This notion comes up a lot in the UK. It refers, more often than not, to career changes where someone has to break down their skills from one career/job and see how they can repackage them for a different one. It also seems to crop up in ELT too….
1)I’m beginning to come across more and more teachers of English who aren’t English speaking natives but who have a degree in teaching a different language. Their CV says ‘degree in teaching X language’ followed by experience and then a sudden jump to teaching English.
2)English natives who have learned another language and suddenly become English teachers.
3)English teachers who become translators.
Now then dear blog readers, the first one I can’t fathom. I don’t know why these people suddenly switch and who in god’s name would employ them but when I put my doubts to one of them the reply was “teaching X language is the same as teaching Y one”. I beg to differ on that one.
The second implies that learning and teaching are the same and that being fluent in the L2 is enough to teach your L1. Again, no thanks.
The last point seems to crop up a lot and leads me to think that the translation industry isn’t picky over qualifications and just takes natives or people with a decent level in English to translate to or from it.