Teach English Online: how to find students and what to teach

The complete guide for anyone who wants to start a freelance career teaching English online
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  • Lectures 23
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

If you want to set yourself up as a teacher of English online, teaching English to highly motivated students all over the world and earn a lucrative source of income as a freelancer while working from home or while traveling the world, then this course is for you!

I've been teaching English online for eight years and it has given me the freedom of time and location that has allowed me to pursue my other goals. It has also freed me from the constraints of the classroom and school managers! Now, I'm my own boss! 

Join the revolution

What's more, it's allowed me to help students all over the world attain their dreams by improving their fluency in a language that, in our globalized world, opens up lots of personal and professional opportunities. The world of online English teaching is expanding rapidly and with students increasingly turning their backs on traditional, overcrowded classrooms in favor of online learning, a revolution is underway.

So start your journey today as an online English teacher and enroll on this course!

By the end of this course you will have the knowledge and confidence to go out and find highly motivated and high paying students who are desperate to improve their English language skills. You will also know how to create great lessons that help students learn and make them want to come back for more.

  • Learn how to find students
  • How to teach a premium rate niche English course
  • What to charge and how to get paid
  • Doing exam preparation
  • How to market yourself using social media
  • How to teach the core language skills of writing, speaking, listening and reading

COURSE UPDATES June 2016 (more coming soon!)

  • How to teach vocabulary
  • Vocabulary activities
  • Writing activities

Reviews of the course

"This is really high value content and opens up the world of online teaching for people like myself who didn't know much about it. You basically learn everything you need to set up and start your online career. The production values are great too; good sound and nice visuals. Great value course and one I'll be coming back to again and again." Dr David Murphy

"Course contained what I needed to know. Lots of good tips and the important basics of being an online English teacher." Simon Zammit

"I am an ESL teacher with a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and so I was very impressed by the instructor's coverage of how to teach all of the Niche English areas he identifies. For me this was a useful course in helping me to think about making the transition to online teaching, how to identify my own niche, and develop my own courses for students. Great course!" Suzanne Davis

"The course is full of great practical tips on how to get set up, how to get students and what to teach them. There is a wealth of information which really helped me...I liked his emphasis on finding a niche area of English first and then marketing it to students afterwards...I was impressed by the clear lectures, which have been carefully put together with appealing and entertaining visuals. Mr Cornelius is a likeable lecturer and is obviously hugely experienced with teaching online...Overall, I fully recommend this fantastic course. It is essential for anyone who really wants to get ahead with teaching English online." Stephen Howard

"I highly recommend this course. Thank you so much for your effort to share your experience and knowledge about online teaching. Now, I can start to help my students even more." Catherine Voacolo

Who's it for?

The course is suitable for both experienced teachers and for people who have never taught before. This course includes hours of video presentations and screencasts as well as downloadable cheat sheets and worksheets to use with your students. It also includes a showcase of the best websites and online materials for use in your lessons.

Course Outline

Starting with the essential tools that you'll need to teach English online, the course goes on to explain how to decide what to teach, including how to carve out your own high value niche course that will attract high rates of pay. Then you will learn how to find students quickly using social networks, social media marketing, online marketplaces and through word-of-mouth referrals. This is followed by a guide to deciding what to charge students and some of the best ways to get paid online. There's also a lecture on the freedom online teaching gives you and how you can make the most of being a location independent online teacher.

You will also learn how to teach lucrative exam preparation courses such as IELTS, TOEIC and TOEFL, and how to find out more about your students.

This course - the result of years of personal experience teaching English, both online and as a teacher at the British Council, together with the latest research into English language learning - will give you all of the skills, knowledge and confidence you need as an online English teacher.

What are the requirements?

  • The course assumes a basic knowledge of computers and the Internet, but it is designed for non technical people
  • No teaching experience is required
  • You should be a native speaker of English or a non-native speaker of English at an advanced level

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Teach English online to students all over the world.
  • Find students all over the world using a variety of different strategies
  • Earn premium rates by teaching a niche English course

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for anyone who wants to earn money teaching English online.
  • It is designed for people who want to teach English, whether or not you have taught before.
  • Experienced English teachers will learn how to adapt their skills to the online world
  • New teachers will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to teach like a pro

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome to the course!

Welcome to your new course, How To Teach English Online. In this short introduction I'll introduce myself and I'll explain how you can join in the online revolution in English teaching.

Section 2: The Essential Toolkit

You will learn about the toolkit that is essential to teaching English online successfully, including the hardware and software, and most of all, the importance of you.


It's not just about Skype! You will look at some of the different ways you can communicate with your students, and how to use the tools that comes with them.


You will find out why an online whiteboard is your friend, and how to use some of the best online whiteboards on the Internet.

Section 3: What are you going to teach?

In this lecture I'll help you decide what kinds of lessons you could teach, why you should do this before you even start looking for students, and the core idea of value in your lessons.


You'll learn why teaching to a specific niche of students is the most lucrative and easiest way forward, an area I call Niche English. I'll lead you through the process of thinking about what niche you could teach and the kinds of lessons you can offer, lessons that meet the needs of a particular part of the massive English language market. Do you want to teach doctors and nurses, to prepare students for exams, to teach business English...or even Star Wars fans? This lecture explains how you can do it.

Section 4: How are you going to find students?

In this lecture I will take you through some of the most effective strategies for finding students.


Learn how to use social media to find students...and it's not just Facebook!

Section 5: Getting paid

In this lecture I will provide you with a model for deciding what rates of pay you want to charge based on how specialized your course is and how you found your students.


You will get 5 great tips for getting paid effectively, including a suggestion to offer courses rather than lessons.


In this lecture I'll take you through some of the more common, and less common, ways of getting paid online, from PayPal to Western Union and beyond.

Section 6: Where can I work from?

Online English teachers can work from the comfort of their own home, but it's also something you can do on your travels. I'll explain how you can do both, and take you through the concept of location independence and explain how you can live cheaply while taking on the highest paying students in the world.

Section 7: How to teach English

This lecture gives an overview of the second half of the course, which focuses on helping you teach the different language skills of English. It also gives a quick overview of how languages are actually learned, and how this impacts on your role as a teacher.


Knowing what your student wants and needs, and what their interests are, is an important first step in creating successful and effective lessons. In this lecture I'll tell you how. You can also download a couple of needs analysis questionnaires to send to your students.

Section 8: How to teach speaking

You will find out some key tips and techniques for teaching speaking effectively, including how to use open questions and how to develop your student's accuracy and fluency. You will also learn how to make the most of conversations in a lesson.


This lecture will explain what role plays are, and how to use them in your lessons.

Section 9: How to teach listening

In this lecture you'll learn some essential tips and techniques to help you develop your students' listening skills. I'll take you step-by-step through a typical listening activity and tell you what to do if your student still doesn't understand. In the downloadable resources section, there's a list of great websites where you can find high quality listening materials.

Section 10: How to teach reading

In this lecture you'll learn how to put a reading lesson together, and how to make a text more comprehensible for your students.

Section 11: How to teach writing

I'll take you through some key concepts in the teaching of writing, including the different types of writing your student may need to master, and the problems students have when they write. Then I'll show you how to take your student through a four stage writing process, including how to help your student plan their writing, giving feedback during a lesson, and how to help your student do a rewrite. I'll explain the feedback and rewriting process by showing you some writing by one of my own students.


Here are some short activities that you can use to help your students develop their writing skills in your lessons. These include sentence expansion activities, shared writing and some suggestions for using postcards and application forms in lessons. Plus an extended section on using a great activity called a dictogloss which will get your students thinking about their grammar as well as their writing.

Section 12: How to teach vocabulary

In this lecture I'll explain to you how to teach vocabulary. I'll show you why it's important to teach vocabulary in context (language 'chunks') and I'll give you 5 tips for explaining vocabulary. I'll also talk about what students need to know when coming across a new word.


Here are some activities that you can use with your students to help them develop and consolidate their vocabulary. They include matching, cloze (fill in the blanks) and categorizing activities. These are best done on an online whiteboard, but they can also be used by sharing your screen or by typing the words and sentences into a chat, such as in Skype.

Section 13: How to do exam preparation
In this lecture, I’ll describe how to go about offering exam preparation lessons to your student, a very lucrative area for online English teachers. I'll briefly describe some of the most popular English language examinations, and explain why they are so popular to people around the world. Then I'll give you some tips on how to run lessons that prepare students to take these exams.

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Instructor Biography

Charles Cornelius, English language teacher, 2000+ students in 116 countries

I'm a qualified teacher with almost 20 years' teaching experience all over the world, most recently as an English language teacher with the British Council where I teach exam preparation and business English to adult students. I have a Masters degree in education and a certificate teaching the English language. I'm an experienced teacher trainer, most recently in Thailand where I have carried out training in English language teaching techniques to classroom teachers. I currently live in Thailand.

Qualifications: MA (Education), PGCE (Secondary Education), CELTA

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