Should Every Language Teacher be a Language Student?
Should you practice what you preach?
Does it strike you as strange that, as language teachers, we teach something many of us have never done? I’m talking about learning a second language to a high level.
For those of us that have learned or are learning a language to a reasonable level, we can empathise with our students and help them to a greater degree.
Many schools give language learning support to their teachers, with a complimentary lesson or two a week, but that’s not enough. To reach C1 level (or even B2) on the Common European Framework, it’s going to take a long time.
For those of us that haven’t started, is it worth it?
The Benefits of Being a Language Student
You have more empathy with students — you know the long learning process they’re going through.
You have an improved practical knowledge of grammar and pronunciation.
You have another perspective to gauge your activities and lessons. Often you can discard low-worth activities because you know from your experience that they’re a waste of time.
I’ve found that older students respect you more if they know you speak another language (especially theirs!).
You can communicate with students’ parents more easily. This may not sound like much, but it can be helpful.
If you’re teaching in the same country as the language you’re learning:
You get a far richer experience of living abroad by interacting more deeply.
Plus, it’s just fantastic to speak another language!
So if you haven’t already, give some thought to starting to learn (or re-starting!).
See you again in two weeks.
Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:
1. Learn how to plan better, faster and stress-free with my book Lesson Planning for Language Teachers (90 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).
2. Develop calm students, a relaxed mind and a classroom full of learning with my book Essential Classroom Management (16 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).
3. Improve your teaching in five minutes daily with my Reflective Teaching Practice Journal (4 ratings, 4.5⭐ on Amazon).
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