Is it possible to become a foreign language professor in another language that is not your native tongue?

I've been wondering this for a while, and I'm completely in love with foreign languages and cultures. I have a special interest in East Asian languages, French, a slight interest in Arabic. How successful could I be as a professor/teacher of French? Japanese is my favorite language, and I'm planning on minoring in it in college...I'm pretty sure it isn't possible to teach it if you're not native, but is becoming a japanese language professor possible too? How majors do you recommend for either of these? Thanks so much for your time!

4 Answers

  • ooooo
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, you can teach languages that are not your native tongue. But a BA with a minor in the language is not going to be enough! You will need at least an MA in the language to teach the language as a lecturer/adjunct at a university or a community college professor, or a PhD if you want a solid tenure-track professor job where you would also be teaching classes in literature, culture and/or language teaching methodology, etc. to more advanced undergrads and maybe grad students. And doing research.

    To teach the language in high school, you'd need to prove adequate fluency by passing a test and also get teaching certification, either by majoring in education or by going through fast-track certification after getting your degree with a major in your language. Again, a minor probably isn't going to cut it unless you also spend a year abroad and make friends with native speakers.

    As far as languages go, you're right to assume that if you are a native English speaker, fluency will come quicker in French than in Japanese or Arabic. It would be difficult to become fluent enough in these latter to teach them, but not impossible.

  • Kate
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yes, people are professors in languages other than their native language.

    You would need a PhD in the specific language and you really should have a BA in that language before applying for your PhD. Studying abroad for a full year in college would also be a good idea.

    But it sounds like you might be a better match for high school teaching- many schools look for teachers who speak multiple languages.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am pretty sure you can teach any language you want as long as you go to school and become fluent in it. I think that if you put the effort into it you can do whatever you want to. As for the majors and stuff you should talk to a counselor.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's very possible. Go for it.

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