Do I need to know the local language to teach English overseas?
A frequently asked question we receive from prospective new students is if they need to speak the local language to teach English overseas. The answer to that is no, definitely not. TESOL is all about total immersion of the English language for students, which means you’ll be speaking English 100% of the time in the classroom. Remember, as a native speaker, you already speak perfect English! And all your resources will be provided for you. These are usually in the form of study books with a special teacher book (just for you) which has all the answers. A TESOL course will teach you everything you need to know to be the best teacher possible, so it’s smooth sailing in all your classes.
English, English, English!
In fact, students are encouraged not to use their native language in class, as it will reduce the impact of the lesson on their language development. Students are excited to learn English and it’s normally a highlight of their school week, even for adult learners. When you get into the classroom you can rest assured that you were born into the international language of the world, English! That’s all you’ll be expected to speak in. It’s a fun experience, so enjoy this amazing opportunity to teach and travel the world.
There may be some rare instances if you are teaching absolute beginner students where a second bilingual teacher may be present in the classroom. In this case, you would be teaching students very basic words and phrases using flip cards with pictures. The assistant teachers would be on hand to help you translate anything you need to communicate the class. But as mentioned, this is very rare because most classes will be at a minimum pre-intermediate level, so they will already have a functional grasp on the English language.
Welcome to TESOL
The majority of our graduates go overseas with next to no knowledge of the local language. But more often than not, you will pick up words, phrases and maybe conversational language, depending on how much time and motivation you have to learn a second language. This is one of the great benefits of becoming a TESOL teacher abroad. The ability to experience different cultures and languages while getting paid to explore the world. It also looks good on your resume for any future employers. And it’s a fun way to impress your friends.