Many online ESL companies require a TESOL/TEFL/equivalent certification. If you are looking for an affordable option, I would recommend this 120 hour TESOL Certificate ($19 if you use my affiliate link here) from International Open Academy. I completed this online course 2 years ago and it only took a few hours!
Equipment & Props
Here are some of the recommended (or required depending on the company) tech equipment used to teach ESL online and create an excellent teaching environment. Many of these things you may already have available!
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small bonus from Amazon if you click through and purchase.
Feel free to also look elsewhere as well! 🙂
An educational background can be a map, letters, etc., and there are usually different banners available at your local dollar store. If you need a background in a pinch, either this alphabet or solar system background will make your “classroom” look educational and professional. Again, you can find maps, alphabet letters, etc. in a variety of places – there’s a very popular map of America at Dollar Tree that I sometimes use!
For a seasonal background, reward system, or both, these cute images can bring holiday cheer to your classroom! I plan on using them throughout the year for the season lessons as well.
I use a whiteboard and these markers every class for rewards, practicing full sentences, vocabulary, and anything else you can imagine!
Before my first interview, I drew a few flashcards by hand, but these alphabet flashcards get used almost every day in my classroom. The letters can be used for spelling and teaching letter sounds, while the pictures on the other side can be used for both lesson content and a reward system!
Many companies look for teachers to use a headset to ensure a clear sound. A noise-canceling headset will also reduce the likelihood of distractions during class. After I received a parent complaint that my sound was not clear using only earbuds, I quickly got a headset and never looked back!
If you don’t already have a mouse, using one will make it much easier to draw, move, and click in the online classroom compared to only using a computer touchpad. If you have a touchscreen, you may not need a mouse.
For my first year of teaching online, I used two lamps with toilet paper in front of it to create a diffused light but decided to get this umbrella light – it improved my lighting greatly and reduced my glasses glare!