What was the last YouTube video you watched? Perhaps it was James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke or one of Zoella’s lifestyle vlogs. More than likely though, it was neither. You see, in recent years there’s been a subtle but significant shift in what we watch. More and more of us are not looking to YouTube to be entertained, we are looking to be educated. From make-up tutorials to cookery shows, the ‘How to’ video has grown in popularity in the last few years. Indeed searches related to “How to” on YouTube have been growing 70% year-on-year according to Google. YouTube is no longer just a platform of cat videos and Fail Compilations.

Meeting the global demand for English language learning content is a group of TEFL YouTubers who have made this sizeable niche their own. By delivering consistent weekly lessons in an informal yet stylish manner, they have garnered legions of followers, in some cases over 100,000 people. This success is largely down to the fact that their followers are looking for connection and community just as much as they are looking for language. There is an intimacy and vulnerability to what these TEFL YouTubers do and their audiences respond to that. The YouTube comments section can be a scary place sometimes but in most cases they are a testament to the positive impact these online lessons are having on people around the world.

Another reason for the success of English learning content on YouTube is the immediacy and accessibility it offers. No longer do learners have to wait for their next lesson to discover ‘how to say “comfortable” correctly’ , they can do it while waiting for the bus. From Santiago to Shenzhen, learners are devouring online English content autonomously. They are finding a connection with these TEFL YouTubers and making daily appointments with them. The classroom just got a whole lot bigger.

Should all teachers have a professional YouTube channel?



5 TEFL YouTubers Worth Checking Out

English with Lucy

English with Lucy

English with Lucy is a stylish channel focusing on British English with lots of useful expressions and pronunciation videos.

Example: 10 Stunningly Beautiful English Words – http://bit.ly/2ktC0r1

Cork English Teacher

Cork English Teacher releases very clear, easy-to-follow pronunciation and vocabulary videos.

Example: Extreme Adjectives – http://bit.ly/2kTlP3Z

Chika’s English Lessons

Chika's English Lessons

Chika is a bilingual vlogger who teaches English to a mainly Japanese audience. Her channel is full of lifestyle videos and travelogs that are driven by her likeable personality.

Example: Definitely Absolutely Exactly – http://bit.ly/2jEDGKc

Mmm English

Mmm English

Mmm English is an Australian based channel run by Emma. Her videos focus on cooking, eating and creative ways to practise English.

Example: English Body Idioms – http://bit.ly/2jZYe2Y

Eat Sleep Dream English

Eat Sleep Dream English

My own channel, Eat Sleep Dream English, mixes modern British English with travel and culture. Think London hipster meets TEFL.

Example: Introducing Yourself and Talking About Your Job – http://bit.ly/2krSlgo


Tom Rees has been working in ELT since 2007 venturing across 3 continents. In 2012 he moved to Hong Kong to work for the British Council where he got the DELTA and headed up their myClub programme. He’s currently based in London where he run his own website Eat Sleep Dream English. He’s passionate about online content creation and digital trends for English language learning.


  1. By highlighting the international standard used by sites like https://teflanswers.co.uk, its very important for prospective teachers to understand that any random TEFL or TESOL course just wont do. With a market thats being quickly filled by bogus certificates, its important to get a recognised authority to accredit you. Schools and institutes abroad have a lot more choice now in who they recruit and what background, so treat the TEFL like any course, get it from a reputable company on or offline, and do it well.

  2. Hi Tom! Thanks so much for featuring my channel – I’m very flattered! I just checked your channel out and it looks fab – very well produced with lots of original ideas! Starting English with Lucy was the best decision of my life. Every morning I wake up and feel excited to face the day and interact with my students! Another channel that I love is Papa Teach Me (https://www.youtube.com/user/papateachme). Nobody managed to combine English and comedy quite like Aly does!

    1. Hey Lucy, you are more than welcome. I wanted to feature channels that I felt added real value to their viewers while at the same time doing it in a stylish entertaining way and yours certainly fit the bill. Thanks for pointing out Papa Teach Me, it looks like another great channel.

  3. Although I work in the ELT profession, my YouTube channel isn’t connected to my job. Nonetheless, within less than a year it’s become a significant part of my life: indeed, I now would go as far as to say that it is my second career. You’d be surprised how much those annoying adverts at the start of videos contribute to your monthly income once you start getting about 10,000 daily views. If this article has piqued your interest, I’m available for further discussion.

  4. YT also good for teacher education and #CPD Our http://WWW.TESOLacademic.org channel provides talks by global leaders in the field including recent contributions from Dianne Larsen-Freeman, Rod Ellis and Stephen Krashen. Plus talks from authors who have published papers in our leading academic journals such as ELTJ and TESOL Q. Check it out. Huw

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