Choosing to teach English in Spain can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant culture and learn a new language, but you also have the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of your students. Spain is a beautiful and diverse country that offers a high quality of life and a welcoming community for expats.
One of the biggest benefits of living and working in Spain is the climate. With sunny weather and warm temperatures throughout the year, you can enjoy the outdoors and all that Spain has to offer. From relaxing on the beach to hiking in the mountains, there is something for everyone. Additionally, Spain has a rich history and culture that you can explore in your free time, from stunning architecture and museums to delicious cuisine and lively festivals.
Another advantage of teaching English in Spain is the opportunity for personal and professional growth. You will gain valuable teaching experience, improve your language skills, and develop cultural awareness that can benefit you in future endeavors. Additionally, you will have the chance to network with other educators and professionals in your field, both in Spain and internationally. All in all, living and working in Spain can be a life-changing experience that will broaden your horizons and enrich your life in countless ways.
Qualifications and Requirements for Teaching English in Spain
1. Native or bilingual English speaker
Teaching English in Spain can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be a native or bilingual English speaker to effectively teach the language. This is because Spanish students have high expectations when it comes to learning English, and they require teachers who can provide a high level of language proficiency and cultural understanding.
As a native or bilingual English speaker, you have a natural grasp of the language and can accurately convey its complexities to students. You also have a deep understanding of English grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, which is essential for helping students develop their language skills. Our TEFL Course in Madrid provides you training in how to teach and prepare tailored lessons for your students. Click here to met the application process.
Additionally, being able to speak Spanish fluently can be an advantage, as it allows you to communicate more effectively with students and understand their cultural background. Through our TEFL Course you’ll get a discount for the Spanish immersion programs issued by our sister academy, LAE Madrid Spanish School.
2. Qualities that make a good TEFL teacher in Spain or anywhere abroad
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a demanding job that requires a unique set of skills and qualities. Beyond language proficiency, as a TEFL teacher you must possess good communication skills, organization, patience, adaptability, and empathy. These traits are essential for creating a positive and effective learning environment that encourages students’ success, building meaningful relationships, and helping them achieve their language goals.
Good communication is vital as it allows you to effectively convey information to students, assess their understanding, and provide feedback. This involves not only verbal communication but also nonverbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions. Moreover, you must be able to communicate effectively with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, and adapt your teaching style to meet your students’ needs.
Organization is crucial to manage your time effectively, plan lessons, and keep track of student progress. This involves creating a lesson plan that is engaging, structured, and adaptable, as well as managing class materials and resources. By being organized, you can create a positive and efficient learning environment that encourages student participation and success.
Patience is a key trait for TEFL teachers as it allows you to remain calm and positive in challenging situations. Teaching English as a foreign language can be frustrating at times, particularly when students struggle with difficult concepts or have different learning styles. By being patient, you can help students overcome their language barriers and develop their language skills at their own pace.
Adaptability is essential for TEFL teachers as it enables you to respond to the changing needs of their students and adapt their teaching strategies accordingly. This involves being flexible and creative in adapting lesson plans to meet students’ needs, as well as being open to feedback and suggestions for improvement.
Empathy is important for TEFL teachers as it enables them to connect with their students on a personal level, understand their needs and motivations, and create a positive and inclusive learning environment. By being empathetic, you can build meaningful relationships with their students and create a safe and welcoming space for them to learn and grow.
Navigating Spanish Culture as a TEFL Teacher
Embrace the siesta:
Many Spaniards take a break in the middle of the day for a siesta, or nap. This can take some getting used to if you’re used to working straight through the day, but embracing the local custom can help you adjust to Spanish culture and recharge for the afternoon.
Be punctual but flexible:
In Spain, punctuality is valued, but there is also a relaxed attitude towards time. Meetings and appointments may start a few minutes late, but it’s still important to be on time. As a TEFL teacher, you’ll need to balance punctuality with flexibility, especially if your class schedule changes frequently.
Show respect for traditions:
Spain has a rich cultural heritage, with many festivals, traditions, and customs. Showing an interest in these traditions can help you build rapport with your students and community. Attending local festivals, trying regional dishes, and learning about the country’s history and art can help you gain a deeper appreciation for Spanish culture.
In Spain, relationships are often built on trust and personal connections. Take the time to get to know your colleagues and students outside of class, whether that means grabbing a coffee after work or attending local events together. Building strong relationships can help you navigate cultural differences and make your time teaching in Spain more enjoyable and rewarding.
Teaching English in Spain: Programs
Enrolling in a TEFL course in Spain can be a valuable experience for both novice and experienced TEFL teachers alike. Whether you already hold a TEFL certificate or are new to teaching English as a foreign language, taking a TEFL course in Spain can help you to develop new skills, enhance your teaching techniques, and gain valuable experience in a foreign language context.
For those new to TEFL teaching, a TEFL course in Spain can provide a solid foundation in teaching methodology, classroom management, and lesson planning. This is particularly important for teachers who may not have prior teaching experience or may not be familiar with teaching English as a foreign language. Moreover, a TEFL course in Spain can provide hands-on experience in teaching English to non-native speakers, which is essential for building confidence and refining teaching techniques.
Even if you already hold a TEFL certificate, enrolling in a TEFL course in Spain can help you to refresh your skills and knowledge, as well as gain new insights and perspectives on teaching English as a foreign language. This can be particularly valuable for teachers who may have been teaching English for some time and need to update their teaching methods or learn new techniques.
Teaching English in Spain: Jobs
One of the most common types of TEFL teaching jobs in Spain is teaching in private language schools. Private language schools often offer classes to students of all ages and levels, from young learners to adults, and provide a wide range of courses, including general English, exam preparation, and business English. English teachers in private language schools typically work around 20-25 hours per week, with additional time required for lesson planning and grading.
Another type of TEFL teaching job in Spain is teaching in public schools. Public schools in Spain often hire English Language Assistants (ELAs) to assist classroom teachers in teaching English to students. ELAs work part-time, typically between 12-16 hours per week, and assist in planning and leading activities and exercises in English. This type of TEFL job is ideal for those who are looking for a part-time job and have a passion for working with young learners.
Moreover, there are also opportunities to teach English to adults in community centers, universities, and businesses. These jobs are typically more specialized and may require specific qualifications or experience in teaching business English or preparing students for specific exams, such as the TOEFL or Cambridge exams.
Overall, the types of TEFL teaching jobs in Spain vary depending on the type of institution, age group, and level of English being taught. Whether you are interested in teaching young learners, adults, or specialized groups, there are various opportunities available in Spain for TEFL teachers to gain experience, develop their skills, and immerse themselves in Spanish culture.
English language schools in Madrid typically offer classes in the morning and evening, with a break in the middle of the day. As a result, most English teachers in Madrid can expect to have their classes scheduled in the morning or evening, leaving the rest of the day free. This provides an opportunity to explore the city, learn Spanish, or take on additional work, such as private tutoring or freelance writing.
Furthermore, some English teachers in Madrid may have the opportunity to teach in-company classes, which are often scheduled during the workday. In-company classes involve teaching English to employees at their workplace and are typically more focused on business English and specific industry terminology. This can provide a different type of teaching experience and may offer more flexible hours, depending on the needs of the company. Learn more about Types of TEFL Teaching Jobs in Spain and our recommended English academies.
Teaching English in Spain: Salary
For many people who take a TEFL course, they also have very little idea about what to expect when they graduate. My main experience is in Spain but from my discussions with my graduates who are now working around the world, Spain is quite a good example.
When I tell potential trainees that the normal working week is between 20 and 25 hours and often a four day week, they think – that sounds easy, sign me up!! What’s important to remember is that as well as teaching the hours, you have to add on travel time and lesson planning. This will certainly make it into a full time job. Even if you only work 4 days a week, you are likely to leave the house at around 7 in the morning and get home after 10 pm which is by no means a part time job.
The typical schedule vary depending on whether you are teaching in-company, academy-based or private work.
There are some golden rules to remember when arranging your teaching hours.
A good schedule should look something like this:
Rule 1 – Days belong together
Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday are the usual timetables for students (twice a week). If you take a job that is only on a Monday then you will struggle to find a similar fit on a Wednesday. It’s like a jigsaw and without all the pieces fitting together; you will find it hard to make enough money.
Total: 22 hours
In company: (16€) – 224€
After school: (15€) – 60€
Private classes: (20€) – 80€
Total: 364€ per week / 1.456€ per month
It is also important to remember that when you are a newbie teacher, you can’t be as picky as the seasoned teacher. I always advise my graduates to be selective, but to remember that you need to prove you are a good teacher by being organized, responsible and on time. Once the agency or school begin to see that you are someone they can rely on and you start to receive positive reports from your students, your schedule will begin to get better and better until you have your golden schedule (working the least amount of time for the most amount of pay with as many block hours as possible).
Whatever the profession, this is always a sticky subject to talk about. Teaching rates are often quoted in hourly rates and new graduates can get very fixated with the hourly rate, but there are many more things to consider than just this. This is an example:
You have been offered two jobs with the following hours and rates:
08.00-09.00 07.00 – 08.30
13.30 – 15.00 13.00 – 14.00
18.30 – 20.00 19.00 – 20.30
The rate is 18 euros net an hour, which would give you a weekly salary 288 euros.
08.00-09.00 07.00 – 08.30
13.00 – 16.00 13.00 – 16.00
18.30 – 20.00 19.00 – 20.30
This job offers a rate of only 15 euros net an hour. But because of the block hours you take home 345 euros a week. Over 4 weeks this adds up to a huge amount of money and you get home the same time each night for both jobs. Make sure you look at the whole picture, as some will offer higher hourly rates, other lower rates but more block hours; others will pay holiday and sick pay – consider all that is being offered before making a decision.
Finally, remember whether you are new to teaching or have been doing it for a long time, job satisfaction is the key to being a happy teacher. The TEFL industry can often be seen as a way to earn money until you find a ‘real’ job but for many of us who take it seriously and do well; it can mean a whole new career.