3 Vital Skills for Teaching A Foreign Language

3 Vital Skills for Teaching A Foreign Language

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an excellent language teacher?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!!!

Whether you’re beginning your career path in teaching, or just want to bring life back into the classroom, maybe you want to explore the idea of becoming a foreign language teacher or you just want to create your own language platform or app, take a look at the 3 vital skills needed to be successful in this domain.

Lacking understanding of native language

What do we mean by this? You’re probably thinking, what has the targeted language got to do with our own native mother tongue?

Here’s a little secret….

More often than not, when you speak an international language such as English, you fail to see the relevance in continuing to learn.

So, how can we change this attitude?

It’s very simple. Ask the learner a few basic questions about their native language. We guarantee you 74% of learners have no idea about grammar and structure of their own native language and why we use it the way we do. Both grammar and structure are tightly interconnected. If one knew how to explain grammar rules, it certainly builds one’s curiosity and urges the learner to find out why? We all want to be able to explain ourselves.

That is why feeding one’s curiosity permits confidence and allows one to discover holes that need filling. Hence, in turn can also work for the targeted language you’re learning and makes it easier for you to master.

Teacher’s need to be able to apply this technique to keep the learning party focused and keen.


Enthusiasm is rare

Do you agree with this statement?

Languages cannot be taught, they can be learnt.

If that’s the case, why teach? You need to look at the person sitting across from you and take a genuine interest in them. No matter what position you find yourself as a teacher, there is an element of observation and analysing on your part.

Your targeted language learner is your audience and as with any audience, they want to be entertained.

This is where you need to fully transmit your Enthusiasm. Now we are not just referring to making the session fun and active but you as a person. If you can show positive and welcoming body language, be fully present, be live in the moment and enjoy every second of it, the energy that you transfer helps overcome your students trials and obstacles. Having enthusiasm inspires people around you and it’s this that helps  your mind work in diverse ways.

This all goes back to your own motivation of being a teacher whether that’s in the classroom, online or building your own business in this sector. People love enthusiastic people so why not be that ‘someone’ who is genuinely interested in subject at hand or gets excited by it’ to focus your learners attention back to learning.


Anything that shows the target language being used in practical situations will emphasise the value of the language.

We all compare things, situations, people, lifestyles, phones, apps, gadgets and the list goes on…..

So we ask you, why not languages?

Comparison in languages help students connect and relate to something they already know.

Taking a real-life ‘buzz’ topic and launching a discussion around this can capture even those with the shortest attention spans. For instance, you can be assured that around 90% of learners have a twitter, instagram or facebook account.

Use these to create interesting content or teaching material. Take a hot topic and compare what people are saying in both the native language and targeted.

And to make even more thought-provoking, let your learner pick the topic that connects to their passion and  interests.

This strategy can  enhance motivation without forcing them to study the old school dull subjects that might divert their focus elsewhere.


We hope you find these tips useful, of course you can adapt the methods according to your own personal circumstances. We appreciate and recognise that teachers are also on an evolution path and they mature and grow with experience.

If you have any awesome methods you would like to share with our community, we would love to hear them and I’m sure so would our readers.


Comments ( 5 )

  • Air

    it very interesting

  • You can make as much as games as you can, also. Specially at the ending phase of the lesson.
    For instance, you can play with location prepositions hiding colour fichs or tokens troughout the classroom (or behind your webcam’s vision) and making your learner to search them, or asking for their location.
    Another idea is to prepare a board game with dices and fiches where each square contains a word, and each player must say a phrase for each one, and it must be correct to go on the board in order to reach the ending square.

    Congratulations to the ELE staff. I find this article not only useful, but amazing. Thanks a lot.

  • *Congratulations for it, Chayal.

  • Thanks Enric.

    I really like your suggestion too and I, thank you for sharing 🙂

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