5 Must haves to teach your native language online

As promised in my last post on the 5 pros and cons of teaching online, today I will talk about 5 must haves to teach your native language online. This will be brief, but with all the simpler details.

When I started I had very little resources, so I just used what I already had. I owned a laptop with a webcam, (though not standard but could work with). I also had a headset with no noise cancellation had to use it till I purchased the most efficient one. All I’m saying is you can start with what you have as long as it doesn’t affect the quality and standard of your lesson delivery, then get the right equipment later on.

Must have 1

The first must have you need is a laptop. You need to have a laptop with a good quality webcam, great memory, and processor. These features will help you during lessons. The webcam is very useful during lessons when you are doing video-conferencing. I have noticed that during my lessons the camera plays a critical role. I have to be clear so that my student can see me and the gestures that I will be making. This builds confidence in the student they are not talking to a robot!

Must have 2

Like I mentioned in my previous post, for one to teach online you need a reliable and fast internet service provider. I use zol. There are many providers in my country, but zol has proved to be the best for me in terms of reliability and cost effectiveness. You need to consider the best internet provider in your country, too. Check your connection speed here.

Must have 3

Third, you need a headset with a microphone. This allows you to communicate with your students without using computer audio. Most companies that recruit online teachers have this as a prerequisite. I bought mine on Alie express for $16 shipping inclusive and I have enjoyed using it so far. There are many designs of the headset with a microphone so just look for something that has volume control and background noise cancellation/reduction and you will be good to go.

Must have 4

If you will take teaching online seriously as your full-time job, then you definitely need a small workstation. You need a desk and a comfortable chair. You will get busy as more and more students find you and you have to work more hours a day. This means you need a place to work from and a back supporting chair to sit on! Initially, I used my bedroom but had to grow out of it as I diversified into more jobs and needed a quieter and comfortable space to work from.

work station for teaching online at home.

Must have 5

Teaching online requires a lot of interaction with the students, so you need to use a platform that supports video and voice at the same time. I use zoom and Skype. If you want a detailed comparison of the two, you can read here.

After sharing these 5 must haves, you can agree with me that teaching your native language online is not complicated and you can do it with no difficulties. Watch out for the next post on online opportunities!

How to Teach Online With No Degree- The Secret Revealed!

Teachers all over the world are struggling to get students because of various reasons mainly to do with struggling economies due to COVID 19. Teachers with a degree and a TEFL equally face the challenge. I however have seen teachers with no degrees making it during this time and the “qualified” teachers do not understand it at all. Well, from my experience within this industry, you do not succeed because you have a degree but because you use a program- based teaching method. It is nothing to do with a degree but to do with the results you produce. Students want to learn for specific reasons and if you provide solutions for their specific reasons, then you surely will get students!

What is program – based teaching?

There are two methods of teaching: 1) general teaching, and 2) a program-based teaching. There are three ways of delivering these: 1) teaching with an ESL company, 2) creating a teacher profile on a teaching platform and 3) establishing your own teaching business. I talk much about the third option in my last post. Now teachers with no degrees need to differentiate themselves from the rest in order to get students in this highly competitive field. I always say having a degree does not mean you can teach, of course I do not dispute certain competencies that come with having one but also having one does not guarantee you being an excellent teacher. What I have seen is a teaching method counts more than anything else, followed by experience. Program- based teaching is whereby you choose a specific area to teach and align your curriculum to focus sorely on that. I often refer to this as choosing a niche. Focusing on a specific program allows you the teacher to engage your student at their exact point of need and you help them achieve their desired goals. In other words, you provide solutions to problems, and that makes you stand out of the rest. No one will ask if you have a degree or not, but your results will justify why you are teaching! Let me bring this closer to home. An example of program -based teaching is- “Helping international students seeking admission to European Universities with pronunciation skills”. With this teaching it means the teachers focuses on pronunciation skills for International students. Anything that does not relate to that is outside the teacher’s program. With this method the teacher knows their student’s problem is pronunciation skills, which they then focus on together. Both the teacher and the student have the same goal and inevitably, they will produce significant results. Because they know their problem and their goal, all the work done in between is strategically aligned towards the desired mark.

Will I get students?

Most teachers without degrees doubt themselves and often wonder if they will get students. Of course you will! Like what I have just explained, what is important is to offer a clear program and align your messages to that. Make sure when you advertise your messages are clear so you attract the right students. With a program based -teaching you are a specialist and not a general teacher. Just like in the medical field, you are practising as a gynaecologist or dermatologist and not a general practitioner. This means also with your rates they are higher than that of a general teacher. This explains why program based teachers make more money than general teachers. They also work less too because they focus on one area and work on improving it. Unlike general teachers who spread themselves over all topics, working so hard but not perfecting their skill and get paid peanuts!

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

I have just revealed to you the secret on how to teach without a degree. Not only teaching, but making money out of the teaching. Its possible. It is a pity most teachers do not have the time to build a foundation for their business so they can establish their own business but they have the patience to work for ESL companies for so many years getting paid very little. The only reason you are worrying about a degree is because you want to work for an ESL company, if you want to work on your own then you shouldn’t be worried. Start teaching today. Get down to work!

4 Useful Steps that’ll Make You a superstar in the Teach Languages online Industry –

All over FACEBOOK every day I see many aspiring teachers asking how they can make it in the Teach Online industry. With the current COVID 19 crisis and lockdowns in almost every country, many students are looking for online classes whilst at home as it is one of the best ways to stay safe. Teachers are available and students are also available, so what’s the challenge then? Well, what I have noticed is that students do not know where to find their teachers. Whilst teachers do not know how to find their students! It’s like the two are looking for each other, but their eyes are blindfolded. Despite preparing themselves with all the resources to teach, teachers still cannot get students online. In my business, I have realised that there is more to teaching online than just getting a TEFL certificate and book classes.

I will highlight these four Useful steps that helped me become a superstar in teaching my native language online.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Define your niche

The teaching languages online is just like any other business where you find general teachers and niche teachers. What I have realised is that niche teachers make it more than general teachers. When students see general teachers, they perceive them to have general skills. This is the reason they pay paltry rates. If the teacher decides otherwise and increase their rates, the students often run away from them and look for alternative general teachers with lower rates. This explains why it’s like they fix the Teach English online business rates at an average price of $20. In, my ESL career years I suffered the most as a non-native because I was just a general non native English teacher. Niche teachers have the advantage that they specialise in a particular area, hence they have narrowed down their skills to particular students who want help in that area. From the time I became a niche teacher I noticed a 70% increase in students and they were also willing to pay more than the average market price of $20 an hour. Interestingly These students have always been there but looking for a specific skills teacher. As a niche teacher, you make your teaching program based therefore you sell more. Have you ever noticed how specialised skills in other careers sell? that is the same with Teaching online.

Structure and craft your curriculum

One reason teachers prefer working for ESL companies is they get provided with all teaching materials, all they do is open classes and wait for the students. That sounds easy, right? That’s also the reason the ESL companies pay you poor rates! If you become a niche teacher, craft your own curriculum. Specialise the curriculum and narrow it down to the skill you are offering. Lets say your niche is students who are looking for scholarships and want to learn English or German so they pass the assessment tests, then your selling point is something like “I help students with English-speaking skills so they pass their assessment tests and get a scholarship”. From this you see there is no more need for teaching any other English skill, other than speaking skills with the aim to improve pronunciation. You will narrow your curriculum to that only. From what I have experienced niche teachers do less work, but it pays them more!

Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Engage Your Target Audience and Convert Them to Students

Now that you have decided your niche and crafted your curriculum the next step is to engage your audience and convert them to students. When I started I just didn’t know where to find my target students. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack! With time and more learning I realised the same groups I was in on Facebook and LinkedIn where the same groups my students where in. All I needed to do was to put a tag on myself and sell my service. My niche involved business people, so I made a deliberate move to join business groups. It became easy to connect with them through this. Language students are difficult to convince without them seeing reviews or testimonials, especially if you want them to pay more than the average market price. Let me emphasize that you need to offer your service for free, yes for free to one or two students who then will leave reviews for you. One aspiring teacherprenuer told me how this advice worked magic for him. This is just how it works. I would like to call this investing in your business. Reviews are a great investment in any business, isn’t it? It does not spare the teaching online business .

Establish Your Business

Steps 1 up to 3 is the foundation for your business. When you have done this you have made a great investment into your business. During these steps, you meet potential students whom you must continue to engage till you convert them into your students. Do not hesitate to market yourself in the right places. What I call right places is where you are most likely to get your target students. So lets say your niche is helping foreign doctors with your native language so they can come and work in your country, then the right places are those forums where expat doctors are. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so is the teaching online business, it’s not built in a day. You need to take time, learn and grow.

This is just a summary of my journey in establishing a Teaching Online business. this has worked for me and I’m sure it can work for you too. You can read my story here Where I I explain how I teach my native language online. If you want to teach your native language online too, you can also read here to get more insight on how to start.

steps to establish your business online.

Happy teaching!

How to effectively teach your native language online in 6 Simple Steps –

Is it possible to teach my native language online?

Every day I get this question a million times, in my email, social pages and in person! And my answer is simple, Yes you can! I didn’t believe it was possible too until I started it. In this article, I shared my break up point, which somehow left me with no choice but to go full time doing online work. But there is so much on the internet that you just feel you are too inadequate to do anything… yeah, I know that’s a familiar feeling with most people and it can intimidate especially to newbies. Well, after reading an article by Teacher Compass, I immediately felt the time could be now to start this. My search for answers continued. I stumbled upon an article which increased my confidence that I could surely teach online even though I was non-native. Well, my next steps were defined now, and I quickly took the bait and applied to the recommended companies. My hopes were so high and my excitement rose above the roof.

Because I had a teaching background, creating an application that suited the field wasn’t an issue. It didn’t take much time before they thwarted all my hopes and excitement just like that. The feedback I got from most of these companies was not something I ever expected. It is a story for another day. I will not share it here for today, I don’t want that to dampen your spirit and mine too… I should say.

So in this article, I just want to share with you how you can teach your native language online. You need not sweat and sweat applying with companies to teach English if it is a second language to you. No matter how good you are, trust me, it is not worth it. Someone out there wants to learn your language, and you can make a living out of it! If you concisely follow these steps, I will share, you will meet success in this field. It worked for me, so it should for you too. This isn’t rocketed science or even that complicated but simple steps to your freedom.

next step to teach your native language online

step 1

Build your confidence – I Can never convince you without emphasizing this important assertion. You need to build your confidence first to engage in something new, especially when you previously thought it is impossible to do. I’m no expert in confidence building, but what I know is that once you have it, everything else is possible. Confidence allows you to manifest your passion for your native language. Being passionate is essential. It allows you to impart your language knowledge to another person effortlessly. It also creates a conducive environment for innovation in your lessons and make learning fun. I took time working on my confidence. I did this through taking part in activities that valued my knowledge. I joined language exchange programs Where I shared my knowledge and people appreciated. I also volunteered for some sites teaching languages. All this ultimately worked for my benefit as I gained more confidence.

step 2

Research and create captivating content – this is the second important step to take. Readers are winners. They always have the right information at the right time. Create time to research on your newly found niche, teaching your native language online. Find out who else is doing it and how are they doing it. It is crucial to stay ahead of trends so you won’t get stuck engaging in methods long forgotten. As you research for ideas its most likely you will also find support groups of people doing the same. These groups are so important. They are your fall back support whenever you get stuck. When I started teaching Shona online, I joined many groups on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Instagram. I tell you, these groups have been amazing. I have evolved and refined my skills from the tips, skills and support offered! Don’t be a lone ranger, join a network.

step 3

Have the right tools to use – so our next step is one that I shared earlier in another post. I Can never overemphasize that you need the right tools to deliver your lessons effectively. Since I shared earlier what you need to teach online, I will rush through this point. The only other thing I think should mention here is, you need an open mind to explore your horizons and make your native language easily accessible around the globe!

step 4

Make Lesson plans and create content – In one of my coaching sessions a student asked me where I got the Shona curriculum I use for teaching? I expected this question because most native languages are not like English where you get the curriculum all over the internet in unique versions. My response was simple, I made it. So this is one challenge many aspiring online teachers run away from. They think they cannot create their own content or curriculum. Teachers run to these established companies, which already have curricular and content to use. This is all at the expense of their time and effort because it pays them peanuts. I’m too embarrassed to say this but I once signed up to one company where the company provided everything but they paid me $1.30 per half hour for teaching English as a non-native. Yes, you heard me right; they paid me $1.30 per half hour and sometimes would get bonuses of $10 a day for opening classes during unpopular hours like midnight. For me to get a living out of these ridiculously low rates, I would open classes for 16-18 hours a day. That was so much hard work. But now, with teaching my native language, I set my own rates, and it’s easy to convince my students why they should pay that much because of the value I provide. Creating your own content gives you the advantage to customise lessons according to the student’s specific needs, and you also have room to add visual aids peculiar to the language you are teaching.

step 5

Market yourself – I’m not a priest but I like this verse and it inspires me every day. Matthew 5 verses 14-15 which says, “You are the light of world-like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Dont hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all”. This is how I see marketing. It is putting yourself out there for everyone to realize that you shine on their paths. If there is someone who wants to learn your native language and you do not market yourself so they know you can teach them, then it means you are being ineffective. That’s a bit too harsh? Sorry. all I’m saying is market yourself everywhere. Let the light of teaching a language in you shine. There are so many social platforms and all comprehend each other in marketing your skills. Before I started teaching online, I only had two accounts Facebook and Gmail but when I got into the game, I realised I needed an account everywhere. Now I have accounts on 7 social platforms and still joining more. Thank God for automation, it’s now very easy to market your skills across the globe. Do the same and if you don’t know where to start find help from the support groups I earlier advised you join.

step 6

Continue learning and improving yourself – A famous quote by Nokia CEO, Steve Ballmer, says, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. You have started a virtuous cycle, continue learning and continue growing. Even if you do nothing wrong, you will lose if you do not continue the learning cycle.

My last words to you are shift your mindset. If I did it, then you surely can. Learn these steps and follow them and you will be successful.

I would love to hear from someone who has taught their native language online. Send me an email and comment below.

Man using scissors to remove the word can’t to read I can do it concept for self belief, positive attitude and motivation

Reach out for help

Do you want help to get started? Do you feel you want someone to guide you through this journey? Send me an email shonalanguagelounge@gmail.com

It is possible to teach your native language online.

The effect of Coronavirus for online teachers from Africa

The now-famous coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe. More than 80 countries around the world have been affected, with 26 of those countries being from Africa. The situation is so bad that economists expert that the coronavirus impact on economic losses could hit 2.7 trillion dollars. Many industries have been negatively impacted and the effect is predicted to stay for a while.

coronavirus impact

Entire countries are on lockdown because of the coronavirus. This includes schools and any other public gatherings. 290 million kids are out of school because of the coronavirus shutdown. As sad as it is this situation presents the online teaching industry with a golden opportunity to maximise on recruiting online students. Many parents are trying to find online classes for their children and the children too are making frantic efforts to enrol online. If you are a serious online Teacher like me you probably have seen this boom in students’ enrollment.

Well, in as much as it has been difficult to get a job as an African non-native, now is the time to try your luck. Within this past week, I received 3 emails from some Teaching online companies that previously rejected me for being a non-native but now they have reconsidered my application and want me to start with them! Interesting, I thought to myself but I quickly reconsidered my options and decided to increase my efforts of advancing my teacher-entrepreneurship goal which I have been working on for some time now.

From Brisbane and Barcelona to Boston, the coronavirus has forced higher and further education institutions around the world to adapt teaching practices and manage student absences while bracing for the economic and logistical fallout. Whatever your teaching niche is, your students are out there. Take the chance and start your teaching online career. One of my students opened up to me to say she is bored of being stuck at home and would want to increase her lessons from her usual three lessons a week to having daily lessons so that she could just utilise her extra time at home.

Are you still struggling to start your teaching online career? send us an email and I could help you start through a mentorship programme. shonalanguagelounge@gmail.com

Until next time please stay safe!

International Women’s Day for Africa 2020

international women’s day 2020

That phenomenal event when we celebrate women is upon us once again. This day could not have passed without me writing something here simply because I’m a great fan of every woman out there! The African native teacher network has a billion reasons to celebrate women in their diversity, particularly, African women.

WHY WE CELEBRATE WOMEN

We celebrate the woman who struggled to raise children on her own but still manage to raise powerful and successful children

We celebrate every woman who has been hit and bruised by evil men out there but still did not give up and is a survivor.

We celebrate the woman who lives with a monster man who hits her and deprives her of any love but she has still managed to hold herself together for the sake of her children.

We celebrate that woman who went into the labour room and gave birth but did not come out of that room with a child in her hands. She is still a mother and we celebrate her bravery.

We celebrate that African woman who works 16 – 20 hrs a day just so that her child gets food and goes to school like everyone’s child despite the harsh economic conditions suffocating her efforts.

Of course, we celebrate the woman who dared to rise and move out of an abusive and toxic relationship. We call her a survivor and a hero!

The International Women’s Day 2020 Theme

This year’s theme is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s rights”. The theme is aligned with the UN Women’s campaign, GENERATION EQUALITY which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration adopted in 1995. 25 years down the road we have remarkable success stories we can share as a country and a continent at large.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY TO YOU ALL WOMEN. I CELEBRATE YOU!

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020

5 Must haves to teach your native language online

As promised in my last post on the 5 pros and cons of teaching online, today I will talk about 5 must haves to teach your native language online. This will be brief, but with all the simpler details.

When I started I had very little resources, so I just used what I already had. I owned a laptop with a webcam, (though not standard but could work with). I also had a headset with no noise cancellation had to use it till I purchased the most efficient one. All I’m saying is you can start with what you have as long as it doesn’t affect the quality and standard of your lesson delivery, then get the right equipment later on.

Must have 1

The first must have you need is a laptop. You need to have a laptop with a good quality webcam, great memory, and processor. These features will help you during lessons. The webcam is very useful during lessons when you are doing video-conferencing. I have noticed that during my lessons the camera plays a critical role. I have to be clear so that my student can see me and the gestures that I will be making. This builds confidence in the student they are not talking to a robot!

Must have 2

Like I mentioned in my previous post, for one to teach online you need a reliable and fast internet service provider. I use zol. There are many providers in my country, but zol has proved to be the best for me in terms of reliability and cost effectiveness. You need to consider the best internet provider in your country, too. Check your connection speed here.

Must have 3

Third, you need a headset with a microphone. This allows you to communicate with your students without using computer audio. Most companies that recruit online teachers have this as a prerequisite. I bought mine on Alie express for $16 shipping inclusive and I have enjoyed using it so far. There are many designs of the headset with a microphone so just look for something that has volume control and background noise cancellation/reduction and you will be good to go.

Must have 4

If you will take teaching online seriously as your full-time job, then you definitely need a small workstation. You need a desk and a comfortable chair. You will get busy as more and more students find you and you have to work more hours a day. This means you need a place to work from and a back supporting chair to sit on! Initially, I used my bedroom but had to grow out of it as I diversified into more jobs and needed a quieter and comfortable space to work from.

work station for teaching online at home.

Must have 5

Teaching online requires a lot of interaction with the students, so you need to use a platform that supports video and voice at the same time. I use zoom and Skype. If you want a detailed comparison of the two, you can read here.

After sharing these 5 must haves, you can agree with me that teaching your native language online is not complicated and you can do it with no difficulties. Watch out for the next post on online opportunities!