Many people ask us if you need to know the foreign language to teach abroad. The answer is no, because those who use the Communicative Approach to teach English using English only. Speaking your students’ foreign language is not necessary to do you teaching job, but it is very valuable for your experience in the classroom and in your host country.
Here is a series of articles written by OnTESOL graduates to tell you how speaking a foreign language can help you in a big way. You will also find articles written by our TESOL trainers that explain when it is acceptable to use L1 (Your students’ mother language) in the ESL classroom and how to use it properly.
Megan, our TESOL certificate graduate in Morocco says that the English Only Policy is very intimidating for young learners, so being able to speak Arabic and French helped me a lot in the ESL classroom.
Sonia, who taught English in South Korea says that many teachers go years without speaking a word of Korean. For her, learning the basics of Korean language helped her have a better relationship with her colleagues and students. It also helped her have a lot more fun because it meant not getting lost in translation anymore!
Greg, who has a lot of experience teaching English in the UAE says that being proficient in Arabic helped him gain respect from his students and build rapport with them. In turn, they behaved better and were more willing to learn.
Read more: Greg in the UAE
Articles by OnTESOL Trainers on Using the Mother Tongue in the ESL Classroom
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