Spanish is among the most spoken languages in the world by the number of native speakers. It is also very popular among foreign language learners. Where there is demand, there is supply. This means that there is a great abundance of Spanish language schools, teachers and resources available for those who want to learn this language. However, not all schools or teachers are equally good.
There is a popular belief that the best foreign language teachers are native speakers. However, this is just one of the required characteristics. This article deals with the essential qualities that an effective Spanish language teacher should possess and how you can make sure that you choose the best teacher.
Knowledge of the language
It goes without saying that a great Spanish teacher must know the language very well. And just being a native speaker is not enough. Some Spanish language schools hire native speakers who have never been taught to teach Spanish. They may have good command of the language, be remarkably literate and well-read, and even be an accredited expert in another field, such as law or finance.
However, being an effective teacher demands very deep knowledge of the language, its structures, grammar and vocabulary. People who have a university degree in teaching Spanish know the language inside and out, up to the trickiest of rules and peculiarities. They have also been taught the best ways to teach these rules and peculiarities to their students. This brings us to the next point.
Not everyone who knows a language can teach it well. Being an effective Spanish teacher means being skilled in presenting and explaining language materials to students, answering students’ questions in such a way that facilitates learning, selecting and combining the best resources that match the students’ needs, planning and organizing lessons – and many other important skills.
Communication skills are important, as well. It is important for Spanish teachers to build rapport with their students and create a positive and encouraging environment in the classroom. Developing teaching and communications skills takes time, effort and a lot of practice.
In the modern fast growing world, professionals, including professional teachers, have to constantly develop themselves. They do not only need to maintain the skills and knowledge they have acquired, but they also need to keep up with changes, new trends and developing technologies. A good teacher is never fully satisfied with the level they are at. They seek to continually improve and develop themselves to provide the best education possible.
How to make sure you choose an effective teacher
When choosing between Spanish language schools and teachers, there are two things that you should keep in mind. First of all, as has been mentioned above, it is best to choose a teacher who is not just a native speaker but has a university degree in teaching Spanish. This will guarantee that this person has deep knowledge and understanding of the language as well as the necessary teaching and communication skills.
Secondly, you will benefit greatly from choosing accredited Spanish language schools and teachers. Accreditation is a process of evaluating schools and teachers which is meant to confirm that they continually maintain the best standards of Spanish language teaching. If you choose an accredited Spanish teacher that has a university degree in teaching Spanish, you can rest assured that you choose a highly effective teacher.