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February 2017

Jobs that Can Help You Improve Your Language Skills

Part-time jobs that can help you learn too

Whether you live in a foreign country or you’re looking to improve your skills in your target language, finding work related to the language you are studying can aid improvement. Not all foreign language jobs require complete fluency for good performance. For many jobs, your proficiency with your native language may be the bigger qualification that makes you a desirable candidate. For example, if you’re a native French speaker living in Italy, your knowledge of the French language may make you stand out to organizations that cater to the French, as fewer locals in Italy speak the language fluently.

Independent Tour Guide

Suppose again you are a French student studying Italian. Tourism would be a good industry in which to find work, particularly as an independent tour guide catering to the French. Many people in Italy do not speak French fluently, making you a stand-out candidate even if you are not completely fluent in Italian. As long as you can converse competently to get things done, you can still be a good tour guide to French visitors. What’s most important is that you serve as a bridge between tourist and location. Of course, you would learn more Italian in the process, as it would continue to help you with your job.

If you are still in your home country, you could find part-time work for tourism agencies online. They often need help with writing online content, and this is something you can do without leaving your country.

Private Lessons for Intermediate-to-Advanced Students

Providing private lessons is a good job opportunity for someone who knows two languages, even if the target language isn’t at complete fluency. This may seem like a strange concept, as a teacher fluent in both languages is obviously a better teacher. However, when teaching a new language to someone, it’s more important that you use the taught language more than the native language. For example, if you are teaching French in Italy, it’s more important that you have native competency with French than Italian. It would be better for your student, in fact, if you spoke as little Italian as possible. Of course, this is easier when teaching more advanced students, as they will already have basic comprehension of French. In the process, you could fine-tune your knowledge of Italian.

With free video conferencing software widely available, it’s easy to be a language teacher online, even within your home country. You could even exchange language services: you teach your native language while they teach you theirs.

Online Translation Services

Of the three jobs listed here, providing translation services requires the most fluency in both languages, especially for business/professional writing. In many cases, you must have great mastery of both languages, at a level beyond that of daily conversation. If you are capable of providing translation services, you are likely quite competent already. Still, the process of translating can really take your competency up to a new level. You may even end up with a mastery of your target language greater than those of some native speakers.

Have you ever taken a job working in your target language? Let us know about your experiences on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on language learning!

Picture: (c) Fotolia,