Online English Teaching
A viable part time job suitable for students, stay at home parents or in fact anyone with a few hours to spare is online English teaching. This can be done from home, so no need to pack your bags at all. You only need a laptop and occasionally you can teach from a smartphone. You need fast internet and it’s better if it’s wired with an ethernet cable. You can sign up to one of the companies who will take details and give you either an interview to assess your teaching skills, or you’ll record a teaching demo and submit it. With some of the companies, you don’t need teaching qualifications or experience (although they’re preferred) but they do usually ask for you to be a native speaker. They often have their own custom-built easy to use platforms that you log into, you don’t normally use Zoom, MS Teams or Google Chat for example. Some of these platforms might not be accessible in some countries anyway.
Unfortunately, the landscape has changed in recent years, as previously there were many Chinese companies needing teachers for their 1000s of students but now, the law has been changed and you need to be in China to be able to teach. This meant many companies disappeared overnight or moved their offices abroad to avoid the ban.
The odd thing is that the English language, particularly taught by native speakers, is highly desirable to the Chinese and in particular, Chinese parents who want their children to speak fluently with the right accent. English opens up education and career opportunities for them in the future. It’s also true that the American accent is more desirable than the British accent in China!
So what’s the situation now and what’s available?
Because most of the industry was based in China, the future is uncertain for sure! We do know that Chinese people, and parents in particular, with children preparing for exams are desperate for teachers. It may be that the rules will eventually be changed, but we don’t know yet.
One option is starting your own online tutoring business through one of the video calling platforms. Many people have done this, as a way to charge their own fees and keep the profits, rather than the companies taking a large slice. There are downsides to this, mainly marketing and finding students, making your own curriculum, charging students and keeping track of invoicing.
One website providing a curriculum for teaching adults is:
You could try Cambly as this company is based in California. There are two options, one for teaching adults and Camblykids for teaching children. Not great rates of pay but there’s work available around the clock whichever time zone you’re in. Easy sign up with no face to face interview. No qualifications or experience needed but you need to be a native speaker. Also the platform only works on Google Chrome.
This company is based in Hong Kong, therefore avoiding the ban. Good rates of pay! This company is for teaching children only and the hiring process can be a bit lengthy. They ask for qualified and experienced teachers and you must commit to a schedule.
This company, based in Chile, has a more diverse approach. You can teach English, maths, science or business subjects in English, Spanish or Portuguese. You’ll need to be qualified and experienced in your subject area. You can teach at any time around the clock and rates of pay vary but can be good.