What is it like teaching English online?

How to teach English online
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Teaching English online

Welcome to my world of teaching English online.

The life of an online EFL teacher can be very different depending on where you work, how many hours you teach each week, and the level of your students, among other things.

So, to assist you to answer that question here’s a real-life example of what it’s like to be an online EFL teacher.

Who am I?

First, who am I? I am an EFL ( English as a Foreign Language ) teacher who owns a school in Vietnam. I have been here for 15 years and experienced most teaching situations.

From teaching in state schools with 50 plus students to a class to one on one private lessons. I have taught in English centers both good and bad, and the bad decided me to open my own school.

Covid and online teaching

And now with the Covid epidemic sweeping the world, most schools have been teaching online. Teaching online can be frustrating and it can be funny. How you approach the challenge of online teaching ( and upgrading your knowledge ) makes the difference between a good lesson or a boring one.

You can have students that are lazy and turn off the camera and those that actively participate in class. This can be found in just about every class. To overcome this as much as possible you need to make it fun and use the right online tools.

Teaching online can be fun

If you make it fun for the students they will embrace the learning. Laugh and learn has always been my motto. The joy of learning a language is the first thing that should be taught. Once your students are hooked on the learning and fun, life becomes much easier as a teacher. This is true for both online and classroom situations.

I recently had an older student tell me a risque joke. That is when you know they love learning. Telling a joke in a foreign language is one of the hardest things to do. If your students can do that you know you are heading in the right direction.

Two students’ risque jokes.

Why don’t roosters have arms? because hens don’t have breasts.

Why are noodles ( this is Vietnam ) and women the same? Because when you eat them they both wiggle.

Yes, a bit precocious. But a different culture and we should not judge. As teachers of EFL, we are guests in a foreign country. And this is something I see every day, especially with new teachers. You can not bring your values and try to instill them into a different culture.

Why else do I like online teaching?

You have the opportunity to have a free discussion about anything. The majority of kids are eager to learn about their teachers’ cultures and traditions. And they are also eager to share their own cultural makeup as well. Quite often you will find students opening up about things that they will never tell their parents.

For example, I was joking around in class trying to get the students to talk off the cuff. So I said ” Kitty do you love David” She went hmm, maybe a little crush. Then David blurted out “no teacher, I’m gay” Something he probably has not told his parents. So the trust factor in teaching is a huge responsibility.

And this is possibly something they would never have shared in a classroom. The supposed anonymity of the online world sometimes helps forge closer bonds between students and teachers if done in the right way.


Teaching online or in any environment is incredibly rewarding. Not just in the monetary sense, but also emotionally rewarding as well.

When you have a student ring you up thanking you for their high TOEIC score or the students’ parents dropping off a present to say thanks. This is the motivation for teaching.

Bringing people together so we all understand one another better is one of my objectives.

Teaching online brings many rewards but if we just look at the financial ones, you can expect to make about $18 to $30 in Vietnam and even higher if you run your own classes.

Is teaching online difficult?

Teaching students who don’t have any knowledge of speaking English is the most difficult. If you don’t have patience, you might end up getting frustrated and angry in class. This is a no-no.

keep your facial expressions, gestures, and voice in happy mode, whatever happens. Keep cool and maintain a friendly atmosphere. Patience is the key.

Also, when dealing with beginners, we need to be alert and hands-on at all times. Understanding their pronunciation and what the younger learners mean can be a challenge.

Flyers for young learners

But once your students get to the Flyer stage and higher it can be a lot of fun, with student interaction spurring you on to even greater levels.

How do I become an online teacher?

You’ll need a laptop or PC with a fast internet connection, a headset with a microphone (or a built-in microphone), and a quiet, well-lit space to hold your sessions to get started as an online English teacher. It couldn’t be much easier.

However, not everyone is capable of doing so. Do you enjoy working with children and teenagers? Are you willing to work on lesson plans for a few hours outside of class, usually unpaid?

Do you hold a bachelor’s degree and have completed a TESOL or TEFL course? If you can answer yes to the above and love to travel, whether virtually or in the real world, this amazing career could be for you.

How do I get a job?

Put together your resume and get your teaching certificates and degree notarized at your consulate or local government body and start applying online. This may take some time as a beginner, but there is help.

And, yes that is me. If you want to teach online or even come and live in Asia, whether Vietnam or Thailand, I can assist you in finding a rewarding career as an English teacher.

Teacher placements in Vietnam is what I do to help new teachers avoid the pitfalls and experienced teachers get up and teach quickly. Whether in the classroom or online, I can help find you a well-paying position with a good school.


The thrill and excitement of seeing your students learn and progress is one of the many advantages of being a teacher.

Despite the fact that teaching is not one of the highest paying professions due to the long hours necessary, individuals that enjoy being in the classroom regard it as one of the most fulfilling careers ever.

So, if you are up for a lifetime of adventure leave me a message and I will help support you to get the job you want.

My House in Vietnam

Everything is cheap in Asia and so is the cost of a house. But I prefer to rent as my 3 story Villa only costs me $600 per month. You can check it out below on the YouTube button.

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There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

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