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agileflower 22nd September 2006 07:09 PM

working in spain teaching english the suggestion of some folks I have been investigating the possibility of getting a teaching certification for english so I can teach english abroad. THe number of 'certifications' is totally dizzying.....everyone seems to be accredited by some body or another, but what validity or reputation these accrediting agencies have seems a bit unknown. Does anyone have any idea what agencies are reputable? For example, one course said they were accredited by 'an Education Accredity Body (EAB)'. Sounds pretty vague and bogus and anonymous to me. If I can figure out who has a good reputation this might help me narrow down options for courses.....

any thoughts?


Ben 22nd September 2006 07:18 PM

I believe that the most well known and respected out here is the CELTA (previously TEFL) certificate. Certainly I know a lot of people that have got work with it here, including me, and it is the certificate taught by the most reputable training centers, such as International House.

richardksa 3rd October 2006 02:53 PM

Teaching English
A thread was started and then was lost during the reorganisation about teaching English in Spain. I was waiting for the thread starter to restart as I wanted to throw in my three-penny worth, but he/she has not come up. But as I'm away from the forum for a bit (vacation time is here again - a couple of weeks in the UK followed by almost two weeks in Spain!) I thought I'd post anyway.
All I wanted to do was give this link:
and hope it will be useful to some of you.

Ben 3rd October 2006 03:26 PM

Here is a list of tips I posted on the blog a while ago:

One. Do you need a diploma? The short answer is no. If you are heading for the big cities like Madrid or Barcelona you will find work by simply fitting the description of ‘English speaker’. It helps if you are smartly dressed and well spoken, but hell, even those that aren’t get work in Madrid.

Two. Ignore point One and get a diploma. The CELTA (previously TEFL) certificate is the one to go for, though I hear the TESOL course is fine too. You can even do courses here in Spain at prestigious academies like International House. The month intensive course is hell, the hardest work I’ve ever done, but well worth it. You are much much more employable with a course/diploma under your belt, and you’ll get better (pay, conditions) jobs than those without.

Three. Do I have to be British? No, any native or bi-lingual English speaker will get a job out here, even if you are not from the European Union. Read this post about working in Spain if you are from outside the EU.

Four. Can I get work anywhere in Spain? Yes, but you will often have more luck in Madrid and Barcelona. Even in larger towns like Seville you may have trouble if you turn up during the academic year. An ideal time to find work in any city/town, no matter the size, is in September, as the schools and academies start back at the beginning of October. Do try your luck in the smaller places though, just expect to have more trouble filling your timetable if you aren’t lucky enough to get a full-time contract straight off.

Four and a half. Do I need to speak Spanish? No, though it helps. Courses such as the CELTA teach you how to teach with no second language skills. They also teach you the basics of English grammar, which really helps!

Five. How do I find an academy job? Take a CV to all the Languages Academies in your chosen destination. Call them back. Be persistent if necessary. Find these in the Yellow Pages, via Google, in local English language papers (loads of jobs in the small ads in these too).

Six. How do I fill my time table? A typical academy timetable is 24 contact hours (teaching) - you’ll need more to prepare your classes too. If an academy only gives you half this amount, it’s common to supplement your income with private classes…

Seven. How does this ‘privates’ thing work? Private classes tend to be one-to-ones with businessmen, children, bored adults, etc. Usually you go to their office/house, if you’re really lucky they’ll come to yours. I’ve given private classes in cafés, a friend of mine even managed to swing classes with two bikini clad Spanish ladies at a city pool in summer! Privates pay much better than academy classes (see below for rates) and don’t usually involve any kind of contract. Some pay on the day, some in advance. Try hard to arrange that if they don’t show up, or cancel with less than 24 hours notice, they pay anyway. The only downside is that they can involve a lot more travel. Find privates via word of mouth from other teachers, students, advertise in local papers, etc.

Eight. What about ‘Company Classes’? Typically arranged by language schools/academies, these involve going to a company and teaching one or a group of suited business types. If you can get into a company directly and arrange and charge for all the classes yourself, then you can make a fortune… (30 Euros per hour? More?)

Nine. Kids classes? Only for the brave! Either arranged (or forced upon you) by language academies, or in posh bilingual private schools. The British Council also has a programme for placing teachers in Spanish Secondary/High Schools.

Ten. Will I earn enough to survive? First jobs in language academies do pay badly. I have heard of people earning as little as 700 Euros a month in the first year, and that’s hard in Madrid. With luck you may earn nearer, or over 1,000 in the first year. As time goes by you start finding the better jobs, with better money and better timetables. Company classes may pay around 18 Euros an hour or more. Multiply that by 24 per week and do the maths. Privates do supplement income nicely, and are widely taken on by most teachers sooner or later. These can pay anything from 20 to 40 euros an hour. Finally, the Holy Grail is the University language teaching job, that can earn you up to 50 Euros an hour. For work in Companies and Universities, you may need to become ‘Autonomo’, self-employed - a bureaucratic nightmare but worth it for the better pay.

Bonus! Will I be an English teacher forever? That is down to you. With persistance you can do anything here that you wanted to do where you came from. Good Spanish often helps. Good luck!

Cynthia 3rd October 2006 06:48 PM

That's really helpful, Ben, Thanks! Teaching English in Madrid is my Plan B at the moment... And in the winters here in upstate New York, my Plan B always starts looking better and better! :)

ogando 3rd October 2006 11:44 PM

teaching english yo
I was wondering if there is a preference in Spain between UK english and American english teachers? Imagining large numbers of spaniards sounding as if they grew up in Brooklyn might not be the desired result.

Ben 4th October 2006 11:57 AM

I don't think there is much of a preference really. Only working legalities might interfere with whether some academies can hire you or not...

Ray 4th October 2006 12:10 PM

Rates of pay
This was the subject of my original post and to add to the comprehensive answer from Ben, here's what I have managed to find out:

Teaching in private companies seems reasonably lucrative. I know a large consultancy in Bilbao that pays 40 euros an hour, which is pretty good. Others seem to be up to 30 euros. It depends on the size of the company and where it is. Obviously, Ben knows places that pay less. I guess its supply and demand.

Academias pay 10 to 12 euros per hour - not great - and private one-to-one lessons (cash in hand) seems to be about the same. But in an academy you'll have up to 10 kids to cope with so you'd better be prepared for that.

Becoming an autonomo is easier if you get an asesoria to do it for you. My local one charges 50 euros for the service.

I like the sound of the University job Ben. How do you swing that one?


Ben 4th October 2006 12:29 PM


Originally Posted by Ray (Post 9161)
Teaching in private companies seems reasonably lucrative. I know a large consultancy in Bilbao that pays 40 euros an hour, which is pretty good.

That is very very good.

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 9161)
I like the sound of the University job Ben. How do you swing that one?

Contacts! You may need the DELTA diploma or similar as well for some Uni jobs.

Willyum 4th October 2006 12:33 PM

I am thinking of taking the CELTA course; I understand it takes 3 weeks and costs about £500. My concern is about getting employment once I have finished.
I am 55 and decided on a career change (was in IT). I have a small pension which I could use to suplement my income but could not live on it permanantly.
What are the chances of getting a job, how is the best way to approach this ?

Any help gratefuly received

Brian 4th October 2006 12:42 PM

Ben, I think that your post above would be a wonderful permanent sticky FAQ in the "moving/working in spain" forum.

Ben 4th October 2006 01:01 PM

Done. Also, there were two very similar threads on this in different parts of the forum, so I have merged them both here. Let the discussion continue!

Ben 4th October 2006 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by Willyum (Post 9164)
I am thinking of taking the CELTA course; I understand it takes 3 weeks and costs about £500. My concern is about getting employment once I have finished.
I am 55 and decided on a career change (was in IT). I have a small pension which I could use to suplement my income but could not live on it permanantly.
What are the chances of getting a job, how is the best way to approach this ?

Any help gratefuly received

I think you will definitely find work if you have the certificate, especially in Madrid or Barcelona. See my list of tips above for ideas on where to find work. The course I did (here in Madrid with International House) took four weeks. It is very hard work, but a very enjoyable month.

Willyum 4th October 2006 03:12 PM

Thanks I'll read through all this and plan my next move.

Ben 5th October 2006 01:59 PM

In Madrid has a competition this month to win a TEFL course in Madrid!

rob 5th October 2006 07:52 PM

I am doing a British Council placement in a secondary school in Aragón and you get paid, what equates to £8.50 p/h with no previous experience. I think thats reasonably good, but obviously you can get better.

As this is part of my compulsory year abroad, it's a good way to spend the year learning Spanish, teaching English and supplementing my severely diminished student funds.

Ben 5th October 2006 11:38 PM

Where are you teaching in Aragon? Sounds great!

rob 7th October 2006 07:00 PM

I'm teaching in Zaragoza. The school I work in is about 20 minutes outside of it, but I'm living in the city itself.

I've also secured some work involving conversation classes with 4 girls that are about 11-12 and for that I asked for €15 p/h for each girl, and they agreed. This was through talking to a teacher, and there are others interested too so it could be quite lucrative, I just have to make sure it doesn't consume my free time though.

Jonty83 13th October 2006 06:36 AM

Hello all
I have just discovered your web page and forums. It seems interesting. My name is Jon and I am in Zaragoza too (hello Rob - fancy a beer? - I hope you are enjoying the El Pilar fiestas!!).

I have done just about it all - work in colleges, academies (getting ripped off of course), self-employed and now my own company doing in-company teaching. If anyone wants any help then I would be delighted to offer my advice and/or opinions. Ben - you seem to have plenty of experience here in Spain.

I would just like to say that for me as an employer working experience is much more important than the formal teaching qualification. If someone has worked in several academies successfully then that is really the best thing. Ok for a novice teacher trying to get a first job it might make a difference but the academies are crying out for teachers at the moment - they are even employing bar staff from Irish bars!!

I would also say that the legal status of Non EU workers is much more difficult and I won't employ an American who hasn't got that sorted out. Tough I know, but we would have the same problem if we went to the States (this is not written as a comment against American teachers of course). Hope that helps.:cool:

greytop 16th October 2006 03:51 PM

This sounds like some employment prospects somewhere! Get networking guys.
Indra Renews GlobalEnglish Program to Support Growth in Foreign Markets

Indra Employees Need English Skills in Order to Secure More Advanced Positions Working With Customers and Colleagues Outside Spain

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