An MFL teacher with pupils
Becoming a modern languages teacher can provide a career full of creativity. It offers the opportunity to inspire young people’s minds with new ideas and insights into different cultures.

Teaching modern languages offers challenges with big rewards. Choosing this path is not just about teaching vocabulary and pronunciation, it requires the commitment to developing real cultural awareness.

The main languages taught in schools are French, German and Spanish. Others include Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Urdu and Bengali. There is a shortage of teachers available in these priority subjects and there is demand for high-calibre talent to take on the challenge.

The number of children taking a modern foreign language (MFL) at GCSE was almost a third higher in 2013 than it was in 2011. This growth is forecast to continue to grow, so there is a real need for talented language teachers.

Also a recent government review of the national curriculum has recommended that all children from the age of nine should learn a foreign language.

This video of languages teacher Alistair Dixon provides an insight into a typical day teaching languages (video produced by ESI Media).

If you specialise in teaching modern languages at secondary level, bursaries of up to £20,000 are available. The amount of bursary you will be eligible for depends on the subject you want to teach and your degree class. The same financial support is also available to train to teach Latin or Ancient Greek. For further information, please visit our bursary information page

If you’re a candidate from the European Economic Area (EEA) you need to have a university degree or the English equivalent, and be a confident and competent English speaker. For more information about qualification comparisons and to help determine postgraduate bursary eligibility, you should consult your chosen training provider or refer to the equivalency table (PDF, 1MB). This is based on a grade comparison exercise carried out by UK NARIC of the majority of international awards that are considered comparable to British Bachelor (honours) degree standard.

Extra support

We offer an enhanced support programme, Premier Plus, for people interested in teaching modern foreign languages. If you're starting your training in the academic year 2014/15, you can receive:

  • tailored advice from a dedicated adviser
  • access to the school experience programme (SEP)
  • invitations to exclusive events for Premier Plus registrants

Register today – It only takes a few minutes.

Become a German teacher
Find out more about teaching German.

Become a French teacher
Find out more about a career in teaching French.

Become a Spanish teacher
Find out more about becoming a Spanish teacher.

Teaching languages at primary level
Read more about teaching MFL at primary level.

Funding, pay and benefits
Explore the benefits and career progression of teaching shortage subjects.
Could you teach languages?
Find out what it takes to excel at teaching MFL.