How to Be an ESL Teacher in 2021: 5 Things You Need to Know

This entry is a guest post by Ann Teodoro of Fluent Daily.

Last August 2020, there are approximately 5,000 people in a Facebook group of ESL teachers. In less than a year, the number has ballooned to around 35,000 members. Now, what does it mean for you? If you’re interested to become an ESL teacher, you’re in luck. With the number of students growing, even beginner teachers are welcome to be one. 

As English is used by more than half of the world population, and especially in business — it’s no wonder that more people are learning it. According to Inquirer, there's an opportunity for 20,000 Filipinos to meet the increasing demand for English-language education in China. After all, the Philippines’ labor force is one huge sleeping giant in this industry.

But, how do you become an ESL teacher? Here are 5 things you should prepare for before applying as an ESL teacher. 

1. Brief resume

Here’s a practical tip, often ignored by applicants, make your resume short but substantial. Assess yourself and previous experiences if it’s related to being proficient in English. If not, spare the details. Make your resume appealing using free resume templates. Canva, a graphics design application, is perfect because you can make one amazing resume in under 5 minutes. And it’s free! 

Sample resume for ESL

2. Self-introduction video or audio recording

The standard is a one-minute self-introduction. Here are a few things to consider before hitting that record button:

Read and follow the company's instructions or guidelines for the introduction, Take note that some companies would require a video recording.

Practice your introduction and make sure there are no mistakes in pronunciation and grammar. 

Look your best and be your best. 

Smile while recording your audio introduction. It makes you sound more friendly and approachable.

Be unique and add a little fun to your script. 

Apply this basic flow:

  • Greetings
  • Name
  • Hobbies and/or an interesting fact about yourself
  • Reason for teaching
  • Expectations from the class

Here's a sample script for you to start with:  

"Ni hao! My name is Adrienne from the Philippines. My hobbies are singing and dancing. I can play musical instruments too. I am a professional teacher and have been teaching for 1 year now. For young learners, I can improve your reading and pronunciation. For teens, I can chat about timely topics you may be interested in."



As an ESL teacher, you must have the necessary skills -- excellent interpersonal communication skills, clear pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills. Also, time management is a skill you'll develop over time, as you get to familiarize yourself with your teaching flow. Further, basic troubleshooting skills on the application or gadgets are also required. 

Remember that the lesson activities should appeal to students' interests and goals. Make the class lively and motivating. In this field, patience goes a long way. Also, certificates are sometimes required by ESL companies. These certifications can be obtained by enrolling in online training courses.

Workplace area requirements and technical requirements

Most companies are strict when it comes to workplace requirements. Pick an area in your house that is quiet and clutter-free. You can be creative in your teaching space by using flashcards and pictures as background when you teach. The company logo is oftentimes placed as a background. 

Show your creative and fun side in your personalized teaching background.

For ESL teachers, work-from-home requires an upgrade from your basic technical qualifications. These include: 

  • Desktop/laptop Operating System: Windows 10 or above or Mac
  • CPU: i5 to i7 4th gen and above
  • Memory: with at least 4GB of RAM
  • Webcam: high-definition external or integrated kind
  • Headset: with noise-canceling features
ESL Teacher Room Background


Research for the best internet provider in your area. Try comparing plans, prices, speeds, and internet contracts. Using a non-portable connection is the most reliable and most secure internet connection. It is less susceptible to outages compared to a portable one.

The commonly required internet speed is 3Mbps download and 7Mbps upload. Use speed test sites to check your internet speed. Guidelines in choosing your internet provider include:

  • Speed
  • Availability
  • Cost per month
  • Type of connection
  • Reliability
  • Installation and equipment costs

With tons of effort and skill, you can now apply for an ESL teacher post. 

"There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking." - Brian Tracy

With the proper mindset and confidence to take on new challenges, you can accomplish more. Teaching English at first can be intimidating but with enough preparation and determination — you can do anything. Give adequate time to prepare for your resume, self-introduction, skills, technical requirements, and internet connection necessities. Remember, you create your own luck. Happy teaching! 

What other tips can you add for aspiring ESL teachers? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *