Train to be an English teacher in a Secondary school
Subject / Phase
Modern Languages (Secondary)
1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)
34HZ & 342L (E778 for part-time course)
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Sheffield Hallam University
Join the National Modern Languages SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) - the only national teacher training course specifically for modern languages, and a unique partnership between state and independent schools. Choose to train in one of our geographical hubs across England, and learn from national experts, while also experiencing life in two contrasting schools.
The SCITT course is an excellent combination of academic study and hands-on experience in the classroom – with additional specialist training from our modern languages experts. We go to great lengths to ensure you are supported at every stage.
The government is committed to increasing the proportion of students gaining language qualifications. To do this, they need more language teachers - so you would be joining a profession that really needs you. As a languages teacher, you'll be in demand, so this puts you at a real advantage when looking for your first job.
Teaching languages introduces pupils to other cultures and improves their communication skills. A language GCSE can also give them an edge when applying to study a wide range of degree courses at university. In addition, languages will prepare them to compete in a global job market. In fact, around three quarters of employers responding to the CBI’s Education and Skills Survey 2015 said they needed their employees to have some foreign language skills. So as a languages teacher, you’ll not only be giving pupils the chance to become fluent in another language, you’ll be providing them a solid platform from which they can succeed in life.
What is Life Like as a Modern Languages Teacher?
As a Modern Languages Teacher you will get teach students languages such as French, Spanish and German - and sometimes others too. You will create lessons that engage students, helping them learn a to recognise, speak, read and write in a new language, as well as learn about other countries' cultures. As well as preparing and delivering lessons, you will set and mark assignments, and track student progress via data collection and feedback to parents. You may also organise trips abroad, or to relevant cultural events.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Modern Languages Teacher?
A passion for languages and the ability to inspire the same in your students is a definite asset, as are excellent communication skills. Patience and a sense of humour are useful too! Above all else, you need to be committed to helping your students achieve their full potential.
What Do We Cover in Modern Languages Teacher Training?
You will be trained to teach Modern Languages at secondary school via our unique training course, the National Modern Languages SCITT.
Our course is the only national teacher training course specialising in modern languages. We aim to equip you with everything you need to become an outstanding teacher. You will receive specialist training from leading experts in how to teach modern languages, combining academic study at Sheffield Hallam University with hands-on experience in the classroom. You will be part of an exclusive cohort of trainees, all specialising in language teaching.
The programme is designed to meet your own, individual needs as you train to teach. There are also common elements which apply to all trainees. With the help of your school you devise an Individual Training Plan (ITP) at the start of the year which is regularly reviewed. After ascertaining your initial training needs in September, your Mentor then plans, with you, this individual programme of support across the year. A new ITP is put together at the start of each of the three phases of the course.
This process is supported by tasks set for you to complete after each Day School. An additional Activity Bank provides clear examples for you and your school of the type of activity the school could offer to supplement the activities you complete between Day Schools over the course of the year. This is design as a support for schools and may not be needed if you are getting ample experience through other training offered by the school.
Professional learning sessions
We also run a number of professional learning sessions throughout the year. These days are a great opportunity for our trainees to come together, catch up and share their experiences. Our trainees tell us this is a highly valued part of our course.
Examples of topics covered include:
The Professional Teacher
Assessment: marking and feedback
Data collection and analysis
Barriers to learning
Organisation of self
Knowledge of consecutive key stages
Role of SENCO
SEND and inclusion
EAL and new arrivals
Collaborative team teaching
Communication with parents
Planning for transition
The National Modern Languages SCITT team are on hand throughout the course to help you with any issues or questions you may have.
During your School Placements
You will spend most of the year in your placement school, however, you will also spend six weeks in a second school; these arrangements are statutory. This second school will complement your first placement to ensure you have a varied experience of schools. Our choice of placement school is based upon your experience to date, areas for development and any relevant personal circumstances. We want you to be happy in your placement school and will endeavour to take any personal requests into consideration. In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit a special school. This will help you to develop your skills so that you are prepared to teach the full ability range of students and see differentiation in action!
You will always be developing as a teacher and could progress to a head of subject role, or even head of a department or faculty. Some teachers decide to specialise in pastoral work, taking on a head of key stage/year group role. From middle management, you could then progress into senior leadership as an assistant, deputy or head teacher. With multi-academy trusts growing in number, there are also new opportunities working across a number of schools, taking on responsibility for your particular subject.
As a trainee modern languages teacher, you could be eligible for a £26,000 tax-free bursary if you have a first, 2:1, 2:2, Masters’ or PhD. Alternatively, £28,000 scholarships are available to modern languages trainees with a 2:1 or higher from the British Council. You can still apply if you have a 2:2, but you’ll need to provide evidence of significant relevant experience.
If your application for a scholarship is successful, you'll be guaranteed £28,000 to support you throughout your teacher training year. If your application for a scholarship is unsuccessful, you'll still be eligible for a bursary.
Retention bonuses known as 'early career payments' of up to £6,000 are available, if you complete a tuition-fee paying training course, received a bursary or scholarship in the academic year 2020/21, and then go on to teach in a state-funded school for a number of years.
Find out more about bursaries and other funding here.
Don’t hold back from applying for teacher training due to your subject confidence - you can top up your subject knowledge with a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. These fully funded courses are available if:
Your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject but is closely related.
You studied the subject at A-Level, but not at degree level.
You have an unrelated degree, but relevant professional experience in the subject.
Or it’s been some time since you used your degree knowledge.
The course can vary from an eight-week refresher course to 28 weeks. You could also get a tax-free bursary of £200 per week to support you throughout the SKE course. Depending on the course length, in total, you could receive a bursary of £5,600 for a 28-week course or £2,400 for a shorter course of 12 weeks.