Learning a language can be fun and useful when you go on holidays. How else can you benefit from such a pastime? I believe teachers can see even more interesting aspects as they enter a similar environment, the only difference is that they are on the other side, acting as students themselves. There is a lot to explore and take from there.
Exercising your brain
Apart from visible effects on your brain (yes – it is growing indeed!), A. Mackey confirms that “people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than monolinguals. […] Alzheimer’s disease and the onset of dementia are diagnosed later for bilinguals than for monolinguals, meaning that knowing a second language can help us to stay cognitively healthy well into our later years”.
New teaching and learning techniques
Of course you have your own tried and tested methods, but wasn’t that speaking exercise introduced in an interesting way? Don’t you think that that IT learning tool proved to be very effective to remember a grammar point? Use them in your lessons! Observing others in action may trigger personal self-reflections which may lead to re-evaluation of your current practice and being more innovative. As a result, you are more effective and happier about overall outcomes!
Perception of new concepts
When learning a language, you get to know some additional cultural concepts the language derives from. This could be very helpful to explain similarities and differences (which is embedding naturally emerging Equality & Diversity aspects) to a native speaker of that particular language, if they happen to be in your class.
Using some basic greeting phrases may boost rapport building and reduce tension when meeting students (not only) for the first time. Applying differentiated greetings, will make your students feel more appreciated which will have positive effects on their motivation and performance.
Networking and socialising
Believe me, you are not the only teacher who wants to learn a foreign language! There are more of us! Exchange business cards, experiences, opinions, make friends when practising together (that French dish looked delicious!), and as a result – have fun and relax! 🙂