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Become A Foreign Language Teacher

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Working As A Foreign Language Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $46,975

    Average Salary

What Does A Foreign Language Teacher Do

High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

Duties

High school teachers typically do the following:

  • Plan lessons in the subjects they teach, such as biology or history
  • Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach students in full class settings or in small groups
  • Adapt lessons to any changes in class size
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams to monitor progress
  • Communicate with parents about students’ progress
  • Work with individual students to challenge them, to improve their abilities, and to work on their weaknesses
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and administrative policies
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, at lunchtime or during detention

High school teachers generally teach students from the 9th through 12th grades. They usually specialize in one subject area, such as math, science, or history. They may teach several different classes within that subject area. For example, a high school math teacher may teach courses in algebra, calculus, and/or geometry.

High school teachers may teach students from different grades throughout the day. For example, in one class they may have students from the 9th grade and then in the next class they may have 12th-grade students. In many schools, students are divided into classes on the basis of their abilities, so teachers need to change their courses to match the students’ abilities.

High school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. They may teach the same material—for example, world history—to more than one class if the school has many students taking that subject.

Some high school teachers instruct special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

When they do not have classes, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and meet with other teachers and staff.

In some schools, teachers of English as a second language (ESL) and teachers of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) work exclusively with students who are learning the English language. These students are often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). These teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and help them with assignments for other classes.

Students with learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders often are taught in traditional classes. Therefore, high school teachers may work with special education teachers to adapt lessons to these students’ needs and to monitor the students’ progress.

Some teachers maintain websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information and to expand a lesson taught in class.

Some high school teachers coach sports and advise student clubs and other groups, activities that frequently take place before or after school.

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How To Become A Foreign Language Teacher

High school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most states require high school teachers to have majored in a subject area, such as science or history. Teachers typically enroll in their institution’s teacher preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology as well.

In teacher education programs, prospective high school teachers learn how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek high school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in a subject area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are generally not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

High school teachers typically are awarded a secondary or high school certification, which allows them to teach the 7th through the 12th grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to requiring a bachelor’s degree, states require teachers to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. States also typically require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge in the subject they will teach. Some states require teachers to have a minimum grade point average as well. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Often, teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either type of program.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to undergo a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and gain experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with other teachers and special education teachers. In addition, teachers need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. High school teachers must be patient when students struggle with material.

Resourcefulness. High school teachers need to explain difficult concepts in terms students can understand. In addition, they must be able to engage students in learning and adapt lessons to each student’s needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to be mentors or lead teachers. In these positions, they often work with less experienced teachers to help them improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals. Becoming a principal usually requires additional instruction in education administration or leadership. For more information, see the profiles on school and career counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, and elementary, middle, and high school principals.

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Foreign Language Teacher jobs

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Foreign Language Teacher Career Paths

Foreign Language Teacher
High School Teacher Special Education Teacher Education Director
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Program Coordinator Academic Adviser
Academic Director
8 Yearsyrs
French Teacher Instructor Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher ESL Instructor Program Coordinator
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Interpreter And Translator Specialist Coach
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Language Instructor Instructor Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Language Teacher Language Instructor Adjunct Professor
Curriculum Director
9 Yearsyrs
Interpreter And Translator Senior Technician Specialist Assistant Professor
Dean
5 Yearsyrs
Language Instructor ESL Instructor English Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
French Teacher French Instructor Instructor
Director Of Instruction
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Program Coordinator Outreach Coordinator
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
High School English Teacher ESL Teacher Pre-K Teacher
Director Of Teacher Education
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Trainer Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Communications Director Education Director
Educational Program Director
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
ESL Teacher Kindergarten Teacher Assistant Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
High School Teacher ESL Teacher Kindergarten Teacher
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
ESL Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Language Teacher Spanish Teacher Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
9 Yearsyrs
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Foreign Language Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

62.6%

Male

32.9%

Unknown

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

71.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

10.2%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.4%

French

16.5%

Chinese

7.3%

Mandarin

6.6%

Russian

6.6%

German

6.0%

Italian

5.8%

Arabic

4.7%

Portuguese

3.1%

Korean

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Dari

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Turkish

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Croatian

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Romanian

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%
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Foreign Language Teacher Education

Schools

University of Florida

11.7%

Middlebury College

7.4%

Old Dominion University

6.4%

University of New Orleans

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Ohio State University

5.3%

Howard University

5.3%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.3%

University of Phoenix

5.3%

University of Georgia

5.3%

New York University

4.3%

Brigham Young University

4.3%

Georgia State University

4.3%

West Virginia University

4.3%

American University

4.3%

University of San Francisco

3.2%

Michigan State University

3.2%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.2%

State University of New York College at Oswego

3.2%

George Washington University

3.2%
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Majors

Linguistics

14.2%

English

10.8%

Business

10.3%

Education

10.3%

Elementary Education

7.9%

Area Studies

4.7%

Psychology

4.2%

Teaching English As A Second Language

4.2%

Educational Leadership

3.9%

Political Science

3.7%

History

3.4%

Communication

3.2%

Spanish Language

2.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.9%

Law

2.6%

International Relations

2.6%

Biology

2.1%

Global Studies

2.1%

Secondary Education And Teaching

2.1%

Anthropology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.7%

Masters

33.0%

Other

15.2%

Doctorate

6.0%

Associate

3.1%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.5%
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Real Foreign Language Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Teacher-Secondary School Foreign Languages North Shore Central School District Glen Head, NY Jul 01, 2015 $130,291 -
$134,695
Teacher-Secondary School Foreign Languages North Shore Central School District Glen Head, NY Aug 01, 2015 $117,185
Foreign Language Teacher-Mandarin Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District Hewlett, NY Aug 15, 2016 $87,139
Foreign Language Teacher (Mandarin) New York Preparatory School DBA The Dwight School New York, NY Dec 04, 2016 $86,070
Foreign Language Teacher (Mandarin) Grace Church School New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $80,000 -
$90,000
Foreign Language Teacher (Mandarin) Grace Church School New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $80,000 -
$90,000
Teacher-Secondary School Foreign Languages North Shore Central School District Glen Head, NY Jun 09, 2016 $74,119
Foreign Language Teacher (Mandarin) The Brearley School New York, NY Sep 14, 2015 $68,000 -
$78,000
Foreign Language Teacher The Brooklyn Waldorf School New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $63,700
Foreign Language Teacher, Mandarin Chinese Riverdale Country School, Inc. New York, NY Nov 26, 2016 $62,621
Chinese/Japanese Foreign Language Teacher Frederic L. Chamberlain Center, Inc. Middleborough, MA Aug 29, 2016 $62,000
Foreign Language Teacher (Mandarin) The Brearley School New York, NY Sep 14, 2015 $61,000 -
$71,000
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-Euless Euless, TX Jan 08, 2016 $45,490
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth Fort Worth, TX Aug 15, 2016 $45,490
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-Euless Euless, TX Aug 01, 2016 $45,490
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth Fort Worth, TX Dec 31, 2016 $45,490
Foreign Language Teacher School of Science and Technology San Antonio, TX Sep 15, 2016 $45,350
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio San Antonio, TX Aug 03, 2015 $45,350
Department Chair of Foreign Languages/French Teacher St. George's Episcopal School New Orleans, LA Aug 20, 2015 $44,907
Foreign Language Teacher The Martin Luther School NY Aug 15, 2016 $44,700
Foreign Language Teacher-Turkish Harmony Public Schools Brownsville, TX May 16, 2016 $43,000
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-El Paso El Paso, TX Sep 27, 2016 $42,890
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-El Paso El Paso, TX Aug 03, 2015 $42,890
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-El Paso El Paso, TX Sep 09, 2016 $42,890
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony School of Innovation-El Paso El Paso, TX Sep 30, 2015 $42,890
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony Science Academy-Dallas Dallas, TX Jan 08, 2016 $42,850
Foreign Language Teacher Harmony School of Innovation-Garland Garland, TX Sep 30, 2016 $42,850

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Top Skills for A Foreign Language Teacher

ClassroomManagementTechniquesForeignLanguageCurriculumCustomLessonPlansForeignLanguageDepartmentForeignLanguageProgramSpanishLanguageLiteratureHistoryESLMandarinAdvisorProfessionalDevelopmentLanguageSkillsGradeLevelsForeignLanguageClassesIIILanguageLearningLearningStylesLanguageAcquisitionTargetLanguage

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Top Foreign Language Teacher Skills

  1. Classroom Management Techniques
  2. Foreign Language Curriculum
  3. Custom Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and correlated Spanish History with the United States History for the 8th grade Foreign Language Curriculum.
  • Worked in conjunction with foreign language department in curriculum design and instructional strategies.
  • Initiated new scope and sequence for district foreign language program to better accommodate students for high school courses.
  • Created and administered Spanish language curricula and exams for honors and regular level classes.
  • Provided instruction in literature and cross-cultural studies.Created instructional resources for use in the classroom.

Top Foreign Language Teacher Employers

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