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Kate Parnell

How to Become an Online English TESOL Teacher in 2021

By | ESL Industry Advice, Online Teaching | No Comments

The best way to start your English TESOL teaching career is to become a TESOL teacher with ATA TESOL Australia.

It’s becoming common to do online tutoring, because it’s a good way to earn extra money or start a new career. As an online TESOL English tutor, you can teach English through popular videoconferencing programs such as Skype or Zoom, or online through privately developed platforms for online English schools.

For the students and teachers, it’s convenient to learn and teach online because neither party has to commute for class. Learning English online is especially common in Asian countries, such as China and Japan. The demand for English learning worldwide is rising exponentially each year and the ESL industry is currently a $63 billion-dollar industry. It is common for kids and teenagers to learn general English online after school. It is common for adults to learn specialised English, such as Business English, and IELTS exam preparation English, after work or study. Therefore, peak times for teaching are 5PM-10PM Beijing Time on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Three ways to become an online TESOL English tutor:

  • Tutoring company. There are a lot of online English language schools. Teaching for an established online English school is good for people who want to follow a school’s curriculum and student booking system. There is less flexibility when teaching with an online school.
  • Freelancer. Using freelance websites – everything is decided between you, as the English tutor, and your students. Some freelance websites provide curriculums and some teaching structure so this is a good option for TESOL teachers that want some flexiblity and some structure.
  • Tutoring business. Starting your own business has never been so straightforward. There are many tools to help you start your own website, plan your own curriculum, find your students, set your own times, and arrange your own salary. Take control of your future, be your own boss, and start your own online tutoring website today.

What do you need to become an Online TESOL English Teacher?

  • A TESOL certificate is the minimum requirement
  • Stand out in the competitive market by studying our Online Tutoring Elective. This elective teaches you all of the ins and outs of teaching English online. Graduate with certification for your resume, get experience with our practical demo lesson assessment, and get access to our exclusive Online Tutoring Jobs.
  • A Fast internet connection is recommended
  • A headphone with a microphone and a webcam
  • Access to a computer with videoconferencing software (Skype and Zoom are most popular)
  • A friendly, patient, and punctual personality. We teach you all of the tip and tricks to be the best online TESOL teacher in our Online Tutoring Elective.

Education Requirement

The minimum requirement to be an online TESOL English tutor is a TESOL Certificate because you will learn how to teach English as a Second Language effectively.

It’s important to study a TESOL course with 1 on 1 tutoring subjects to help you prepare for the online tutoring world. The online TESOL teaching industry requires additional teaching methods that aren’t taught during other TESOL courses which predominantly focus on classroom teaching. We offer both a specialised Online Tutoring Elective and a Private Tuition elective to ensure you are prepared and certified to teach English in a one on one setting online. These electives provide you with a transcript to add to your resume so when you, as a TESOL teacher, are applying for a job, you will stand out from the others.


  • Company – Based on your credentials and experience, usually between $12 to $30 USD per hour
  • Own business – You can charge your own hourly rate based on your ESL teaching niche. Some of our graduates earn up to $75 an hour teaching specialised English online.

Our online tutoring elective helps you determine and define your ESL teaching niche to earn the most money as an online tutor.

How to start

    Get TESOL qualified! Study with us for an award-winning TESOL Course that has been studied by over 26 000 TESOL teachers globally. Fill out your details below for a no-obligation discovery session to learn about our TESOL Course with Online Tutoring Elective to learn how to teach TESOL English online and get the Online English Teaching job that you deserve.

      Speak to our industry expert and get professional course and career advice now


      Make sure to contact us to find out about TESOL courses in Australia.
      Or call 1300 723 928 and email our TESOL expert to find out more today!

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    5 Easy Steps To Take Action in 2020

    By | ESL Industry Advice | No Comments
    “You cannot begin, until you begin.”
    ― Tony Cleaver
    “A little action often spurs a lot of momentum.”
    ― Noah Scalin
    “Start before you’re ready.”
    ― Steven Pressfield

    5 Easy Steps To Take Action in 2020

    1) Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Have you heard that saying, “nothing great comes from comfort zones”. It’s true.

    – Travel and working overseas is the best way to refresh your surroundings and step out of your comfort zone. Most of our 25 000 graduates said that their lives changed for the best after becoming a TESOL teacher and starting the overseas English teaching career. 

    2) Picture The Best Outcome

    What is your goal? Picture the best possible outcome of you achieving that goal. With that picture in mind, take the first step to help you achieve that goal.

    – If your goal is to travel the world. Picture the country you want to travel to. Picture sights you will see, the foods you will taste, and the people you will meet. Picture yourself living and working as a local in your dream destination. We are an outcome focused training college, so whatever your best outcome is, we will be here to help you achieve it. 

    3) Ask Questions

    Asking a question is still an action. Finding the appropriate information for your goals is just as important as making your goal.

    – Take the time to complete a consultation with us to help you focus your goals and map out the best pathway to achieve them. We have free TESOL career consultations for you. Simply call 0439 867 802 to start your no obligations consultation with us today. 

    4) Have Faith in Your Decision

    Making a decision and sticking to it is imperative to achieving your goals. When you question yourself and your decision, that’s when you give up. Don’t give up! You can do it.

    – Making the decision to join the ATA community will be beneficial for you and your journey. We are a supportive community that will ensure that you don’t give up. 

    5) Take Small Steps to Achieve Your Larger Goals

    The first step is always the hardest. But each step after that gets easier and easier as you develop a rhythm.

    – The first and easiest step to take in your TESOL career is to simply enroll.

    Ready to take action? Organise a FREE consultation with us now.

    Why you need international work experience on your resume in 2020

    By | Business, ESL Industry Advice | No Comments

    International Work Experience for your RESUME

    Do you want to travel all over the world for exciting experiences such as delicious food, exotic culture and adventure?

    But during your vacation, you don’t have enough time to complete all of your bucket list?

    Are you concerned about how your extended trip will be regarded on your resume?

    Or you have you finished your life-time trip but still don’t know how to include your international experience on your resume?

    Don’t worry, we have you covered!

    Even though many people dream of traveling world, most of them hesitate to put it into action because they are worried about an extended gap in their resume and the impact it may have on their future career.

    However, with a change of globalization, many employers now actually prefer candidates with international experience. Your international experience can be used to make your resume outstanding from others with a little thought and tips.

    Plus, choosing a career with global travel opportunities, like becoming a TESOL teacher with us, means that you won’t have any gaps on your resume.

    You will be working and travelling in an industry that has endless future career opportunities and practical skills that can be applied in any future workplace. All of these skills will put you and your resume ahead of the others.

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    How to be a great English (ESL) teacher from DAY ONE

    By | ESL Industry Advice, Japan | No Comments

    You’ve just completed your TESOL certification with ATA TESOL College and you are now qualified to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) overseas.

    You have contacted our amazing job support team and landed yourself your dream job in China. You have no more rent to worry about, because your accomodation is included, you have so many exciting new cuisines to try, and you have met some other ESL teachers who are with you in your apartment or at your new school. But you have never taught conversational English before and you are feeling a bit nervous.

    Don’t worry! There is nothing to be nervous about. Being a TESOL teacher is a rewarding and exciting experience, even if you are an introvert like me. You have to remember, everyone was new to a job at least once in their lifetime. And the schools understand that you are new to teaching.

    For beginner TESOL teachers, we have some handy tips for you. Lin Nyunt, an ATA TESOL graduate, is currently teaching in Japan and has combined his love for travel and teaching to become a TESOL teacher and a Vlogger in Japan. Make sure to watch his video at the end of this post and subscribe to his channel here.

    Here is a recap of some of his great tips for first-time teachers and we have added some of ours to the list as well. Feel free to comment with any additional tips that you may have.


    Build rapport

    Smile – As cliche as it sounds, a smile is one of the simplest ways to make your students feel more comfortable in you class.

    Use your students’ names – You will probably have many different classes and many different names to remember but if you can, try to learn as many of your students’ names as possible. A handy trick to remember names is to pick an identifying feature of that student and associate with their name. E.g. Gary with the green glasses

    Ask them about themselves – Engage your students in conversation during the breaks or before class starts. Find out their likes and interests and use this information to tailor some of the activities to their interests.


    Be energetic

    Don’t take yourself too seriously – The students have difficult classes all day long that account for their formal grades. English lessons with TESOL teachers are known to be more engaging than grade focussed. So, try to make your lesson fun and more light-hearted. This will give your students a break from the monotony of grade based learning and they will be more inclined to learn English if they get to have fun learning it.

    Try to be energetic to engage students – Even if you are an introvert, try to be energetic in class. This is where the Total Physical Response (TPR) method that you are taught in our TESOL Course comes in handy. Use your whole body when demonstrating new vocabulary and encourage your students to do the same. Don’t just stand in one spot at the board while lecturing to your students. Move around the classroom to hold their attention and keep them engaged.

    Students learn from animated actions – I like to say that being a TESOL teacher sometimes feels like being an actor. This is because the students enjoy animated and lively facial expressions and vocal tones. They also love to laugh at my over-exaggerated actions in the classroom. The students will laugh and participate more and as we all know, happy learners are better learners.


    Be approachable

    Be silly and have fun – The students will be more relaxed and will want to talk more to you in class and outside of class.

    The goal of an ESL teacher is to get your students to talk more. You are a native speaker and the best way to improve their English is by talking with you! So, the more comfortable they become with you then they will speak more.


    Kick start your career as an English (ESL) Teacher with ATA TESOL College.

    We offer Internationally Employer Recognised and Australian Nationally Accredited TESOL courses.

    Email us at to find out more today.

    How To Be a Great English ESL Teacher From Day One - ATA TESOL College\

    8 Delicious and Interesting Foods you Need to Eat in Japan

    By | Japan | No Comments

    This is Kyo from Tokyo, Japan. He is our amazing intern here at ATA TESOL College. And yes, he recently met Elvis! 

    Posted by ATA TESOL College on Sunday, October 28, 2018




    Kyo is a Japanese local, so he is the best person to recommend insider Japanese knowledge. Today he will be introducing different Japanese foods that you must try when you visit Japan.

    The best way to experience Japan and all it has to offer is by becoming a TESOL teacher to teach conversational English. Make sure to check out our courses page to find out about TESOL.

    Keep reading to find out more…


    In Japan, there are a lot of Japanese foods such as sushi, okonomiyaki, ramen and so forth.

    Today, I am going to introduce to you Japanese food more deeply.

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    How to choose an ESL teaching niche

    By | ESL Industry Advice | No Comments

    ESL Teaching Niches - ATA TESOL College

    Having an ESL teaching niche is important

    In the ESL industry, general English classes are the most common and therefore, the most competitive to find employment. In order to stand out from the competition, a great ESL teacher has at least a couple of ESL teaching niches. An ESL teaching niche is a specific area of English learning that you specialise in. ESL teaching niches include, but are not limited to, private tutoring, business English, and English examination preparation. Having an ESL teaching niche is important because it makes you more marketable as an English language teacher and provides you with the opportunity to earn more money.

    The ATA TESOL College Director of Studies describes ESL teaching niches in terms of areas of study:

    “From a more practical perspective, study and training is about job readiness so the question to ask when considering different courses from different institutions is – will I be ready for the job when I’ve completed the course? A course with greater breadth and variety in its training will obviously better prepare a candidate for the workplace, especially if that person has no previous experience in that field. To put it simply, the more you do, the better you will become, or, even more simply, practice makes perfect. ATA’s programs offer more areas of TESOL study than other courses, giving ATA graduates an edge in the job market, particularly with the unit on private tuition which is an increasingly large chunk of the TESOL market these days.”


    Common ESL teaching niches

    Our ATA TESOL College electives equip you with the skills to master the most common ESL Teaching niches such as:

    Private Tuition

    Private tutoring is a lucrative niche. Private tuition gives you the opportunity to earn a higher hourly rate than salary teaching, flexible teaching hours, and opportunities to supplement your income or start your own tutoring business.  We believe so strongly in this niche that private tuition studies feature in both our internationally recognised and nationally accredited TESOL courses.

    IELTS and TOEFL Examination Preparation

    English language examination studies are becoming very popular with international students. Many Asian countries require examination scores to enter universities, study overseas, and for employment both internationally and domestically. Therefore, the need to improve their scores means that IELTS and TOEFL examination preparation teachers are in high demand.

    Business English

    With increasing globalisation, business English is needed for international students to increase their chances of employment. Therefore, business teaching niche is a common niche that many teachers choose.

    Age-specific English

    Age-specific teaching niches are great supplements to the niches above if you want to have more than one teaching niche. Teaching English to Pre-school children is in high demand in Asian countries as they begin to introduce compulsory English curriculum in all kindergartens resulting in an increase in bi-lingual kindergartens. Other age-specific teaching niches encompass children, adolescents, and adults.


    Benefits of ESL teaching niches

    • Increase your chances of employment in competitive environments
    • More areas of study mean that your educational qualifications are of higher value to employers, especially for teachers without experience or a degree
    • Increase your salary and earning power in your teaching niche
    • You will be more qualified compared to the many other teachers with basic TESOL/TEFL certificates
    • More opportunities to start your own teaching/tutoring business
    • The opportunity to target employers and direct your skills to obtain better ESL teaching jobs


    How to choose an ESL teaching niche

    Choosing an ESL teaching niche is just like choosing a major or minor for your Undergraduate studies at a university. It is best to study many different electives to find the niche that you enjoy and suits your teaching style best. From there, you can find employment in that niche to gain experience and eventually become an expert in your teaching niche.



    We can help you choose your ESL teaching niche and map out a study pathway for you to develop your teaching niche. Simply email us today and we will organise a time that suits you.


    8 Amazing Places to Work as a Volunteer TESOL Teacher

    By | Volunteer | 2 Comments

    Volunteer TESOL Teacher - ATA TESOL College-min

    The best places to teach English as a volunteer TESOL teacher

    Being a TESOL/TEFL teacher allows you to give back to the community by volunteering your time to countries abroad. This rewarding opportunity is open to all ATA TESOL College graduates through our partner volunteering companies. Volunteer programs include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast and 24/7 in-country support. It is recommended that all volunteers gain TESOL certification before departing because many volunteer positions require you to lesson plan and tailor curriculum in the classroom, two skills that are taught in our TESOL program. The hardest part about being a volunteer TESOL teacher is picking only one amazing destination to visit.

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Buenos Aires is the cosmopolitan capital city of Argentina. This vibrant city will breathe life into your adventures. Make sure to visit the La Boca area to experience the brightly coloured buildings that are famous in Buenos Aires. As a volunteer TESOL teacher you will be teaching English alongside local teachers to primary school children in the shanty town areas of Southern Buenos Aires. You will be a valuable support to the local teachers and will be mainly helping with pronunciation and speaking.



    Bali is Indonesia’s largest tourist destination. Numerous visitors travel to Bali every year to experience its pristine beaches, natural beauty, unique culture, and many tourist activities. Being able to give back to such an amazing place means that you will bring great meaning to what would have been just any other Bali vacation. As a volunteer TESOL teacher you will be assisting elementary school children with their conversational English language skills in Ubud. Learning English provides the children with future career opportunities in the growing tourism industry in Bali and so you will be giving the children a brighter future.



    Cambodia is an Asian country famous for its Angkor Wat relics in Siem Reap. With a low cost of living and many expats, Cambodia is a great destintion for volunteers on a budget. As a volunteer TESOL teacher you will be providing children with the opportunity to learn English, which is required for future employment, when they usually would not be able to afford it. Most English teaching positions will be general english teaching in orphanages or NGO-run schools.



    Italy is a country famous for its landmarks in Rome and delicious food, like pizza and pasta. But did you know that Naples in Italy has one of the highest student drop out rates in the whole country? So, there are opportunities for volunteer TESOL teachers to assist local teachers in public schools or after school programs to encourage students to learn English and maintain their education in Naples.


    Marrakech, Morocco

    Morocco is a bucket list destination for most avid travellers. With its stunning architecture and unique landscape, a visit to Marrakech is a trip of a lifetime. Learning English gives Moroccans the ability to further their education and gain employment in a competitive job market. As a volunteer TESOL teacher, you will work in local community centers teaching English to children, teenagers, and adults.



    Their is more to mexico than tequila, margaritas, and tacos. Mexico is home to beautiful beaches and friendly, smiling faces. Volunteer teaching in Mexico is very diverse and you could be places in facilities such as, orphanages, community centers, foster care institutions, or traditionals schools. As a volunteer TESOL teacher you will support the weekly English lessons that the students have by revising material in a fun and interesting way.



    Nepal is famous for its rich history and culture and one must visit Kathmandu as least once in their lifetime. Living in Nepal provides you with a rare opportunity to look past the landmark temples and to enrich your spirit by becoming one with the locals. Volunteer TESOL teachers will teach in public or private schools and will provide English lessons to students who do not have the opportunity to learn English because of limited funds.



    Madrid is wonderful city with many beautiful landmarks and Spanish charm. With high levels of youth unemployment in Madrid, Spain, English conversational skills are highly sought after to give the youth a competitive edge when job hunting. As a volunteer TESOL teacher, you will assist students of all age groups at local centers providing extra-curricular classes. These provide otherwise limited communities with the opportunity to practice and improve their English language skills.



    Kick start your volunteer TESOL Career with us today.


    8 places that you need to Instagram in China

    By | China | No Comments

    Instagram in China - ATA TESOL College-min

    These are the top 8 places to Instagram in China that aren’t The Great Wall

    A lot of ESL teachers start their TESOL/TEFL teaching careers in China. Everyone has heard a lot about this country that is rich in culture and opportunity. But not many people know that China is actually home to some stunning natural landmarks. While you are teaching and living in China, we encourage you to take advantage of your weekly breaks, and use the amazing train network to see more of this beautiful country. To get you excited to see your new country, we have found the 8 best pleaces to Instagram in China. These places are so beautiful that they make us want to leave our desks and hope onto a plane right now!

    Blue Moon Valley China

    Breathtaking 🏔 #nixiaodetianmimiyunnan

    A post shared by Vhaann (@vhaann) on

    We are honestly blown away by the natural beauty of the Blue Moon Valley in China and sometimes can’t even believe that a place like this exists. Not only is the Blue Moon Valley perfect to Instagram in China, but it is also home to a beautiful belief of the local Naxi Tribe. It is believed that if a man is able to stand barefoot in the waters during a cold winter, then the love between that couple will last forever. So, this is also the perfect place for a #couplegoals Insta shot too.

    Xihu Lake in Hangzhou

    Xihu, or West Lake as it is known in English, is one of the most popular lakes in China for both international and domestic tourists. The lake and area has been featured in numerous artworks and photography shoots making it popular for Instagrammers worldwide. Shots of this lake are best taken when reflections on the lake’s surface can be captured.

    Terracotta Army in X’ian

    We love a good symmetrical photo for the ‘gram. And the perfect Chinese location to fill this need is in X’ian. The world famous Terracotta warriors make the perfect backdrop for a funny group #selfie or a simple cultural update for your feed. Even if you aren’t going to Instagram, we think this is one of China’s must-visits while you are living there.

    Tianzifang in Shanghai

    Paparazzi got me like 📸 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• One of the funniest things I experienced throughout my stay in China was the feeling of being a local celebrity (or some kind of zoo animal 😂). Everywhere I went I was constantly pulled into pictures and/or photographed without even my knowledge (hence the guy in the right of this picture) 📸. I became victim of the selfie stick countless times. No matter how hard I tried to evade being in pictures, I was at a loss 🤷🏽‍♀️. . . . Eventually I stopped attempting to duck out and just embraced the moment. I had so much fun photobombing groups (only to be pulled into the center of the picture for a photoshoot 😂) and watching these people’s faces light up whenever I threw down a peace sign for the pic ✌🏽. When I finally stumbled upon the first American I met (8 days into my trip) I found out he too had the same problem and eventually started asking for the pictures on his own phone (best Instagram story I’ve ever seen @victorwebsterphotography ) 📲. . . . Foreigners don’t venture to the places I visited too often, so seeing someone so different is a matter of sheer excitement and curiosity for these guys. It’s also unbeknownst to me a sign of wealth and good fortune to be friends with a Westerner. I won’t be surprised if I end up in a family photo in some strangers house somewhere 😂. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #thethingsyoulearn #traveldiary #china #travelblogger

    A post shared by Becca • B Wild & Free (@b.wildandfree) on

    We want to keep this hidden gem all to ourselves, but alas, sharing is caring. Tianzifang is arguably Shanghai’s most trendy, hipster area. Hidden away in the backstreets of a former French residential area, you will find backstreets filled with so many Instagram aesthetic shops, eateries, and bars. The area is bustling and lively and we love that there are so many Instagram opportunities everywhere you look. This is also a great place for expats to meet each other as foreigners love to spend the afternoons in this area.

    Longji Rice Terraces, Yangshuo

    These beautiful rice terraces look magical on a misty morning and inject a bit of colour into your Instagram feed. We love how the terraces are one of the few places in China where you can get a shot free of bustling people and crowds. A visit to the Longji Rice Terraces is a peaceful experience that every China visitor should enjoy at least once.


    Home to the “Avatar Mountains”, Zhangjiajie is a must visit for every nature lover. The large, pillar mountains that can be found in the area make a dramatic backdrop for any photo. They are so unique that they were said to have inspired the landscape for the Avatar movies, hence the nickname Avatar Mountains.


    How could an Instaworthy China list be complete without Suzhou, the Venice of China? As you can see in the stunning photo above, China has a diverse range of cities each with their own beauty. Suzhou is picture perfect with its canals and traditional Chinese architecture and is definitely worthy of a visit.

    Zhongshan Park of Shantou

    This park will named and built for China’s famous Dr. Sun Yat-sen. It is famous for its display of the traditional art of Chinese gardening that has taken centuries to perfect. There are endless Instagram opportunities with the many intricately decorated pavilions and lotus lakes.

    Kick start your TESOL Career in China with us today.


    Article written by the team at The Wanderlust Chronicles.