qualification, I realised how high demand was for English teachers online. Especially during Covid, when students across the world are learning online the need is greater than ever! I applied for a position on Amazing Talker and have been working on their platform for the last couple of months. This has allowed me to earn a little bit of extra money while I get settled in Madrid.
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What is Amazing Talker?
Amazing Talker is an online language education platform. Based in Hong Kong, the majority of students are in Asia and many are looking to learn English. However, students are also interested in learning other languages including, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Japanese and more! The platform is open to anyone who has experience in teaching languages. You don’t need a degree to teach on the platform, all they ask is that you hold a language teaching certificate and you have some teaching experience. (If you don’t have much teaching experience – like me – you can still teach here, just make sure you have your TEFL and are passionate about teaching!)
Once you have your certificate you can start setting up your profile! You start by filling out your experience, uploading a clear, recent photo of yourself, a video if you wish and your TEFL certificate. Then, your profile is submitted ready to be checked over. When you pass the initial vetting step you will be invited to give a demo lesson to either a student on the platform or a fellow teacher. This is where you can show off your skills.
What should I do for my demo lesson?
As I had barely any teaching experience I was so nervous for this lesson! Knowing I would be teaching a fellow teacher was daunting, but it went really well and the best advice he gave me was just be yourself, be positive and encouraging and make sure to smile – follow that advice and you will do well at your demo lesson!
My demo lesson was carried out by another teacher on the platform. I treated it like a real lesson and created a lesson plan which aimed to get my student talking through interactive slides, a game and a question/answer session at the end.
The demo lesson is about 25 minutes long and you start by speaking a little about your experience in teaching English, or talking about your TEFL certificate. Then, you can explain a little how you would present your lessons and your preferred teaching style. After this, the rest of the demo will be an explanation of how the platform works, how to set your charge rate, how to recruit students and how you will be paid. If successful, your demo teacher will give you some feedback and you will be ready to teach on Amazing Talker!
How much should I charge?
The great thing about Amazing Talker is that you can set your own prices. Depending on your experience you should set your prices from around $10 – $15 per 50 minute class until you have a few students, the more students you have and the more lessons you have taught you can increase your prices to reflect your experience. The general rule would be to increase your charge once you have 3-5 students and so on. I have now taught around 70 lessons and I have 7 students so my prices are now higher at about $16 per class.
How do I find students?
Amazing Talker has a good student recruitment system in place which lets you connect directly with students, you have a time limit for when you can contact students and if they are interested in your profile they can book a trial lesson with you. A trial lesson will last about 25 minutes and it will cost the student about $2- $4 dollars. A trial lesson gives you the opportunity to check the level of the student, play a few games or if they’re more advanced give them a short lesson to see if they like your teaching style. After a trial, your student will be able to book a block of lessons with you and schedule their lessons into your available hours.
Do Amazing Talker charge a commission?
Amazing Talker, like most online teaching platforms will take a cut from your earnings. When you first start with Amazing Talker it will seem quite high especially as you build up your client base however, the more you earn the less they take. The percentage they take of your earnings drops with every $100 increment. So, they begin taking 30% of your earnings and this drops until you earn $3000, at which point you take home every penny you charge thereafter. 30% seems like a lot to begin with but it drops quite quickly the more you earn and if it is your goal to make this your full time role you will earn a lot more very quickly! It would also be an ideal option for people who are travelling, and have some spare time during the day to make extra cash.
What are the lessons like?
Trial lessons are 25 minutes and this allows both the student and the teacher to understand each other and for the teacher to assess the students level and plan for future lessons. In my trial lessons I like to make them informal and find out as much as I can about my students. I find out their likes and dislikes (and put this information into an excel sheet), what they are currently learning at school and what their hobbies are. This information makes it so much easier to plan lessons in the future and ensures your students are fully engaged throughout your lessons and keep coming back for more!
After the trials, a full lesson is around 50 minutes, although students can choose to keep their lessons at 25 minutes if they wish. In the lessons it is good to have an element of either reading or listening and then allow for a discussion. For any ESL class, the most important thing for the students is that they can speak as much English as possible, therefore make sure your lessons allow for lots of discussion. Q and A sessions based on a text or video covered in the first part of the class are great and allow the students to form their own sentences and use new words.
Where can I find ideas for lessons?
There are lots of materials online for helping you plan your online ESL classes. I use a lot of materials from the British Council website, a lot of the lessons plans on here have been adapted in the past few months to better facilitate online language learning so they are very useful!
Although the British Council website has online class materials, I would always recommend making your own eye-catching powerpoints to facilitate visual learners. Canva is a great resource to quickly and easily create nice PowerPoint presentations.
Another online resource for lesson planning is Twinkl, this website is great for planning lessons with kids as it has a lot of Ebooks and online worksheets and activities. To unlock a lot of their materials you do need to sign up – basic membership is around £5 a month, but definitely worth it to have access to lots of different materials and activities.
Liveworksheets is another great resource for online teaching, this website allows you to create your own online worksheets using your class vocab or grammar and input the answers. The sheets are graded automatically online and so it saves the teacher a lot of time!
Do Amazing Talker offer a referral option?
Amazing Talker offer a referral service for new teachers. Once you sign up and start teaching you will be given a referral link to send to prospective teachers. This link allows you to earn a small commission when new teachers sign up and start earning money.
You can find my link below, please note that if you use this link and start earning money through Amazing Talker I will receive a small commission!
Start earning money now! Use my referral link:
I would highly recommend Amazing Talker to anyone who is interested in teaching English online. It is an incredibly user-friendly website and as a teacher you are able to set your own schedule and teach as little or as often as your life allows! You can also track your income and it is a great way to earn either a bit of extra money or replace your full-time income!