Teaching English online in after-school ESL programs for K-12 students based in China used to be very popular. In July 2021, the Chinese government set a series of regulations to lower student fees, turn the industry not-for profit, and replace foreign teachers with local ones.

Although after schools based in China closed their doors, there are still a great number of companies where you can teach English online to people from all over the world. In this blog you will find the best non-Chinese ESL companies and marketplace platforms to teach English online.

Are you teaching English online? Recommend a school in a comment below and get a $200 rebate code on any of our TESOL courses.

Should You Teach Online With an ESL Company or Offer Tutoring Through a Marketplace Platforms?

Experienced ESL teachers with an accredited TESOL or TEFL certificate may want to consider a more entrepreneurial way.  Teachers can easily earn $20 to $25 per hour offering one-to-one General English lessons to their own private students. Experienced Business English and IELTS teachers with a solid track record can charge a bit more for their private lessons.   

The main disadvantage of teaching online with a Non-Chinese ESL Company is that they don’t pay as much as 51Talk, QKids, or others. This is because most companies are based in less affluent countries where students pay lower fees. However, in the case of companies based out of Latin America, the hourly pay rate is often two or three times the rate that expat teachers earn at a local language schools, so teaching online is a great option for those who are interested in going abroad.

Another great advantage of these non-Chinese ESL companies is that they often have their own curriculum with prepared lesson plans, so online ESL teachers don’t need to put extra unpaid hours drafting lesson plans and finding materials for their students. 

Mary Lou’s review:

“In 2014, my husband and I sold everything we owned to travel the world. After joining Open English, I taught English remotely in Costa Rica, Canada, The Netherlands, and Germany. The pandemic hit while we were living in Costa Rica and we have remained here since then. I could not be happier with the direction my life has taken. I can travel anywhere in the world and conduct my ESL classes online. Open English offers classes 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I typically work from 6 pm to midnight five or six nights a week”.

The Best Education Platform to Teach English Online


Preply logo

Preply services students from over 180 countries. They match students with tutors based on the subjects/specific skills they want to learn. Preply provides lessons for 27 languages and it has also evolved to include teaching other specialized skills (music, photography, etc).  Once tutors set up their profile, they can advertise their skills/services to attract more students. Tutors have the freedom to set their own rates and hours. 

Job description and requirements: 

Though Preply states there are no minimum requirements to sign up as a tutor, you’ll be able to raise your rates and attract more students if you have the following:

  • A teaching (TESOL) certificate
  • Teaching experience. 
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • On average, English tutors charge $15-$25 USD per hour (the most popular tutors earn up to $550 a week)
  • Native and non-native English speakers can apply.
  • Set your own hours. 

The Top 5 Non-Chinese ESL Companies to Teach Online:

1. Open English

Open English logo

Open English is the largest online English company for adult students, offering online classes to students based in Latin America. Apply to teach one-to-one or group ESL lessons through the company’s online platform or at one of the many learning centers.

Job Benefits and Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • TESOL Certification.
  • 1+ year teaching experience
  • Native speaker from US or Canada
  • Spanish speaking preferred
  • Starting pay: $17USD per hour
  • Must be available during evenings hours (USA ET).
  • Part-time: Minimum 10 hours per week; Maximum 26 hours
  • Full-time: 36 hours per week

2. Beyond English

Beyond English logo

Beyond English (BE) is a Chile-based company with a mission to offer cultural exchange opportunities for people to teach or learn English and Spanish.  Candidates teach one-to-one lessons to children between 4 and 14, or can choose individual or group lessons with adult students.

Job Benefits and Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • TESOL Certification.
  • US or Chilean citizen.
  • Native English speaker and teacher OR Native Spanish speaker & teacher
  • Excellent intercultural and communication skills.
  • Starting pay: $17 USD per hour
  • Part-time: teach up to 16 hours per week.
  • Pick your own schedule.

3. Voxy

Voxy logo

Voxy is an e-learning company based in New York, USA. Their ESL students are adult professionals. The company has been featured on CNN, The New York Times and Forbes for its unique approach to language-learning. With a dedicated team of linguists, developers, teachers, etc, Voxy aims to deliver specialized, highly tailored classes. 

Job benefits and requirements: 

  • TESOL Certification.
  • Minimum 2 years of teaching experience.
  • Native speaker or non-native speaker with a neutral accent. 
  • Salary:  $15 USD an hour + 5 minutes’ prep time per class (total: $17.50 USD an hour).
  • Minimum: 10 hours per week.

4. Fluentbe

Fluentbe.com Logo

Based in Poland, Fluentbe is one of the biggest online English-learning companies Europe. Their students are mainly adult learners, but they also teach children and teenagers. The “Fluentbe Method” places a strong emphasis on students acquiring practical communication skills through natural interactions. Fluentbe uses specialized learning materials and offers very small classes: either one-to-one or groups with a maximum of 4 students. 

Job benefits and requirements: 

  • TESOL Certification.
  • 1 year teaching experience.
  • Native English speaker OR Native Polish speaker.
  • Online teaching background is an asset.
  • Salary: $10-12 USD per hour (can be negotiable).
  • Flexible hours: pick your own schedule. Fluentbe offers set group courses (great for filling up teachers’ schedules). 

5. Live Lingua 

Live Lingua logo

Live Lingua started out as a brick and mortar school, known for their strong focus on language immersion. Their online learning platform was born as a response to the overwhelming feedback from students who wanted to experience more engaging classes, whenever and wherever they wanted to. Today, Live Lingua teaches 11 languages to students from all over the world. 

Candidates will teach young and adult learners one-to-one classes and/or groups with a maximum of 3 students. 

Job benefits and requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • TESOL Certification.
  • Minimum 2 years of teaching experience.
  • Native English speaker.
  • Salary: $10-15 USD per hour.
  • Minimum 15 hours per week. 

Why an Accredited TESOL Certification Matters for Online Jobs:

  1. Government Authentication:  Being able to authenticate your TESOL certification is now a government requirement for most online teaching jobs. An accredited TESOL certification from OnTESOL will give you the credentials you need to teach English online or abroad.  
  2. Higher competition for fewer online teaching jobs: To understand the scale of the decline of the online ESL industry in China, the total market size declined from $100 billion to $3 billion one week after the restrictions were enacted. Every entry-level teacher who completed a $30 TEFL certificate through a pop-up institute that doesn’t carry any accreditation is not prepared to compete for a teaching job.
  3. Knowledge is priceless! Those who know how to plan lessons tend to last longer and pursue more lucrative careers.  Would you not want to use effective teaching methods that really help students acquire a new language? An accredited TESOL certificate will teach you how to use communicative, task-oriented, and responsive teaching methods that help students acquire the English language faster. Think as a student, would you take language lessons from someone who took their Language Teaching Certificate for $30 on Groupon?

Recommended for online ESL teaching jobs: 120-hour Advanced TESOL course

Special Package: Save $199 on the 20-hour Teaching Online Specialist when you register in the 120-hour Advanced TESOL course.

Ready to Become TESOL Certified?

Our accredited TESOL programs will give you the skills and knowledge you need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *