Career Development

16 Language Teacher Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Language Teacher skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Language teachers have the important job of helping their students learn a new language. They need to be able to effectively communicate in the language they are teaching, as well as have a strong understanding of grammar and syntax. In addition, language teachers need to be able to adapt their teaching methods to fit the needs of their students.

Classroom Management

Classroom management is the ability to maintain order in a classroom. This includes knowing how to handle disruptions, such as when students are talking or playing with their phones during class time. It also means being able to redirect student attention back to you and your lesson plan. For example, if a student asks a question that isn’t related to the current topic of discussion, it’s important for you to be able to redirect them back to the subject at hand.

Language Acquisition

Language acquisition is the ability to learn a new language. Language teachers often need to know multiple languages, including their native language and the language they teach. This can help them communicate with students and understand course materials. It’s also important for language teachers to be able to acquire new languages quickly so they can continue learning throughout their careers.

ESL Teaching

ESL stands for English as a second language, which means you teach students who are learning English. ESL teachers often have to instruct their students in both the native and secondary languages they’re studying. Having knowledge of ESL can help you develop lesson plans that cater to your students’ needs. It’s also important to be able to communicate with them effectively so you can understand what they need from you.


Organization is the ability to keep track of your tasks and materials. As a language teacher, you may have many different types of assignments for each subject area. It’s important to be organized so that you can find what you need when you need it. This also helps you stay on task with your own learning goals as well. You may want to create an organizational system that works best for you.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Language teachers often have to be flexible in their schedules and lesson plans, as they may need to change them on short notice or alter their class schedule if a colleague is absent. Flexibility can also help language teachers adjust to unexpected challenges that arise during class, such as when students don’t understand a certain concept or topic.


Language teachers often work with students who speak different languages. It’s important for language teachers to be able to translate their lessons into the native language of their students so that they can understand what is being taught. This skill also helps language teachers communicate with other faculty and staff at their school, as many people may not share a common language.

Curriculum Development

Curriculum development is the process by which language teachers create lesson plans and activities to teach their students. Language teachers who have strong curriculum development skills are able to design engaging lessons that help students learn new languages effectively. This skill also allows language teachers to develop unique ways of teaching their students, which can make them more effective in the classroom.

Intercultural Communication

Language teachers often work with students from different cultures, so it’s important for them to have strong intercultural communication skills. This ensures that they can communicate effectively with their students and understand the cultural differences between them. For example, a language teacher may need to explain certain classroom rules or expectations in ways that are more relevant to their students’ backgrounds.


Patience is the ability to remain calm and composed in stressful situations. As a language teacher, you may need patience when working with students who are learning a new language or skill set. You can use your patience to help students feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their thoughts. This can allow them to learn more effectively and develop confidence in their abilities.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. Language teachers often communicate with their students through verbal or written means, so it’s important for them to be able to explain concepts in a way that all of their students can understand. Strong communication skills also allow language teachers to relay feedback to their students effectively.

Cross-Cultural Competence

Language teachers often work with students from different cultures, so it’s important for them to have cross-cultural competence. This means that they can adapt their teaching style and lesson plans to meet the needs of diverse student populations. For example, a language teacher who is familiar with various cultural customs may be able to teach English more effectively to international students.


Tutoring is the process of providing students with one-on-one instruction to help them improve their skills. Language teachers often use tutoring as a way to instruct students on how to read and write in another language. For example, if you’re a Spanish teacher, you may provide individualized instruction to students who are learning English so they can become fluent in both languages.

Public Speaking

Public speaking is the ability to speak in front of an audience. This skill can be useful for language teachers because it allows them to present information clearly and confidently, which can help students learn more effectively. Public speaking also requires effective communication skills, so developing these abilities can help a language teacher develop their public speaking skills.


Creativity is the ability to think of new and innovative ways to solve problems. Language teachers often use creativity when creating lesson plans, as they may need to find unique ways to teach students about complex topics. Creativity can also help language teachers come up with creative activities that keep their students engaged in class. This can be especially important for language classes because it’s common for students to get bored if they don’t understand what they’re learning.

Motivational Speaking

Motivational speaking is the ability to inspire others and encourage them to achieve their goals. Language teachers often use motivational speaking skills when they give feedback on student work or during classroom discussions about learning new languages. For example, a language teacher might tell students that they can learn a new language if they practice hard and believe in themselves.


Leadership skills are important for language teachers because they can help you to motivate your students and encourage them to work hard. Strong leadership skills also allow you to maintain order in the classroom, which is especially important when teaching languages as it requires a lot of attention to detail. For example, if one student asks a question that another student already answered, you may need to redirect the class’s attention back to the original speaker.

How Can I Learn These Language Teacher Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a language teacher. One way is to take a language teaching course offered at many colleges and universities. This type of course will give you a foundation in language teaching methods and principles. You can also find many resources online that can help you learn about language teaching. There are also many professional development opportunities available for language teachers. These opportunities can help you learn new techniques and strategies for teaching languages.


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