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Teaching a language isn’t easy — but it can be rewarding and a lot of fun! No matter how many languages you speak, or which ones, there’s someone out there who wants to learn them. Online language learning is very popular, and if you’re interested in teaching, you can take advantage.
There are a lot of language tutoring websites that could use your help. Not only will you help someone who wants to learn and make some money, but you’ll also sharpen your own skills as well. Here are a few you should check out.
Before you get started on your search for the best place to teach a language online, you should be aware that you’ll need to meet some prerequisites. You’ll need to be over 18, be a native (or, for some sites, a near-native) speaker of your language, and you’ll also need to be comfortable using online learning systems and Skype (or some alternate VoIP solutions).
Some of these sites require that you have some teaching training, like a certificate or a degree, while others accept those with an interest in the field. And, finally, some require prior language teaching experience as well. Be sure to check the requirements on the application pages before you apply.
With almost 40 languages available — including Basque, Hindi, Icelandic, Telugu, and Welsh — Verbalplanet teaches a wide variety of people from around the world. To become a teacher with Verbalplanet, you’ll need to select the languages you’d like to teach and answer a questionnaire about your teaching experience, approach, and qualifications. Once you’ve been approved, you can start teaching.
You choose your own class times as well as your rate; the bookings are taken care of by Verbalplanet, so all you need to do is get on Skype at the appointed time to meet with your student. You’re provided with a tuition diary and an invoicing system, and each student can give you a feedback rating that will be displayed on your profile. You even get to keep 100% of your profits.
With over 1.5 million students, italki boasts a very large potential revenue base for online language teaching. 100 languages are taught here, from Afrikaans and Albanian to Xhosa and Zhuang.
There are two types of teachers on italki:
- Professional teachers, who have to provide evidence of teaching qualifications and experience.
- Community tutors, who are native or near-native speakers of a language and would like to teach informally.
Both groups get to set their own rates (italki takes 15% of payments).
italki takes care of payments and financial paperwork, so teachers have a straightforward job — teaching. italki also helps solve problems between students and teachers, and provides security features to make sure teachers are protected. You can set your own hours and teach from home with a microphone and Skype or another VOIP program.
Unlike Verbalplanet and italki, Verbling offers both individual tutoring and group classes, so you can teach in your preferred style. Group classes are an hour long and include nine students, but they’re currently limited to English and Spanish. Still, if you’re interested in teaching group classes, you could get your foot in the door at Verbling now and hope they add your language later.
With about 30 languages, including all of the big ones and a few surprising ones like Serbian, Gaelic, and Catalan, Verbling doesn’t currently have the variety of teachers that other sites do, but otherwise it’s very similar. You set your own availability and rates, and Verbling makes you available to students. Sessions are done through Google Hangouts.
GotIt! (formerly TutorUniverse)
In addition to regular hourly tutoring, GotIt! also focuses on app-based “micro-tutoring” in which students ask a quick question about their homework and can get help from an expert in the topic. This could be a great option if you’d like to help someone with their language skills but don’t have the time to run regular individual sessions or group classes.
Offline tutoring is another great feature — if an essay needs to be proofread, some code needs to be reviewed, or there’s another task where you don’t have to be face-to-face with a student, you can do it on your own time and get paid for it. They offer a great virtual learning environment in which you can draw, highlight, create mathematical formulas, use a calculator, and more.
With more stringent qualification requirements than other language learning websites, Learnissimo has a strong focus on high-quality instruction. To teach for this site, you’ll need a teaching qualification or degree, at least two years of experience teaching language, be a native speaker of the language you want to teach, and have a pretty open schedule.
While there’s no information available online regarding teacher payments, single lessons cost $20 each, so it stands to reason that teachers get paid a little less than that. The languages that are offered are also a bit limited; there are currently 15 languages available, and they comprise major European and Asian languages.
If one-on-one teaching isn’t your thing, and you’d like to go the online course route with your own course, Udemy and other similar platforms can help connect you to thousands of students around the world. It takes a lot of time and effort to set up a high-quality online course, but if you can set yourself apart from the other options out there, you could gain a lot of recognition!
Creating a course is free, and there are no prerequisites (though the more expertise you have, the more likely people are to sign up for your courses). You even get to keep all of the profits if you promote the course yourself. Or you can let Udemy promote it and take half of the profits. Either way, you could potentially make a lot of money.
Anyone interested in language teaching can get connected with students online. Whether you want to teach one-on-one, to a group, or through an online course, there are plenty of options. The only thing left to do is get started!
Have you done any online teaching? Are you interested in teaching a language online? What do you think of the online learning format? Share your thoughts below!