Teaching English

Everything you need to know about teaching English as a second language. Whether you want to teach online, or in-country, this page can help.

About Teaching English

There are many ways to teach English. Whether you want to move to a country as we did and teach there on a teaching contract, or you just want to work part-time as an online English teacher, as long as English is your first language, you should have no problem finding a job teaching today.

On this page, we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about teaching English, from how to get certified, to how to find work and much more.

We’ve personally volunteered as English teachers in different places around the world, and we also worked as professional English teachers in China for a little over a year

Using our expertise in TEFL, and the expertise of our professional teaching team here at Goats On The Road, we bring you this teaching English information to help you land your first job, prepare for life as a teacher, and much more. Enjoy!


Getting TEFL Certified

Before you start teaching, you’ll need to get a TEFL Certification. This is pretty easy and can typically be done online in just a few short weeks. Below you’ll find all the information you need to get the best TEFL certificate for your needs.

The first step to becoming a traveling English teacher is to get TEFL certified. You can get your certification by completing a TEFL training course with an accredited organization. 

We are certified English teachers ourselves, as are many of our writers here at Goats On The Road, plus we’ve helped nearly a thousand people get TEFL certified through our blog, so we know all about the ins and outs of getting your certification.

In your TEFL course, you’ll learn language teaching techniques, how to create lesson plans, classroom management, and other skills that will help you be an effective teacher.

cheap tefl certification online

Upon course completion, you’ll receive an official TEFL certificate that can qualify you for teaching jobs around the world, or online. This document never expires and is universally accepted. 

Depending on your budget and job aspirations, there are a few different TEFL programs you can choose from.

Most countries require a 120-hour TEFL certification at the minimum. These courses cover teaching fundamentals and are less expensive than higher-hour courses. 

Level 5 TEFL courses are more advanced and could result in prestigious job placements. You can take Level 5 courses online or in person while abroad. 

Below, we’ll look at some of the best accredited TEFL courses available so you can start teaching as soon as possible!

Top TEFL Courses

MyTEFL: MyTEFL is known for being one of the best budget-friendly TEFL courses around. They offer both online and in-person courses. Once you’ve completed your training, they’ll even help you find a teaching job. Goats On The Road readers receive 50% off the course using this link.

The TEFL Academy: The TEFL Academy is the best option for teachers who want to pursue an advanced Level 5 course without breaking the bank. Students can choose between fully online or hybrid courses with an in-person component. 

TEFL Pros: TEFL Pros is a fully accredited online 120-hour TEFL course created by two former TEFL teachers. A highlight of the TEFLPros course is that it a free two-day trial, and a free consultation call to see if the course is right for you.

International TEFL Academy: The International TEFL Academy is the best program for teachers who want an active alumni network and lots of hands-on job assistance. International TEFL Academy has a comprehensive online TEFL course as well as in-person TEFL courses in places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Spain. 

ITTT International TEFL: ITTT TEFL offers a huge variety of course options and programs so there’s something for everyone. Take a short beginner course or dive into a 550-hour comprehensive course bundle, you can do it all with ITTT TEFL. Goats On The Road readers receive 15% off using this link.

Bridge TEFL: Bridge TEFL is another well-respected TEFL training company and they offer a mix of online and in-person courses. Bridge TEFL even created its own advanced TEFL credential called the IDELT. A Bridge TEFL IDELT certification could make your application stand out from the crowd in a competitive job market. 

i-to-i TEFL: i-to-i TEFL is fully accredited and they offer introductory 120-hour TEFL courses all the way up to advanced TEFL diplomas. Graduates of the course also get access to special job boards and career opportunities. 

Premier TEFL: Premier TEFL is a less-expensive TEFL course with online, blended, and advanced options. Students love how they can move through the material quickly and can get certified without a large upfront investment. They also provide job placement assistance for graduates. 

Uni-Prep: this company offers 3 high-quality TEFL courses that you can choose from. Uni-Prep also offers specialization courses (business, grammar, advanced and more) in their certifications, which is a pretty nice bonus.

Best Level 5 TEFL Certificate Overall:

The TEFL Academy is the best Level 5 TEFL someone can take. The Level 5 courses offered by The TEFL Academy are:

  • Fully accredited and regulated
  • Available in both online and combination in-person formats
  • 168-hour courses to make your application stand out for competitive teaching jobs
  • Affordably priced at around $50, but frequently discounted at 60% off, making this a good option even for people on a budget

Best 120-Hour TEFL Overall:

TEFLPros is the best 120-Hour TEFL someone can take. The TEFLPros course is: 

  • Offering a free trial – try before you buy
  • Free consultation call to see if the course is right for you
  • Fully online and instantly accessible after enrollment 
  • Accredited and frequently updated
  • Relatively quick to complete — most teachers finish in 4-6 weeks
  • Filled with video footage of real TEFL classrooms – great for new teachers!

Best Cheapest TEFL Overall:

MyTEFL is the best and cheapest TEFL someone can take. MyTEFL stands out because they offer:

  • Fully accredited online and in-person courses around the world
  • 40, 60, 80, and 120-hour course options
  • Job placement assistance after course completion
  • 24/7 tutor support
  • Budget-friendly prices and frequent discounts
  • Goats On The Road readers receive 50% off the already affordable price

Discount: Goats On The Road readers receive 50% off using the above button.

More About Getting Certified


Teaching English Online

With the rapid growth of online work and remote jobs, it’s no surprise that many English teachers are taking to the web to earn a full-time living as online English teachers. Here you’ll find a list of all of our posts about teaching online, as well as some useful info.

In recent years, teaching English online has skyrocketed in popularity. Today, there are dozens of online teaching companies offering lessons to students all over the world.

Some platforms cater to adult students and others focus on children, so you can choose a company that suits your teaching preferences.

As an online English teacher, you’ll likely get to make your own schedule and set your own working hours. On average, online teachers make between $10 – $20 USD per hour. 

online background ideas

Since you can work from anywhere with WiFi, teaching online makes a great job for digital nomads or those who want a flexible remote side hustle. 

Preply: An online teaching platform that is geared towards students who are preparing for life in the professional world. As a teacher with Preply, you’ll teach them how to speak confidently in public, how to understand some business language, and how to write correctly. With Preply, you can set your own hourly rate, so a lot of teachers here will make more money than on some other platforms. Preply takes 100% of the fee for your first lesson, then 18%-33% thereafter. Learn more here.

Cambly: This is an app that students sign up for and pay a fee to learn English from online English teachers. This is a much more informal teaching setting and usually, the students will be young adults or adults with some grasp of the English language. Pay starts at just over $10/hour, but you can pick your own hours, and teaching with Cambly is easy, and fun. Learn more here.

EF Education First: With EF, native English speakers from the USA and the UK can teach online to adults and children around the world. You must have a Bachelor’s Degree, a TEFL certification, and a wired internet connection to apply.

Teachers typically make around $13 USD or 8.5 GBP per hour. This is the best option for teachers based in the UK or the United States.

Italki: On Italki, you set your hourly rate and you can teach more than just English. Aside from Preply, this is the best option for teaching other languages besides English. If you’re a professional teacher, then you can charge $25+/hour on Italki, while for the less qualified it’s more acceptable to charge $12-$15/hour.

Teaching English Online Without a Degree

No degree? No problem! There are several companies where you can teach English online, even if you don’t have a university degree.

Native English speakers from English-speaking countries will have the most options, but there are platforms available for anyone with a passion for teaching and a strong command of the English language. 

If you don’t have a degree, it’s a good idea to get a TEFL certification as this will open up more teaching options.

You can complete many of the TEFL programs outlined above in just a few weeks, meaning you could be on your way to a new online teaching job in no time! 

teach english online to japanese students

Preply: On Preply, you can teach any language you’re fluent in. Preply operates like a marketplace. You’ll make a teacher profile and list your credentials, hours, and price. If a student likes your profile, they can sign up for classes with you. You will create your own lessons depending on what the student wants to learn. Teachers set their own prices on Preply.

Learn more here

Cambly: Cambly is a free talk platform for adults around the world. You must be a native English speaker, but other than that there are very few requirements to start teaching. Just log in when it works with your schedule and start accepting calls! Cambly pays $10.20 USD per hour.

Learn more here

Skimatalk: Skimatalk also uses a language marketplace format. You’ll make a teacher profile and list your prices and availability. Then, students can book you. You must be a native English speaker to work for Skimatalk and teachers set their own pay rates.

Learn more here

Lingoda: With Lingoda, you’ll be teaching English to groups of adult language learners. The lesson plans are provided and there is little outside prep work, which is great if you’re new to teaching. You must be a native English speaker with a TEFL certification and two years of teaching experience to qualify.

Learn more here

More About Teaching Online


Teaching English Abroad

We had an absolute blast teaching English in China for a year, it’s one of our fondest experiences to date. We highly recommend anyone who is considering becoming an English teacher to try living abroad in the country where you’ll be teaching. While online teaching is convenient, living somewhere and teaching the locals a language is an incredibly rewarding and culture-rich experience.

We’ve covered quite a few countries around the world where you can teach English. Our team has taught everywhere from China to Spain. We’ve also interviewed teachers who have taught in different countries around the world (more on that later on this page).


China is one of the most popular places to teach English abroad — for a good reason. China is a fascinating country to call home for a while and teachers enjoy abundant travel opportunities, delicious food, and unique cultural experiences.

teacher jobs in china

The job market for English teachers in China is strong and pay rates are competitive. Teachers can choose between jobs in private schools, public schools, International schools, and private language academies.

Many positions even come with perks like paid flights, paid accommodation, end-of-contract bonuses, and included health care coverage. 

Most teaching positions in China require that teachers have the following credentials: 

  • Native English Speaker
  • Bachelor degree
  • Minimum 120-hour TEFL Certification
  • Clear background check 
  • Teaching experience is preferred but not required

More About Teaching in China


How amazing would it be to live in Japan? As an English teacher, this could be a reality! Known for exciting cities and stunning natural beauty, Japan is a must-see place on most travelers’ bucket lists and a solid option for teaching abroad. 

Like in China, teachers in Japan can work in public schools, private schools, language academies, international schools, or universities.

View of the majestic Mount Fiji in Japan

Teaching for a public school is usually the easiest option and many teachers choose to use JET, the Japan Exchange and Teaching program.

Teachers in Japan can expect to make anywhere from $2000 – $5000 USD per month but the hours are long. Teachers might work evenings and weekends in addition to their usual class load, but contracts often include some paid vacation time and flight reimbursement. 

Most teaching positions in Japan require that teachers have the following credentials: 

  • Native English Speaker from a native English-speaking country
  • Bachelor degree
  • Minimum 120-hour TEFL Certification
  • Clear background check 
  • Teaching experience is preferred but not required

More About Teaching in Japan

South Korea

South Korea is another popular country for teaching English because the demand for teachers is high and the salaries are competitive. Most people either choose to teach in public schools or in private schools, called hagwons. 

A popular way to teach English in Korea is to apply to the English Program In Korea or EPIK. This process takes a long time and it’s recommended that you start six months before you want to leave for Korea.

teach english in Korea requirements teacher teaching business students

But the upside is that you’ll get a public school job with good benefits and more guidance throughout the whole process. Many public school teachers have set schedules, paid vacation days, housing allowances, and health insurance. 

You can also apply for a teaching job with a private language academy. These jobs are faster to line up and typically pay more than public school positions, but you’ll work more hours and the schedules can be inconsistent. 

Most teaching positions in South Korea require that teachers have the following credentials: 

  • Native English Speaker from a native English-speaking country
  • Bachelors degree
  • Minimum 120-hour TEFL Certification
  • Clear background check 
  • Teaching experience is preferred but not required

More About Teaching in South Korea

More Countries

There are many more countries where you can teach English or other languages. We’ve covered a few of them already on our blog, and we’re constantly on the lookout for more teaching jobs in new countries around the world.

Check out the list below for more countries where you can teach, and be sure to Subscribe to our blog so that you’ll be notified when we come out with new teacher job listings from around the world.

More English Teaching Destinations


English Teacher Interviews

Sometimes, the best way to find out what a job will be like is to hear from people who have actually done it. In this section, you’ll find interviews we’ve done with English teachers who have taught online, and around the world.

We’ve interviewed plenty of teachers who have taught in different countries around the world to bring you these special teacher interviews, or “Teacher Features” as we call them, so that you can get a better idea of what it’s like to teach English in different countries and cities around the world.

Common Questions

In each of our Teacher Features, we ask a series of questions to the teachers to find out more about what the job was like in the destination, how much they were paid, some quirk of the culture, and much more. Here is a list of the common questions we asked them. Click on any of the interviews below to read the full interview and see what they said!

A Spanish male student prepares for an exam in a private lesson at the school's classroom.

Some of these questions below are also very useful to ask your potential employer before signing a contract to work for them for a year.

Where are you from and what’s your “story?”

The first question in our teacher interviews is always an ice breaker just to get to know the teacher and why they decided to move abroad to teach.

What made you decide to become a teacher? Did you have any prior experience?

Here we learn a little bit more about the teacher and their prior qualifications.

Where in the world are you currently teaching, and what’s it like living there?

Now it’s time to find out where the teacher is teaching and what they think of the destination overall.

Are there other expat teachers?

A lot of teachers like to know they’ll have a community of other foreigners when they arrive.

What are the cultural differences, quirks, and unique things about the city/country and its people?

It’s always fun to learn about places from people who have lived there rather than just visited a few times. These quirks are often very interesting and important to know if you are thinking of moving somewhere.

How did you find a job teaching in [Destination]?

Find out if the teacher got the job online, through a recruiter, through your TEFL company, or just by chance.

Did you need to have any qualifications to get a job teaching in [Destination]?

Find out if you need a university degree, a TEFL certificate, prior experience, or any other qualifications that were necessary to get the job).

What does a day in the life of an English teacher look like?

This is always a fun question! It’s exciting to hear what the teacher’s life is like while living in a specific country, what they do outside of teaching, what their neighborhood is like, what their accommodation is like, etc.

What grade do you teach?

This is an important one to know as teaching children is much different than teaching adults.

How many classes do you teach per day?

Another important bit of information, the teachers will share how many classes they have each day. When we taught English in China, we typically taught one or two classes per day during the week, and then our weekends were full with around 4-5 classes per day.

How many hours do you work?

This is also very important as hours for English teachers can vary greatly by school and by country.

Is it a long commute to class?

When we taught English in China, we were lucky enough to ride our bikes to work in just a few minutes, but as you’ll find out from our Teacher Features, this isn’t always the case.

How many days off do you get per week?

This is a good question to also ask your employer. Some of our Teacher Feature interviews reveal very few days off!

Do you get holiday time?

Holiday time is very important and everyone should get at least 10 days holiday per year, even as part-time English teachers.

Do you get breaks throughout the day?

Most schools will have a set schedule with breaks after each class, but sometimes this isn’t the case.

How much does an English teacher in [Destination] earn per month?

Now we get to the part that everyone wants to know, what is the monthly salary?

Is anything else included in your teaching contract? (bonuses, flights, healthcare, accommodation, transport, etc.?)

A lot of schools will include bonuses for retaining students, completing contracts, and showing up to work on time every day. There are also perks like flight compensation, help with accommodation costs and more.

What are the pros and cons of teaching abroad in [Destination]?

We ask the teachers this question in our Teacher Feature interviews because it’s not always all rainbows and sunshine when teaching abroad. We hope that having them share their pros and cons of living and teaching in another country, it’ll help you better understand what the job is like in that specific country.

Any final advice for an aspiring English teacher?

Here the teacher gives you some final inspiration to give you the push they need to start teaching!

More Teacher Interviews


Teaching English Tips

We’ve covered all the best TEFL courses, how to teach online, teaching in different destinations, and more, now it’s time to share with you some tips about the job itself, how to plan lessons, the best countries and cities to teach in, and much more.

We have plenty of posts above and below with tips for English teachers, but we wanted to share a few of our best tips right here on this page, and then if you still want some more English Teaching tips, you can click on any of the posts and links to read more.

Get Certified

We covered this in the first section of this page, but it’s an important first step to becoming an English teacher. You should take a TEFL Course Online before trying to apply for any English teaching jobs, online or in-country.

tefl certificate

Ask A Lot Of Questions

As we talked about in the Teacher Interviews section of this page, it’s important to ask your employer a lot of questions before signing any contracts when teaching. Ask them about holiday times, working hours, the other foreign teachers, bonuses, salary, insurance and more. Make sure you are very clear about what the job and the contract entail before signing.

Prepare For Living Abroad

Before you leave your home to live and work overseas, you’ll want to prepare. What things do you want to have in your day-to-day life that may not be available in your new home country? What will be your transportation? What is the best day of the week to fly there? How will you do your banking in this country? Will you need a VPN to circumnavigate censored internet (China)?

Prepare Before Each Class

Every school will have its own curriculum and course structure. We recommend always being well-prepared before every class so that you can give your students the most useful class possible.

Be Patient

Whether you’re teaching kindergarten or adults, patience is a vital part of being an English teacher. Take your time with your students. Make sure they are vocal and are not afraid to ask questions. The more patient you can be the better their learning will be.

Use Visual Aids

Your students will learn a lot faster if you use visual aids like props, diagrams, and flash cards. Usually, the school will provide these, but if you’re teaching online, you may have to get creative and build your own visual aids.

Young English teacher giving online lessons.

Correct Pronunciation

There are plenty of local teachers who can teach the basics of grammar and spelling, but the reason you are hired as a first-language English teacher is so that your students can speak the language without a thick accent. Don’t be afraid to correct pronunciation constantly throughout your classes.

Have Fun!

Teaching English is fun, so try to keep it that way. By keeping every class light and exciting, not only will you enjoy the job more, but your students will enjoy learning more. Don’t be too serious! Just remember how blessed you are to be able to teach a valuable skill to people from around the world and share your culture with them, and vice versa.

More English Teaching Tips