Q&A:Seven Common Questions about Teaching English to Adults Online

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I was chatting with a friend who has many years of ESL teaching experience in teaching adults. He was very nice to answer some of the questions which are the most frequently asked by teachers. The following answers are from him:


[Recommended Reading: Things you should know when teaching adults English online ]


  • What hour should I teach?
  • Unlike teaching young students (3-16 years old), online English teachers usually do not need to teach students during the peak teaching time(Beijing Time), which means you will most likely not need to wake up in the early morning or late at night (your time zone) giving lessons to students. In fact, you are allowed to make your course schedule based on your own one. My courses are generally set between 9 am-6 pm (London Time).


  • Is there a minimum number of working hours a week?
  • It depends on the company/platform you work with. For example, the educational institution where I work requires every teacher to work at least 4 days and 20 hours a week.


  • Will I just give business English classes to adults?
  • It's not. In fact, most of the time only those who are engaged in (or are about to enter) the financial industry will choose business English courses. While many ordinary adult students regard learning English as a hobby, and they hope to be able to communicate with other people in English or read English books, magazines and news.


  • Are all my students Chinese?
  • Most of them are Chinese. But with the development of China, more and more epacts have moved to China (2019: more than 720,000), such as Moroccans, Cubans and Malagasy. Many people from non-English speaking countries living in China also take online English courses to learn English.


  • Which one is better, to teach online or in the classroom?
  • It all depends on personal preference. Online teaching provides greater flexibility, while teaching in the classroom allows students and teachers to communicate face to face.


  • What is the salary for teaching ESL to adults online?
  • You will generally be paid 15-30 US dollars per hour if you get an online teaching job in China, which often depends on your academic qualifications, teaching credentials and teaching experience. Many online education companies will also give teachers a commission if you let more students subscribe to your courses.


  • What problems might teachers encounter when teaching English to adults online?
  • Some students will be very stubborn, believing that wrong views (very obvious) are correct and do not take the teacher’s advice; some will ask more attention from teachers; and some students will always be unable to keep up with the progress of other students.
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