This review about teaching English online is put together by Clive Burkinshaw, to assist those who are looking for online work:
I am currently working on Palfish, supporting my family very basically, but enjoying being able to work from home, choosing my own hours and days of work. Currently I work 3 hours a day plus an hour for preparation (this fluctuates according to Chinese holidays and schedules, as it can be 4 hours a day of teaching). I used to work 8 hours a day and earned the same as I am earning now.
Palfish, which was founded in 2015, is a well known teaching platform (virtual learning environment) for English teachers around the world to teach on, and for students to learn English (as a second language) online. The platform is developed in China and used primarily to teach Chinese children.
The platform presents a one-on-one virtual teaching classroom on a mobile app.
They have a fairly rigorous application process for teachers, including the necessary TEFL or TESOL certification (the online equivalent of a teacher training certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in the field of English language). You need to have TEFL if you wish to teach children on the OKC (Official Kids Classroom) platform.
Native English speakers are preferred, and desirably a neutral accent.
Acceptance on to the Palfish platform puts you in a position to offer your teaching services to millions of students. The OKC platform has a structured system of learning plans that include units and lessons built up to suit the competency level of the student. Each unit has slides and online tools to enhance the teaching experience for both the teacher and the student.
Average $15 an hour
On the Palfish documentation they say that their regular teachers earn approximately $10 – $18 an hour, with some teachers earning more than $30 an hour. One thing to remember when you set up your rate is that it’s done per minute, as per their teaching model. The higher your price that you charge for your courses, the more you will earn.
The Palfish logo:
Once accepted on to the Palfish platform, it is up to the teacher to market themselves to the millions of possible students looking for a course and a teacher. As you become more experienced and build up a good profile, the number of students you teach will increase.
There are various factors that will influence your rating, and your rating will place you at higher rankings in the search menu.
It can seem daunting at times, but with more than 5000 teachers already on the Palfish platform, there is plenty of support and mentorship available. The Palfish administration team are exceptionally helpful and experienced. The admin team are your lifeline and there to help you succeed as best they can.
If you do not have the TEFL or TESOL certification, you can still apply, but you will not be able to teach on the OKC platform.
You can then also use the platform to reach adults who wish to practice speaking English with a native English speaker. They call these Free Talk sessions.
You could also craft custom lessons to suit specific needs, for example teaching Business English to professionals wanting to improve their fluency and vocabulary. You can be fairly creative with this option and offer the service. Prospective students would then buy one of the courses.
Before applying, make sure you have the necessary equipment to teach online:
- A good, reliable mobile phone or tablet.
- A comfortable teaching area.
- A decent tripod or similar, to hold your device steady (you can read our reviews on the following tripods: K & F Concept and the Neewer Tripod ).
- Specific clothing (only blue shirts are allowed) for teaching on the OKC platform.
- Very good internet connection.
- A backup system is a must have! The instability of the internet connection and power outages can shut you down at a critical time.
- A power bank (I use a Romoss power bank).
- A good 4G sim connection helps in these situations mentioned above as well.
Many teachers use battery operated lighting to avoid blackout during a power outage. You will have to design your own system according to your specific needs.
The best way to get started is to visit the Palfish website and look around.
If you are ready and have the TEFL or TESOL certification, click on this link and follow the process.
I got my TEFL certificate by completing the course on this really incredible website:
The TEFL Training College are really helpful and professional. It is definitely worth while to do it through them as they are very organised and legitimate.
Be careful because there are many places that offer to teach you TEFL at a cheap price, but it always comes with a cost, either by you having to pay more to complete the course (with the cost only covering the introduction) or it ends up being a fly-by-night company disappearing with your money.
Due to the current worldwide situation we find ourselves in, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching English online has become a great way to work from home, and a good way to prepare yourself for the skills needed to find work in many other areas through the internet.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message and I will reply as soon as is possible.