Can I teach even if I am not a native English speaker?

As I’ve explained in previous articles, there are now so many different ways to teach, both online and in the physical classroom. Even if you are not a native English speaker, and even if you want to teach a language other than English, there are so many options available to you!

Many potential teachers are put off by the requirements of a lot of jobs which require a native like proficiency of English or to that you should be from a native speaking country, such as the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or South Africa. This is especially the case if you wish to teach on government programs like EPIK, in Korea, JET in Japan and the ADEC program in the Middle east.

Many programs, such as EPIK, require applicants to be citizens of one of the 7 native speaking countries.

However, things are slowly starting to change. In some countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam, there are more and more opportunities for non-native speakers to teach English or other languages such as French, German or Spanish. Even in countries like the UK, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, many non-native English speakers are finding it much easier to find work as qualified teachers in schools and universities teaching English and other subjects.

When it comes to online teaching, there are also quite a few options available. As i’ve mentioned before, italki is a fantastic platform for teaching any language, as are Cambly and Verbling. For all 3 websites, you do not need to be a native speaker of English to teach on these platforms, so this can be a great way for you to build teaching experience in English, and also make some extra cash while helping wonderful students to improve their language skills. When it comes to teaching languages other than English, italki and Verbling seem to be the two best options, in terms of student numbers and consistent bookings and ease of use, but you may need some level of English in able to communicate with your learners.

For some insight into teaching a language other than English, I spoke to one of my first ever italki English students, Cherry, who is also a Thai teacher on italki. She has been teaching Thai for around two years, and even though she is not a native speaker, she began taking English lessons in order to assist her in teaching Thai, as she can use English to explain some ideas and concepts to beginners.

I recorded a short interview with her where she shares her story of teaching Thai online and how she became successful teaching Thai on italki. If you are interested in either learning or teaching Thai you can contact her on the links provided in the youtube video below, or visit her website: https://rianthaikruucherry.com/.

If you have any questions about learning or teaching online, please feel free to comment below, or you can do so in the video:

Interview with Cherry, who teaches Thai online.

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