Do you have a knack for picking up languages fast? Are you also someone who wants to teach and guide others? If so, then becoming a language teacher may be the perfect career choice. Teaching another language is a career that isn’t as uncommon as you think. In fact, they’re constantly in demand so people can speak their desired language in another country. In this article, we’ll be going over how you can become a language teacher.
What is a Language Teacher and What are Their Responsibilities?
We already went over the basics of what a language teacher is. For a little more detail, language teachers educate students on the concepts of a foreign language and how to speak it on a conversational level to complete fluency. Some teachers may choose to work in basic levels or advanced depending on their choice. As for the responsibilities, and ways to speed up language learning, here’s what you can expect to do:
- Mapping out the assignments and activities that are based off the curriculum
- Maintaining order in the classroom
- Introducing students to reading, writing and speaking the language in question
- Showcasing the culture that’s aligned with the language
Being a teacher can be a very fun and rewarding career, but it’s also a lot of work. You must be prepared in mind, body and spirit before anything.
The Education Needed to Become a Teacher
Now that you have a general idea of what you can expect to do as a language teacher, let’s go into what you need to become one. The first step is to have the proper education. More specifically, you need to start by getting your BA in foreign languages or linguistics. This can cost an average of $55,000 or more depending on the college and state you’re in. However, you don’t necessarily have to pay this amount if you decide to go part-time. If you choose to go to college part-time, you’ll be eligible for half-time student loans. Half-time student loans are for people who plan on studying only half of the intended number of credits for a degree.
Not only does this give you a more flexible schedule, you also won’t have to worry about paying too much on your student loans. But your degree isn’t all that’s needed; you also need to show proof of experience. Becoming a teacher isn’t as simple as jumping into a classroom and lecturing students. Teaching isn’t always easy, especially for first-timer teachers. That’s why it’s important to have some experience under your belt first. You can do this by getting an apprenticeship or internship. In fact, this is actually mandatory to have as it’s what helps you get certified. But it’s important to keep in mind that every state has their own requirements for becoming a teacher. Some of the rules may differ, so it’s best to check with your state’s guidelines.
Consider Getting Your TEFL Certificate
With so many different languages to learn, there are many types of language teachers. If you don’t want to teach a foreign language, like Italian, French or Japanese, you can teach English to foreigners. If you go this route, you’re going to need your TEFL certificate. TEFL is short for teaching English as a foreign language. These are necessary to have for teachers looking to work and study abroad. To acquire this certificate, you’ll have to take a TEFL course, which takes around 120 hours in total to complete. At first glance, this may sound like a lot of time. However, it’s shorter than it actually appears.
In fact, you can choose how you want to get it. The program can last about four weeks to as much as six months depending on your choice. If you go the four-week route, you can expect to put in at least 30 to 40 hours a week in your studies. Just remember that shorter courses do come with more rigorous work, so it’s going to require your full attention and dedication to complete appropriately. Choosing the six-month route gives you a little more freedom and the work isn’t as complicated at first.