TEFL FAQ

I’m Helen, the TEFL Program Manager at TtMadrid. My job is to answer enquiries from people who are interested in teaching English in Madrid. Below is a list of the questions I most frequently get asked..I’ve kept it brief, though I could have written a book!  Working abroad is a big step and people tend to want to cover all bases before they make that jump.

Will I get a job?

This is by far the most commonly asked question and rightly so. No one wants to pack up their things and navigate immigration at Barajas only to leave again a month later jobless and penniless. However, it is also the most redundant question. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Spain, they essentially have the worst English in Europe. And they are on a mission to change that! Demand for English teachers is high all over Spain, and especially so in Madrid. So as long as you have a great TEFL, and some get-up-and-go, you don’t need to worry about this!

What kind of job will I get?

The great thing about teaching English in Madrid is that the work here is very varied, and essentially you can chose which road you want to head down….or mix them together! Here is a brief outline of what to expect:

Agency Work

Basically the big companies, rather than put an ad in the local paper, use agencies to find them the English teachers they need. The agencies will have you on their list after interviewing you, and will therefore offer you the hours that the company requires. You take a look at the location, pay, and your own timetable, and decide whether or not to accept. This way, you build your own schedule, usually by working with 2 or 3 different agencies.

Academy Work

Academies are where you go outside of work to learn a language as a sort of ‘hobby’. Hence, when you work for an academy, your classes tend to be on site. You will be given a timetable at the beginning of the year and will follow it throughout.

Private Classes

The icing on the cake! It doesn’t  matter where or when you work, you will always be able to fit a few private classes in to boost your income at the end of the month. During the course we’ll teach you how to sell yourself, but it is so easy to pick up private classes, it can even be done on a night out! Everybody in Madrid is looking for a good English teacher, and once you find one, you will very often end up teaching their sister, and her husband, and her husband’s mother, and the husband’s mother’s dog etc etc.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

Absolutely not! TEFL is all about complete immersion in the English language, so the only language ever spoken in class is English. This accelerates your students learning and is why you can use your TEFL all over the world! During  your TEFL course with TtMadrid you will have a lesson in a language completely unknown to you, so that you can see just how this technique can work and how your students will feel.

How will I find accommodation?

We are here to help with accommodation, and you have a number of different options. We can introduce you to an accommodation agency we recommend here in Madrid.  They will help you find somewhere that meets your requirements.  The great thing about these guys is that you can tell them when you want to move in, so you don’t need to worry about hotels etc when you first arrive.  Also, they don’t impose a minimum contract, so that you just have to give them 2 weeks’ notice when you want to move out.  A lot of people use them for the first couple of months they are here, and then when they know the people and the city better they find their own place.  Or, they live in the same accommodation for years, it depends what suits you better.

I also get a lot of emails from grads (the community is very close knit!) when they have rooms available in their apartments.  These are uploaded onto our TtMadrid Housing Facebook page, where you can view them and get in touch. This way you get to live with someone who can help you with your homework!

Finally, if you do want to look for yourself, we are here to give advice on websites, location, and price.  Some people like to arrive a couple of weeks early and stay in a hostel while they look for somewhere.

What course is best suited to me?

We offer 2 course options for the TEFL course:

  1. 4 Week TEFL only Intensive : This course is suitable for those who hold an EU `passport and therefore don’t need to worry about visas.
  2. One Year Spanish, Teaching and Cultural Immersion Program : This course is great for those who do not hold an EU passport and therefore need to arrange a visa in order to be able to live here legally for a year. The program consists of the TEFL, Spanish Classes, Cultural Activities and Professional Development. And of course, all the help you need securing your visa.

Of course, everyone is different and everyone has their own worries, which is why I am here. Everyone is always welcome to contact me with their personal questions, and I am always ready to answer them!

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