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What standards should schools have for foreign language teachers?


True2marie
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I will never forget one of my Spanish teachers in high school.  This guy never got out of his seat or put much effort into instructing the class.

Fortunately, I had already taken a few Spanish classes before running into him, so I muddled through his course just fine. Yet, his behavior made me feel as though there should be better stands for foreign language teachers (and teachers period).

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Improve your knowledge of any language online

I think being qualified as a teacher isn't enough. A teacher should be approachable and pleasant. Just like any other teacher, a language teacher especially should interact with the students more since communication is key when learning a language. I absolutely hate those teachers that pretend to be cool and threaten students with fails as though we're primary kids.

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I believe that besides the learning of a given language, they need to be certified, not just to make sure they are proficient in such language but also in teaching.

I have seen many ads in the classifieds calling to people who can speak a second language to work as language teachers, and therefore anyone with this knowledge can apply.

I guess the applicants undergo a quick training course and they are done. No other scholarship is required when it should be.

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Standards for any type of teacher should be high, especially for a foreign language teacher. Unfortunately, not every teacher wants to teach. And the system doesn't help when they pay these teachers such low salaries. I think many of the younger teachers are having a hard time with this and are now asking themselves, is it worth it.

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This is a really interesting thread!  The woman who was teaching us english back when I was going to junior high school knew NOTHING about the language, lol.  She was as clueless as we were!  She guided herself with the text books, but we never got anything done.

All I could learn from her class was:  I'm from Cholula!''  LOL, and I wasn't even sure what that really meant or how right it was.  It was such a mess.  She wasn't a good teacher (in general either), she was in charge of other subjects as well, but she was helpless.  I liked that teacher, but gosh... she was no teacher material!

I heard she was shot dead some years ago... I felt so saddened. She had a family, I hope it wasn't her.  I'm not 100% sure it was her, but odds are she was.

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I think the person should be/have 3 things: knowledge at the language (obviously), knowledge about being a teacher, and knowledge about teaching the age group he/she is planning to teach.

Many teachers are amazing in their knowledge, yet have no clue how to present it to others. So you should have knowledge of how to teach. Not necessarily to have a degree, but if you don't, to pass an interview or exam to show that you know how to teach as well. Things like knowing how to approach a subject to make it interesting, and what study types are there are important.

And last but not least...I think it's important what age group you are teaching. We started studying English as second language from 1st grade, but I was extremely bad at it up until 4th grade. We were learning dry theory with textbooks, and I was a child after all. When I got to 4th grade, we switched to a teacher that brought games with her and divided us to groups to play and interact in English. By 7th grade I was from the best in my class.

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Bummer. But not just language teachers, all teachers should be interactive with students. Make the classes fun and engaging -- communicate effectively. And like a commenter mentioned, language teachers should definitely be communicative. It will better the learning experience for the student.

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