How To Teach English Online In South Africa

By | October 29, 2021

South Africa and online teaching. The ESL industry has changed with it’s regard to the native English status of South Africa. In the past, South Africans were considered native English speakers but not any more.

Even in a country like Thailand, South African teachers must pass a TOEIC exam as the country is not considered a native English speaking country anymore. For the small percentage of English South Africans who actually speak English as their native language (and not Afrikaans) this requirement is quite can see to be a bit unfair.

For any native English speaking South African reading this, we understand how frustrating it can be trying to find an online teaching company that will give you an opportunity for work. The following are 7 excellent online teaching companies for South African teachers:

  • SayABC
  • Cambly
  • Palfish
  • Amazing Talker
  • IQBar
  • First Future
  • ITutor Group

SayABC – Your Best Option

SayABC is an industry leading online teaching company that is owned and operated by the same company that owns VIPKID (the online teaching company industry leader). SayABC is currently allowing the hiring of South African teachers.

With SayABC, the online teaching environment is a bit different than that of other companies. For starters, you’ll be teaching in a multi-student classroom. Instead of 1 on 1 teaching. SayABC also has their teachers assigned to a “homeroom” where they will teach a group of 4 students at the same time for a 9 lesson curriculum.

The hourly rate for SayABC is high and the overwhelming majority of teachers love working with SayABC. If you’re ready to being the application process, check out our SayABC review and application guide.

Update: SayABC is not hiring teachers from South Africa currently. If this changes we’ll remove this notice.

Cambly – A Good Part Time Income

If you’re South African and are looking for a way to teach English on the side as a way to earn a part time income, check out Cambly.

What Cambly is specifically is a phone app that matches you as a native English speaker with English language learners from around the world. The focus is an informal, casual conversation in English about a pre-determined topic. No lessons, no props, no complicated equipment needed.

Just your phone and the Cambly app installed on your phone is all that is needed. Once you’re accepted into Cambly, you simply log into Cambly via the app and begin talking with language learners from around the world. You’re paid roughly 17 cents per minute (which equates to $10 per hour or so).

You won’t get rich with Cambly, but if you’ve been looking for something flexible, easy and fast – Cambly is your best option.

Palfish – The New Cambly Rival

Palfish is a phone app where you can teach class using your mobile device like a phone or tablet. Palfish does have some minimum requirements in that you need to teach 3.5 hours each week. The way it works is that you download the app to your mobile device and then simply proceed through the application process.

New teachers who meet the minimum requirements of being a native speaker will have instant access to Palfish free talk.

Free talk? Palfish has two verticals, free talk and the Palfish kids course. The free talk program is similar to Cambly in that you’ll be having set conversations with adults. The only requirements for this are to be a native English speaker.

The kids course however is a bit more strict in that you need to apply and interview for that. The kids course is more of a curriculum based approach like SayABC.

Amazing Talker – Teach Your Language

Amazing Talker is a market place for professional tutors and language instructors. It connects teachers of various different languages (Spanish, French, Arabic etc) to language learners. With Amazing Talker you simply setup a profile, set your hourly rate and then start recruiting your own students via the platform.

They are lower on the list because it can be difficult to get bookings as a new teacher. It takes time to establish yourself and build a track record of results.

IQBar – A UK Online Teaching Company

IQBar is a UK based company that connects native English speakers with Chinese students. Teachers working for IQBar can either have a flex time schedule or a standard schedule. If you’re looking for something part time, IQBar is a great choice.

The pay is between $12-18 per lesson + various bonuses. They would also like prospective teachers to have a TEFL certificate.

First Future – An ESL Institute

First Future provides ESL teachers as well as ESL training to schools in China. Students with first future typically have an in class session with a Chinese instructor and then further complimentary lessons with a teacher online.

Online classes as a teacher can either be one on on or up to six students at the same time. Your pay will be $18-20 an hour and you will be working on a fixed schedule week to week. No degree is required and they are open to all nationalities so long as you’re a native speaker of English.

ITutor Group – Potential to work full time

ITutor Group, not to be confused with ITutor is a Chinese company that, like most online teaching companies connects teachers and students in China. They are open to hiring native and non native English teachers a like. They require a degree and a minimum of 10 hours of availability per week. Pay is based on your location. So if you’re a South African teacher living in Europe, you can expect to be paid in Euros.

UUABC – Hit or Miss With This Company

UUABC has a poor reputation to be honest. Some teachers have had a great experience working with UUABC, but most find aspects of the company to be frustrating. The lack of reliable hours, low bookings one week then full booked the next, make UUABC a difficult company to work for if you’re looking for something long term and potentially full time.

With that said, they do pay well and they do hire South African teachers. If you’re looking get started teaching English online as a South African teacher, UUABC is still a good option for your first foray into this online ESL world.