Free Resources For Online Teaching

Teaching English Online means conducting a class online – using a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.  The majority of online education is done through video calls. Classes can range from one-on-one to several students simultaneously, much like in a traditional classroom. Classes can even be tailored towards the likes of Business English.

It’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed when you first start as an online English teacher. While online teaching companies will provide you with everything you need to teach, from the technology to the actual classes, it’s a different scenario if you go independent.

Some teachers will only teach through online companies, but if you want to maximize your earnings, you should focus on starting your own business. For additional information on this, see our piece here on how to be a successful online teacher.

gamification children playing online

Working independently involves taking responsibility for all aspects of your business, from recruiting students to creating instructional materials and collecting payments.

We’ll look at three key components of online teaching and the finest tools for each. These are the following:

  • Tools and software
  • Marketing
  • Developing lessons
Online English teaching software and tools

Let’s start with the practicalities. When teaching online, you’ll need video conferencing software, a way to share files, and a way to be compensated.


Nowadays, everyone uses Zoom for everything — family quizzes, business meetings, and so much more. It’s an excellent video conferencing platform with several essential features for online education, including screen sharing and lesson scheduling. The free plan limits you to 40 minutes of learning time, but you may subscribe for longer sessions and more features.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a simple method to share papers and communicate with people — gone are the days of clumsily emailing a word document back and forth and ending up with multiple copies preserved. It is an excellent tool for teachers to share papers with students, whether for homework or class activities.


Do you need to transfer a large file or several of them at once? Regarding attachments, most email services have capacity limits, however, WeTransfer allows you to send up to 2GB of data for free. You upload the files you wish to send and either enter the recipient’s email address or produce a link that you can send yourself.

teaching English online


Your pupils must be able to pay you, and since the majority of them will most likely be in another nation, a bank transfer can be expensive. PayPal is a money-transfer service that is utilized all over the world. They charge a tiny transaction fee for overseas transfers, but it’s little compared to what your bank would charge. 

A calendar that is accessible online

As a teacher, you must be organized. You must maintain track of your schedule, which necessitates using a calendar. You can use Google Calendar or Calendly, an excellent tool for scheduling classes for online teachers. Calendly allows you to share it with others (and even embed it on your website), so students can see when you have open slots right away.

Making a name for yourself as an online instructor

Online freelance teachers must find their students, which necessitates marketing their services. You can take various approaches, so don’t feel obligated to complete everything simultaneously! Rather than spreading yourself too thin, concentrate on doing a few things well.

If you’re new to marketing, taking some classes to learn the ropes is worth your time. Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course is a great place to start, entirely free. It’s usual for online teachers to enrol in advanced marketing courses to help them develop their careers, so this is an area you’ll want to keep working on and investing in.

Have your webpage

Having your website is critical if you’re starting out as a freelance online English instructor. Students should be able to quickly review your CV and learn more about the services you provide. Remember that unless you’re an SEO master, no one will find your site by accident, so you’ll need to promote it using social media or ads. Not sure where to begin when it comes to developing your website? Our 40-hour online Teaching English course will show you how to accomplish it.


Canva makes it simple to produce graphic content for both marketing and teaching. It’s a web-based graphic creation platform that’s free (with options to upgrade). With a large library of photos, fonts, and other elements, Canva makes it simple to design images.


Mailchimp is a must-have email and marketing service for staying in touch with current students and recruiting new ones. You can send out a regular newsletter, collect leads, and inform students about upcoming events or special offers.

Use of social media

Focus on just one or two social media platforms when marketing yourself as an online English instructor, according to our best advice. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube are just a few major players, but developing content for each would be a full-time job. Instead, consider your target demographic and the channels they use.


Creating video content may be a highly effective means of marketing your services if you know how to film and edit video – or are ready to learn! Creating an introductory video is a terrific way to sell yourself to potential students by giving them insight into who you are and your teaching approach.

Developing online classes

Lesson plans and materials are typically provided by online corporations to teachers, but if you’re on your own, you’ll have to complete everything yourself. It can be a lot of work at first, but if you want to increase your income, it’s well worth it.

Your TEFL course will teach you how to prepare lessons and teach vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, and a variety of other skills. The resources listed above will assist you in creating practical online lessons that will keep students coming back for more.

The TEFL Institute brings over 30 years of experience in the English as a foreign language (EFL) industry. Together with our team of academic educators, we will help prepare you to teach English with practical and accredited TEFL courses. As more of our lives go online, more people learn English online than ever. That means the demand for online English teachers is growing rapidly.

Teaching English online is the most flexible and practical option if you want to teach English as a foreign language in today’s world. Get enrolled on one of our TEFL courses here and start teaching online today!

Online teaching positions are normally flexible short-term opportunities with around 15-20 hours of teaching a week. Teaching online means you have the flexibility to teach wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of home or in an exotic faraway land! It’s also a lot easier to set your own schedule and fit your teaching hours around your lifestyle. Online teaching roles are aimed mainly at teaching young learners via an online interactive learning platform. But there are opportunities to tutor adults, too.

Most online TEFL companies will ask for a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training and teaching practice. Some online companies may ask their teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly true for Chinese companies, as it’s a government regulation (no matter where you are living). 

You will more than likely need high-speed internet, a computer with an HD webcam and a headset if you want to teach online. If you have the choice of a video calling platform for your online lessons, Zoom is a good choice. It gives you a clear view of your students. You can also share your screen and create separate rooms for group work in lessons. 

If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as employers may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which has a section focused on teaching English online. 

You can add our 30 Hour Teaching English Online Course to any primary course to boost your knowledge and skills. The teaching English online course is a huge benefit because it prepares you to enter the online tutoring world – and looks great on a CV, too!

Then there’s our Professional Online Expert Course. This is a specialised online teacher qualification that gives you the skillset and the confidence to hit the ground running. This package includes the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course, 30 Hour Teaching English Online and the 30 Hour Teaching Young Learners to give you an edge in a competitive market. 

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