There are many reasons why you might want to teach English here in Spain. Read on…
If you have never considered living and working in Spain, maybe you should. The Spanish tourism industry uses the slogan ‘Spain is different’ and this is certainly true. It is a country with amazing natural resources and a wide range of vibrant and culturally-rich regions to suit all tastes.
So, if you can imagine yourself sipping a cocktail on a beach, wandering through a green valley, visiting some of the world’s most architecturally impressive monuments, or simply sitting in a plaza drinking a coffee and watching the world go by, read on and find out how you can live your dream in Espana and find a rewarding job to fund your stay.
By learning how to teach English as a foreign language, you can find work in Spain, or indeed, anywhere else in the world where people want to speak better English and make a difference while doing so. All you need to do in order to teach English is to obtain a TEFL / TESOL certificate (especially accredited ones like the Trinity Cert TESOL). These four-week courses will teach you the basics of teaching the English language and creating effective and dynamic lessons for your students. And, if you have a yearning to live in Spain, there is no better place to take the course. There are courses all over Spain but we recommend Granada!
Here are 10 reasons to take a TEFL course in Spain:
1. You can learn or brush up on your Spanish while you are doing the course. Spanish is one of the world’s global languages and is actually spoken as a first language by more people than English. If you take a TEFL course in Spain, you will be immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment. It’s a reasonably easy language to learn for English speakers as well.
2. You can experience a vibrant, exciting culture. If you want to teach Spanish people, it really helps if you get to know about their cultural values, what they think, how they feel and what they do in their daily lives. Spain isn’t for everybody, although most people love it here, you can get a feel for the life and the people here by taking a course in situ.
3. There are lots of jobs available. Even though Spain is in the middle of an economic depression, one industry is actually booming: English language teaching. Spanish, like Brits, are unfairly regarded as being poor at learning languages. It is perhaps more accurate to say that Spanish, like Brits, were not particularly motivated. Things have changed, however, and Spaniards are enrolling in language courses in droves. In particular, if you enjoy teaching children and are good at doing so, you will be turning down work!
4. Spanish people really, really need to learn English. Many Spaniards are seeking employment abroad, in the UK, in the USA, Germany, Scandinavian countries, all over the world. One of the main requirements for international jobs is the ability to speak English and this is an ability that is is difficult to fake. Internationally-recognised English language exams, such as the Cambridghighly valued by employers and the demand for teaching these exams outstrips the supply of teachers. Also, university students in Spain are now required to demonstrate they have a particular level of English before graduating.
5. You are making a real difference to people’s lives. Teaching English can produce tangible rewards. As your learners grow in confidence and ability when speaking English, you will feel that you are making a valuable contribution. My learners have gone on to find work and develop their education because I have helped them improve their English. Speaking better English can lead to an increase in the quality of life and I have hundreds of students who would testify to that.
6. Spain is different but not too different. While I have suffered from culture shock in Spain, it certainly wasn’t as dramatic as in other countries I have lived in. Spain is a modern European country in many respects and you can find home comforts easily here – you can even buy Marmite in some of the bigger supermarkets here! There is also a lively expat scene should you find the need to reconnect with your roots. Finally, cheap flights back to the UK or other parts of Europe are plentiful here.
7. Cost of living here is not too high. Spain certainly isn’t as cheap as it was and consumer goods can be more expensive here than back home. However, the simple pleasures in life, a coffee, a beer, a good meal, are more affordable than in most other countries in Western Europe. Rent outside of Madrid and Barcelona have dropped in recent years and you can find flats in smaller cities, such as Granada, for a few hundred euros a month. Rooms in shared flats can be very economical. Transport is reasonable here too so you can spend your weekends visiting some of the delights that the Iberian peninsula has to offer.
8. Fiestas! Fiestas! For an average Brit, the amount of local and national holidays here in Spain in bewildering but very welcome – you are never far from a long weekend. Spanish are also fond of the ‘puente’ (bridge in English): if a holiday falls on a Thursday, you will probably find that Friday is also added to make a long weekend! Another bonus for English teachers is that in some parts of Spain, you will have a four-day week as many students won’t want classes on Friday.
9. The sun! There are parts of Spain which are wet and cold, especially in the north, but, in general, you will see the sun much more here than you do in the UK. It really makes a difference to your overall well-being and you’ll end up leading an outdoor life here so that meeting a few friends for a mid-afternoon beer in a terraza (a space outdoors to drink and eat) will become a habit before long. If you are into sports, you’ll find lots of opportunities to practise them here and there are plenty of parks even in the big cities.
10. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. Living abroad is a wonderful opportunity which will enrich your life. It can be challenging and stressful but it is rarely boring and gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and develop on a personal level. Teaching English is not easy: you have to learn to be creative, resourceful and manage your time and your classes. Even if you don’t end up making it your profession, you’ll certainly learn lots of useful skills doing so.
Find out more about Teaching English by getting my free ebook here: A Short Guide to TEFL
So, I hope I have convinced you of the reasons for teaching English in Spain. Your next step is to look at training courses.