Teach English Online for Free

Looking to Volunteer? Teach for Free and Change a Life

Are you looking into volunteering your time to teach English online for free?

Maybe you want to volunteer and help refugees, or maybe you want to build up your experience so you can aim for paying ESL jobs. Either way, there are many reasons to want to teach English for free.

Here are some ways to begin your journey.

Contact Refugee Resettlement Agencies

I began my career by volunteering to teach English for a local refugee resettlement agency in Philadelphia. I taught English at a high school, to a classroom of adults. Most were from Mexico. I was a Junior in college. I credit this position with helping me land a job at a refugee resettlement agency after college. So, volunteering your time to teach English online for free for a refugee resettlement agency can be an educational experience and can open doors for you. You may even be able to lighten the load on their social workers by aiding their clients in some daily tasks that require English skills.

Contact Non-profits

Contact non-profits that have missions that align with your values. Ask them if they have clients that would benefit from English lessons. Most nonprofit agencies have a method to onboard volunteers and they will be thrilled to take you under their wing. This is a great opportunity to gain experience in a field you find of interest, while also making a positive difference in the world. Their clients will appreciate having a teacher who wants to teach them English online for free, and you will get a great boost to your resume and some networking possibilities.

Avoid ESL Platforms

Don’t drive down the wages of teachers on ESL platforms. Do not post your profile on sites like Varsity tutors and undercut the rate of the ESL teachers. Remember, these teachers have invested money and time into their careers. Many have years of experience, graduate degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, teaching certifications at the state level, or even doctorates in linguistics. If you are interested in volunteering your time to teach English, these platforms are not the place to do it. You will only be creating a poor environment for current ESL teachers.

In addition, working for these platforms will not give you a marketable skill that you can leverage for later. You will not have a supervisor to use as a reference. You will not have a consistent classroom or be able to point to the fact you built a curriculum (because you won’t…it will just be random classes at different levels).

Be a light in the community, instead.

A smiling woman in a hat and wearing a backpack holds many foreign flags in her hands while standing in front of a pink background
If you would like to teach English for free, there are many opportunities for you to travel. Go abroad and explore!

Teach English for Free…Abroad!

Go Abroad

Volunteer teaching is one of the most popular ways to get experience volunteering abroad. If you are a native English speaker and you want to learn about other countries and customs, teaching English is a great way to do it.

There are many sites geared towards helping you land a position volunteering teaching English free…abroad. Safety is of course a real concern, so go with an established and well-respected program.

Check out these sites to learn more:


This site is great because they have reviews of overseas teaching programs.

Check out VolunteerMatch too. They have lots of opportunities for teaching English for free

If this helped you, these posts might interest you, too.

Learn More

Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.