Teaching Online

Having a TESOL qualification will entitle you to teach anywhere in the world, both online and in person. The online option is becoming more and more popular these days, as you really can do it from anywhere. Admittedly, the pictures of people working from the top of a mountain or on the beach are a little misleading, as you will need a steady wifi connection, as well as a quiet space so that you can hear the students properly, so it is not really possible from those two locations. However, you can spend most of your days enjoying yourself, as the majority of the teaching is done in the evenings, as this is the prime time for students in China.

There are several options out there, and I have worked with a few of these, it really does depend on what kind of teaching you prefer. I personally like teaching adults more than children, when using an online platform, as it I find it easier to communicate with adults, but that is just a personal preference.

Here are the platforms that I have tried for teaching adults:

  1. Hujiang

There was quite a rigorous procedure to go through to get accepted on to this platform, which involved lots of reading, and demo classes, but it was worth it, and I feel it showed that they are very professional and take the process very seriously. The overall procedure took a couple of weeks, but once approved, I was able to start teaching right away. You can choose your own hours, but the busiest time slots, where you are guaranteed work, are between 6-10pm China time, during the week and all day Saturday and Sunday. The pay is between $15-$20 an hour, and you are paid every 2 weeks.

The materials are all in the form of powerpoints and very easy to follow, so you only need to take a quick glance a few minutes before the class. The adult classes do not use video, so it is just audio, which I like, as it means I can do it in my pajamas! However, the kids classes do use video, so you will need to be presentable.

The students are using an app on their phone, but you will need a computer to deliver the classes. You need to commit to a minimum of 10 hours minimum a week, but there is no maximum.

  1. Cambly

I have recently discovered Cambly, and it is very easy to sign up.  You can work from anywhere, getting paid to chat with students from around the world. You get paid $0.17 per minute of talk time, and payments are sent via Paypal weekly. You need to log in to Cambly via your computer and take chatting sessions as they appear on your dashboard. This platform uses webcams, so you will see the person you are talking to. I have really enjoyed this platform, as the students are from all over the world. So far, I have met people from India, Kuwait, Dubai, Japan, Korea and Poland. It is so much fun, exchanging stories with such a wide range of nationalities


  1. Palfish

Palfish is very similar to Cambly, with the main difference being that you can actually work from the app on your phone. There is no need to use your computer.

Students download the Palfish app to their phones and can open it at any time and pay to chat with native English speakers. Teachers sign up on the Palfish app, they can set their own rates and work any time they want. Like Cambly, pay is per minute of talk time. Most of the students  will be in China.

Payments are made once a month via Paypal.

This is one of the platforms where  No degree is required or teaching experience.  This app is more of a conversational approach rather than lessons. You can make your own hours. Avg is $15-45/hr depending on degrees/TESOL certs/etc.


  1. Nicetalk

This one is more similar to Palfish than Cambly because you also work completely on your mobile device, no computer needed. They give you $10 just for signing up and the schedule is flexible. You can work anytime you want.  They pay you per minute of talk time.

NiceTalk pays once a week via Paypal, provided you have at least $20 in your account. The app is available on Android and iOS devices, and is free for you to download.


There are also some online platforms for teaching kids:

  1. DadaABC

The courses are already composed as lesson slides; the teachers control how they teach the content.  The lessons build on each other to where students are able to have natural conversations.

All of the lessons are English Language Learner based. Some lessons incorporate math skills, science, arts and crafts, and social studies—but they still teach English vocabulary and pronunciation.

DaDaABC encourages teachers to commit to a schedule and teachers get paid whether or not they have a student in their committed time slot. The salary ranges from $15 to 25 per hour. They ask teachers to commit to a minimum of four hours per week, but there is no maximum. They even offer opportunities for you to teach outside your contract hours.


This platform claims to make no judgements based on race, age hair color etc, and welcomes teachers from all around the world. There is a process that needs to be followed to get set up, which can take a couple of weeks, and many people do not make it through the whole process, perhaps due to lack of persistence. It is not hard, but you need to follow the guidelines. It can take a couple of months to start getting decent bookings, so this can be a slow start. The pay is between $14-$22 per hour


To sum up, there are many benefits to working online, the most important one is that you do not need a work visa, and can travel and work pretty freely. The schedule is flexible, and you can choose when to teach to suit your needs.   Furthermore, many of the online companies do not require the teacher to do the lesson planning as they provide all of the prepared materials.

 Of course there are some challenges of teaching online. The most common one being not having access to a stable internet connection.  Some teachers are not comfortable using technology and struggle to learn how to use it properly. I went through my own fair share of hiccups, but being completely not a tech person, if I can figure it out, I think anyone can!


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