Can I teach English abroad without knowing the local language?

When we talk about language preparation for teaching English overseas, two wrong perceptions are often generally considered true:

  1. You can't teach English overseas if you can't speak the local language;

  2. You're required to know a second language if you want to teach English overseas.

    Well, don't worry. Here we'd love to make some correction for these misconceptions and tell you the truth based on personal experience!


Can I teach English abroad without knowing the local language or I'm not a bilingual? I want to say, OF COURSE, YOU CAN! You can definitely teach English abroad even if you cannot speak the local language of the country where you want to work. Actually, what you need for such jobs are the following things:

  • Fluent English (Native English will be more welcome.)

  • Bachelor degree (Any major will be OK.)

So, it's not a mandatory requirement for you guys to speak the local language when you teach English in a foreign country. Locals tend to admire foreign language speakers more than back in the west, On the contrary, if you're a native English speaker, you will be more popular with locals, as they generally want to speak English at any opportunity.

Of course, if you have the desire to learn the local language, it won't be that difficult, so long as you are patient and practice! In my experience, firstly you immerse yourself into the language. Then you can have the courage to put yourself into the environment where locals speak their the language you're learning. Or you can also attend a class in which only the language you're learning. In these ways I'm sure you can more or less acquire some spoken language even if your language skills are poor.

If you're honestly afraid of being incapable in the language that your students speak really well, that's fine! There still be many a extra-linguistic tools that you can utilize to improve your teaching quality and effectiveness without the ability of speaking the local language:

  • Pictures and small videos

  • Gesture language

  • Material objects

  • Graphical methods

Such similar tools mentioned above can do you a favor when you're presented with the words, phrases or sentences, then you can describe them like antonym, synonym, etc.

Instead of interpreting word by word from the local language to English, in this way the pupils would prefer the learning atmosphere of what you're teaching, not depending on how you work for them.

Is it necessary that I should be bilingual or master a second language when I teach overseas?

As we have mentioned previously, it's not real that you have to be capable in speaking the local language so that you could teach English abroad. However, is it necessary that I should be bilingual or master a second language when I teach abroad?

I would reply you, “Sure.” Not just knowing English but other languages will absolutely offer you specific horizons or skills during the teaching. Because in the process of learning a new language, you personally experienced how it can work or what you should do. Such this transposition consideration will help you a lot when you teach English in a new country. But it won't be mandatory requirement.

You can get a teaching English overseas job on account of you 're qualified as an educator as well as your fluent English. Being able to speak a second language or various languages really doesn't matter too much for most of ESL employments.

Well, now you have know you don't have to master another language when teaching overseas, yet here are two questions that you might be doubtful if you should know a second language:

  • How will I be interviewed if I can't speak the local language?

  • What do you think about when indeed dwelling in a new country?

Don't be nervous while being interviewed. They will hire you thanks to your professional knowledge in English teaching, so you will be much possibly interviewed in English.

That also means that you're not the only one to speak English at your workplace but as well as some of your colleagues. Basic conversations in English with you will be OK then.

So now it is clear for you that you don't have to speak a second language. But what if you really settle down in a new country?

Getting by a new country when you don't speak the local language.

When you are new in a strange country whose culture and language are totally different from your home country, you must have a lot to overcome. Even you may go through some cultural conflicts after you begin to get used to the new residence and teaching job. Of course there has a way that will help you deal with this well---to learn some basic phrases and sentences of the local language so as to get yourself ease and cheer up to enjoy your new journey as soon as possible.

Just remember that you will be completely absorbed in the local language and cultural customs while your students all get addicted into English language learning directed and organized by you in the classroom. Affected under such conditions, some of those key terms of the local language must can be caught in your mind.

To teach English under a dedicated conditions where it might be a little hard to catch the feeling firstly, will definitely lead your pupils in to a active learning of what you're teaching. You're qualified to teach here because you're a professional educator and native English speaker. Also there is no more good way but through this having your students to learn a second language by concentrating themselves on English language.

Moreover, another effective tool and teaching way I 'd love to recommend is to take a TEFL course and get a certificate. These courses will be taken under English only from which you can learn many teaching skills about the second language teaching. You will also find that there is no another language required.

So, what's the next step after your understanding the real situation? Well, firstly check the two things!

  • Fluent English

  • Bachelor degree

Of course, if you find you have prepared the two things well, you can visit the website to know more the teaching jobs abroad:

Date published: 29/10/2018 07:56 Page views: 2001