Hello, Âllo, Hola: Teaching Languages Online Is A Great Business!

Written by Stephanie

September 16, 2022

Language in some form or another is common to nearly all of us. The language may be spoken or signed or otherwise conveyed, but it always seeks to connect us with each other. Language is at the heart of communication and has been a cornerstone of human development and civilisation for millennia.

“Learn a new language and get a new soul.” Ah, those words translated from a Czech proverb are indeed profound! Now imagine being part of that magic by being a language teacher online. Think it’s worth considering?

Well, consider these statistics: the online language learning market was valued at $12.49 billion in 2019 and the estimation is that the market will grow to $25.73 billion by 2027. That equates to a very respectable compounded annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 10.2% from 2020 to 2027. Not too shabby!

Now that we have your attention, read on for more insight into why we at Yip know that teaching languages online is a great business.

Why Is Learning Languages Online So Popular?

The world is more of a global village than ever, not to mention increasingly digital. As more people turn to online solutions for everything from the clothes they buy to the banking they do, it makes sense that people will seriously consider opting for online options to learn a new language.

Learning languages online has become so popular because of the increasing importance of being bilingual or multilingual. One leading reason is that a globalized world market means that companies increasingly value employees that speak different or multiple languages. This makes employees easier to send to other countries in order to share critical skills and grow business in new markets. 

Consequently, there is value to employees knowing how to speak foreign languages for their career prospects. A number of industries worldwide are increasingly multinational and therefore heavily reliant on multilingual workforces across different regions. These include the hospitality and retail sectors, as well as oil and gas, aviation, automotive manufacturing, professional sports and a host of others.

Additional reasons why students would be eager to take online language classes with you could include:

  • Able to choose from teachers from around the world (and they chose you!);
  • Greater ease in taking classes when they are working or studying full-time;
  • Ability to learn at their pace;
  • A chance to learn from and interact with other students taking online courses with them; and
  • Learning the language with you as a native or fluent speaker, even if you are not based in the same country or even continent as them.

2. Create an Online Course with YIP

The great Italian director, Federico Fellini, once said: “A different language is a different vision of life.” How very true – but what specific vision are you going to offer your students? Or, for a start, what language or languages are you going to teach in online?

Clearly, you will want to teach in either your native language or one in which you are fluent. You may be lucky enough to speak one of the more desired languages or you may be lucky or cleaver enough to be multilingual, which certainly raises your chances of making good money with online language teaching.

It’s not surprising that English leads the way, being spoken as a native or second language by no less than 1.5 billion people worldwide. Also unsurprisingly, given the population of China, Mandarin Chinese came in second with 1.1 billion  speakers. The graph below shows the most-spoken languages in the world in 2022:

Courtesy: Statista

There are said to be six major languages that are the most in-demand foreign languages for job and personal growth opportunities:

  1. English – hardly surprising given that English is the global language of business, as well as the de facto language of IT, gaming and other technological niches.
  2. French – the official language of 29 different countries on five continents, it continues to be highly popular with new language seekers.
  3. German – it may be surprising German is more popular than Spanish, but it is the most spoken native language of Europe. You might not also know that German is the second-most common language on the internet.
  4. Spanish -the official language of 22 countries on four different continents and probably the easiest Romance language to learn. In the UK, Spanish continues to grow among students, with Spanish being predicted to overtake French at GCSE level by 2026.
  5. Italian – may be ‘only’ spoken by just over 80 million people, but it happens to be the most studied language in the world for culture and pleasure.
  6. Arabic – the official language of 26 states and one disputed territory, placing it third after English and French, and the lingua franca throughout an entire region, i.e. the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

An important caveat: not teaching one of the ‘big’ languages above should not deter you at all. Being able to teach in a language that is significant in a single region (such as Cantonese or Tagalog in Asia or Yoruba in West Africa) can still mean good business. The same can be said of smaller, ‘niche’ languages such as Latvian, Danish or Afrikaans, since scarcity means being able to charge more. Imagine being a leading teacher of Estonian online – now that’s a niche!

Becoming Your Best Professional Self

The best part of being an online language teacher is your ability to control your own destiny and career. This can be bolstered by teaming up with a trusted online platform to offer your teaching services.

Take the benefits of offering your teaching services on Yip, for example:

  • Real-time payments;
  • Live video capabilities;
  • Direct messaging/chatting with students in real time;
  • Bookings management; and
  • Being part of a marketplace to expand your online network.

You may wish to have your own personal website as a concurrent means of attracting new students and increasing your visibility. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is key for your online business, of course. SEO can help you get found online and to stand out from your competition. SEO should be exploited as a growth tool

that, most importantly, allows you to own your online presence.

Frank Smith, a Canadian guru in psycho-linguistics and cognitive psychology once said: “Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language.”

You can better offer that gift of language to your students by going online so that you can flourish and be the best language teacher possible.


Join the fun on YIP, and create amazing online experiences