Student Teaching Student vs. Teacher Teaching Student — 2 Comments

  1. As a former Japanese teacher in the states, and a current English teacher in Japan, I can say that I’ve been a part of both sides. I became fluent in Japanese some time after a year of my studies, and volunteered to teach Japanese to students at a local school. Heck, I wasn’t a professional and I still made plenty of mistakes. But I also was the only person at the non-profit school that spoke fluent Japanese aside from the Japanese owner. But I could actually relate to my students and their struggles. I knew exactly what they were going through and could answer their questions and give them quality resources to actually help them. I would never dream of my Japanese teacher, who was so lost in their own ways, to give me those sort of resources (it happens, but not always).

    Now, as a current English teacher, I have gotten certificates and degrees in order to do what I do. But that doesn’t EXACTLY mean I’m a fellow English learner. There is sometimes a dissonance between my students and me, especially since they are only there because their parents put them there! So, which is better? Hard to say. I think if anyone goes the instructional route, that they need a combination of both “teachers” and “mentors”, the latter being your fellow language learners that can relate to you!

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