I first took a language teaching course after I had already learned other languages, and after I had already been working with others to learn languages for many years.
But I figured I’d go ahead and take a teaching course because it just seemed like the conventional/reasonable/professional thing to do.
When I first went into the interview to apply for the course they said that they wanted me to do a test class the following day to a group of fake students. I thought…cool, I’ve been teaching languages for sometime, should be no problem. After they gave me the indications for what they wanted me to do in the test class, I was less enthusiastic.
They said I was supposed to teach a class to a group of very beginners, and they gave me in a folder what they wanted me to teach them. They wanted me to teach a complicated gramatical structure, that me a native English speaker, and someone who had been involved with languages for a few years already, had no idea about.
I raced home and spent time viciously researching grammar trying to figure out what it was. And then to try to plan a class about how to teach this concept. I showed up the next day and gave my class trying to follow their system, and didn’t do a stellar job, but it was tolerable, and I started the language teacher course.
I got really motivated to become the best language teacher possible and got full-fledged into the course. Skip through weeks of going to classes everyday, and also spending hours at home after my day at the training center studying grammar and concepts that I didn’t know before about my own language :)
When I started working at a language teaching company, they came to supervise my first classes, and I remember when a student had a word that they wanted to learn I gave them a couple examples, and since they didn’t get it I just went ahead and told them the word in their native language.
The supervisor jumped in; no no no, he went in a long arduous journey explaining the next word that a student had asked about, explaining the history of the word, how it might possibly be used, when you would not use it, it took about 30 minutes and he did everything short of handstands to try to convey a word.
This whole circus act was to avoid using a single word in their native language that could have made that connection.
Conventional language learning methods use some of the most ridiculous and time wasting paths to get you to where you want to go. Cut out the time-wasters and focus on things that get you using and speaking the language immediately.
If there’s one thing that has helped me to get results for myself and my language learning clients, it’s my interest in cutting out non-essential stuff. Anything that will distract from the application of the language.
Forget the charades, no one needs the sideshow. We don’t have time for that anymore, other people are already avoiding all that junk, and getting results and improving their lives, and so can you. Start learning the essential phrases that will enable you to get out and do what a language is meant for…communicating.