Teaching English in Spain
The Ultimate guide to teaching English in Spain
The Ultimate guide to teaching English in Spain
Spain is an attractive destination for living and teaching abroad. It has everything you need: a decent salary, relaxing work-life balance, beautiful sights, and unique culture. Fortunately, there’s a high demand for English teachers in Spain, and the job requirements aren’t too strict.
Here are all you need to know about finding an ESL teaching job in Spain and how teaching English in Spain would be like!
The hiring season in Spain peaks in September, as schools reopen from summer vacations in October. Thus, pay attention to this hiring season schedule where most interviews happen. Another hiring season starts from the second week of January. If you apply through a program, January to March would be the usual application period.
During summer, there are many jobs open at summer camps as well. Note that their hiring season would begin in the winter and spring.
Obviously, for private tutoring or au pairing jobs, the hiring seasons wouldn’t matter. However, August in general is a quiet month when the majority of people go on vacation.
We can help you find English teaching jobs in Spain!
The ESL teaching salary isn’t much usually, averaging around $1,250 to $1,850 per month. As you spend more time living and teaching English in Spain, your pay will increase. If you combine your ESL teaching job with additional private tutoring sessions or private classes, you can earn up to $2,500.
Life seems chill and laid back in Spain. The country does not operate well on a fixed schedule either. When the Spaniards say “on time”, they probably mean something else. They always end up being late.
You’ll see the obsession with futbol (football/soccer) and wine here. Spain is an ideal destination if you care a lot about the work-life balance. Two-hour lunch breaks are normal in Spain. Even when working full-time, you’ll still have enough free time to spend with family and friends, or traveling outdoors.
The types of students you’ll get vary from business professionals to private students and children in public schools, summer camps or language schools. They are often used to communicating and interacting in class as well as likely to learn better phonetically. You may have to change your teaching plan and incorporate more fun and engaging activities in the class to keep the students interested.
At language academies, happy students mean more repeat customers and revenues. Thus, you must deliver the best quality that will satisfy the students and/or their parents. At public schools, you’re usually expected to follow a specific set of methods and teaching materials in class, requiring less creativity. Whereas in private schools, you can design your curriculum and teaching materials more freely.
The highest number of language schools and ESL teaching jobs are in Barcelona and Madrid. Bilbao is also a popular city in Northern Spain. The demand is lower in small towns, but growing quickly thanks to government programs that place teachers throughout Spain. But if you’re applying for a Language and Cultural Assistant position, your working location is decided by the Ministry of Education.
Valencia and Sevilla are common choices for foreign ESL teachers as well, since they offer plenty of things to do.
This depends on your students. If it’s an exam preparation course, heavily focused on grammars and textbook exams, you’ll need to invest in a good book and structure your sessions around it. For the majority of classes, Spanish students like interactive and practical lessons. Thus, look online for worksheets, videos, games and songs to incorporate in your teaching.
If you haven’t had much experience and would like to gain some confidence initially, try volunteering as an assistant! Once you’ve familiarized yourself with what the students want and how their learning habits are, you can start applying for ESL teaching jobs.
Overall, the teaching environment in Spain should be far less stressful than in other countries. The classroom will feel pretty informal.
If you’re an EU citizen: Well, you’ve got nothing to worry about. You can start applying ASAP since you don’t need a special visa to teach English in Spain.
If you’re not an EU citizen: You need to get a legal teaching visa through a program that handles your paperwork such as the Auxilia de Conversación Program (eligible for residents of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and China only). Or you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa, but it only allows certain nationalities (not the US!).
Unfortunately, getting a working visa in Spain is very hard. Many people choose the Tourist Visa, which is a 90-day permit for tourists. However, it’s not entirely legal to work on a Tourist Visa and overstay if you’re going to teach in Spain for more than 90 days.
Are you looking for opportunities to teach English abroad in Spain? Check out our Teach English Abroad Facebook group for daily job listings.