According to recent news reports, Open English, one of the major players in online English learning based in South America, is moving into the USA market.
Looking to target the 53 million Spanish speakers in the US, Open English has raised over $120 million to fuel the expansion and this means they are looking to employ more teachers for their online courses.
This is good news for English teachers. Targeting such a potentially huge market will mean plenty of new jobs for American native speaking English teachers looking for online work.
The general requirements are:
- First you need to be an American English native speaker. Fair enough, given the target market although it should be noted that you don’t have to live in the US to teach for them.
- Then you need to be able to speak Spanish or Portuguese which suggests their teaching methods are fairly traditional.
- And finally you need to take their in-house course to teach there. This course is free to take but you won’t get paid for taking it; it is by several accounts very easy to pass.
If you are unemployed and ready to teach English then it might be worth a try, but online English teaching through major players like this pays notoriously low wages in comparison with private lessons. There’s little publicly available information but $8 – $11 per lesson (of unknown length) is mentioned online and you’re obliged to work a usual minimum of 25 hours per week.
But before you leap in and apply, I would certainly advise you to check out the reviews sent in by various former teachers at Open English (see the link below). Generally speaking it sounds like a very traditional teaching setup (if one can say that about online teaching) with teachers very much on a production line.
Finally, take a look at the advert Open English used to promote their online courses. It features a traditional “frumpy” real teacher and an archetypical “sexy” online teacher. This may tell you something about the company.
TEFL Teaching English Online – a look at teaching online in general
Working at Open English – reviews from former staff[ratings]