How Do You Become A Foreign Language Teacher?

Foreign Language Teacher If you want to become a foreign language teacher, you need to understand that teaching involves more than just knowing more than one language. Even if you are fluent in English and a second language, you still need to know how to break that language down into easy to understand terms for your students. Many of the best foreign language teachers also spend time working abroad and studying in college before taking on a teaching position.

Apply for College

College is one of the steps required before you can become a foreign language teacher, but applying for college isn’t always as easy as you might think. When you major in other topics, you can send in a copy of your high school transcript, your essay and any other items required with your application packet. Applying for a foreign language program often requires that you demonstrate your knowledge and experience with that language. You need to show that you took courses in high school and that you understand the language. Many schools also require that you pass a proficiency test. If you score too low on that test, you’ll need to take lower level courses until you pass the exam.

Study Abroad

College gives you the chance to spread your wings and learn more about dozens of different subjects, but college also lets you study abroad. Foreign language teachers must know more than just what they see in their textbooks. The way that people talk in real life often differ quite bit from the information found in your books. When you study abroad, you have the chance to improve your accent and perfect your dialect, which can help you better explain words and teach your students how to read, write and communicate.

Meet the Requirements of Your State

If you are bilingual, you might find open positions in private schools and tutoring centers that don’t require a college degree. To become a foreign language teacher in a public school, you need a degree and a license. Though each state requires that teachers take different steps before getting a license, most require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and the successful passing of a background check. Other states have a skills test and applicants must receive a minimum score on that test before receiving a license. A handful of states also ask that teachers agree to work on a master’s degree while teaching.

How Much do Foreign Language Teachers Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for foreign language teachers is high. In 2012, the number of teachers working in this field increased by three percent at the same time that the median wage among those workers increased. The BLS found that the median wage of those teachers was more than $58,000 a year. Though the bottom 10 percent of language teachers earned closer to $30,000 a year, you can still make a comfortable living when you first start out.

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Spanish and French are two of the more common foreign languages taught in private and public schools, but some schools also offer classes in Latin, German and other languages. Teachers need to know the ins and outs of those languages, but also how to teach reading, writing and speaking to their students. To become a foreign language teacher, start with earning your college degree.