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Having learned a second language can be beneficial for a teacher when teaching a class in English as a second language. I see three main benefits with having the above-mentioned experience before entering a teaching environment. Understanding insecurities As a teacher it can be very beneficial if you have first-hand experience with being insecure in a new language. It will be easier to understand why students might not want to answer a question. This might not be because they don’t know the answer but because of the fear of getting it wrong. If oneself has experienced this fear, at least to a certain degree, it will be easier to encourage others to speak up anyway because of being able to identify with the students on a more empathetic level than a teacher who has never been in such a situation. Most students know that in order to learn a language the best thing to do is to speak it as much as possible even though you might make mistakes, but it is often easier said than done. With the teacher’s own experience of a similar situation it will be easier to create a save environment in which a student doesn’t fear saying something wrong, maybe by telling a story of their own miscommunications and mistakes made in the language that the teacher chose to learn. If a teacher can create this sense of unison between the teacher and the students, the students might be more comfortable to try and speak English. Challenges The second benefit is having the personal understanding of the difficulties of learning a new language and what that inquires. If you have been a student yourself learning another language you understand the importance of speaking slowly and comprehensively much better than the teacher who has never had to learn a different language. The added benefit when the teacher has learned English as a second language is knowing which parts of the language might be harder to understand than others. It is of course important to remember that every student faces different challenges and these challenges also differ depending on the nationalities. A Japanese student may not have the same difficulties as a Portuguese student, but for a teacher who has faced such challenges him- or herself it can be an advantage of being able to identify these problems and adapt the teaching style accordingly. Implementing the foreign language in everyday life Another advantage for a teacher who has been in a similar situation as their students is giving ideas to the students on how to bring the English language into their daily lives. In order to integrate English in their lives outside the classroom it is, of course, important for any teacher to encourage their students to watch English films and giving recommendations of books they could read for their individual English level. However, a teacher who has been at the same starting point of learning a new language can share with the students the things which helped them personally. That could be e.g. labelling all furniture in your home with post-it notes in the foreign language, changing your mobile phone set up to the foreign language or writing down any new words you pick up in a conversation and look them up immediately on your online dictionary to remember the new word better. These are some of the ideas of how you can bring the new language into your home and learn words even when not in the classroom. There are lots of tricks a student can try, and the teacher might know quite a few of them is he or she has learned a second language themselves. When teaching it is always beneficial to be able to identify with your students and having gone through a similar experience as your student can help a teacher in creating this sense of unison.