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Teaching English Online

Learn how to transfer your teaching skills to an online context and start teaching English online.

376,291 enrolled on this course

equipment needed to teach online. Keyboard, notebook, pen, headphones, mouse.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours

Become an expert online English teacher

Is it time for a new online direction in your teaching career? Join our 4-week course to learn how to adapt your face-to-face teaching skills to an online environment.

Teaching English online is now becoming increasingly important all over the world, giving learners and teachers flexibility to work and learn wherever they want in the world.

Learn all about online teaching

When you start the course, you’ll learn how to prepare for teaching online. You’ll discover the kind of equipment you need, research and choose an online platform and learn how to create materials and activities for English lessons.

Developing a rapport with your students is essential, so you’ll also receive some tips on how to do this as a new online teacher.

Helping to develop listening and reading skills

Next, you’ll focus on how to help learners develop listening and reading skills online. You’ll go over the differences between listening and reading in English online compared to in-person teaching.

Start planning your English lessons with our lesson outline advice and learn about different activities and resources you can use online.

Teaching English speaking, pronunciation and writing skills

You’ll be moving on to English speaking and pronunciation this week. Discover how to teach English speaking in both one to one lessons and online groups.

Learn how to diagnose pronunciation issues and try some useful tools for teaching correct English pronunciation. Then we’ll move on to thinking about online writing lessons and how to provide feedback.

Sealing your future as an online teacher

You’ll finish the course by learning how to get a new online teaching business up and running. You’ll also discover how to continue your professional development as an online teacher.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds More and more English language teaching is taking place online these days in groups and one to one. Now the principles of teaching and learning remain the same across all contexts. But when we teach English online, new challenges arise that we need to deal with. And we do need to adapt the approach that we take in the face-to-face classroom to a digital classroom. People are studying in their home environment, in their living room, in their car. I had one lady working from her car, she wasn’t driving. On this course, Teaching English Online we’ll help you to understand how to teach an effective lesson online. We’ll begin the course by thinking about the market.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds We’ll think about the learners that you might teach and what might be expected of you as an online tutor. The crucial elements of any online lesson are the teacher, the student, and a way to see them and hear them. Those are the basics. We’ll tell you about the equipment you need to get started and the platforms that you might want to use. We’ll also suggest resources and tools that you can exploit in and out of lessons. So you have to understand your platform and how it works before you start. And then ideally, you should have a practise with somebody else on the other end.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds We’ll give you some practical strategies for developing a good rapport with learners and helping to motivate them throughout a lesson, because these things can be more difficult online than they are face-to-face. And we’ll give examples using teachers who are teaching online today. I build rapport with my online learners in very much the same way as I would do with a regular face-to-face class. So lots of encouragement and motivation and praise. We’ll also look at how we can help learners to develop receptive and productive skills. We’ll suggest different lesson structures for different types of lessons, and activities that can help learners to develop different sub-skills. Finally, we’ll think about how we can teach language online.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds You’ll have ideas and advice on how to set context, how to clarify language and check understanding, how to give practise, and how to error correct online. Because there’s a distance between us, I think it’s important to try and get to know the learners individually as much as possible. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to transfer the skills you have in the face-to-face classroom to a digital classroom so that you can produce really effective lessons for the learners you teach and help them to develop their English skills.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds A successful online lesson is a lesson where your student goes away knowing something they didn’t know at the beginning, or being able to do something they couldn’t do at the beginning. My name’s Lindsey Warwick and I’m a teacher and trainer based here in Cambridge in the UK, and I’d like to invite you to join our course Teaching English Online. I very much hope to see you there.


  • Week 1

    Getting started

    • Welcome to the course

      An introduction to the course and to week 1. Getting to know the educators and introducing yourself.

    • The online teaching context

      We'll talk about the different contexts for teaching online, who you can work for and the different types of students you can teach.

    • Getting started

      Getting started with technology, platforms and other tools and resources for teaching English online.

    • Key skills for online teachers of English

      We'll talk about the key skills teachers need to engage learners and to maintain motivation in online English lessons.

    • Round-up of week 1

      Ask your questions, end-of-week video and end-of-week test

  • Week 2

    Helping learners with receptive skills - reading and listening

    • Welcome to week 2

      This week we'll look at how to develop students' receptive skills - reading and listening - when teaching online.

    • Helping learners to develop reading skills

      Steps to help learners develop reading skills.

    • Helping learners to develop listening skills

      Overview of online listening lessons.

    • Round-up of week 2

      Ask your questions, end-of-week video, what's on next week and test.

  • Week 3

    Helping learners with productive skills - speaking and writing

    • Welcome to week 3

      This week we'll talk about helping learners with speaking and writing when teaching online.

    • Helping learners to develop speaking skills

      You're going to look at ways to help learners in your online lessons to become more fluent and accurate when speaking English.

    • Helping learners with their pronunciation

      We reflect on pronunciation challenges that learners face and consider ways that an online teacher can diagnose pronunciation problems and help learners with those problems in an online environment.

    • Helping learners to develop writing skills

      A look at ways to help learners improve their writing skills.

    • Round-up of week 3

      Ask your questions, end-of-week video, what's on next week and test

  • Week 4

    Teaching language, starting and running your business and professional development

    • Welcome to week 4

      This week we'll talk about teaching language (grammar and vocabulary) and then move on to 'next steps' – setting up your own business and professional development.

    • Teaching language – grammar and vocabulary

      Intro to teaching language

    • Getting your business started

      Marketing yourself as an online teacher, creating a website, attracting and keeping students, and testing new students.

    • Professional development for online teachers

      A look at ways that online teachers can continue their professional development.

    • Round-up of week 4

      So what's next?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate the key skills and knowledge needed as an online English teacher
  • Plan and deliver lessons to develop receptive and productive skills
  • Understand how to develop language skills
  • Reflect and improve on professional practice

Who is the course for?

This course is for experienced or recently qualified English language teachers who would like to transfer their teaching skills to a live online context.

Who will you learn with?

English Language Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Assessor and Joint Chief Assessor for a range of teaching qualifications from Cambridge Assessment English.

English teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer. Author of several coursebooks for English language learners.

Who developed the course?

Cambridge University Press & Assessment

We are a department of the University of Cambridge. Together with teachers and our partners, we’re here to engage and inspire millions of people throughout their entire learning journey. We help them confidently prove their skills to the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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