Have you ever wondered what it would take to start teaching English as a foreign language? For native English speakers, there are often many opportunities for traveling overseas and teaching English language arts to students in another country. You may be wondering if you have to already know another language when teaching English to others, but some of the best English lessons are often the result of a teacher who only knows English and therefore forces the students to speak in English to communicate. This method of teaching where you force your students to only speak English is known as the direct method or the natural method of teaching a foreign language, and focuses heavily on correct pronunciation and gaining conversational skills.
The first skill you will need to master to start successfully teaching English as a foreign language is the ability to use body gestures and signs effectively. Many students find that they learn a new language better when they are forced to speak only English in the classroom. By refusing to use your student’s native language, you force them to learn English by first using your body language and gestures to teach them new words, and then using what they’ve learned to build even more knowledge. This pattern of learning closely mimics the way babies and infants learn a language, and therefore this method of teaching often ‘sticks’ better than using rote memorization of English words.
Another important strategy when teaching English is to have your students practice common phrases until they feel completely comfortable with those phrases. This technique is often used with diplomats and allows the student to focus heavily on correct pronunciation and accent. For example, teaching the English equivalent of common greetings, questions, and idioms can go a far way towards teaching English language arts. It’s important when teaching any language to focus on the most useful and common phrases first, so your students are able to start conversing right away. There are hundreds of English teaching guides that will help you choose what sorts of phrases and words to focus on first.