TOEFL stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language. It is given to international college students to determine whether they are fluent enough in English to handle the requirements of typical college reading, writing and in-class participation. Test preparation materials and professional development resources for teachers are available online from the TOEFL website. However, there are relatively few requirements to become a teacher who prepares students to take this test, other than a bachelor's degree and fluency in English at the level of a native speaker.
Decide where you would like to teach English as a foreign language. This will determine the educational qualifications and certifications needed. If you would like to teach in an American college or university, for example, you'll probably need a master's degree in TESOL, (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. However, if you would like to teach English in a non-English speaking country, a bachelor's degree is usually sufficient. Unless you have teaching experience, you should take at least one college-level course in English as a Second Language (ESL). These courses are available online and on-site at many colleges.
Research your prospective jobs as a TOEFL teacher online using the listings at the ESL Cafe and at Transitions Abroad. (See the links in Resources, below.) Apply for opportunities that will advance your personal career goals, which may even include immersing yourself in a new culture abroad. Submit your resume along with a cover letter or email explaining what qualifies and attracts you to the position.
Ask your prospective employer about some important aspects of the position as a TOEFL teacher: The number of hours per week that full-time teachers of English as a foreign language generally work is between 15 and 20. This gives you time to do the grading and lesson planning. You should also discover how many different courses you will be expected to teach. Each new course will require you to create a different lesson plan for each class session, whereas several sections of the same course can use the same plan. Also find out whether you must provide your own textbook or whether there is already one set. Discover whether you will have Internet access on the job.
Join Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Incorporated. This is a professional organization that provides resources, professional development and a community for the teachers wherever they live and work around the world. Before your first class, profile the students so that your conversational topics will be relevant to them. Make sure that you learn as much as possible about the students' cultures, languages and the conditions in which they find themselves. If your position will involve a move to a new country, prepare yourself by learning as much about its culture as possible. Then make sure your new employer assists you to obtain any necessary visas and also provides information about where you should look for housing.
Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.