7 Fantastic Online Teaching Companies for South African Teachers

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 02/21/23 •  Teach Online

South Africa and online teaching could have gone better together, unfortunately. The ESL industry has changed with it’s regard to the native English status of South Africa. In the past, South Africans were considered native English speakers but not anymore.

Even in a country like Thailand, South African teachers must now pass a TOEIC exam as the rainbow nation is not considered a native English-speaking country anymore. For the small percentage of English South Africans who are native English speakers, this requirement is a bit silly, but it is required for employment.

For any native English-speaking South African reading this, we understand how frustrating it can be to find an online teaching company that will give you a work opportunity.

Online teaching companies and platforms for South Africans

The following are 7 excellent online teaching companies / opportunities for South African teachers:

Fiverr – The Freelance Option

Fiverr is a global freelance marketplace where anyone can create a “gig” to sell. As a massive marketplace, many online teachers must realize they can teach on Fiverr.

While less convenient than working for an online teaching company, going the freelance route has advantages. You’ll typically get paid a higher hourly rate and have more flexibility with your schedule. You’ll also only be teaching adults.

The drawbacks are that you must do all the proverbial heavy lifting: managing class and the technology, the course material, and feedback. If you’re willing to do the work, Fiverr is our top choice.

iTalki – The Language Learning Marketplace

Another viable option for South Africans is iTalki, an online language exchange platform where you can offer to tutor or find one. Teachers earn money by charging per hour for their services, and students get personalized instruction at much lower costs than in traditional schools.

Though it is a marketplace, teachers must apply and be vetted, unlike Fiverr. But once you’re established on the platform, iTalki does an excellent job promoting your teacher profile to prospective students. Just make sure to offer trials and discounts for new students.

Outschool – The fun afterschool choice

Outschool is a global company that provides top-notch online courses to students in over 180 countries and is open to South African teachers. Unlike many other tutoring or teaching sites, Outschool offers classes and topics students can enroll in and teachers can teach. This means you’re still teaching English.

The site also provides teachers who are available 24/7 and have been vetted by the company’s team of experts. This makes Outschool an excellent option for South Africans willing to apply themselves and go through the hiring process.

Once completed, you can create and list your course in the Outschool marketplace. You can also choose how much you wish to charge per student enrollment. Whatever you do charge, Outschool takes a 30% commission.

Cambly – A Good Part-Time Income

If you’re South African and are looking for a way to teach English on the side to earn a part-time income, check out Cambly.

What Cambly is precisely is a phone app that matches you as a native English speaker with English language learners worldwide. The focus is an informal, casual conversation in English about a pre-determined topic: no lessons, props, or complicated equipment needed.

While students use their phones for ease of use, you, as the teacher, must teach via the Cambly app on your laptop. Once accepted into Cambly, you log into Cambly via the app and begin talking with language learners worldwide. You’re paid roughly 17 cents per minute ($10 per hour).

You won’t get rich with Cambly, but if you’ve been looking for something flexible, easy and fast – Cambly is your best option.

Amazing Talker – Teach Your Language

Amazing Talker is a marketplace for professional tutors and language instructors. It connects teachers of various languages (Spanish, French, Arabic, etc.) to language learners. With Amazing Talker, you set a profile and hourly rate and start recruiting your students via the platform.

They are lower on the list because getting bookings as a new teacher can be complicated. It takes time to establish yourself and build a track record of results.

ITutor Group – Potential to work full time

ITutor Group, not to be confused with ITutor, is a Chinese company that connects teachers and students in China like most online teaching companies. They are open to hiring native and non-native English teachers alike.

They require a degree and a minimum of 10 hours of availability per week. Pay is based on your location. So if you’re a South African teacher living in Europe, you can expect to be paid in Euros. But if you’re in South Africa, they will pay you a low wage based on the rand. Overall, a bottom-of-the-barrel option.

Palfish – A mediocre choice

Palfish is a phone app where you can teach a class using your mobile device, like a phone or tablet. Palfish has some minimum requirements in that you must teach 3.5 hours each week. It works by downloading the app to your mobile device and then simply proceeding through the application process.

New teachers who meet the minimum requirements of being a native speaker will have instant access to Palfish “free talk,” as it’s called on the platform. Palfish has two verticals, free talk, and the Palfish “kids course.” The free talk program is similar to Cambly in that you’ll have set conversations with adults. The only requirements for this are to be a native English speaker.

The kid’s course, however, is more strict in that you need to apply and interview for that. The kid’s course is more of a curriculum-based approach like SayABC.

However, due to the online teaching ban, the Palfish platform has seen a decrease in quality. But it is still an active platform; just proceed with caution.

Online teaching for South Africans -Conclusion

So that’s it for this list of online teaching companies for South African teachers. If you’ve been looking to start teaching English online, we strongly suggest you forego online teaching companies instead of focusing on the various language marketplaces.

Whatever option you choose, know that plenty of South African teachers teach online. Finding the right opportunity for you is taking a bit more work. One last piece of advice is to search Facebook for Facebook groups dedicated to online teaching for South Africans.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.

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