So, you’ve finally found what it is you want to do for a living, but how do you start helping others to learn Italian?
If you’ve set your sights on becoming an Italian teacher, having a passion for the language and culture of Italy is essential.
In the UK, there are thousands of Italian teachers.
On Superprof, there are 55 face-to-face Italian tutors in London alone!
Whether you like the classroom environment or the flexibility of privately offering Italian online lessons would better suit your lifestyle, there are plenty of options when it comes to teaching Italian.
There are lots of things to consider.
Would a primary or secondary school suit you better? What about teaching at a sixth form college? Could you manage being self-employed, or would you want to be part of a private tutoring agency? What qualifications do you need to pursue your career as an Italian teacher?
Becoming a teacher isn’t always an easy path to follow.
There are many ways to get into helping others learn to speak Italian fluently, and it may take a while before you find a teaching arrangement that suits you.
From online higher education Italian courses to getting qualified at a university, there are many ways you can gain the knowledge you need to become a tutor or teacher of the Italian language.
Teaching demands a lot of work outside of your teaching hours, such as planning Italian language lessons, organising timetables and gathering educational resources.
Regardless of your choice of route into teaching, never forget the importance of your teaching method when it comes to teaching what you are passionate about.
School isn’t the only place for teaching and learning.
There are many places and organisations dedicated to sharing knowledge – particularly in the case of language learning.
Italian language learning groups come together to share in a passion for Italian culture as well as practising the romance language that goes with it. This means they are there to help you learn about Italian grammar and vocabulary as well as practicing your conversational Italian.
Some are free, others are available to join for a fee.
Some groups meet in cafés, others have their own schools ¦ source: Pixabay – StockSnap
As a budding teacher, reaching out to these Italian learning associations can be a good start if you want to try out your teaching skills with a small group.
Just like the cultural centres which are also great places to earn your stripes, you can teach Italian or organise workshops about Italy and its culture.
For instance, you could hold Italian cooking workshops or Italian cinema nights, which provide an entertaining and motivating way for students to spend time around the language and continue to study Italian in the future.
Teaching in non-classroom environments will teach you how to adapt to all kinds of students who vary in age, learning styles and ability.
It will also give you an opportunity to reflect on your teaching style and find out how to adapt your methods for the needs of your students.
This is also a great way to network.
Meeting other Italian teachers, Italian native speakers and other group members is great if you want to get into teaching full-time. These people share the same passion as you and may be able to provide advice on your next steps to becoming an Italian home-tutor.
You may also find that feedback from any teacher or learner you speak to inspires ideas for lesson content and teaching methods.
If teaching in a school environment appeals to you, you’ll need specific, government-approved training.
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds! With an emphasis on the English baccalaureate (which requires that students take one at least one language at GCSE level), languages teachers are in demand.
This means the government is doing all it can to attract people towards language teaching careers.
You can get a bursary of £26,000 to help you with tuition fees for your teacher training, as well as living costs.
It’s up to you whether you decide to train at a university or in a school, as long as you earn your Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
The path to training as a teacher is the same, regardless of whether you want to teach Spanish, Maths, English, Chemistry, or Portuguese.
For some, the idea of working in the public sector in a state school doesn’t offer enough stability, and some don’t like the layout of the curriculum.
Fortunately, language institutes are always on the lookout for new teachers to provide Italian language courses for those who want to learn a language.
With the diversity of languages spoken in the UK, it’s not difficult to find a private language school which is not associated with state teaching.
Generally, they offer Italian courses for all levels with an aim to help students achieve proficiency in their language skills as well as give them a taste of new languages if they so wish.
Some institutions offer intensive language express courses, which are made possible by teams of dedicated teachers with flexible schedules in the long term.
As a teacher in one of these organisations, your main roles will be to instruct learners in Italian language and culture as well as prepare students for upcoming exams.
Teaching in a private organisation almost guarantees motivated students ¦ source: Visualhunt
This may seem daunting, but rest assured that the students at these schools are there because they are passionate and motivated about learning a new language and perfecting their Italian pronunciation and conjugation of verbs as well as their reading and listening skills.
Having a good understanding of the basics of Italian such as common Italian phrases, learning how Italian verbs work, placement of adjectives and relevant Italian vocabulary is essential for students who wish to take their learning experience further.
The fact that they attend each Italian lesson outside of their formal education to learn a language is a good reminder of their dedication.
These learning centres are not bound to a national curriculum; however, they tend to follow their own teaching programmes which are approved by the management.
If you’re just starting out, having a structure to follow can help you find your feet. Depending on the centre you go to, you may have more freedom in your teaching once you become more confident.
If teaching in a classroom environment doesn’t appeal to you, don’t despair! Private tutoring jobs are a great career route for those with teaching talent.
Some people get tired of working in one place, and find it difficult to work under someone else.
If this sounds like you, don’t let your teaching talent go to waste – private tuition is a viable option!
Independence in your profession and flexibility in your schedule are the characteristics of tutoring that attract so many would-be schoolteachers to private tutoring.
For one to one tutor jobs, you have say on your working hours and your students.
But can you do this without any teaching qualifications?
There is no specific certificate required to teach Italian as a private tutor, and you don’t even need a PGCE (which is essential to becoming a schoolteacher).
However, it always helps to have relevant training and certificates, as these act as proof of your skills.
You’ll also be more attractive to prospective clients if you have a good academic background in addition to your Italian speaking skills.
Another thing to bear in mind is keeping your language active – you don’t want your written or spoken Italian to get rusty, so make sure you give yourself plenty of opportunities to practice your Italian conversation with a native speaker.
One way to keep your language fluent by speaking Italian is to take a trip to Italy and make the most of your immersion in the culture and its official language whenever you can.
Whether it’s a holiday or work placement over Summer, being surrounded by people who speak Italian as their native language and having to use your language will ensure that you Italian listening and comprehension skills are always up to standard.
Your own level and fluency in Italian will affect the level of students you are able to teach.
For example, if you’re studying Italian at university, you’ll be in a good position to teach Italian for beginners, with greetings and the alphabet as well as basic Italian words and phrases up until around GCSE level or even further, depending on your confidence.
If you’re bilingual or are 100% fluent in Italian as a foreign language, you can teach students until they too are fluent and have a good command of Italian expressions as well as knowing when to use them.
Your qualifications, experience and level of knowledge are all things to include when you’re advertising as a private tutor.
Although tutoring technically doesn’t require any qualifications, they definitely help ¦ source: Pixabay – maura24
There are many ways you can get your name out there as an in-home tutor in your local community or as a webcam tutor for those who want to learn Italian online.
To advertise in your town or city, there are lots of things you can do.
Creating posters and flyers to display in local shops is a good start since this catches people’s eyes when they’re out and about. Even if they themselves don’t want to learn Italian, they may know someone who does.
You could also contact your local newspaper and pay a small fee to publish your advert in the announcements section.
Online platforms are also a good solution to attract those who head to the internet to find a tutor.
On Superprof, you create your own profile and detail your skills as well as fixing your own rates.
Superprof also gives you the option to provide Italian lessons in-person and via webcam, so the choice is yours!