Can I learn a foreign language while teaching English abroad?

Yes. One of the many benefits of teaching English abroad is that it can provide a great environment for learning a foreign language. It is no secret that being fully immersed in a different culture, where you are constantly surrounded by a new language, is the most effective way to quickly develop your understanding. Throughout your time living and working as an English teacher abroad, you will inevitably have endless opportunities to practice your language skills.

What are the benefits of learning a foreign language when teaching English abroad?

As well as using the language as you go about your daily life, there is also a good chance that you will have access to local language courses that are far cheaper than those available in your home country. Another possibility is the network of friends that you will likely make among the local citizens. Often people are more than happy to help foreign visitors to develop their language skills. Another benefit of learning a language in this way is that you will be exposed to the real language as it is used by native speakers, as opposed to the classroom language that is taught in language schools. With natural exposure to local media such as television, radio and newspapers, as well as conversation with the people you meet as you go about your daily business, you should quickly pick up a wide vocabulary that includes idioms and other casual expressions. In short, teaching English abroad offers the perfect opportunity to learn a new language.

Can I learn Chinese while teaching English abroad?

Mandarin is the most widely used language in the world. Considering that China also has the largest English teaching market in the world, it is no surprise that many teachers learn Mandarin whilst teaching abroad. Taiwan is another very popular teaching market where Mandarin can easily be learnt. Although less widely spread, Cantonese is another Chinese language that is popular to learn with teachers living and working in Hong Kong, Macau, and parts of Southern China.

Can I learn Arabic while teaching English abroad?

As it is widely spoken across North Africa and the Middle East, Arabic is the main language used in many popular English teaching destinations. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman all offer excellent job opportunities and the possibility of learning Arabic. North African countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are other options, although the job markets are considerably smaller.

Can I learn Spanish while teaching English abroad?

As the official language of over twenty countries, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Popular teaching destinations for learning Spanish include Spain, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Can I learn French while teaching English abroad?

Although French is spoken in around thirty countries, outside of France itself there are few good options for English teachers. However, within France there are countless great opportunities to work as an English teacher while learning the French language.

What other languages can I learn while teaching English abroad?

There are many other countries that are popular with English teachers where you can also learn another language. Italy and Germany are two of the top countries in Europe for teaching English abroad, and both offer plenty of options for learning the native language. Outside of Europe, Japan has one of the world's largest ESL job markets. Here, many teachers decide to learn Japanese in order to better understand the unique culture.