The answer is a definite YES!
At Global English TESOL, we take on a large number of fantastic trainees whose first language is not English, so we we know it's perfectly possible to find work as a non-native English speaker.
We hear success stories all the time, both from former trainees teaching English online and in-class. Just check out some of the blogs and comments from some of our past non-native English trainees:
Oh, and shh! don’t tell anyone, but our non-native TESOL trainees often out-perform native English speakers on the grammar sections of our courses....
"But when I search for online English teacher jobs, they state native English only."
So, there is a bias towards native English speakers. That’s true. But it is nowhere near the whole story.
Part of the issue is there is an internet search bias, too.
Many of the huge online employers that teach kids in China have constant recruitment needs and big advertising budgets. Since China stipulates that online English teachers to kids should be native English speakers, it’s no surprise that when you search for a job online, you are overwhelmed with adverts for native English teachers for the major online players such as WhalesEnglish, VIPkids, and Magic Ears, etc.
At first glance, it can look like you have to be a native English teacher in order to teach English online. However, that’s not the case. Online English companies that welcome non-natives can get drowned out in the internet search, that's all.
With a little more in-depth searching, we came up with plenty of alternatives for non-native English teachers with C1 or C2 level English and a good TESOL qualification. Here is just a sample of the online employers open to hiring different nationalities:
In fact, some companies actively prefer bilingual teachers, or may offer you the opportunity to teach your own language as well as English.
There are also more opportunities to reach students directly. With italki, Verbling and Preply you can create a teacher profile, set your own pay rate and hours, and students can find you.
The online industry is fast-changing and growing. You can find many online English teaching opportunities, as long as you are keen to teach, have an accredited 120-hour TESOL, and have a good level of English.
So, it's good news, whether you are a non-native English speaker or not.
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— Alison Salmon, English World, Italy