The Business of Teaching English: Monetizing Your Language Skills

So, you’ve completed your TEFL qualification and are ready to take on the world of English teaching. But have you looked into how to make what you have learned as profitable as possible? Beyond finessing your lesson planning and optimizing your time management, these are some ways to monetize your language skills. 

Put your money where your mouth is 

For learners to invest in you, you need to put in the work. That means knowing the industry like the back of your hand by getting some teaching experience under your belt. What better way to do that than by heading overseas? 

There are various teaching programs across the world that you can apply to so that you can get your foot in the door and ease into your new profession. That includes countries like Japan, where you can expect a particularly favorable employment package. For more information, check out the TEFL.Org where you can find a guide to Jet program Japan.

Create a business plan 

By creating a business plan and outlining what you would like to achieve as an English teacher, you can pave the way to successfully monetizing your language skills. Some ideas to consider when creating it are what your niche is, and what prices you want to charge. Do you want to cater to companies and teach Business English or are you more interested in helping young learners? 

A great way to answer these questions is to first do some research into the market. Identify which gap you are filling, who your competition is, and what the standard, competitive rates are. If you’re not sure where to start, utilize your contacts and ask other English teachers, or take a look at respective competitions’ websites. 

Set up a website

Among the many other reasons detailed by, building a website will not only help legitimize your business in the eyes of potential clients, but it will also save you some time. You can provide all of the relevant information about your rates and professional background so that prospective students already have something to go off before getting in touch. 

Above all as an English teacher, setting up a website means putting your best professional foot forward. When faced with the competition of other teachers in the industry, a well-designed and easy-to-use website could mean the difference between landing a new paying client or losing out to bigger, more-established schools or professionals. 

Utilise social media

Social media can be an indispensable tool for English teachers when it comes to monetizing their language skills. You can build visibility for your business as well as generate a following of loyal current and ex-students who can share your content and help spread the word about your services. 

Alongside creating a name for yourself, you can also approach social media as an additional teaching resource and supplement your students’ learning in class with extra bits of bite-sized information. The possibilities are endless, from creating short videos explaining confusing vocabulary, or even filming video tours in English of places in your city if you’re an online teacher.

Create language resources

If you’ve been teaching for a while, then why not monetize those lesson plans that you know always go down well? By creating a packet of lessons aimed at particular levels or topics you can create a passive income for yourself. While it may not be sufficient enough initially to get by on, it’s a business-minded approach that will allow you to monetize the time and effort you put into your planning. 

Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little more creative, why not give podcasting a go? There are a few ways you could generate profit from a podcast that doesn’t have to go hand in hand with the rates you charge. Moreover, like social media, it can also double up as a listening resource for your students. 

Write about teaching

Those who can teach, therefore also know the language well enough to write. Writing articles about your experiences and the teaching industry is another great way to make the most of your skills as well as some extra cash. They can also be added to your website to help you stand out.

It’s important to note that writing does not have to monopolize your time and replace teaching, and can also be done on a freelance basis. Simply look into websites that could be interested in educational articles, specifically on the ESL industry, and pitch ideas when best suits your schedule. 

Organise trips 

If you find that your teaching hours tend to dry up during the summer holidays, an alternative to ensure that your income doesn’t take a hit is to organize trips and tours in English in your local area. These trips can be planned in advance and you could even request security deposits to ensure that you don’t lose out due to last-minute cancellations. 

Don’t be afraid of requesting feedback too, post-trips. This will help you to improve future summer events, perhaps come up with ideas for some new ones, and you can even share positive feedback on your website to attract new clients. 

Translate or proofread

While it is not mandatory to know another language to teach English, it can come in handy. This is especially the case, should you want to expand the range of services you can offer to your clients and monetize more of your language skills. 

Alongside English lessons and marking homework, you could also offer the separate paid service of proofreading or translating essays or work presentations for your students. This could broaden your target audience and allow you to attract clients who aren’t looking to dust off their English but would like a professional to give them the green light before submitting something important in English. 

Overall, teaching English is a profession that promises the opportunity to monetize your language skills beyond the classroom. While you may share the same qualification as many other teachers, what will set you apart is how you choose to put what you learned to use. 

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