How to Teach English (ESL) Online With or Without a College Degree

A few years ago, I was waiting for a public bus that was late and the girl sitting next to me started FREAKING OUT because she didn’t have her laptop with her. She kept telling the other bus people that she couldn’t be late for class because she could lose the client. “Is she a teacher or a student, and who refers to either one as clients?” I thought. Nobody seemed to care or pay attention except me. I wanted to figure out what she was talking about.

I asked some questions but she got defensive (I’m pretty sure I came off as creepy rather than concerned or intrigued). All she told me was that she was a teacher online, her students lived in different countries, and it was super important that she wasn’t late for class.

Once the bus arrived I left her alone and never saw her again, but, after that incident I was determined to figure out how she was doing it. Although I never figured out exactly how she did it, I’ve discovered a method that matched her situation.


Cafétalk is an internet service that allows anyone to teach private lessons through skype. It’s not as simple as creating a profile and clicking a button, but, it’s not too hard to get started either. You have to talk to an administrator and go through an interview so they can determine what you’d teach and whether you’d make a good tutor or not. Most of the lessons on Cafétalk are language (mainly English), and most of the students are Japanese, but depending on your teaching niche, you can find the right students for you. The students on the site range all ages from different countries who want to learn anything from playing guitar to origami.

Once you’ve created a profile (account), you have to be a unique and reliable teacher in order to gain the attention of students. There are plenty of students on the site but there’s also a ton of extremely qualified teachers too. If you’re a beginner with very little teaching or tutoring experience, it’ll be hard to get going. You’ll have to market yourself, have interesting lessons, and of course, BE THERE ON TIME.

You don’t even need a desktop; you can do it all through a smart phone. The pay is determined by you. After a few hours of set-up and research, you could be teaching at $20+/hour immediately upon finishing your scheduled interview with an administrator. The real work comes from creating your lessons and getting your students to enjoy your lessons so they’ll come back on a regular basis. If you do this, there’s no reason you can’t make a decent income with only a few lessons a day. That being said, don’t do it for the money, you have to love your lessons. If you don’t love to teach, then I suggest going somewhere else.


One thought on “How to Teach English (ESL) Online With or Without a College Degree

  1. Tamara Kulish December 10, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great information! It just might be the answer to what I’ve been looking for!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for following!


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