5 Things to Know Before You Start Teaching Languages Online
Internet technologies brought endless opportunities for communication. Today you can talk to anybody anywhere in the world with only a headset and Internet connection. Even most businesses are heavily involved in video conferences, Skype interviews, online calls resolving issues on a global scale, and communicating with partners or customers of different cultural backgrounds. Probably that’s why speaking more than one language is not only cool but also profitable. According to the research conducted by the Global Industry Analysts Inc., online language tutoring is already a huge business with billions of dollars in revenues.
Teaching languages online deconstructing the myths that languages can be taught in brick and mortar schools only or in settings of traditional classrooms. Online language courses and 1-on-1 consultations were always extremely popular among students. Now the popularity of online teaching only grows. Teaching languages online using google drive or google classroom is a normal practice today. So, if you’re thinking about creating a language course or tutor online, read through the info we have prepared for a better perspective and learn how to earn money teaching languages online.
Here are 5 things for you to learn about before you start your actual teaching experience online. We’ll also provide you with some information on where you can teach languages online. We hope that these teaching languages online tips will work for you and will help you to learn how to make money teaching languages online.
#1. Pick a platform to teach languages online
No secret, online teaching opened endless opportunities for teachers in terms of jobs and employment. Today the most popular way teachers deliver online language learning classes to students either via Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, etc. Many teachers choose to go to e-learning platforms which are now popular on the Internet (Grinfer is one of them). Once language students get access to an educational resource online, learning from native speakers from anywhere in the world becomes possible right in their own homes no matter the location.
Where to learn foreign languages online and where to get teaching languages online jobs?
Here are some popular teaching platforms you can look at:
- Vipkid – teaching platforms with over 600,000 followers worldwide.
- iTalki – teaches classes to over 5 million language students who are taught by native speakers. Learners are provided with a great option of choosing teachers.
- Verbal Planet – another popular platform that provides lectures via video calls in Skype.
- Lingoda – has been created in Germany and popular for language classes offered in English, German, French, and Spanish languages.
- Verbling is one of the largest and most popular online platforms for advanced learning of languages with 7500+ teachers in its database who teach over 50 languages worldwide.
If you are going to teach large groups or even move the whole school online, look into such platforms like Easyclass and Moodle which have been designed specifically for non-profit organizations. These platforms work either mobile or on desktops and offer a wide scope of services that every teacher needs, like providing feedback, arranging scheduler for classes, assigning homework assignments, etc.
#2. Do marketing promotions to allure more students and teach languages online
Once you choose a platform and register, create a profile that will drive students to your course. The first and most important thing to think about is a photo that represents you. Choose a picture where your face is shown open and clear with a flash of a nice smile or at least doesn’t look grim. Also, select a photo where you’re wearing clothing of brighter colors since lots of students make judgments by the way you look.
Spend some time working on your bio to give a better idea of who you are and what your teaching style is. Provide information about licenses and certificates you acquired. Mention it in your bio description, however, give a hint of good humor by slipping a joke or two while writing information about yourself. That way learners will see – you’re not just one of those conservative teachers but also someone who likes to have fun and up to for a good laugh.
Later, consider promoting yourself with social media channels (create one for language learners on Facebook), podcasts, Youtube videos, etc. Try writing blog articles or offering freebies in exchange for email addresses (just an example). Find ways for reaching out to wider groups of potential students and use what works best for you.
That way learners will see – you’re not just one of those conservative teachers but also someone who likes to have fun and up to for a good laugh.
#3. Always do your homework and come prepared to teach languages online
Treat an online teaching experience just like any sport where an athlete should practice every day to succeed. If you provide 1-on-1 consultations or online lessons delivered face-to-face, make sure you’re always well prepared whenever you show up for an online language session. It is a good and important thing that you are fluent in the language you teach or have extensive experience in teaching at brick-and-mortar schools. Remember, teaching classes online is a bit of a different experience that requires a different style of teaching approach.
So, how can people learn new languages online?
Going online to teach feels like a rather personal experience. At first, it might feel weird when you’re staring at a student eye-to-eye the whole time. Well, it won’t look like a typical classroom situation that you might be used to. So, not being well prepared for your teaching session can lead to awkward silence or uncomfortable pauses. Your goal is to be 100% in the game, so learn information by heart and try to control the pacing of your lesson as you go. Try to anticipate questions your student might ask and be flexible in switching from one language topic to another if needed. Don’t hesitate to use a cheat sheet during your lesson. Sometimes a good cheat sheet can be of great help to avoid these awkward pauses and provide some entertaining cultural insights that can perk a student’s attention.
Also, try to provide your students with additional information about where to practice languages online and where to practice other languages online.
#4. Have everything covered including your surroundings while teaching languages online
Keep in mind that such things like good light and nice background behind you are important for setting up 1-on-1 consultations. If teaching from a local cafe might sound good at first, this might be not as good later. Set your workspace in a nice quiet place with a good light with no background noise or cats running around knocking stuff over. Create a pleasant background behind you with either a photo of a beautiful landscape or something that would make it look nice and soothing.
#5. Go with creating a course and teach language online
If you’ve been thinking about creating a course to teach languages online, but don’t know where to start, read about basics and learn how to make money teaching languages online.
Any online course includes the following:
- downloadable workbooks
- audio recordings
- text with information.
While creating your written material, try to avoid too much fluff and keep in mind the audience that you’re reaching out to.
Use a popular marketing trick while creating a course, which is providing extra bonuses to those who signed up. Try always to have something extra to offer, something “free” and inspirational like ebooks or opportunity to talk to you through group live calls. Once you have everything set up and written out – spread the word and do a promotion. Don’t be shy about it and let everybody know about the course.
Use a popular marketing trick while creating a course, which is providing extra bonuses to those who signed up.
You can make everything even easier by going to the Grinfer platform and selling your courses with the Grinfer marketplace. You’ll not only benefit from learning everything about how to teach languages online but also will know how to interact with people in other languages online. Grinfer believes that learning and teaching languages online is a constructivist approach and will support you with any resources that you possibly need for a good start.
An actual process of creating a course on Grinfer is easy. You can watch an instructional video posted on their blog with step-by-step instructions. The whole process of registration and setting up a course is free and you don’t have to pay anything. Another great thing is that you won’t pay a penny for the promotion of your course on the Internet later, once your course will be posted on the platform.
Grinfer’s marketing team is also pretty good at providing feedback and giving some tips on how to improve your courses so it will sell better and faster. Once you sell a course on Grinfer, you will receive an author’s commission. However, Grinfer does require all information that you provide for your course to be authentic and created by you from start to finish. So, plagiarism is definitely something that is not appreciated. Create online content for courses on topics that you already know and provide your expertise in areas you’re proficient in. All information that you provide will go through the process of moderation, which takes not more than 24 hours.
The best thing to mention is that the 1-on-1 online consultations will be available shortly on Grinfer. You’ll be able to set up your schedule and provide individual lessons and consultations on Grinfer. The thing here that differs Grinfer from other platforms is that learners browsing the marketplace for courses can stumble upon your profile. Actually, you can create an account and set up your working hours so the day 1-on-1 consultations go live, you’ll be among the first consultants available for booking.