Teaching Other Languages
We’ve been getting some emails and messages lately asking about the possibility to teach languages other than English. This is a great area to look into if you are a native speaker of another language such as Spanish, French, German, etc. We realize that not everyone is a native English speaker or speaks the language at the native level in order to qualify to teach. What we want to do is address three areas. First, do I have to be a native English speaker to teach English? Second, what qualifications do I need to teach other languages? Third, where can I market myself?
Do I have to be a native English Speaker to teach English?
The simple answer is no. Many non-native speakers have attained a native level of English through studying and applying themselves. This is something that is measurable and the company hiring you would have you take a speaking and written evaluation to determine your level. Often times non-natives have a better understanding of grammar because they have had to study it in-depth and learn the reasons behind the rules. This puts them in a good position to be able to teach it to others. When I was working at a language academy in Bilbao there were English teachers from Poland and also Spain. Also we have a friend that teaches English online that is from Holland. One thing that we always tell others that are looking into getting into teaching English is that it is not much different from having a Bible study in a sense. We are very well equipped because of the training that we learn from the Theocratic School and this puts us at an advantage compared to most people.
What qualifications do I need to teach other languages?
This is where things get a little more confusing. While English is by far the most popular language taught there are many other languages that people teach. Some of these languages are Spanish, French, German and Italian among many others. Understanding what qualifications are needed to teach English is pretty easy. You would want to obtain a TESOL/TEFL certificate such as the one that we offer on this site. But when it comes to knowing what you need to teach other languages finding information can be more difficult. The company that we work for Learnship has language trainers in a variety of languages besides English. On the link that we provide on our blog we update the languages that the company looks for on a regular basis. Here are some qualifications that they look for in some of the more common languages. For Spanish there is the ELE Certification. This is a certification for teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Keep in mind that having this Certificate or a degree can make you stand out but it is not always necessary. Here are some resources to learn more about the ELE Certification. This certificate can be obtained online or onsite.
We’ve also received some questions asking about teaching German. Our company looks for the following qualifications/certificates when hiring German teachers. The DAF (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) or DaZ (Deutsch als Zweitsprache). One thing to keep in mind is that to teach German usually requires a degree along with the certification. Here is a good resource to learn more.
Another common language that is taught is French. Since we have a French background and were in the French congregation for over ten years we are particularly interested in this field. For French teachers it is common to obtain the FLE (Français langue étrangère) Certificate. This is what our company looks for. For more information and resources on FLE you can check out the following link.
Where can I market myself?
What is interesting about those who choose to teach languages other than English is that they usually have less competition than their English teaching counterparts. This is simply because there are usually less people that speak these other languages and that are actually qualified to teach them. For example, here are some numbers from Italki one of the biggest platforms for private teachers online. Currently there are 752 professional English teachers registered. Compare that with 222 Spanish teachers, 96 French teachers and only 53 German teachers. So you can see that with such smaller numbers there is a greater chance of obtaining students and supporting yourself. In addition to marketing yourself on sites like italki you can also check out other teaching platforms such as lingoda and verbling. These types of platforms only cover the online teaching realm which is really the minority when it comes to teaching. For other opportunities you could look into teaching at physical academies or also giving private classes where you live. We hope that this information is helpful to those that may be considering teaching English as non-native speakers or to those who are looking to teach other languages such as Spanish, German, or French. As always if you have any questions or you found the information useful reach out to us by email at [email protected] or leave a comment below. Subscribe to our blog to receive updates and check back every Sunday for new posts!