How Language Teachers Can Learn by Teaching Abroad
Teachers should always strive to improve their knowledge and skills. Language teachers should especially work to increase their fluency and vocabulary if they plan on effectively teaching the subject.
From attending continued education classes to language exchanges, language teachers have many options for improving their speaking ability. The best way to become fluent and sharpen language abilities is to teach or study abroad.
How You Can Learn by Teaching Abroad
Traveling to a New Country
Although teachers can always study or travel abroad, these options are often out of the price range of the average education professional. To make ends meet, teaching abroad is the easiest and most cost effective option. Teachers can make money while they hone their skills.
With the rise of English as a trading language, people around the world are trying to learn English. This high demand for English lessons means that foreign language teachers can go abroad and teach English. While they are there, they can pick up slang words, idioms and nuances in the local language. Teaching abroad also enables the language professional to learn about the culture of the area and gain insight to the traditional practices. By using the language in their everyday life, teachers can gain a priceless experience and speaking capability.
Grants and Summer Programs
Not every teacher can afford to leave their full-time job in their home country. For these individuals, there are semester and summer programs that they can do. Korean language teachers can often teach summer camps or winter camps abroad and have the cost of their airfare covered. Similar programs exist in Japan and China.
Japan also has a unique program run by Westgate University. Teachers in this program teach for just one semester. If they choose to work for a year, the cost of their airfare is refunded. The program also covers the cost of an apartment and lesson preparation is kept to a minimum.
Although it can be difficult to find a temporary teaching job abroad, teachers can always find unique volunteer opportunities. At schools like Pueblo Ingles, teachers can stay for a short while as a volunteer. Located in Ireland, Pueblo Ingles is an immersion program for Spanish adults. Teachers who choose to work with this program will enjoy free food and accommodation while they make new friends.
Words of Advice
Not every language school is created equal. There are some camps and organizations that are not good employers. To make sure the program is a good one, teachers should always talk to former English teachers at the organization. They should also carefully look at the contract. For paid positions, teachers should always make sure that the program will provide them with some sort of work visa so they can work legally in the country.
Some of the volunteer positions abroad ask the teacher to pay a fee. Although these are often legitimate organizations like Habitat for Humanity, there is no reason a teacher should have to pay someone else to work. The teacher is helping the school with their services and should be provided with either pay or accommodations.
Teaching abroad is the experience of a lifetime.
Nothing enhances a teacher’s ability to converse in a foreign tongue the same way an immersion experience does. Do the research beforehand and go abroad to have the ultimate language learning opportunity.
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My recent experience in trying to find a teaching position after finishing my 120 hour certificate was that nobody was interested as I have had no teaching experience and am not the holder of a degree of any kind. Life experience was not taken into consideration.
I really agree with this "Teaching abroad is the experience of a lifetime.", but the only problem is that some schools do not accept Nonnative-English-Speaking Teachers even if they are qualified for the job. So I suppose that native-English-Speaking Teachers are naturally better than nonnative speakers, which can be a mistake by the way.
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