Online Teaching with Tesol
First up, what is a TESOL certificate?
TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, a teaching program for any professional who wants to carve out a career in the ESL / EFL field. If you have a TESOL certificate, you can teach English in any school that offers ESL / EFL classes anywhere in the world.
Take note that ESL / EFL differs from the usual English courses taught in school. ESL, or English as a Second Language, is English for survival.
Meaning, ESL is about communicative competence, or the ability of a student to communicate using English and be understood when he goes to a country where the language is spoken. That said, the curriculum or course syllabus of ESL / EFL classes is different from that of the usual English subject taught in high school
How do ESL and EFL differ?
EFL, or English as a Foreign Language, is the study or use of English in a country where the language is not the official language. ESL, on the other hand, is the study or use of English in a country where English is the official language. That said, if you are in India or in the Philippines, you teach EFL. If you are in the United States, Australia, or the UK, you teach ESL.
Now, the big question: Do you have to have a TESOL certificate to teach English online?
A TESOL certificate certainly provides a boost to your credentials as an authority in the field of English teaching. But as previously mentioned, ESL has a different course outline, and thus, has a different approach in teaching English.
So, NO, you don’t have to have a TESOL certificate to be an online English teacher.
This, of course, comes with a caveat. Though a TESOL certificate is not necessary and can be treated as an advantage, you must at least have a bachelor’s degree. Many non-native English students think that if your first language is English, then you are more than credible to teach them your language.
They will be more than happy to study with you, and they don’t seem to mind whether you have those certificates or not — as long as you come across as an authority in English teaching.
But as more and more individuals find online English teaching to be a financially rewarding career, the competition is getting stiffer and stiffer. So if you have a degree especially in English or education, you can use it to beat out other online teachers.
Also, it pays to be computer- and Internet-savvy. After all, you’ll be relying on these two lifelines before, during, and after your online classes. Remember, your exchanges and sessions will be via Skype, and your goal is to teach your students how to speak the English language through the Internet.
This may pose some difficulties especially for newcomers, so as early as now, assuming that you’re not well-versed with the features of Skype, create a free account with this free service and study the features, and this may give you an edge when applying for an online teaching position .