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Teaching English online in South Africa has gotten more difficult now that many countries no longer consider it a producer of Native English speakers. Unfortunately, with respect to the country’s native English status, the ESL sector has (d)evolved.
Thankfully, at the Tutor Resource, we have found a long list of places that still do hire South Africans and pay a fair wage for the work.
In the past, people from South Africa were regarded as native English speakers, but that is no longer true.
Even in nations like Thailand, South African teachers must now pass a TOEIC test because the rainbow nation is no longer regarded as a native English-speaking country.
This requirement is somewhat absurd for the small percentage of English South Africans who are actually native speakers, yet it is required for employment.
We know it can be difficult for a native English-speaking South African to locate a company for teaching English online in South Africa that will enable you to get paid work for a decent wage.
We compiled this blog post to address exactly that issue as well as provide some tips for improving your hireability. Read on and good luck!
Options for Teaching English Online in South Africa
There are several issues that South African online teachers face teaching English online in South Africa but sometimes they are not looking in the right places. Don’t worry, though. There are online teaching jobs out there for you!
ABC360 is based in the Philippines and China. Like many other online teaching companies, it allows its ESL teachers to teach English online from the comfort of their homes. They generally look for Filipino and native English-speaking teachers.
The pay varies depending on your location and nationality but ranges between $11-$16. They want their ESL teachers to work 20 hours a week with a commitment to teaching English online in South Africa at least 12 hours during the peak period of 6-9 pm, Beijing time.
You must be ready to attend training sessions and seminars put on by ABC360. If you do well, your pay could be increased every three months based on your performance.
Requirements: Be a Native English Speaker.
This is another company based in China. They have online teachers teach both kids and adults with their own materials. Pay seems to depend on experience, education, and possibly nationality.
A North American teacher can earn up to $11 per 25-minute class. South Africans can apply but may earn a bit less due to the difference in accent.
Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree and English speaking proficiency with a neutral accent.
3. All Right
All Right is an online English teaching company that hires teachers from all over the world including South Africa. The company teaches both English and Spanish to kids. This company sources most of its students from Eastern Europe.
However, the company does prefer that teachers who apply for the company be bilingual or multilingual. This will greatly improve your chances of being hired.
The maximum pay for non-native teachers caps at $10 per hour, including for South Africans who are classified as non-native speakers.
Requirements: They do not require a degree or a TEFL, but being at least bilingual is preferred.
Alter is a rapidly growing online TEFL employer from Poland, that teaches students via Zoom. You’ll have the opportunity to teach students from 7 years old to young adults, and at various different language levels, so classes should be varied!
You will also have the opportunity to deliver classes to small groups as well as one-to-one teaching, and this range of classes will help you develop your teaching abilities and lesson planning skills quickly!
Requirements: Be a native speaker of English and have a BA degree, or at least be in your 2nd year of studying towards a BA degree. You also need to have a TEFL certificate.
5. Amazing Talker
Amazing Talker is a great company that focuses on one-to-one teaching English online in South Africa and offers really flexible working for their teachers. They also have a matching system!
Teachers list the days/times that they are available for work and their specialisms or areas of interest (e.g., adult learners and conversation skills), and then students are matched to the relevant teachers, based on the short quiz they take before signing up.
It’s a great opportunity to be able to specialize in different areas within your classes while keeping your lessons varied and expanding your TEFL skills!
Requirements: One year of teaching experience (either online or classroom) and a TEFL certificate.
Antoree is based in Vietnam. All classes are 1 on 1. Students can choose their teachers and give them ratings. The teachers are responsible for creating their own teaching materials.
Classes are taught through Skype and they pay between $9 and $12 USD per hour. Payments are issued through Paypal or bank transfer. They do accept teachers from all over the world, including South Africa.
Requirements: None but there is the official training and a test you must pass before you can begin teaching with Antoree.
BiteABC teaches children ages 5-16 in classes of 1-4 students. They pay is $8-12 USD per 30-minute class. You are also able earn bonuses.
They would like teachers to be available for 7.5 hours per week during peak time in China. (Peak hours being Monday to Friday 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm and Sunday 2:00 pm – 9:30 pm). All payments are via PayPal.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, native English speaking fluency, and a TEFL.
Cambly is specifically 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).
Requirements: TEFL Certification, Prior ESL teaching experience is preferred.
Different from other ESL learning programs. Dazao English focuses more on student’s listening and speaking skills. As a Spoken English Coach, instead of teaching English online in South Africa, the main responsibility is to help students to speak English out as much as possible.
You will also assist and guide students to practice what they have learned from schools or other ESL platforms. It’s much easier compared with being an ESL teacher. Booking rate as high as 90% within the first three months.
Requirements: Relevant teaching experience and a TEFL or TESOL certificate.
Eigox is a Japanese language company that focuses on teaching conversation skills to Japanese learners. You will be using Skype for your lessons as they don’t have their own teaching platform.
There is a lot of flexibility for teachers with regards to when you work.
The minimum requirement for teaching English online in South Africa is only 10 hours per week, classes are only 25 minutes long, and classes are offered to students 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Another great bonus is that you can gradually increase your hourly rates, based on good performance!
Requirements: If you’re applying to be a ‘Native Instructor’ (one of their teacher options) then you need to speak English as a native language. A TEFL certificate and a PayPal account are also required.
11. English Gang
English Gang is a company based in Thailand. They teach Thai children (aged 4-12). A TEFL is not required. Peak teaching time is 4-10 pm Monday to Friday and weekends 8 am-10 pm (Thailand time) they want you to commit to at least 5 hours per week.
They pay $10 – $15 USD per hour depending on experience, the interview, and how you do during the demo class.
Requirements: Native English language fluency, and either a Bachelor’s degree or 3+ years of experience teaching ESL to kids.
12. First Future.
First Future is a great option for South African teachers because they hire both native and non-native English-speaking teachers.
First Future offers two types of teaching schedules: fixed and flexible. If you get approved for a fixed schedule, you will get paid for the number of hours to which you commit, even if your classes do not book! This is a great perk for those looking for stability.
Alternatively, if you need more flexibility, they have schedules where there are no minimum requirements and you can teach whenever you want to.
Requirements: ESL Teaching Certificate and English fluency.
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 a company when teaching English online in South Africa, going the freelance route does have its advantages.
You’ll typically get paid a higher hourly rate and have more flexibility with your schedule. You’ll also typically 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 a good choice.
Requirements: None but a TEFL is very helpful!
14. Fluency Tutors
Fluency Tutors is based in Canada. They want native-speaking teachers and they are happy to accept teachers from South Africa.
You do have to upload your resume to the website and create a self-introduction video. You will then have to upload that video to YouTube. They give directions on their site on how to do this.
Requirements: Teachers must have a BA degree, a TEFL, and one year of teaching experience.
This online school seems to have the makings of the perfect online school for South African teachers. You’ll be teaching Polish adults and can expect about $10 an hour, which is a bit negotiable.
Teaching experience is a plus, even if you’ve taught on Skype or Zoom, etc. You should also be passionate, talkative, and open.
Requirements: 1 year experience teaching adults and a minimum internet speed of at least 1 Mbps.
16. IQ Bar
IQBar is an online English teaching company from the UK that hires English teachers from South Africa.
The company offers an adaptable schedule and teachers can work full-time or part-time. They want teachers to have an internet download speed of 20 Mbps or more. IQBar pays between $12 to $18 per hour plus bonuses.
Requirements: Native English speaking fluency and 1 year of experience teaching children.
iTalki is the world’s largest online language teacher marketplace and, because this is an online marketplace, potential students will be choosing between you and other English teachers, so make sure that your profile stands out!
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.
Requirements: ‘Some experience’ in teaching English online is preferred and a TEFL certification
iTutor Group, not to be confused with ITutor, is a Chinese company that connects teachers and students in China. They are open to hiring native and non-native English teachers alike.
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. Keep this in mind if you choose to apply.
Requirements: A BA degree and a minimum of 10 hours of availability per week
To qualify for a Landi job teaching English online in South Africa, you must be a native of South Africa or other native English-speaking countries. The job requirement is rather strict but still worth the time and effort to apply.
It’s important to note that if you’re hired, you will have to commit to a long onboarding and training process initially.
Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL or TESOL, and some experience with young learners.
Learnlight is based in Spain. This company is not only good for teaching English online in South Africa but a variety of other languages as well. This includes Spanish, French, German and Italian, and many more.
They mostly teach business English to employees of multi-national companies based in Europe. Working part-time is possible. Teachers choose your hours and they find the students for you. The pay is €10 for individuals and €12 for group classes.
Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate.
Learntalk is a Hong Kong-based, online language school dedicated to teaching English online in South Africa as well as other countries. You’ll be teaching adults, which is great for those looking to specialize in their TEFL teaching.
This means you’ll have more motivated students and will get to teach more focused subject matter in lessons, such as Business English or conversational skills.
You’ll be assessed on your teaching skills prior to starting teaching, and then your pay level will correspond to your teaching ability. So, be sure to make a good first impression!
Requirements: A bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate
22. LOI English
LOI English is based in the United States and teaches English to students in Portugal. They require all teachers to be available for at least twenty-five classes each month. All classes will be conducted via Skype.
The pay starts at $10 per hour They will consider a higher wage for teachers experienced with teaching ESL and for those who speak Portuguese.
Requirements: Native English speaking fluency, including applicants from South Africa.
Liulishuo is an audio-only English teaching platform, they have an app as well. There isn’t a lot of information on their website, but they appear to accept non-native English speakers.
The working hours are from 10 am to 11 pm Beijing time. They pay somewhere from $8 – $18 USD per hour.
Requirements: English speaking fluency
24. Mainichi Eikaiwa
Mainichi Eikaiwa offers business English classes as well as conversational classes to Japanese learners. They want native English speakers, including South Africans! A TEFL is not required.
Teachers must be available to work five days a week and at least 3 hours consecutively between 18:00 and 24:00 Japanese time. They pay $13.50 USD per hour.
Requirements: A BA degree and at least six months of online teaching experience
25. Micro language
Micro language is a Chinese company that hires online ESL teachers to teach Chinese students at local public schools. It’s a great opportunity if you wish to teach English online during the off-peak Chinese hours, from 8 am -1 pm Beijing time.
Their pay rate ranges from $14 an hour to about $17 per 45 min group class. After completing 500 hours of teaching with them, you get a chance to visit China at their expense, where Micro language provides free accommodation and site seeing.
The Peak teaching timings are: Monday-Friday between 8:30 am – 11:30 am 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Online ESL teachers at Micro Language must teach English online one-to-one as well as take group lessons for kids between the ages of 3- 18 years. The course material is provided to you and a class duration is between 25-50 minutes.
Requirements: Native English speaker, including from South Africa, with an ESL teaching certificate and at least one year of teaching experience.
NativeCamp is one of the best online tutoring schools in Japan. They developed their own language platform for you to teach on, so you don’t need to depend on Skype to conduct your lessons!
They also offer 100% flexibility for teachers and students, so there are no minimum hours required and you can work whenever you want.
To add to this, they also have 24/7 online support available for teachers which is perfect if you have an urgent question.
Requirements: You must be over 18 years old, and you must have a TEFL certificate.
Neska is a South African company for online English teachers. You don’t need to be South African to apply, but they gladly accept applicants from South Africa!
All classes are forty-five minutes. The pay is on the lower end for this list, at only $8 per class. Materials are provided for the teachers.
Requirements: English speaking fluency, a Bachelor’s degree, or a TEFL Certificate
28. Nevy’s Language
This is a Canadian non-profit organization that runs online language programs for immigrants in English-speaking countries across the world.
Their TEFL ‘training program’ lasts for around two months per student, so you would only have to commit to a short period of time, and they will provide you with all the necessary teaching materials, so all the prep work is done for you!
It’s a great way to gain some experience and make a real difference to people’s lives! While an ESL certificate isn’t required, we do recommend you get one first to ensure you’re better able to help your students.
Requirements: Commit to at least 4 hours per week. That’s it!
NovaKid is a company based in the United States. All of the classes are one-on-one with children. The company accepts only native English-speaking teachers, including those from South Africa. The pay is stated at $16 per hour.
Requirements: You must have a degree and one year of teaching experience.
Oteacher is based in the Middle East. They teach many languages, in addition to English, to Iranians. Some of the languages they offer are English, German, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Russian, Kurdish, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese.
Students can see teachers’ schedules and choose when they want to have classes. The pay is set by the company based on teachers’ qualifications.
Non-native speaking teachers are welcome to apply. Oteacher uses Zoom (not Skype) to give classes and they pay with Paypal.
Requirements: English speaking fluency. And a language teaching degree or certificate is preferred.
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 range of course topics students can enroll in and teachers can teach. This means you’re not stuck only teaching English online in South Africa. You can teach almost any topic you feel qualified to do.
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 wish to charge per student enrollment. Whatever you do charge, Outschool takes a 30% commission.
Requirements: None, but a good camera presence will help you get hired!
Palfish is a phone app where you can teach classes using a mobile device like a phone or tablet. 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.
Palfish has two options: free talk and the Palfish kid’s 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 kid’s course however is a bit more strict in that you need to apply and interview for that. The kid’s course is curriculum based, but Palfish provides the curriculum.
Requirements: Must teach 3.5 hours each week and be a native English speaker.
This is an online English teaching platform in Latin America. Most students are adults/professionals and are looking to get from (lower) intermediate levels of English to fluency through one-to-one classes.
This is great if you’re looking to specialize in teaching adults or want to stretch your Business English TEFL skills! We recommend you get TEFL qualified, to make sure your students keep coming back to you!
Requirements: No specific requirements, you just need a professional attitude!
34. Same Speak
SameSpeak is a company from New Zealand that hires online English teachers. Most students will be based somewhere in Asia. They pay $10 USD via Paypal for every 30 minutes of teaching time.
Requirements: Be a native English speaker and at least 16 years old.
Skimatalk is a great online company because unlike many other places, you don’t need a degree to teach there. However, you must possess soft skills like commitment, passion, and professionalism.
There are no set minimum hours to work each week. However, it’s important to be committed. If you say you’ll teach for 20 hours, please do so and not turn up for only five. It hurts more people in the long run, and could cause you to lose your position.
Requirements: Native English speaking fluency
TalkActive is another company worth considering. To teach here, you need a stable internet connection with an upload and download speed of 10Mbps, a headset, a webcam or HD camera, and Google Chrome.
They do not require you to be a native English speaker and you must make a high-quality introduction video when you apply.
Requirements: A Bachelor’s Degree and a 120-Hour ESL certification
37. Teach Future
Teach Future hires non-native English teachers. They teach 25-minute classes to groups of 4 students and require teachers to work at least 7.5 hours per week during peak time in Beijing.
Peak hours are considered Monday to Sunday 6 pm – 10 pm and on weekends 9 am -11 am in China. The company pays $20-25 USD per hour.
Requirements: A TEFL, and one year of teaching experience
Topica is based in Vietnam. They also hire both native English-speaking teachers and non-native teachers. Their classes are 45 minutes long.
The students are university students and professionals who want to learn conversational English. The company provides all the materials and curriculum, so you just need to show up and teach.
While the pay officially starts at $8.50 USD per hour, some teachers have reported getting upwards of $15 per hour through the company.
Requirements: English speaking fluency
UTalkABC is looking for native speakers, including South Africans or non-native speakers with online teaching experience. A bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required in order to get hired.
The company teaches Chinese kids aged 4-16 in groups as well as in 1-to-1 classes. The classes are either 25 minutes or 55 minutes long. They pay with Paypal between $15 to $25 per hour with bonuses.
Requirements: English speaking fluency and an ESL teaching certificate
Why is it so Hard to Teach English Online in South Africa?
It’s very common for South Africans to wonder why it’s so difficult to teach English online in South Africa. Unfortunately, there are several (not very logical) reasons for the issue.
Non-North American Accent
One of the reasons why South Africans have a hard time finding online teaching work is because many companies are looking for North American speakers. This is because, particularly in China, the market wants a neutral North American accent.
Therefore, South Africans have an almost impossible time getting hired by some larger online ESL companies. With the collapse of the biggest Chinese ESL companies in 2021, this has become less of an issue now, though.
Many of the newer companies are willing to consider other Native English speaker accents in their hiring strategies.
While there are many South Africans who are native speakers of English, there is also a wide range of people living there who are not native English speakers.
Perhaps, they grew up speaking many languages at home and do not speak English at a fluent, idiomatic level.
This is not to say we believe that this is the case. Of course, we know that South Africans can be native speakers. However, it is a perception of some online English teaching companies that then results in them not hiring South African teachers as a general rule.
Poor Internet Connection & Load Shedding
Internet stability is notoriously poor in South Africa. But because this is an online job, your internet connection speed and stability are of the utmost importance.
If your internet is unreliable then you will be unreliable and, thus, a liability for the company.
Load shedding, or load reduction, is a protocol conducted throughout South Africa as a way to respond to unplanned events that protect the electricity power system from a total blackout.
Online teaching companies don’t want to worry that a teacher’s power and internet might regularly be out when they are supposed to be teaching classes. So this is not an ideal situation for online English teaching!
Factors to Consider for Teaching English Online in South Africa
As an online English teacher, there are a few factors you should consider before choosing a company to teach with.
✔️ The first is the teaching schedule. Many online teaching companies have strict teaching schedules that may not be suitable for your lifestyle. Make sure to check the teaching schedule and see if it is something you can commit to.
✔️ Incentives are another important factor to consider. Some companies offer incentives for teaching extra hours, while others offer performance-based bonuses.
Make sure to check what kind of incentives are offered and see if they are something you are interested in.
✔️ Another factor to consider is the teaching material. Some online teaching companies provide all the teaching material, while others expect you to create your own. Make sure to check what is expected of you and see if you are comfortable with it.
✔️ The level of difficulty that you will be expected to maintain in your teaching, depending on the age group of students you will be expected to teach, is also something to consider.
✔️ Company reputation is also an important factor to consider. Do some research on the company and see what other teachers have to say about it.
✔️ Growth opportunities are something else to consider. Many online teaching companies offer little opportunity for growth, while others offer opportunities to move into management or other positions.
Ask what kind of growth opportunities are available if that is something you are interested in pursuing.
✔️ The satisfaction of its employees is equally important to consider. If a company is great with its customers but gives its employees a hard time, whether, in terms of work culture, politics, or financial follow-ups, you should steer clear of it.
✔️ The Time zone of the countries a company caters to is important to some so that their sleep cycle is not disturbed. For some, working in a different time zone lets them do other jobs or deal with housework and family matters.
✔️ Finally, make sure to check the pay rate. Online teaching companies usually have different pay rates depending on your experience and qualifications. Make sure to check the pay rate and see if it is something you are comfortable with.
These are just a few of the factors you should consider before choosing an online teaching company. Do your research and make sure you are choosing a company that is the right fit for you.
Tips for Teaching English Online in South Africa
👍 Make an Attractive Resume
Since you will be teaching online, it is important to have an attractive resume. Include all your teaching experience, qualifications, and skills on your resume. You can also include a link to your teaching portfolio.
👍 Create a Teaching Portfolio
A teaching portfolio is a great way to showcase your teaching experience and skills. It can include videos of your teaching, lesson plans, and student feedback.
👍 Make Yourself Marketable
There are a few things you can do to make yourself more marketable as an online English teacher. One is to get certified in teaching English as a second language.
Another is to get experience teaching English online. You can also take courses in teaching methodology and technology. Put all of these things on your resume!
👍 Don’t Give Up
If you don’t get hired right away, don’t give up. Keep applying and eventually, you will find the right online teaching job for you.
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Conclusion: Teaching English Online in South Africa
Teaching English online in South Africa can be a great way to make some extra money. But before you start teaching, there are a few things you should consider.
Make sure to do your research and choose a teaching company that is the right fit for you. And don’t forget to create an attractive resume and teaching portfolio. With a little effort, you will find the right online teaching job for you.
If you are considering teaching English online in South Africa, then keep these tips in mind! Do your research, make yourself marketable, and don’t give up. With a little effort, you will find the right teaching job for you. Good luck!
Are you seeking certification for teaching English?
If you are or want to be an online ESL tutor, then certification is required by many companies & desired by many private clients.
👉 We recommend this TEFL course! They even offer post-completion job support and resources.