It’s a question we’re asked over and over again by prospective students:
“English is my second language, can I still train to be a TEFL teacher?”
These doubts are understandable in an industry which regularly advertises for “native English teachers”, even in places like Barcelona where this type of discrimination is against the law. However, here at TEFL Iberia we are big champions of the non native (NN) English teacher, for the following reasons:
There are lots of native English speakers who use grammar correctly, but have no idea what a conditional is. They use these structures through instinct, whereas teachers who have learnt English as a second language are at a massive advantage during a TEFL course, as you will be more used to thinking of English in an analytical way, having studied the grammar already.
You’ll be able to relate to your students’ difficulties and frustrations – it’s a process that you’ve already been through as a learner of English yourself, and this will make you a more patient and supportive teacher.
It’s hard to stay motivated when learning a language, as it takes years to reach any sort of proficiency. But if your students have, as a model, a teacher who has studied a language with enough dedication to then be able to teach, you will inspire and motivate your students. They’ll never be able to say it’s too hard – because you did it!
NN teachers started off as students of English, who loved it so much that they studied to proficiency level and then decided to teach. As a result, they’re often our favourite trainees, because they are so enthusiastic about passing about their passion for language to other people.
However, the most important quality that any teacher can have is the ability to connect with and care about your students – and your native language is irrelevant to this. If you have a passion for teaching, you have a good awareness of language and you study with TEFL Iberia, you’ll make for a fantastic teacher whether you’re from Ireland or Italy – so don’t let yourself be held back by the fact that you’re not a native English speaker!
Contact us if you have any questions about studying as a non-native teacher on our Trinity CertTESOL course.