The Covid-19 lockdown has seen a global increase in demand for online English teachers and the opportunity could help struggling South Africans make ends meet, says Tom Gibbons, director at The TEFL Academy.
Gibbons said that, depending on experience, South Africans can expect to earn average salaries of between R190 and R560 per hour.
“There are currently thousands of online teaching jobs available to South Africans, listed on the internet. It’s just a matter of getting qualified and finding a way to teach online that suits you,” Gibbons said.
For those who have suddenly found themselves without an income, it has forced critical thinking around new ways to make money.
“A TEFL (Teaching english as a foreign language) qualification lets you teach from anywhere in the world – creating a unique opportunity for fluent English speakers to earn money from home,” said Gibbons.
In terms of working hours, he said that many of the large online teaching companies are based in Asia. This means peak teaching times are Monday to Friday, 11h00 to 16h00 South African time, and 13h00 to 16h00 on weekends.
Alternatively, teachers can set their own hours by adding themselves and their qualifications to an existing agency database where TEFL learners all over the world can easily find them, he said.
Gibbons added that an online TEFL course can be completed within four to six weeks and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
He said to that to teach English from home, all you need is the following:
- A legitimate TEFL qualification;
- A stable internet connection;
- A pair of headphones;
- A microphone;
- A webcam;
- A method to receive payments, like a PayPal account.
To help prospective teachers prepare for teaching online, the TEFL Academy has introduced live webinar classrooms, where TEFL teachers can practice teaching with other teachers standing in for students – a first in the online teaching space, Gibbons said.
“The live webinars simulate the full online teaching from home experience, providing every TEFL teacher with hands-on knowledge in terms of running an online class,”’ he said. “It’s a great starting point because employers always looking for someone with experience.”
67 free courses from Harvard University
Harvard University is offering 67 free online courses at a time when many countries have been forced into lockdown.
These course can be accessed here, they take between a week to 12 weeks to complete, and include the following subjects: programming, health and medicine, social sciences, computer science, art and design, and business.
One such course is entitled: Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. In this course, which lasts six-weeks or 3-5 hours a week, you can ‘explore how entrepreneurship and innovation tackle complex social problems in emerging economies’.
Another, CS50: Introduction to Computer Science, will give you a ‘broad and robust understanding of computer science and programming’
The course would need around 10-20 hours per week for 11 weeks.