Would you take piano lessons from a teacher who doesn’t know how to play the piano?!
It sounds unbelievable, but every day in countries around the world, people learn subjects from teachers who have never actually learned the same subject! In the world of ESL, this is the case for a lot of native-English speakers who complete a TESOL certification course and go abroad without having ever learned to speak, read or write a foreign language.
It is possible to teach someone a foreign language without having mastered a foreign language oneself, and TESOL courses serve to bridge that gap of lack of practical experience. Nonetheless, a TESOL-certified teacher who has never learned a foreign language is still teaching a subject that they have no personal experience with, and this does have an impact on students.
About the Author: Erica completed the 250-hour TESOL Diploma. She has more than 9 years of experience in Japan.