There are many different roles that a teacher plays in a student’s life. First and foremost, they are an instructor of information both known and unknown. They help to mold a student’s intellectual capabilities and bring out the best by providing instruction and a chance to build a student’s knowledge of a subject. This, though, is not the only role that they play. Especially when it comes to language teachers, both native tongue teachers and foreign language teachers, an instructor can serve as a mentor to students as well. The following explains the ways in which these educators transfer their passion and craft to students by serving as a mentor to them.
Language is a basic skill that all human beings should and most likely will possess. The abilities with which they hold these skills, however, can vary greatly and it is here that language teachers truly serve as a mentor. From infancy and childhood to more advanced classes in a native tongue, language teachers are providing students with instruction in something that they will utilize forever. The result is an ability to be a lifeline and resource for those that will use the knowledge for a lifetime. Those who teach us these basic life skills can leave an indelible mark on who we are. They can teach us what we need to know to get through life on a daily basis and keep us safe. Language teachers are no exception to this as they teach us the most basic of life skills: speaking. It is for this reason that language teachers often begin as a lifeline and mentor and remain so.
Language teachers, both foreign language instructors and native instructors as well, provide students with a means of communication. Not only are they teaching them a language that they may or may not have known but they are opening up a world to individuals and people who may have been inaccessible prior. This is especially true for students that may have a communication issue or speech impediment that prevents them from communicating effectively with other individuals. Language teachers serve as a gateway between language worlds and help to create dialogue where one was missing prior. The result is an instructor who serves more as a mentor and a guide to new opportunities and more than just a teacher of things unknown.
Foreign language teachers are in a unique position with students. They are often given the opportunity to send their students abroad and accompany them as they go around the world. This means that they are a resource for students who will rely on their instruction and their guidance in unique and unfamiliar places. It is also an opportunity for educators in this position to really provide students with memories and serve as a mentor to them in a fun and exciting venue. By combining a great experience with education, the result is a teacher that can really become a strong mentor and ally in times and years to come.