hello everyone and welcome to Mexico City if you are new to this channel undated nice to meet you and I film brutally honest and somewhat humorous travel videos however I also film videos all about becoming a digital nomad becoming location independent and being able to generate an income while you travel now in this video I'm going to talk about my top 10 tips all about online teaching which is becoming an increasingly popular route for aspiring digital nomads now before we get started you can check out a video in the description below and also up above all about 120 hour TEFL which I did a few months ago I did a TEFL last year and this has allowed me to become an online teacher with I talkie one of the common misconceptions about online teaching especially for someone who's new to becoming a digital nomad is that the only way you could do it is by becoming employed with a company based in China teaching Chinese children and yes this is an extremely popular route there is a lot of demand you know it's a great way to get started however if you're like me I don't really feel comfortable teaching children I would rather teach adults and my talkie is a great way in which you can do this so I point number one is all about your introductory video now one of the things that you are required to do in order to become approved by our talkie as either a professional teacher or a community too is to film and upload a introductory video and this needs to be made up of three things basically firstly talk about yourself in terms of your qualifications if applicable for example a TEFL your experience if applicable you might not have an experience like I didn't have when I first died secondly talk about yourself forget teaching you know talk about your interest where you're from that kind of thing what you like doing etc and thirdly the most important part be very descriptive about what you can offer as a teacher what you can do what you can't do because you know when a potential student watches the video and thinks about booking a lesson with you they need to have a clear idea about what to expect and about what you can actually offer them one of the things about a video is that it can be quite haunting especially if you don't have any experience speaking to a camera like I'm doing now so practice makes perfect and they don't need to be particularly long or extravagant or elaborate that's great vocabulary David in terms of how the video looks you know if you have experience with video editing that's great and you can create something a bit more elaborate but if you don't a video with the clear background I know I don't have one now but that's fine you know I filmed my in a hostel in a dorm room in Bali you know but it works it's fine it's very simple I speak clearly and it talks about what I can offer as a teacher point number two is all about being clear on your profile and description so what do I mean by this so one of the things you'll find when you start receiving lesson requests is that you'll get some slightly strange requests or things that you know you didn't really think about before you started teaching you know so for example if you don't like to cheat teach children you need to say on a profile I don't teach children or I don't teach more than one student at a time I don't teach groups I don't accept lesson requests from parents in China that expect me to teach their children you know be really clear about what you can and well what you will do and what you won't do because the worst thing is if you start a lesson and they start talking about something or it's a situation in which you're not comfortable in and the lesson just doesn't work so even though he might feel bad in yourself in terms of saying I won't do this I won't do that in the long run it's better because for you as a teacher it's more comfortable and in terms of the student they're not wasting money on someone who isn't fully energized to give 100% the third point is all about penetration pricing what is this so one of the common questions I'm asked about the talk is how much do I talk you pay well the fact is I talk it isn't a company where you are employed by them you don't have a contract there isn't a salary or wage or anything like that you set your own pricing and one of the things which can be extremely challenging I guess when you start is the fact that on your profile you will have zero lessons zilch you have some experience on a talkie and when a student sees that they're probably unlikely to book a lesson with you because of that fact secondly if you're going to start off charging you know twenty five US dollars without any lesson reviews or any experience on your profile no one's going to book a lesson with you so it's best to start low penetration pricing so for example I started at ten dollars an hour which you know might not seem like a lot in the grander scheme of things however what it allowed me to do was to build up a base of students first personally it enabled me to build up some reviews as well so on your on your profile you will have the opportunity to post specific reviews so you know you get some great reviews that you can highlight those so the potential students see them going forward once you have built up your base of students and you've built up your experience etc etc you can raise your price so you know what I do is raise my price every month say by a dollar you know that some at one point in the future I hope to get to about twenty five dollars you know one thing as well with pricing is to look as teachers and what other teachers are charging you know you get some people that have a zero lessons but they're charging thirty dollars an hour and that's the reason they are not getting any lessons because their price is – I so you know do your research think about what you could afford in terms of your cost of living you know beery be realistic as well so someone in a country that doesn't particularly have a great economy isn't going to be able to afford to pay fifty dollars for an hour lesson point number four is all about textbooks now this is a slightly emotional subject with some teachers so when you have done your TEFL in the past or whatever you did to become qualified as an English teacher you know a lot of it is about a physical classroom teaching where you will have textbooks and things like that however the one thing I've learned is that I talking students do not want textbooks they do not want to do exercises they do not want to learn from textbooks because they can do that in their own or actually they've done it in the past at school or college or university where they have been learning English they can do that in their own time what they want from my talkie is conversation speaking speaking practice speaking and listening because on the whole most people across the world in terms of English learning you know the the reading and writing side of it has been covered at school you know grammar etc has been done at school but actual speaking with a native speaker is something that they just don't have an opportunity to do and that's what I talk is for you might see some teachers that will teach from a textbook and that's fine because some students will want that depending on the level they're at so for example if someone is more beginner level and there's a basic understanding of grammar potentially a textbook or exercises might work for them but in my experience and for all of the students I've gone generally most of them purely want conversation so you know it's up to you it depends what context you are a dependable kind of students you're looking for okay point number five is fail to plan plan to fail this is all about planning lessons and this is often seen as a bit of a disadvantage in terms of our talking and similar online learning platforms because with companies like Dada ABC Chinese companies where you're teaching children they will send you the material themselves so you know so you don't have to worry about planning but to be honest with you this it it depends what kind of teacher you are you know I prefer to plan lessons for people in terms of the before during after lesson plan which you may have learned in or TEFL may have you should have so you send some material to them beforehand for example of video and article a text it might just be a list of vocabulary then you'll go through that in the lesson and then potentially you might give some homework afterwards however this is slightly difficult with speaking and yes planning lessons can take some time however it doesn't particularly need to be elaborate and extensive you know you can just find an article or maybe you have prepared some material yourself and you can just send that to them on skype and that's that it's very quick so you know if you have twenty lessons a week yeah it does take a bit of time to find the right material sometimes you might find something that might not be particularly relevant and think I'll go with it anyway and then it doesn't work out so I would say to try and take your time to plan because if you don't plan your lesson will be a complete catastrophe you know as particularly if you're with if you're teaching someone that is maybe a more beginner basic level or maybe someone isn't particularly confident with their English and in terms of making conversation it can have awkward silences etc so always try and have as much material as possible for a lesson point number six is slightly related this is about no extensive plans now some teachers might have a strict lesson plan in terms of you know the first five minutes we'll just have a quick catch-up the next half an hour we'll go through some material then we'll spend the rest of the time you know revising what we've learned but to be honest with you in my experience and again this is dependent on what type of teacher you are I don't like to have a strict extensive plan you know one that's written out on Google Docs and things like that I very much like to play it by ear because often you know even though you might have material that they've sent to you that sorry that you've sent to them you know something might have happened in their life that they want to talk about and you know you might spend half an hour just talking about what's happened that in the last week and that's great because it's it's natural conversation you know it doesn't need to be strict and you know elaborate you know it can be just natural natural is great so even though you might make a plan sometimes the plan may not work out and you might just talk about something else and you might come back to that lesson plan another time so all in all don't worry you know play it by ear you know it's very much a two-way thing it's not just about you giving the rest it's also about what the student can bring to the lesson in terms of their speech and their listening etc okay point number seven is about trial lessons now one thing that I talk he does offer students is the option to do a trial lesson with a teacher they get three of them that's the Linnet so one of the common misconceptions is the trial lessons is for students to evaluate what a teacher is like so you might think oh they'll be able to try and endless list of teachers until they find that is suitable that's not ways for chow lessons are for students to evaluate I talk he as a platform and see if it's right for them basically and you know one of the things you have to do in a trial lesson which or know if your temple is a needs analysis now one of the things about needs analysis that I find is that many teachers will do it quite structured you know they might send a questionnaire to a student beforehand things like that but personally and this is just me it might be different for you or for 350 lessons now roughly it's become very natural it's become second nature you know so generally what I do this may help is the first ten minutes or so I will allow the student to introduce themselves I encourage them to talk about things that they're interested in you know they like dancing they like riding horses they like dogs or cats and you know and then I'll encourage them more importantly to talk about in particular their English ability and you know what they struggle with in their opinion what they want to learn English for or improve their English sport you know what's their motivation is it basic general everyday English is it for a particular reason are they moving to an english-speaking country to work for an international company where English is the main language etc there's loads of different motivations then I'll ask them some questions on that then I'll do the same so I'll tell them about myself and give them an opportunity to talk to me and ask me some questions and this kind of does a couple of things so firstly it allows you to get to know each other quite simply as people number two it allows you as the teacher to identify anything in their speech and their listening which are potential aspects you could work on so you know are their use of prepositions quite poor is their grammar quite basic are they messing up the tenses is their vocabulary quite basic you know could that improve you know and by doing all of that while they're talking and while you're talking you can really it can really help you I guess build a lesson plan and it's really important that you work with them to build a lesson plan because one thing that that student might think it's okay might not be right for someone else which brings me on to the so point number eight I'm running out of fingers by the way so I'm not going to do that anymore is the fact that every student is different you know one thing about teaching Chinese children is that generally they're all be the same you know we'll help hold up an apple or a banana and you're teach those words that kind of thing but the thing about teaching adults obviously it's very different from young learners is the fact that everyone's different you know and people will want different things the vast majority of my students want conversation practice speaking and listening some may want business English so we may look at things like business phrasal verbs and business idioms other people may be more focused on things like grammar because maybe they're starting more beginner level other people may want help with preparation for IELTS exams things like that you know so everyone is different so this is why I kind of say that you know you shouldn't plan extensively because you know everyone's going to be different and sometimes you know one article that you might send Joe Bloggs in one country apologies for the use of Joe Bloggs may be completely irrelevant for someone else so you very much have to have an open mind you very much have to be adaptable to each student and that's what I really love about I talking because every lesson is different it never gets boring everyone is different and has a different background wants to learn different things that has different motivations so that is one reason I love our talking everyone is different does have that in your mind and be conscious of that okay we're almost there I want to point number nine the ninth point is about using your personality now this is again a slightly emotional subject because some teachers on I talked II believe they need to be this strict hard teacher listened you know etc don't talk while I'm talking but that's not what it's like in reality at least in my opinion you know fair enough if you're in it if you're in a classroom a physical environment with young children where you do have to be strict you do have to demonstrate discipline that kind of thing that's great and you know if you want to be like that and that's the kind of student you want to attract that's fine but for me it's much more of a natural conversation a relaxed environment easygoing I'm relaxed they're relaxed because what you've got to remember is that a lot of these people that are booking lessons with you will be shy they'll be nervous they'll be apprehensive they'll need reassurance about their English level etc and you know if I was coming across as a strict teacher telling them off and having a textbook and it just wouldn't work for me you know the thing about my talkie and why students come to our talkie is to have natural conversations because that's where their English has been lacking in the past they haven't had the opportunity to do that and that's what's going to make the difference you know at the moment I am in Mexico as I said and just through having basic conversations with people in Spanish it's massively helping me it's unbelievable how natural conversation can help you out so you know like because it is up to you but use your personality you know don't be afraid to be laughing joking and sometimes even say swear words because swear words are part of the English language I have actually done that lessons on that and you know be yourself basically you know don't be a strict teacher and point number 10 the last one yes I could use all my fingers is about communication the thing about our talkie is that you're teaching adults and they have a life you know they have a job but they have other commitments and very often sometimes they may need to reschedule lessons they may have problems where you can't where they can't get to a lesson etc so always have your phone on you you know be prepared to be locked into Skype 24/7 and reply to lessons reply to lessons reply to messages as soon as you get them similarly you might get messages on a talkie as well you know also with lesson requests you'll be getting less and requests again 24/7 and the quicker you can respond to that the better because if you don't respond for like two days they might go elsewhere you know and generally this kind of adds to the easygoing relaxed thing you know I say to all of my students you know if you ever have a problem or you can't get to a lesson or you need to change your lesson I will be more than flexible 100% because you know what you've got to remember as well is that you're an adult too as a teacher and you will have problems I've had power cuts I've been locked out of apartments you name it well I haven't been able to get two lessons I've been sick for the last two weeks with food poisoning but you know if you're up front with your with your students and honest they'll be absolutely fine if you have a problem as well and you need to be fine with that too yes lovely so that's my ten points on teaching online without talking I know it was a bit long but hopefully this will help you out if you're planning on doing the same thing the last thing I just want to mention which is really really important I've mentioned it a couple of times is about respect you know you've got to have respect in your students that you know think how they feel that they're not comfortable with a language they're coming to I talking to speak to a total stranger who is a native speaker probably speaking very quickly with obviously more advanced English than them so they're going to feel shy they're going to feel nervous they're going to feel scared they're going to feel apprehensive if you need to reassure them put them at ease and remember to encourage them you know and remember that at the end of lessons you know don't just leave it and say bye you know it's really important that you remember to say you've done a really good job today particularly if there is something that they massively improved on because it makes such a difference for them and they're motivated they come back energized the next time so yeah just make sure you do that all right think about how you would feel if you were learning a language so I hope you found this useful if you have don't forget to leave a like leave a comment tell me all about your teaching online experience I would love to hear particularly the differences between teaching young learners Chinese students or adults you know what do you prefer tell me I'd love to know and don't forget to check out my other videos about becoming a digital nomad there's literally about 20 of them at the time of recording so you can see my journey from the beginning thank you for watching and I'll see you soon cataleya


  1. Check out my Teaching with Italki Playlist for more videos which go into more detail on –

    – Availability & Scheduling
    – Pricing & Packages
    – Trial Lessons
    – Lesson Material
    – Advanced Students
    – Problems

    Teaching Online: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoj_p-4xXUCuiHhAHAiegQ7qzPUN3ZkA0

  2. Great video :))
    I'm also from London and I'm a CELTA graduate..
    Is the CELTA enough to begin teaching on Italki or will I need to complete the online Tefl too?
    TIA ;))

  3. Can you make a more in depth video about the teaching material?

    I have an extensive collection of various pdf textbooks for teaching in vivo, but this is new to me…also I'm afraid there might be some infringement issues if I keep distributing them.

  4. Dear lord, you are good ! So helpful ! I was always thinking oh my god how do conversation teaching work and you opened my eyes ! I love all sorts of articles and they definately spark thoughts so it would be amazing to just talk with someone about anything ! Thank you so much you gave me alot of confidence just now . I feel like i can definately do it !

  5. Hey David i just finished my tefl course and plan to start teaching on italki while i travel. Just wondered how you felt starting out, your first lessons, becoming a good english teacher, where you nervous etc? I'd love to see a video! FYI really enjoy your channel, your videos are a lot more real & representative of actual long term travel than most others i have seen. Keep up the good work!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your tips from experience. <3

    I have been wanting to film a video for italki for the longest time but I have severe stage fright, I don't mind talking to people over video chat, I just find it extremely difficult to focus and film a video introduction.

  7. Was so excited while watching this video, went on to the website of italki and yes you do not need a degree but you do need a background of teaching ๐Ÿ™ David is there any other companies that would take you with out having a background in teaching ? Very curious thanks !! great video !

  8. This video is amazing! The first online English teaching video that has inspired me to believe I could get into something like this as a legit additional income stream. Thankyou very much!

  9. I am seriously considering this lifestyle and teaching English. Thank you for creating this YouTube channel! I love your videos. If I take this leap of faith I will be traveling Mexico, central, South America. So itโ€™s nice to see your in Mexico! How much did to cost to become qualified (TEFL)?

  10. this is the most helpful video i have seen too far from so many videos๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š..you are so talented at speaking and explaining the way we should do the natural and real communication we have to put into conversation๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ..i just love all your tips๐Ÿ˜..Love this videoโคโค๐ŸŒน..But i didn't know that online teaching you can't use books and you have to realize all the exams by yourself i think it's kinda hard or it will take so many hours of the day for each student you have to prepare a diffrent material depending on their preferences..And what else bothers me its that when u have to teach engish to a student who doesn't know english at all and want to begin from level A1 what language can you speak with him if he don't understand english yet๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜žplease reply me if you can..๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  11. Thank you! Thank you! Just finished uploading my teacher video/info with italki this morning before I came across your video. It helped me in 2 ways. I am now more relaxed about those first lessons, plus I am using your video to try to convince a friend to join the adventure. She started applying at Chinese schools with kids first and is on the brink of a nervous breakdown from the interviews, despite having a lot of TEFL experience. I think this video will get her to listen to me (you) and give italki a chance. (Oh shit, she is going to see this post now. Oops. Hi M! – Sorry)

  12. Thanks for the great video – I'm about to start working on italki and feel more confident having watched this.

  13. sounds more like polishing peoples English, what's the main language your clients native tounge?

  14. Iโ€™m about to start my own online teaching thingy, I appreciate your effort and all of your tips, thank you so much

  15. Hey, do you know if its possible to plan lesson as well as teach English online with a chrome? or would i need to buy extra equiptment like a super high quality camera etc. Im planning on travelling carry on only so i need to be smart about the choice

  16. Loved your video. I have a year's worth of experience, teaching online and in being a substitute teacher and educational assistant at a public school. I'm working on my TESOL and do have a Bachelors. Like you, I would prefer teaching adults and/or
    older children. Italki sounds very interesting. I will have to check it out. I would love to be able to teach at a later time. I live in the US and have to drag out of bed at 2 am each morning. What are your hours? Thanks.

  17. Thank you for posting this. I want to be a community tutor but have no experience and afraid of not getting any students. I am motivated to start my profile now

  18. I personally found this Accredited TEFL Certification very good.https://www.letstefl.com/?esl=onlineteachersrecruitment Whether you want to teach English overseas or tutor online, this one course covers everything you need!

  19. You made great points about relaxing and enjoying. It is more productive and more fun for both the teacher and the student. Laugh a little,it makes everyone feel good.

  20. You made great points about relaxing and enjoying. It makes it easier and more both teacher and student. Take out the sting and laugh a little.

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