The online English teaching industry is booming with demand for online teachers outstripping supply.
Leading the demand is China where huge online English tutoring companies, focussed mainly on the children’s market, are continuously recruiting. One such company, VIPkid, boasts over 600,000 students with 70,000 online English teachers worldwide.
However, in a move to improve the quality of online provision, the Chinese government is in the midst of bringing in legislation which will impact organisations like VIPkid, Dadaabc and Qkids and the teachers they employ. So, what are the new rules and how will they affect English teachers and their jobs?
What’s behind the legislation?
At the end of 2018, in an effort to enhance after-school training provision quality, the Chinese government issued a press release saying they will be tightening their scrutiny of all after-school training institutions – which includes online English schools.
While the exact regulations have not been released yet, the government has issued advice to ESL schools in advance of the legislation coming into force.
As a result, we are seeing major online English schools in China tightening their recruitment criteria and beginning to insist on proof of appropriate qualifications from their existing staff.
Keep in mind that at the time of writing, we are not privy to the exact legislation – instead we are inferring what English teachers may now need based on the recruitment criteria of major online English schools in China.
What do I need to teach English online for a Chinese company?
We believe the following will now become necessary
* A degree
* To be a native English speaker
* Criminal background check
* A TEFL/TESOL certificate (120 hour minimum in some cases. Proof of accreditation possibly)
Please note, you do not need to live in China; the new regulations affect all online English teachers for China regardless of where their teachers live.
What kind of TESOL/TEFL is needed?
It is not clear and each online school may interpret the regulations differently. It is likely that accredited certificates are necessary, of no less than 120 hours in duration.
To date, the Global English 120 hour TESOL certificate has been accepted by online English schools worldwide and since it is externally accredited, we believe it will continue to be accepted under the new legislation. We will look to update this article as new information becomes available.
Regardless of individual country-specific legislation, the teaching English market looks set to continue to thrive and grow which is great news for prospective teachers looking for new, flexible ways of working. Want to know more?
* Discover more about how you can earn money and teach English online
* Hear from Lea who is teaching English online
* Get TESOL qualified to start English teaching English online or, if you are already TESOL qualified, check out our 20 hour teaching English online specialist course
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