Asian College of Teachers Logo

Do You Need To Learn A Second Language As A TEFL Teacher Or Not?

2nd December 2022

Congratulations!!! You have landed your dream job.

You have packed your bags and are ready to go to your favourite destination to teach English abroad. But you have one question in your mind, should you learn the native language of the country in which you’re going to pursue your teaching English as a foreign language?

The answer is No. If you don’t know the native language of the country in which you want to teach as a TEFL teacher online or in class, this factor will not prevent or become a hindrance. English is the only language you need to know as a TEFL teacher.

Moreover, learning the native language will certainly give you an extra advantage. Because after finishing your job you have to live in that country as well.

First, let’s get to know what your life will look like on a daily basis as a TEFL teacher in a foreign land, and then we will know the benefits of knowing the native language of the country in which you’re going as a TEFL teacher.

1. In-class or Online Class Experience:

This is the part for which you’re preparing yourself for many months in an In-class TEFL certification course, so this will be the easiest part to deal with. Because in the TEFL course you get to know all about how to teach English to a non-native English speaker effectively.

In the initial days, you might feel difficulty, but as time progresses your job of teaching English as a foreign language will get easier. You just need to find an easier and simpler method of teaching English to teach students, and then you’re all set.

2. Outside of the class experience:

Now here you might feel that you’re missing out on the opportunity to know the culture of the foreign country where you’re teaching because of the language barrier. You will feel the need of learning their native languages when you’re missing out on socializing, during shopping, or anywhere where you need to interact with the locals.

One suggestion from us: Without learning, their native language does not go to local shops for shopping, chances are they will take advantage of your inability of speaking their language and may charge you a hefty amount of money for the products.

Now let us get to know how to learn a second language for your benefit:

1. Private or Group language lesson:

As you have a commitment to teaching English as a foreign language as a TEFL Teacher, it’s better to join the Private or Group classes where the curriculum’s been set and it will require commitment from your end to complete it within time.

Therefore, the chance of you slacking off will be less and you will make good progress.

2. Online language lessons:

Sometimes it may happen that in your locality there are no tutors or classes available. Then you can go to the online class’s route. Online classes have their own benefits such as- online classes being more flexible with time, you can learn from the best teacher, etc. Make sure to do some Google research and reviews before hiring any teachers for language learning.

3. Find a language partner:

Other than the orthodox way of learning a language, there is one more way to learn which is to find a person or group who’s willing to help you learn their native language and in return, you can help them learn English.

However, you may ask how you can find these people in a new Country. The answer is you can join any club locally, find people on social media around you to connect with them, Public or Private schools in which you’re teaching, and people around you where you’re staying.

4. Keep a Journal:

Whatever lessons, words, or phrases you’ve heard or learned, try to write them down in a journal every day and make them a habit. At the end of the day, reflect on what you’ve learned and try to practice those learning for at least 30mins before sleep.

Benefits of learning a second language:

1. Build Connections:

The major benefit of learning a second language opens a gate of opportunities to connect with different local people in the country.

Speaking the native language of any country will make you approachable, opens more career opportunities, you can make good friends from that country and most importantly you will not feel “FOMO”.

2. Understand your student psychology:

As a TEFL teacher, while you are teaching English as a foreign language to students, you can have a better understanding of their nervousness and anxiety.

Because now you’re also in the same boat of learning a new language as your non-English speaker students.

It will give you an advantage, you can share your way of learning a new language with them for better and fast learning new language.

3. You’re welcome everywhere:

If you can greet everyone in their own language and can strike basic communication then you will get accepted and welcomed everywhere, whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, or even by a local shopkeeper as well.

4. Give a boost to your TEFL CV:

Generally, most of the TEFL teachers who go to teach English abroad mostly go with the intention to return to their home country after a few years. Therefore, if you also have this plan then learning a new language during your tenure as a TEFL teacher gives a huge boost to your CV. It shows the hunger for learning and to know the culture wherever you go.

Final thoughts:

While there’s absolutely no need of learning any second language to fulfill your duty as a TEFL teacher which you have become by doing an In-class TEFL certification course and you may also find a group of people who are just like you and you can live in that bubble.

But what’s the benefit of going to a foreign country and not knowing their language and culture?

But learning a new language isn’t a walk in the park. Especially if you have just shifted into a new place and trying to settle down.

Someday, you might feel that learning that second language is hard to learn, but remember those early childhood days of yours when you learned your native language by just picking up the language around your environment.

To learn or develop any habit you just need to have patience and be consistent in your learning a second language journey and you will get successful for sure.

Written By : Abhishek    Share

Leave a Reply