Why Online Video Lessons Might Outstrip Online Tutoring

It is no surprise that even with all the advantages that come with online tutoring, ESL (English as a second language) teachers are still trying their best to navigate through all the options out there to find the best teaching platform. Why? The answer is simple, when it comes to online teaching, there are issues that you just simply can’t ignore. To learn more about the pros and cons of online ESL teaching, look no further than here.

Unlike online tutoring (commonly seen in small online class size or 1:1 tutoring), video teaching, which uses pre-recorded videos to present and explain educational material for a topic to be learned online, is showing indisputable results that marks the transformation of online education.

Educational video lessons are already prevalent on nowadays social media platforms, especially on popular short-video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. While English has become a compulsory subject since 2003 in all schools in China, when it comes to the learning of a foreign language, students of all ages also tend to adopt a fragmented learning style. Throughout the day, many people use the fragmented time they have outside of their regular daily schedules to learn, review, and practice the linguistic knowledge they acquired. This is why flexibility and accessibility of materials are crucial in ESL teaching and learning, and video lessons provide just that.

While most online ESL teaching platforms still focus on Online Tutoring, there are a growing number of apps that allow teachers to benefit from Video Teaching.

BlaBla App Logo

BlaBla is a great ESL video-teaching app to get started with. Similar to the TikTok video platform, BlaBla allows native speakers to teach Mandarin speakers English through videos on various topics. BlaBla’s strength in artificial technology development helps learners to progress at a steady pace. It also informs content creators of different types of videos to produce in order to maximize the benefits for learners while gaining viral popularity. With the goal of making learning fun, BlaBla welcomes content creators with diverse backgrounds and interests.


1. No Geographical Barriers

Believe it or not, teaching ESL through videos allow you to enjoy all the advantages of online tutoring, and more! From flexible schedules to teaching anywhere around the world, you only need to record and upload one video at a time. After that, it can be played anywhere by anyone with access to it, without you being present in front of the screen. BlaBla embraces diversity and values the differences in the backgrounds of content creators as it is often the key to the fun and engaging video lessons.

2. Flexible

Video teaching can be highly flexible in many ways:
1. Available at all hours
2. Can be revisited unlimited times
3. Available for different learning and processing paces

3. Large Student (Fan) Base

By teaching ESL through video lessons, you are likely to gain a large number of students throughout the course of your teaching career, that is if your videos are good. According to recent studies, there is a large and growing number of active audience on video-sharing social media platforms. In 2019, TikTok reached more than 500 million monthly active users worldwide.

4. More Lucrative Opportunities

The larger the audience, the more likely you will be able to make your audience base your own possible by sell your private courses and getting tips from audiences. If you create engaging videos that are easy to follow and process, with great coverage of key points and receive a growing number of positive feedback, you are more likely to receive more income than you expected.

BlaBla recognizes the value of employee incentives and motivations, and that’s why it uses the tipping & gifts function to allow rewarding interactions between video content creators and users.BlaBla recognizes the value of employee incentives and motivations, and that’s why it uses the tipping & gifts function to allow rewarding interactions between video content creators and users.

By Noelle Wang, from Content Creator Strategy

5. Low Barrier to Entry: Beginner-friendly

Most online tutoring platforms have screening requirements for ESL teachers, including having recognized certificates such as TEFL, bachelor degrees or above, and at least a few years of teaching experiences to be qualified for teaching students online. While this can definitely guarantee the quality of teachers on a higher level, it does impose certain barriers to entry for beginners, such as those who are fresh out of university with great skills and passion for teaching, or people who possess rich industry knowledge but want to try out online teaching for the first time.

With video teaching, there is no such concern. While having a rich and certificated profile is always a great indicator of your qualifications and teaching results, it is the quality of the videos you create that makes all the differences and determines your pay rate and the number of students.

With BlaBla, any fluent native English Speaker can be a great video content creator. The top 3 key qualifications for a potential content creator on BlaBla include 1. Speak English at a native-like level; 2. Experience teaching ESL preferred; 3. Comfortable performing and speaking on camera (due to the TikTok like nature of the platform). If you consider yourself a digital native who can easily create continuous content, understand the unique needs of language learners, and have knowledge surrounding speed, pronunciation, and idioms, then congrats! You’ve come to the right place :)

By Noelle Wang, from Content Creator Strategy

6. No Wasted Time and ‘Surprises’

Tired of all the potential technical issues or laptop malfunction in the middle of an online class? Worried that you and your students might just end up chitchatting the whole time instead of going through all of the materials you’ve been preparing for? With pre-recorded video lessons, you won’t have to worry about these at all.

First of all, you only need your devices to be working while you are recording the video. If something goes wrong, you can always record it again. There is no set time for when you are making your videos, as long as you upload them at an interval that aligns with your schedule and planned number of videos per week. What’s more, since you won’t be interacting with students in the videos, there will be no surprises or interruptions that could potentially hinder your teaching during the lesson time.

7. High Consistency

Sometimes when tutoring online, teachers might be teaching more than one student, and students might be matched with and learn from various teachers because of the different availability of both parties. This could result in inconsistency in teaching style, materials, and learning progression, and could negatively affect the learning results.

With video teaching, the teachers will be posting a series of online videos regularly for students to watch. Each video covers topics that are consistent with the syllabus and the teaching styles of each teacher remains the same. Not only does it allows students to explore the teaching styles of different teachers, but it also ensures each lesson builds on the context from the previous one.

8. Data Collection

Many video lessons contain insightful analytical features that collect and demonstrate data, which allows teachers to observe and monitor students’ engagement rates to improve the learning experience.

Creator Insight Interface from BlaBla App

Potential Disadvantages and Solutions

Although there are many benefits when it comes to video teaching, it would be unfair to disregard some of the main concerns and questions people have towards this method of teaching ESL.

1. Lack of Real-Time Interaction

A major concern from many regarding video ESL teaching would be that it takes out the opportunity for real-time interactions between teachers and students. Most parents choose online tutoring because, despite the expensiveness of the courses, their kids can receive tailored courses by having teachers communicating with children and learning about their strengths and weaknesses. It would also give students the chance to ask questions and receive answers immediately during the lessons.


1. This is why video teaching is often combined with real-time webinars to provide the best balance of concrete learning and Q&A sessions. Such a combination bridges the gap between the lack of interactions during the video lesson, and will probably foster better learning among students because webinars are only available at a certain time for a limited amount of duration to get those burning questions in.

2. In-app games are also great for content creator-student interactions. Video creators can easily understand the strengths and weaknesses of users by looking at the results of the designed games and produce educational videos that address the common mistakes users are facing. BlaBla’s in-app games bridge the gap between users and content creators to facilitate better learning outcomes in a fun and engaging way!

By Noelle Wang, from Content Creator Strategy

1. Lack of Real-Time Interaction

It is not uncommon to see the unauthorized sharing of online resources. When the videos we created and shared with the world have great value to them but require payments to access, there is a potential risk of violation of copyrights.


1. However, copyright laws with regards to online content and videos are also stronger than ever, with YouTube as an example. Users and companies who illegally copy and steal online intellectual properties will suffer serious consequences and damage to reputation, including being taken down from the online platforms that they were once active on forever.

2. Can’t wait to get started becoming a stay-at-home Video Content Creator/ESL Teacher with BlaBla? Apply here!