First, it is important to note that most foreign language teachers in the world today are not native speakers of the language they are teaching. For instance, in Japan, the vast majority of English teachers are Japanese nationals. This is generally not considered a problem because many people view English an international language that does not belong to only persons in countries where it is spoken as a native language. In addition, the generally accepted goal of foreign language learning is to become a competent user of the foreign language, not a perfect one (which is, of course, impossible). This idea is in harmony with the presence of so many instructors who do not speak the foreign language like a native speaker.
Teachers working in the field of TESOL can find themselves in a wide variety of educational positions, but the one constant is that the foreign language instructor is responsible for helping students acquire better listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the foreign language. They also often need to help their students acquire ’support’ skills such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Because the acquisition of foreign language skills is so important in so many cultures and nations, foreign language instructors can be confident that they are helping their students develop skills that can often lead to a better, more successful life.
Temple University Japan Campus offers TESOL courses at both its Tokyo and Osaka centers.
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