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Teaching English Online

What's it like Teaching English Online?

A question we often get at Read With You, is "What's it like to teach English online?"

Read With You approach to teaching is to conduct fun, interactive English tutoring sessions with native speakers of Chinese in one-on-one settings via conferencing software.

In this episode of the podcast, we talked to Read With You teacher Suzanne Funk to tell us her experiences teaching for Read With You.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Funk studied secondary English Education. She knew that she didn’t want to teach middle school, but she started subbing in middle school and loved it.

She continued teaching middle school for 20 years.

Suzanne started working for Read With You when she had an ankle surgery and needed to stay off her feet. She was impressed with the focus on literature and reading, not just the language.

Differences from a traditional classroom setting

Working with students one on one is very different.

She is able to use a lot of her skills from her teaching career in teaching online, such as using silly voices and enjoying a book together. There is so much fun experiencing joy with the kids as they learn.

Technology can cause issues, such as slow internet. That has made her learn to have to think on her feet , which is a great skill that carries over from the classroom.

She teaches ages 4-13 with Read With You, as opposed to focusing on one age group like you would in a traditional school setting.

Using Literature to Teach Language

The students use books to study the language.

That poses interesting challenges because of the slang and idioms that don’t translate well. As a teacher, you get to work on that together and work on the English as well as the story.

High Ability Students

High ability students need more of a challenge.

They like to go deeply into a topic, so it lets you explore more of the issues in the books. It’s important to challenge these students to keep them learning.

Sometimes students think they know but they don’t, and to keep them engaged. It’s helpful to dig deep into literature. This is something you don’t usually have time to do in the classroom.

Since some of those basic skills have been met, you can get into different things.

Similarities to Classroom Teaching

With older kids, it’s very similar to teaching kids in the classroom.

Sometimes they need a little more help with pronunciation and knowing the proper usage for certain words.

Teaching Online

Teaching online, sometimes things take a little longer to explain.

As teachers preview a book, they have to think about if these are words that children will understand. It’s important to be cognizant of those things.

Teaching one student at a time really lets you know if they understand what you are teaching. In a large class, kids can slip through the cracks.

You get to really know that child and know their strengths and weaknesses. Parents are able to get a lot of feedback from the teachers as well.

Qualifications for Teaching for Read With You


  • Deliver lessons based on popular American book series

  • Develop a fun learning environment and trusting relationship with each student

  • Complete a session report after every lesson, highlighting grammar and pronunciation that Student should review

  • Relay any client issues with the management team

Minimum Qualifications

  • Native English speaker with a standard American accent only

  • Must have past English teaching experience

  • Must have a Linguistics, ESL, English, or English Education Degree

  • Fun, driven, upbeat personality

  • Available to work early morning hours

  • Own a computer (Windows 7 or above) with reliable Internet connection (3Mbps or better)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters Degree

  • Learned a foreign language

  • Certifications

  • Book lover, a plus

If you are interested in becoming a teacher for Read With You, please send your resume to

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