The vast majority of people who begin to teach English abroad make a big career change to do so. With no related work experience and probably being unsure of what the job entails they can encounter difficulties particularly in the beginning. Furthermore without experience finding work can be a real challenge. However there is a way to get ahead. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses are designed to provide basic knowledge and skills needed to teach English. Unlike training for other professions or for teaching other subjects these are very short courses lasting a matter of days and not years.
Over the past few decades the standard 4-week course has become the teach English abroad industry standard. If an employer asks for TEFL this is what they mean. The body that accredits the course gives the award credibility. Names like CELTA and Trinity are recognized and respected the world over. Lesser known organizations should be treated with caution and should be investigated beforehand. The program should contain at least 6 hours of actual teaching practice. Cost is inevitably a factor for many. TEFL courses are expensive from $ 1,800 to $ 2,800, but almost all who do them agree that it is well worth the cost and effort.
Another cheaper option for anyone wanting to teach English abroad is Online TEFL. Usually costing less than half the price of a standard course the online option does have its drawbacks. Employers recognize that there is no practical teaching involved and courses are usually far less intensive and comprehensive. Therefore they are not nearly as helpful in obtaining employment or knowledge of the subject. If an employer will hire you with on online award then they would most likely have done so without any qualifications.
For those who already have teaching English abroad experience there are opportunities to get advanced qualifications. DELTA is widely recognized as a level up from CELTA. Teachers can also do postgraduate degrees in the subject. Unless you are working in a university or the Middle East you are unlikely to be asked for this level of qualification.
The download guide, Teach English Abroad has much more detailed information including relevant links on TEFL and finding the right course. The download package cover all areas of starting a successful English teaching career.