Language Teacher jobs(Also known as )
A language teacher teaches foreign languages to native English speakers. With the advent of a global market economy and relatively cheap long-haul flights, speaking another language has never been as important or popular as it is today. Whether it be for business or personal reasons, speaking a foreign language opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities for further learning. It is a well known fact that the only way to understand another culture completely is by learning its language, as nuances in grammar, diction and etymology are bound to the history and character of those who speak it. Language teachers immerse their students in situational learning roles where the object is to learn to converse, read, write and even learn in a language other than their native one.
SalaryLanguage teachers who work in schools are paid a yearly salary. The salary for secondary school teachers is as follows:
- An NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) starts on a salary of £20,627 per annum.
- This rises incrementally until it reaches a maximum of £30,148 per annum.
ResponsibilitiesA language teacher’s daily responsibilities include the following:
- Preparing original class materials
- Organising a schedule across several locations
- Preparing written and oral tests for students
- Conducting private or group classes
- Marking homework and tests
- Invoicing clients for work completed
QualificationsLanguage teachers are usually expected to be either native speakers of the language they are teaching or hold a university degree in it. Native speakers should have a good level of secondary school education and preferably a degree also. There are professional courses for the continuing development of language teachers, such as the following:
- CILT The National Centre of Languages
SkillsA language teacher should have the following skills and personal attributes:
- A patient and calm manner
- Excellent organisational skills
- A love of teaching and passing on knowledge
- Interest in language and culture
- Superb communication skills
- Authority to control and direct a group of people
Working ConditionsLanguage teachers work mostly from a classroom, or in the case of private students, in their place of work or at home. Most of the work is done in these arenas, but in addition there is marking and preparation to be completed, which takes place either in an office or at the language teacher’s own home. Secondary schools operate from 9 am to 4 pm for a five day week, 39 weeks of the year with the rest as holiday. Marking is additional to these hours and also eats into the designated holiday. Because of the amount of marking required, secondary school teaching actually has quite long hours. Language teachers working in a private school or college, or for a language agency have extremely variable hours. Teachers in this situation are free to make up their own schedule as and when classes are available for them to teach. For example they may choose to teach private classes during the day to business customers at their place of work. Alternatively they may opt to teach evening classes at a language school or institute, or a mixture of the two options. Weekend work is also an option. Teaching a group of adults can be demanding although it is generally not as stressful as teaching a group of children. Besides this, long hours, marking and preparation make language teaching a demanding job. The joy of seeing students progress and helping them to achieve their goals makes it an extremely rewarding job, however, and well suited to those who enjoy personal interaction in their careers. The freedom of a flexible routine also appeals to those with multiple commitments.
ExperienceLanguage teachers should have a solid knowledge of their speciality language and culture. Time spent working or studying overseas will look good on a CV. Look into exchange programmes and immersion courses overseas. Any teaching or supervisory work is also beneficial, as is working with groups of people, either adults or children
EmployersPrivate language agencies and schools are by far the biggest employers of language teachers. Check your local listings for schools in your area and contact them directly.
Career ProgressionLanguage teachers often go on to become teacher trainers who instruct other professionals in teaching theory and practice. Supervisory or managerial roles are also open to language teachers with some years of experience.
Vicens Colomer, 43 is ADos (Assistant Director of studies) of Modern Languages at International House in London.