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Home / Education / Say it right

Say it right

Language teaching involves teaching a foreign language to ­students. Language teachers work in a variety of educational ­establishments — from schools to ­universities and colleges.

education Updated: Aug 06, 2013 14:36 IST
Hindustan Times
Culture-vulture-A-language-teacher-should-have-knowledge-of-the-culture-society-and-history-of-the-language-she-is-teaching( )

The lowdown

Language teaching involves teaching a foreign language to ­students. Language teachers work in a variety of educational ­establishments — from schools to ­universities and colleges. A ­language teacher should know everything about the culture, ­society, history of the country and the people whose language he/she is teaching. In other words, a foreign language ­cannot be taught effectively without imparting the ­socio-cultural and ­historical aspects of the language concerned. Moreover, a ­language teacher should not only understand the level, aptitude, need and requirement of the learners but also he/she should be familiar with various foreign language ­teaching ­methodologies, tools and methods of teaching. Increasing ­globalisation has created a need for people who can ­communicate in multiple ­languages, thus the demand for language experts is very high. Work as translators or foreign embassy jobs can be lucrative options and also allow you to work with interesting people.

9am: Reach department
9am - 11am: Take classes/lectures according to the timetable
11am - 11.30am: Visit ­chairperson’s office with colleagues during break time, exchange views and ­discuss matters related to ­students, study materials, tests and term papers, and other matters of the department
11am - 1.30pm: Check term papers, prepare for the next day’s lectures
1.30pm - 3pm: After all these ­activities, if any time is left, utilise it for research work

The ­payoff
Language trainers are paid on an ­hourly basis, which can be around Rs. 600 to Rs. 700. It can vary from ­institution to institution. A graduate in ­foreign langauge like Japanese, Korean etc, can draw a salary amount which is three to four times more than teaching posts in central universities

* Be a master of foreign language in order to produce masters
* Knowledge of various language teaching methods
* Ability to experiment with new teaching methods
* He/she should be capable of ­generating interest in learners and enhancing their level of ­proficiency

Getting there
A master’s degree or equivalent qualification in the foreign language concerned. MPhil/PhD is a ­mandatory qualification for teaching certain foreign languages, especially the European languages. But for East Asian languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese, the minimum qualification required is an MA degree. It is mandatory to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) ­conducted by the UGC twice in a year. In a private institution, one can become a language teacher if one has interest in teaching and has sufficient knowledge of the language concerned

Institutes and URLs
* Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi;
* University of Delhi;
* MOSAI Institute of Japanese Language, New Delhi;
* Alliance Française, New Delhi;
* Goethe-Institute, New Delhi;

Pros and cons
* A challenging and promising field to be in
* Despite all the efforts one may make, it takes time and hard work to completely master a foreign language
* There might not be openings for language you have mastered

As the Japanese proverb goes, ‘oshieru wa manabu no nakaba’ (teaching is half learning), a foreign language trainer is not just a teacher but a student as well --- PA George, professor, Centre Japanese, Korean and North East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi