Important Gear For On-line English Lecturers

When beginning any new job, it’s regular to fret about what provides or tools you’ll want so as to efficiently do your job. Fortunately, as an online English teacher, you received’t want a ton of specialised instruments or sources.

I’ve been an online teacher with VIPKID for three years now and have mastered my on-line classroom! On this submit, I’ll break down precisely what tools you’ll want and the way to decide on the most effective provides and sources for educating on-line.

Should-Have Know-how For an On-line Classroom 

If the title didn’t give it away, your new job as a web-based English trainer will contain a little bit of expertise. Although there may be some variation between firms, you’ll undoubtedly want a educating gadget resembling a laptop computer or pill, a headset with a microphone attachment, and a powerful web connection.

Right here’s an inventory of the must-haves.

Laptop computer Or Pill

For many on-line ESL firms, having a comparatively new desktop or laptop computer pc will likely be adequate for on-line educating. Some firms like VIPKID will can help you train from an iPad. Firms resembling Palfish even allow you to train out of your smartphone. 

Irrespective of which gadget you’re utilizing, be sure you’ve up to date your working system. On a laptop computer or desktop, you’ll want to make use of at the very least Home windows 7 or Mac OS 10.x. You’ll additionally must be sure you’re working the newest model of Flash.

HD Digicam

Most trendy computer systems have a built-in HD digital camera that can work simply high-quality on your on-line English courses. If you happen to’re utilizing an older pc or a desktop and not using a built-in digital camera, you’ll want to purchase an HD Exterior digital camera so your college students can see your face and educating sources — in focus. 

Click here to match prices and types of HD Cameras on Amazon.

Headset With Microphone 

All on-line educating jobs would require some sort of headset with a microphone attachment. It is because educating with out one may cause a bizarre echo sound for you or your college students. That is distracting and ought to be averted.

Some firms are specific about their lecturers utilizing over-head headsets, however different firms are extra versatile.

With VIPKID, I’ve used Apple earbuds and an everyday headset infrequently. I sometimes use the common headset after I’m dwelling and the Apple earbuds whereas I’m travelling. To date, I haven’t had any issues with the sound.

Click here to match prices and types of headsets on Amazon.

☞ SEE ALSO: Working As A VIPKID Teacher: An Insider’s Review

Web Connection

If doable, you’ll wish to be sure you have an web connection of at the very least 20 megabytes per second (Mbps) for educating on-line. That is advisable by most online teaching companies.

I’ve been in a position to train efficiently on lower than that when completely obligatory, however slower speeds may cause lags. It’s tougher to have a dialog with a pupil when there’s a delay, and you can get in bother together with your educating firm if the delays are vital. 

Educating at slower speeds might be hectic, so intention to show with 20 Mbps of web velocity if doable.

You’ll be able to verify your web speeds on web sites like If you use the velocity take a look at web site, have a look at the obtain velocity part. Don’t fear in case your add velocity is far decrease than your obtain velocity. That’s regular. Additionally, a low ping rating is an efficient factor!

Ethernet Twine And Adapter

A method to enhance your connection whereas educating is to make use of an ethernet twine. An ethernet twine will can help you join on to your router and reduces the danger of web connectivity points. Once I’m not travelling, I attempt to at all times use an ethernet twine.

It’s necessary to notice that some newer laptops don’t have a delegated ethernet port. If that is so on your laptop computer, you’ll must buy an adapter to plug in your ethernet twine.

Click here to match prices and types of ethernet cable adapters on Amazon.

☞ SEE ALSO: Teaching English in China: Get Paid $2,900 / Month

Backup Web Supply

Even when you’ve arrange your expertise completely and have the quickest web cash should purchase, generally issues occur which can be past our management — particularly once you’re travelling and educating overseas.

The facility goes out. A storm comes by way of and rattles the web connection. Your router simply stops working for no obvious purpose. You forgot to pay the WiFi invoice… 

When that occurs, you’ll be so grateful you’ve gotten a backup web supply.

The best method to get related in a pinch is to make use of a hotspot out of your cell phone. Ensure you have a plan that permits you to allow a hotspot and some gigs of knowledge accessible. Typically, you’ll be able to train about ten, 25-minute video courses on 1GB of knowledge. 

When the WiFi isn’t robust sufficient, or the ability is reduce, go to the settings in your cellphone and switch in your scorching spot. Then go to the web icon in your pc and click on it so that you see the totally different choices. You need to see one referred to as “[Your Name] iPhone” or one thing related. Now you can connect with this hotspot identical to you’d some other WiFi community. 

smartphone hotspot

What Gear I Use For Educating With VIPKID

In response to the VIPKID official web site, they require:

  • Pc: Desktop, Laptop computer, Mac, PC, or Floor Machine
  • Digicam: HD Built-in Digicam or HD exterior Digicam
  • System: Windows7 or increased, Mac ios 10.x or increased, newest model of flash
  • Web: Not less than 20 Mbps, ethernet twine advisable

For VIPKID, I exploit:

  • Pc: 2015 Macbook Professional with Mac OS Working System
  • Digicam: Constructed-in HD Digicam that got here commonplace on my Macbook
  • Headset: Apple Earbuds or MPow headset
  • Web: Ethernet cable after I’m dwelling, WiFi after I’m travelling, Cell HotSpot for again up

Trying For Educating Jobs?

If you happen to’re from Canada, the United States or the UK, there are some glorious firms that you would be able to work for. Earn $22 per hour, and in some instances, train from anyplace on this planet!

For Individuals and Canadians, VIPKID is by far the most suitable choice for you if you wish to earn good cash and have the liberty to work exterior of your own home nation. 

If you happen to don’t thoughts dwelling and dealing in Canada or the USA, Qkids is an alternative choice. For UK residents, EF Education First is a superb wager! For all different native English talking international locations, try our article: Teach English Online – Get Paid With These Top 7 Companies.

How To Make Your On-line English Classroom Comfy and Skilled

You could have the technical gear, however how do you set it collectively into one thing that resembles a classroom? On this part, I’ll discuss what it is advisable to make your classroom snug {and professional} wanting very quickly.

Desk and Chair

Because you’ll be spending a whole lot of time in your on-line ESL classroom, it’s necessary to have a cushty house. A desk and high quality desk chair will save your again and shoulders throughout lengthy educating stints.

I like educating from a desk with loads of legroom and a chair with correct again help.

teaching office

Lighting For Your On-line English Classroom

Having good lighting is a crucial a part of on-line educating.

Lighting permits your college students to see your mouth actions. That is crucial to language acquisition. Good lighting makes your classroom appears to be like extra skilled. It additionally permits college students to see your educating sources once you’re utilizing them.

To get good lighting, you’ve gotten just a few choices:

Overhead Lights And A Desk Lamp: One simple choice is utilizing the overhead room lights in addition to a desk lamp for educating. Ensure to place the lamp immediately behind your pc with the sunshine pointing towards your face.

This prevents shadows on one aspect of your face. When you have a white lampshade, this additionally helps soften the sunshine in your face, providing you with a extra pure look.

Selfie Ring Mild: If that’s not sufficient, you should use a selfie ring gentle that may clip on to your laptop computer for added lighting. Selfie ring lights are normally rechargeable and provide a hoop of vivid white gentle for a number of hours at a time. Clip one in all these transportable educating lights to your laptop computer for further vivid lighting in a pinch. Evaluate manufacturers and prices on Amazon here.

Skilled Pictures Lights: In order for you one thing of upper high quality, You can too use freestanding lights designed for photographers or videographers.

Simply kind YouTube lighting into Amazon and also you’ll see loads of kits which can be greater than sufficient on your on-line educating wants. You’ll see halos with totally different colour filters, photoshoot-ready tender lightboxes, and vivid white lights with umbrellas to melt the glare.

With choices like these, you can go as easy or advanced as you need.

Full disclosure, I’ve by no means used something this luxury in my very own classroom and it’s by no means been an issue. If I had a extra everlasting classroom space, I’d think about using among the softboxes because the ring gentle might be too harsh after just a few hours.

That being stated, I’d solely suggest utilizing this sort of lighting in case you have a bigger classroom space and received’t be shifting your classroom arrange typically. Attempting to relocate a big lighting rig each few days wouldn’t be definitely worth the slight enchancment in gentle high quality.

If you happen to plan to journey whereas educating, undoubtedly stick with the ring gentle.

☞ SEE ALSO: Teaching English in Japan – A Guide To Finding Jobs

Laptop computer Stand

Correct posture is the important thing to feeling good throughout your classes. A laptop computer stand places your pc at a greater top so that you sit up straighter and put much less pressure in your again.

I’d suggest a laptop computer stand for anybody who works on a pc as a result of it reduces the necessity to hunch over. 

A laptop computer stand can be an superior useful resource when you plan to show and journey because it permits you to put your pc on the correct top it doesn’t matter what your desk state of affairs is.

Click here to match costs and types of laptop computer stands on Amazon.

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Pros and Cons Of Being an Online English Teacher

Instructional Sources For On-line Lecturers

Now that you’ve got the technical fundamentals down, it’s time to get artistic! As a web-based English trainer, you’ve gotten the distinctive problem of constructing your classes attention-grabbing and fascinating by way of a tiny display.

Particularly when you’re educating younger kids, your classroom ought to can help you clarify tough ideas in a means that’s enjoyable and efficient — in any other case, your college students will lose curiosity, shortly.

Classroom Background

Your classroom background is an effective way to get artistic and present your college students your persona. Whereas many firms are high-quality with you simply having a clean wall behind you whilst you train, different firms favor that you’ve got one thing kid-friendly and tutorial behind you.

It doesn’t matter what, you need your background to be clear and non-distracting. It ought to improve the category relatively than detract from it. You shouldn’t train together with your digital camera exhibiting a room in your house behind you as this may be very distracting for college kids.

For classroom background concepts, listed here are just a few of my favorites that I’ve used through the years. All of those might be hung with command strips and poster putty.

  • Paper World Map: You’ll be able to reinforce the corners with tape to permit for a number of hangings
  • ABC Posters and Different Educational Classroom Indicators: These can typically be discovered within the greenback retailer or in school provide shops
  • Bathe Curtain: Choose one with one thing kid-friendly on it, like world flags, animals, ABC letters, and so on.
  • Felt or Material Backdrop: Connect felt letters to a big piece of material to welcome youngsters to class.
  • Adorned Poster Board: You should utilize markers, paints, and different crafting provides to make a novel poster board background. 

If you happen to plan to make your personal classroom decorations, you’ll be able to embrace issues just like the title of your educating firm, your title, and phrases like “Welcome to Class.” Click here to seek out some educating provides and concepts on Amazon.

3D Props

When you don’t want a whole lot of cumbersome educating gadgets, you need to plan to have just a few 3D props in your bag for educating on-line. My most helpful 3D props are:

  • A small dry erase board and markers
  • One giant puppet or a set of small finger puppets for demonstrating conversations (I’ve a set of ten small finger puppets from IKEA and they’re wonderful)
  • A set of ABC Flashcards

teaching english props

2D Props

Whereas counting on too many 3D props will litter your classroom quick (and are harder to journey with), 2D props are one other story. 2D props are my bread and butter.

Making them is straightforward. Both draw or discover photos of pictures you’d like to make use of in your classroom, print them out, and laminate them so that they’re sturdy. I normally have the next 2D props:

  • Flags for the USA, Canada, and China (adapt this to match the nationality fo the scholars you train)
  • An image of a household
  • Footage of various meals
  • Pictures of nature and nationwide monuments world wide (for instance, a seaside, mountains, the Nice Wall of China, the Statue of Liberty, and so on)
  • Footage of various clothes gadgets

2D props are superior as a result of they don’t take up a whole lot of house in your educating space.

Once I’m dwelling, I arrange my photos in somewhat set of drawers on my desk. By labeling every drawer, I can shortly seize the props I want throughout a lesson with out disrupting the circulate of the dialog.

Once I’m travelling, I’ve a Ziploc bag for my laminated photos. Since all the images are jumbled in there collectively, I’ve to pick which props I’ll want firstly of my workday.

When it’s time to journey, the bag of images is simple to pack and it slides in proper subsequent to my laptop computer, taking over primarily no further house.

To find out precisely which 2D props you need to make, hold a notice pad subsequent to your pc whilst you train for just a few days. Everytime you train an idea and assume “hmm, I’d wish to have an image of that” make an observation on the notice pad.

After just a few courses, you need to begin to see some themes emerge for ideas that will be simpler to show with a visible support.


If you happen to’re working with kids, classroom rewards could be a enjoyable method to hold youngsters within the lesson. I began utilizing rewards with my youngest learners.

After they did a superb job, I might add a heart-shaped sticky notice to my whiteboard. On the finish of sophistication, we might depend up what number of sticky notes they earned. It was easy, however it labored.

Over time, this advanced into extra advanced video games and extra thrilling rewards, however the idea stayed the identical: give college students one thing exterior to look ahead to throughout class and use this as a method to reinforce good habits and progress.

If you happen to’d like to include rewards into your classroom, begin with one thing easy like sticky notes or little erasers or stickers.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Things To Know Before Becoming an Online English Teacher

Tour My Classroom!

After speaking by way of all the web educating classroom necessities, let’s see how this appears to be like when put collectively! I’ll discuss you thru two of my classroom setups over time to provide you some concepts of what yours can appear like.

Admittedly, my classroom for on-line educating is somewhat pared down as a result of I normally throw it right into a backpack and journey. Nonetheless, I’ve used some extra secure components when educating from dwelling so I’ll present you each.

My Residence Classroom

In my dwelling classroom, I sit at a desk with my again to the wall. On the wall behind me, I’ve a world map and a welcome banner for decorations. I exploit my 2015 MacBook Professional for my educating gadget with the built-in digital camera and both my Apple earbuds or an over the ear headset.

For lighting, I exploit the overhead lights within the room in addition to the selfie ring gentle to verify my face is sweet and vivid. I’ve my laptop computer on a laptop computer stand so I don’t should hunch over. Utilizing a wide range of 2D and 3D props like those pictured hold my college students engaged.

My Journey Classroom

I took this image whereas travelling and educating on-line. Since I used to be staying in a resort room, I didn’t have a correct desk and chair to show from. On this association, I used an finish desk as my educating floor and sat on the ground with pillows for help. Behind me, I used a chunk of felt that I adorned with felt letters and ribbons.

For lighting, I used a lamp I discovered within the room arrange behind my laptop computer. My Apple earbuds labored nice for travelling since they packed down small. I used my laptop computer and not using a laptop computer stand as a result of the desk was excessive sufficient because it was.

As you’ll be able to see, I favor to make use of 2D printable props whereas travelling so that they don’t take up a lot house in my bag. I’ve obtained a small dry erase board and some useful printables able to go beside my educating house.

When To Set Up Your On-line Educating Gear

Ideally, you need to have your classroom arrange earlier than your first interview with a potential on-line educating firm. I completely perceive not desirous to exit and purchase a ton of drugs only for a job interview, however you’ve gotten the most effective probability of getting employed in case you have all of your tools prepared prematurely.

Plus, most of the props and sources you’ll want might be made your self or bought from the Greenback Retailer or another reasonably priced store.

Earlier than you do your on-line ESL job interview, you need to have

  • Your laptop computer or iPad educating gadget
  • A headset, both earbuds or an over-the-head model
  • Good lighting
  • A classroom background
  • Educating props 
  • Dependable web connection

Most firms want to see that you just meet their necessities from the get-go. You could have a significantly better probability of getting employed when you can present that you’ve got the proper gear and a powerful sufficient connection for educating.

You don’t should go too wild with it. No must convert your visitor bed room right into a full-fledged instructional expertise. However you need to make an effort to indicate that you just’re prepared to show as quickly as doable.

Earlier than you fill your purchasing cart on Amazon, have a look round your own home and see if you’ll find issues that can work in your classroom. That is particularly useful for locating props and educating supplies. I taught my first month of courses with a canine toy as a prop, no questions requested.

Ultimate Ideas

By taking a while upfront to assemble the most effective tools for educating English on-line, you’ll have a neater time getting began together with your superior new job.

For the technical points, give your units a tune-up and be sure you have good video, audio, and dependable web regardless of the place you train.

For the extra artistic points of your classroom, you’ll have some flexibility. You’ll be able to select to go extra minimalist with a plain wall and easy dry erase board as your prop, or unleash your inside artist and create your personal classroom masterpiece.

Go searching your own home, take a discipline journey to the Greenback Retailer, or escape the markers and draw some educating visuals. The sky’s the restrict.

On the finish of the day, you’ve succeeded when you’ve created an setting free from technical mishaps the place college students can be taught and might have enjoyable doing so.

I hope this text helped to provide you some good concepts for educating sources and tools. If you happen to’re a web-based English trainer, what did I miss? Which props do you utilize? Go away a remark beneath!

Photographs on this article are courtesy of Shutterstock — a prime web site for locating royalty-free pictures and movies.

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