I run the Teacher James site, and wanted to give some feedback. Teaching online in Taiwan usually is at a discount from the normal one on one tutoring rate. But, it just depends on how you set it up with your student. For example:
1. One of our teachers teaches a private student twice a week, once in person and once online. He charges $750NT for the in person fee and $600NT for the online fee. The "in person" class they usually go over grammar textbooks, etc. The "online" lesson, they do discussion over topics. The student likes it because the online lesson is automatically recorded and so the student can go back and review the discussion. Also, since we use a special Classroom Interface (not SKYPE or MSN) with a whiteboard, screenshare, and chat box, it's much easier for the student to "understand" the teacher i.e., during the discussion, the teacher will type out a lot of the harder words that he/she is saying in the chat box and the student can read it simultaneously while listening to the voice. This way, the student can follow a lot more of the conversation.
2. Also, some of our teachers set up weekly classes of 3 to 4 students per class. Charge them $150NT-$200NT each (very reasonable for a semi-private class) and now the hourly rate is $600-$800NT. If you specialize in something (like law or business english or medicial english) you can charge up to $1000-$1500NT. It's alot easier to set up these type of 3-4 person classes online because everyone can login from their home so it saves huge on travel time.
3. Recently, we just signed up a company way out in "Jiou Fun" which is more than an hour away from Taipei. The company makes machines that manufactures clothing and sends out a lot of their technicians abroad to service the machines. They have partners in 90 countries, so it's imperative that their technicians can check into hotels, order meals, etc. at the very basic level up to completely English proficiency to service techs. Anyway, since they are far away from Taipei, it is very hard for them to find an English teacher to come to their company and teach every week (they have 35 students). So now, they agreed to try out Teacher James and take classes from our teachers.
They will be taking 10 classes a week (each class has 3 students in front of a 24 inch Computer Screen in a conference room with a very nice, anti-echo microphone. In this way, we act almost as a "school". We went out and recruited teachers to teach from their own homes and created some lesson plans for them. We trained all of our teachers (a quick training course) on how to teach over the internet. Our lesson plans include much more than just chat online. They include YouTube clips, articles, online games like Hangman, etc....much more stuff that you can find online on other educational websites. Each teacher is paid $600NT pay take-home for this company. And of course the teacher doesn't have to leave their house, spend time or money traveling to work.
We hope to be signing up more companies in the future so we are always looking for teachers who want to be a part of the "Teacher James staff".
But, I just wanted to do a post here and hopefully give some insight into what's possible online through us. If anyone has any questions about online learning or the Teacher James site, please don't hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd be happy to do a demo for you as well (or you can go straight to our homepage and watch the 3 minute demo about how the site works).
PS: Anyone that charges $350NT for a one on one private lesson is getting ripped off...or they are not a native English speaker. Doesn't matter if it's online or in person. That is a very low price for one on one.