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From Linguistics to Pedagogy: A Career as a Foreign Language Teacher

Career as a Foreign Language Teacher

Do you know that there are more Spanish and Mandarin native speakers than English? There is a country called Monaco, which is one of the richest nations in the world and it speaks French. While English is a global language for Business and Science, still many local languages are important to engage in cultural connections in the word. Thus, many people are today opting for foreign languages. Hence, foreign language teaching is a profession that is quickly picking pace.

Foreign Language teaching involves educating pupils in languages apart from English. Some of the most used foreign languages are French, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin. Foreign languages have become important with different countries opening up to different forms of interaction including trade. Many countries across the world have opened up their economies to ease business operations, import and export. Pupils who are well versed in different languages have a wide scope of opportunities available to them across countries. Students visit colleges in different countries as exchange students; this is when they are required to know different languages for better communication. Foreign Language Teachers teach students languages which they want to learn.

Why become a Foreign language Teacher?

Foreign language teachers help students in learning foreign languages, straight from teaching them how to write it, to teaching them to speak and understand the language fluently. When teaching a new language, you will be focussing on different aspects such as speaking (pronunciation), writing (grammar and vocabulary), reading (speed and understanding abilities), listening comprehension and communication etiquettes.

Foreign language teachers generally break their curriculum into different levels and sublevels of learning, and each level focuses on the skills mentioned above. Each student has to pass the level exam and only then can they move on to the next. As they upgrade to the next level, the grade of difficulty increases.

As a foreign language teacher, you must have excellent command over the language you’re teaching in, as well as the language you’re teaching. You will be required to have excellent communication skills to make sure your students understand you clearly.

Students of different age groups (children and young adults, and adults) have different ways of learning, and you, as a teacher, must modify your teaching methods accordingly.

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What does Foreign language Teacher do? 

Following are your key roles and responsibilities as a foreign language teacher:

  • Introducing the new language to them by telling them a little about the origin of the language, the culture of the people and the country.
  • Teaching them how first to write the text of the language, and then slowly teaching them how to read and write basic words and sentences.
  • Making students interact in class to help them learn to speak. You can start with teaching them basic words that they use in their daily lives and slowly progress to short sentences.
  • Helping them improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in the new language by regularly giving them homework and practice material.
  • Creating class-wise lesson and study plans as well as checking students’ homework.
  • Conducting tests and keeping a check on the progress of each student and providing feedback to help them improve.
  • Organizing events related to the culture and language lessons such as introducing students to foreign movies, music, cuisines, types of literature, etc.
  • Giving practice techniques and exercises for students to maintain their fluency even after they finish the course.

How to become a Foreign language Teacher – Eligibility Criteria 

To become a Foreign Language Teacher, you will be required to become a specialist in the language and therefore it is better that you start studying the language of your choice at least from the undergraduate level and obtain a Master’s degree.  Alternatively, you can also learn a language through different levels from a foreign language training institution. After your Bachelor degree in the language of your choice, you can also do a Master’s degree of the postgraduate diploma in Teaching of a Foreign Language. You can choose your option from many languages, some of those are:

  • Afrikaans
  • Arabic
  • Bahasa
  • Cantonese
  • Catalan
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Educational Fees

The educational fees to become a foreign language teacher is somewhere around Rs. 60,000 to 1600000. 

Job Opportunities

As a Foreign Language teacher, you may get job opportunities in:

  • Schools which offer foreign languages as part of their curriculum
  • In various institutes offering foreign language courses
  • In universities and colleges offering foreign languages as subjects in undergraduate and post graduate levels
  • Corporate organisations which have overseas businesses or serve foreign clients

Salary of Foreign language Teacher

If you start working at another language training institute, you can earn a salary of Rs. 12,500 – 30,000 per month. The salary can also vary depending on the number of classes you conduct per day.

If you start working with a corporate company as a trainer or a language specialist with 0-2 years of experience, you can earn a salary of Rs. 30,000 – 43,000 per month.

With 3-8 years of experience at a training institute, you can earn Rs. 500 – 800 per session.

With 3-8 years of experience, you can work with a corporate company as a consultant and earn a salary of Rs. 40,000 – 1,00,000 per month.

As an assistant professor, you can earn Rs. 55,000 – 60,000 per month. As an associate professor, you can earn Rs. 1.20,000 – 1.80,000 per month. As a professor, you can get a monthly salary of Rs. 1,40,000 – 2,25,000 at a university/college.

Career Progression as a Foreign Language Teacher  

  • If you work as a professor at a college or university, you can start working as an assistant professor. After gaining some work experience, you can work as an associate professor, and then as a professor. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc.
  • You can also start your own private classes or join recognized institutes that teach foreign languages. Some corporate companies approach professionals too to train their employees for basic interaction skills in a foreign language.

India has the world’s largest population of about 500 million in the age bracket of 5-24 years, and this provides a great opportunity for the education sector. The education sector in India is estimated at US$ 91.7 billion in FY18 and is expected to reach US$ 101.1 billion in FY19.

Moreover, availability of English speaking tech-educated talent, democratic governance and a strong legal and intellectual property protection framework are enablers for world-class product development,

With globalization growing at a rapid rate, it has become essential for students and professionals to learn different languages, be it for students going abroad to study, or businessmen going abroad for business trips. With a country growing at such a fast rate, a skill like this is essential.

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