Being Romanian, I’ve been speaking English since I can remember and when I was looking for a change and a challenge, I thought that teaching ESL in a different country would be a good step. Applying to do a TEFL course as a non-native English speaker was a daunting prospect but I as soon as I walked into TtMadrid, I knew I had made the right decision. After a short interview to check my English level, I was signed up for the course and all I had to do was pack.
During the course there were non-native trainers and plenty of guidance so I felt right at home and I didn’t have any issues in completing the teaching practices or the assignments. The support I had was absolutely fantastic – we even had the option to take extra classes and someone was always on hand to answer any questions I had.
By the Monday after the TEFL course, I already had two job interviews – I couldn’t have asked for more support when it came to finding work in Madrid. Before long, I was working at a nursery in the morning , an academy with adults in the afternoon and some business classes in the evening. I had block hours in the morning and afternoon and as I worked close to where I lived, my timetable worked perfectly.
Working as a non-native teacher in Madrid was a fantastic experience and I never had any issues finding work, although it is true that my interviews were perhaps a little longer and more technical. It was often quite clear that employers were open to non-natives because we have such a solid knowledge of grammar and we understand the structure of the language and have learned it from scratch. Of course there are challenges, for example idioms or expressions that are typical to certain countries or pronunciation o certain sounds or words – but I have never found it to hold me back as I am always learning and studying!
My hard work and dedication to teaching paid off and I was soon promoted to teacher coordinator at one of the academies I worked with so I was able to get into the administrative side of teaching. After a few years working in admin at the academy, I was lucky enough to join the TtMadrid family as a trainer and the rest is history! TtMadrid makes sure that it has a non-native member of staff at all times, and now its Director of Studies is also non-native, from Tenerife!
So if you are a non-native and you wish to do the course and teach English in Spain don’t be scared of the idea of not being a native speaker. As long as you have a passion for teaching and the English language then there’s a place for you here in Madrid and TtMadrid will be waving the flag for you from day one.
Want to know more about your passport to a new life in Spain? Check out our TEFL course.