South Africa and online teaching don’t go particularly well 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 any more.
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 actually native English speakers this requirement is a bit silly, but none the less it is required for employment.
For any native English speaking South African reading this, we understand how frustrating it can be trying to find an online teaching company that will give you an opportunity for work.
Online teaching companies and platforms for South Africans
The following are 7 excellent online teaching companies / opportunities for South African teachers:
- Amazing Talker
- ITutor Group
Fiverr – The Freelance Option
Fiverr is a global freelance marketplace where anyone can create a “gig” to sell. As a massive marketplace, we find that a lot of online teachers don’t realize that they can actually teach on Fiverr.
While not as convenient as working for an online teaching company, going the freelance route does have it’s 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 have to do all the proverbial heavy lifting. Managing class and the technology, the course material and feedback. Overall, 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 which is an online language exchange platform where you can offer to be a tutor or find one. Teachers earn money by charging per hour for their services and students get personalized instruction at much lower costs than traditional schools.
Though it is a marketplace, teachers do need to apply and be vetted unlike Fiverr. But once you’re established on the platform, iTalki does an excellent job of 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 a wide rage of course topics students can enroll in and teachers can teach. This means you’re not stuck teaching only English.
The site also provides teachers, who are available 24/7 and have been vetted by the company’s team of experts. All of this makes Outschool an excellent option for South Africans who are willing to apply themselves and go through the hiring process.
Once completed, you’ll be able to create your course and have it listed in the Outschool marketplace. You can also choose how much you with 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 as a way to earn a part time income, check out Cambly.
What Cambly is specifically is a phone app that matches you as a native English speaker with English language learners from around the world. The focus is an informal, casual conversation in English about a pre-determined topic. No lessons, no props, no complicated equipment needed.
While students use their phone for ease of use, you as the teacher are required to teach via the Cambly app on your laptop. Once you’re accepted into Cambly, you simply log into Cambly via the app and begin talking with language learners from around the world. You’re paid roughly 17 cents per minute (which equates to $10 per hour or so).
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 market place for professional tutors and language instructors. It connects teachers of various different languages (Spanish, French, Arabic etc) to language learners. With Amazing Talker you simply setup a profile, set your hourly rate and then start recruiting your own students via the platform.
They are lower on the list because it can be difficult to get bookings as a new teacher. 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, like most online teaching companies connects teachers and students in China. They are open to hiring native and non native English teachers a like.
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 class using your mobile device like a phone or tablet. Palfish does have some minimum requirements in that you need to teach 3.5 hours each week. The way it works is that you download the app to your mobile device and then simply proceed 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 be having set conversations with adults. The only requirements for this are to be a native English speaker.
The kids course however is a bit more strict in that you need to apply and interview for that. The kids 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 get started teaching English online, we strongly suggest you forego online teaching companies and instead focus on the various language marketplaces.
With whatever option you decided to do, just know that there are plenty of South African teachers teaching online. It’s just going to take a bit more work to find the right opportunity for you. One last piece of advice is to search Facebook for Facebook groups dedicated to online teaching for South Africans.
Editorial StaffThe editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.
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