- Choose a good course. The main, intial qualification is called the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) or Cert TESOL (Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language).
- Don't waste money on an 'introduction' or 'starter' course. They aren't worth anything to potential employers and are a waste of both your time and money.
- Do not waste your time or money taking an online teacher certification course. You will just be throwing your money away. Any half reputable school will not hire someone with such a qualification. Those who will are the bottom of the barrel types, that will hire anyone breathing that can speak a little English. Schools that are worth teaching for will still tell you to get a CELTA or a Trinity CertTESOL, even if you already have your online teaching certificate. Any reputable course will have at least 6+ hours of observed in class teaching practice with mentor feedback.
- The CELTA course generally takes 4 weeks, full time and can be very intensive. Alternatively, you can study part-time over approximately 12 weeks.
- Take a good, accredited course, even if it costs more money and takes more time. You will find that it is worth the investment when you start looking for jobs. With a proper certificate you are much more likely to be offered a good contract with decent conditions and salary.
- Get a recognised qualification. The two most recognised certificate qualifications are: Cambridge University's ESOL (English as a Second Language) CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL. International House, London regularly offers Cambridge CELTA courses, both full-time and part-time, as well as an online course.
- The course is a combination of theory and practice. There are input sessions which explain the theory of language teaching, grammar, vocabulary and skills teaching. There are also practice sessions in which you are expected to plan and deliver an English language lesson to a group of foreign students. In addition, you will observe other experienced teachers teaching so that you can see best practice.
If you would like to make a long-term career out of teaching English as a foreign language, you might want to take the Diploma course, the DELTA, or the Trinity Diploma in TESOL, after you have gained a couple of years' experience.