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Online Teaching Essentials for Your 2020 TEFL Virtual Classroom

online teaching essentials 2020 virtual classroom


High-quality TEFL worksheets, activity books, teaching frameworks, lesson plans, and English teaching resources are invaluable online teaching essentials.

Don’t settle for scrappy, disorganized lesson planning and poorly worded worksheets. 

Create a tailored English learning curriculum that embraces all facets of the language learning process using digital TEFL resources. 



In the embrace of worldwide pandemic, online teaching has become the norm. If you’re teaching online, it’s wise to get your online teaching essentials in order to ensure you’re delivering engaging, fruitful English lessons.

But what exactly do you need for a streamlined EFL virtual classroom

While teaching from home doesn’t require much, without the basic online teaching essentials you’ll suffer disrupted English lessons and poor performance from your EFL students.

Luckily, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you organise your virtual classroom with these 2020 online teaching essentials. 



Online Teaching Essentials: Accredited TEFL Certification

There’s no two ways about it. If you want to teach online, you’ll need a TEFL certification.

TEFLPros graduates rave about our 120-Hour online TEFL course:

“If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, I was too and I am SO glad I chose TEFLPros. I’m teaching online now with plans to move abroad toward the end of the year.”Karen

“TEFLPros was without question the right choice for my TEFL certification. Not only did I feel prepared after going through the course, I got an offer to teach online almost immediately.” Marcus

“I plan to teach online so at first I wasn’t sure if this was the right course because it has a lot of in-person stuff. BUT the reality is that they teach you how to adapt your lesson plans for any group so I truly feel like I can teach pretty much everyone right now.” Eric


You can see more reviews by heading here

GoOverseas Reviews

GoAbroad Reviews


If you’re having trouble deciding on a course,

check out this handy guide to choosing the right TEFL for online teaching.

How to Choose a TEFL



If you’re not sure what to expect from a TEFL or would like to try before you buy, our FREE 2-Day TEFL course gives you real TEFL training modules, worksheets, assessments, video footage and more.

Why not give our TEFL taster program a try for free?

Access TEFLPros FREE 2-Day TEFL Now


Ready to take the plunge and start your journey as an online English teacher?

Start your TEFL training today to become a fully qualified, internationally-certified TEFL teacher in just 120 hours.

Start TEFL Training Today



Online Teaching Essentials: Robust virtual classroom software

Of course, a laptop or desktop is essential. A tablet may do but a phone won’t really cut it. 

Beyond the hardware, you’ll need a virtual classroom.

Depending on the online language school you work for, some online TEFL teachers will be given their virtual teaching suite. Some language companies have their own softwares which are easy to use and link to the school’s curriculum.

For others, especially independent teachers, you’ll need your own software

Choose a virtual classroom software that:

  • All your students can access
  • Allows audio and visual communication
  • Has a chat function
  • Allows you to share your screen
  • Enables you to save and share documents
  • Supports handy features, like a whiteboard or draw tool


While Zoom is particularly topical right now, it has its drawbacks. 

Luckily, we’ve got a comprehensive list of alternative virtual classroom softwares along with their pros and cons.


For help choosing a virtual classroom software, check out this guide.

A Guide to Virtual Classroom Softwares



Online Teaching Essentials: Engaging IRL classroom displays 


online teaching essentials classroom display


While your ESL students may not be in the same room as you, this doesn’t mean your teaching environment shouldn’t be stimulating.

Don’t leave your English students exposed to bare walls.

One of the top online TEFL teaching essentials for all virtual learning is a coordinated and inspiring back-display

Behind your head, your teaching station should be a colorful testament to learning English as a foreign language.

Use vocabulary displays that tie together words and imagery or pin up giant key phrases. Try putting up a different star chart or learning journey for each student.

Alternatively, tack up a whiteboard to use during your lessons for an authentic classroom feel.

Whatever you do to inspire visual learning, ensure that it can be easily read by your students. 


TOP TIP! We use Pinterest for inspiration!



Online Teaching Essentials: Find high-quality digital teaching resources 

tefl online teaching basic essentials for virtual classroom


Your TEFL curriculum should be a multimedia English learning experience that combines engaging new English language material, hands-on language skill practice, and regular assessment. 

High-quality TEFL worksheets, activity books, teaching frameworks, lesson plans, and English teaching resources are invaluable.

Don’t settle for scrappy, disorganized lesson planning and poorly worded worksheets. 

Create a tailored English learning curriculum that embraces all facets of the language learning process using premium digital TEFL resources


Want high-quality up-to-date ESL teaching resources?

Sign up here.


TEFLPros Epic TEFL Tools Newsletter



Online Teaching Essentials: Wear a headset 

online teaching essential tools headset


Haven’t you always wanted to feel like a 90’s Britney Spears or Aaron Carter? Great, now is your chance.

Nothing makes learning English harder than constant cracking feedback.

A headset will prevent crackling on the line and will keep the sound crisp.

This is why some language schools insist you wear a headset. Aside from looking professional, it’s key to a clear, uninterrupted English lesson.

Even if it’s not compulsory with your online English lessons, use a headset anyway. 



Online Teaching Essentials: Introduce engaging age-appropriate props

top online tefl resources and tools online teaching


The age group you teach will dictate which props you use for a kinaesthetic online English learning experience

Younger children will often respond excitedly to puppets and stuffed toys, star charts and pop-up books.

Teenagers and adults will find flashcards and real-world objects useful in learning vocabulary and context. 

Mix up what you’re using to keep your TEFL online lessons fresh. 


If you need help with inspiration, sign up to our TEFL tools newsletter for regular downloadable resources and props. 


Get Printable/Downloadable Teaching Props   



Online Teaching Essentials: Use interactive ESL tools and apps

online teaching essential tools resources


Kids love games and teenagers love technology. And we all love convenience. 

Digital ESL tools and apps bring an interactive dynamic to your online English lessons by engaging your ESL students in dynamic ways.

Take TEFLTunes, for example. You can teach musical English classes with lesson plans that use a whole library of popular songs. 

Alternatively, consider tools for assigning homework or sharing documents. What about tools for making comic strips or creating posters?


We love finding and sharing incredible online TEFL teaching tools. 

You can access our stash here


Access TEFL Teaching Tools   



Hopefully, this guide has given you a little insights into what’s essential for online teaching.

It’s important to remember that it’s your responsibility to create an inspiring virtual classroom so that you ESL students engage in learning. 

If you need any help or tips on how to create more engaging online English lessons, read this guide. 

Otherwise, don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or [email protected]


Contact Us Today  

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