You do not need to speak another language to teach English abroad. In fact, you might be at an advantage if you don’t.
It means you won’t be tempted to explain English rules in your pupil’s own language. They will have to work hard and listen to your every word!
The communicative approach to teaching English requires that the teacher speaks only in English and you may very often find yourself teaching a class of people with several different mother tongues, so having another language may not actually be very much help at all.
In the classroom you should be speaking in English at all times. It is better that you don’t need to speak a foreign language to teach abroad. This is because it helps your students to become accustomed to English language and pronunciation.
Situations where you think you might need to speak a foreign language
What about speaking at the interview?
When you’re being interviewed for a job teaching English as a foreign language. You will be spoken to in English. You’ll most likely be working for an English academy and they will have English speaking staff. The interview will enable any prospective employer to hear your pronunciation and gauge how well you communicate in English. You definitely don’t need to speak a foreign language to teach abroad or get a job.
How will I manage outside the classroom?
Of course, it can be daunting to go to a country where you don’t know the language. But, many countries that want TEFL teachers have plenty of people who know some English. You’ll soon learn the basics. And, until then you can use a translation app on your phone to get your message across.
You won’t be alone either. Other teachers at the school will help and advise you. You may even share accommodation with a work colleague. Don’t worry and enjoy the experience. Here’s a list of some of the most common TEFL locations where you’ll find English speakers:
If you want to learn the local language you will have time to take classes or join a language group. Attempt a few words when you go shopping or for a coffee. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn in a short time.
So as you can see it is not necessary to speak a foreign language to teach abroad, as English should be spoken at all times in the classroom.