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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask for advice from anyone who knows about the teaching English situation in Spain at the moment, preferably someone who's done it but of course all info is appreciated.

Is it actually easy to find a position teaching English in southern Spain? I've heard conflicting reports so I thought I'd come here. I recently completed a TEFL course- not the Cambridge one or TESOL but the standard one you get on the tefl.org website with some classroom based teaching hours included. I'm from England so I speak English as a native language and have a half decent grasp of Spanish which will be improved before I go.

What are your experiences and/or what have you heard about the market for this?

Thanks,

Mike.
 

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Just be careful which area you choose as pay rates can vary dramatically from as high as 25e per hour in Madrid to as low as 7 or 8 euros per hour in southern Spain.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just be careful which area you choose as pay rates can vary dramatically from as high as 25e per hour in Madrid to as low as 7 or 8 euros per hour in southern Spain.
Ah thanks for the reply. Do you know of any areas where it's easier to find your first job teaching English? I would imagine that 25 euros/hr would be for those who've got decent experience, whereas I have nothing.

I have just passed that standard TEFL course but it's not like CELTA or anything and I was kind of concerned about my prospects using that certificate. So if there were places where you're almost guaranteed to find a job (even if the money isn't great) I'd definitely do it to gain the valuable experience.

I'm 29 and don't have any children so I guess I won't be needing to support anyone but myself on my wages.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Hi Mike, it is a similar answer to my last post. If you choose Madrid or Toledo where I live, you will find work fairly easily as long as you arrive by early September but further south or at coastal areas there are many Brits who earn money by teaching English as a sideline which tends to push rates down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Mike, it is a similar answer to my last post. If you choose Madrid or Toledo where I live, you will find work fairly easily as long as you arrive by early September but further south or at coastal areas there are many Brits who earn money by teaching English as a sideline which tends to push rates down.
You think its easy eh? I might check it out. The one thing that appealed to me about Andalucia was obviously the all year round good weather and way of life but also the cost of living is low which could offset the lower wages. But it looks as though Madrid isn't that expensive for accommodation either.

Added to that, the accent is much more difficult to understand in Andalucia than Madrid. My main concern is to be able to get a job really regardless of wages at first. I do prefer Andalucia and was thinking of Granada, and 8 euros/hr in Granada or Seville actually isn't that bad.
 

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I have been a teacher here in Spain for 5 years and I have never had a problem finding work and I believe there will always be work as I find that the Spanish are not very committed when it comes to learning English hence their lessons will go on forever, good for us teachers so dont worry too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been a teacher here in Spain for 5 years and I have never had a problem finding work and I believe there will always be work as I find that the Spanish are not very committed when it comes to learning English hence their lessons will go on forever, good for us teachers so dont worry too much.
Haha cheers, I'm glad to hear it. I'm not sure when to arrive in Spain. I've heard other people as well as you say that just before September is best (when the schools are hiring) or January as well. I'm thinking of going in the next couple of weeks with the intention of getting a job within a month and hopefully I can find some language schools that run all year round. Having read through some articles before though, I think I remember something about August being a complete shut down month in Spain.
 

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Haha cheers, I'm glad to hear it. I'm not sure when to arrive in Spain. I've heard other people as well as you say that just before September is best (when the schools are hiring) or January as well. I'm thinking of going in the next couple of weeks with the intention of getting a job within a month and hopefully I can find some language schools that run all year round. Having read through some articles before though, I think I remember something about August being a complete shut down month in Spain.

No point going in the next couple of weeks as all the academies will be closing until September. Many academies do their main hiring before the summer for the following September.

You only have 90 days from arrival to register for your residence- showing you have either a work contract or sufficient income, usually around 600€ month going into a Spanish bank and/ or 6000€ savings plus private healthcare.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that Andalucia is cheap, some areas on the Coast are very expensive.

If you are serious about this then why don't you do a proper course, CELTA or equal. Do it in Spain and many help you find work at the end.

I'm not sure you are grasping just how low wages are unless you have good experience, and spend a long time building up private clients. Most academy contracts are part time hours only, anti social hours and you are not paid for preparation time or for two to three months in the summer. I believe monthly earnings are often around 600- 800€
 

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You can start looking for work before you come to Spain. In the FAQ's post 14 there is a list of links.
However, the best schools ask for the best qualifications and some even specify "no online courses accepted" (unless it's the new CELTA online course) so you would really have been better off doing the Trinity or CELTA.
I go along with everything the others have said really. There maybe work available, but look closely at rates, timetables, conditions and guarantees ie are you 25 hours a week guaranteed Sept - June. What about July and August etc.
 

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SWMBO has been with an academy now for about 6 years. Her hours vary from year to year according to demand. On average, her monthly take home (after deductions) was about €950 (22 hours p.w.) for the year just ending. Next academic year (starts Oct 1st) her take-home may be a lot less. The demand depends a lot on the birth-rate so, some years when there are not many kids starting to learn English, then some class levels may not run. Here, in the village and in the nearby town, English is taught from the age of 4 although there were some classes for 2-3 year olds when there was a teacher who specialised in that age range.

You would definitely do better with a fully accredited qualification, such as Cambridge since many of the academies have had bad experiences with people whose qualifications have been of a lower grade.
 

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Hi Mike,
I lived in the Huelva region of Andalusia in 2012 and for 24 hrs contact time I received about 1200 euros per month after tax. However as well as my CELTA I have a PGCE and also many years teaching experience so I think this might have bumped my salary up a wee bit. I was paying 400 euros per month including bills for a very nice 2 bed apartment and was able to live quite comfortably as a single person. However I second what many of the posters on here say about you being better off doing CELTA or TESOL. If you decide not to, I suggest you apply via the various online TEFL job forums as there are still jobs being posted. That way you can perhaps get some teaching experience at an academy here in the UK before you set off to Spain in September. Good luck.
 

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Hi Mike,
I lived in the Huelva region of Andalusia in 2012 and for 24 hrs contact time I received about 1200 euros per month after tax. However as well as my CELTA I have a PGCE and also many years teaching experience so I think this might have bumped my salary up a wee bit. I was paying 400 euros per month including bills for a very nice 2 bed apartment and was able to live quite comfortably as a single person. However I second what many of the posters on here say about you being better off doing CELTA or TESOL. If you decide not to, I suggest you apply via the various online TEFL job forums as there are still jobs being posted. That way you can perhaps get some teaching experience at an academy here in the UK before you set off to Spain in September. Good luck.
Hi Claire.
I think it is normal that you are only paid for term times, so for 3 months of the year, no income. I guess that puts a big dent in any excess money you can accumulate during the time you are earning. But, if you were able to get your budgets to work for the year, and you have lots of time off, it sounds like you were on to a good thing. The life /work balance (work to live or live to work) is very important, especially as you get older (and you're working in a hot country).
 

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Hi Helen,
I left after 6 months so I guess that tells you that life was not all peaches & cream! I think EFL is fine for younger people, or those with partners so there are 2 wages coming in, but it is certainly not something to do long term when you are in your 40s and single. I would love to live in Spain again but as I cannot use my PGCE (in the further education sector, not many opportunities in Spain) and for reasons above don't want to rely on teaching English, I can't at the moment. Am back in the UK trying to work out something else I can do so I can return. Are you an EFL teacher?
 

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I have to say that after 5 years teaching English I have never once been asked for sight my TEFL certificate and I have worked for many of the larger agencies in Madrid, public schools and even the Hacienda and the fact that I am a native speaker seems enough. My daughter has taught here for 7 years and she has never been asked either !!
 

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I have to say that after 5 years teaching English I have never once been asked for sight my TEFL certificate
I was a few times when I was teaching in academies, but never in a company. Normally they just look at what you put on my CV. Actually when I did some work for International House they queried my qualification because the guy didn't recognise the place where I'd done it as a "well known institution" even though the qualification itself was fine. The problem was that where I'd done it has conquently been taken over and he didn't know that)

However, the point I was trying to make was that you are better trained if you've done the recognised CELTA DELTA or Trinity so it's better for you as a teacher. If someone wants to say they have such and such qualification because it probably won't get checked out, that is another thing. And if they are new to teaching it would probably soon be evident that they'd embellished their CV
 

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Hi Trubrit. I might just have been unlucky but at each of the schools I worked at in Italy and Spain, both private academies, I was asked for my certificate. In Spain the DOS had copies of all the teachers' certificates framed and on display in the entrance!
I have to agree to a certain extent with PW that having done a recognised course has made me feel a lot more secure in my teaching than if I'd done an online course. I work with a young woman who is doing the latter and I have pointed out to her that with an excess of English teachers to choose from, employers might be more likely to opt for someone who did the CELTA or Trinity. Horses for courses I guess.
 

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In general I think that a large majority of Spanish academies are just after the money as many of the academy bosses do not speak a word of English.In my honest opinion I feel that the worst english teacher speaks English better than the best Spanish pupil.
 

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In general I think that a large majority of Spanish academies are just after the money as many of the academy bosses do not speak a word of English.In my honest opinion I feel that the worst english teacher speaks English better than the best Spanish pupil.
But speaking English doesn't make you a teacher, does it?

Although a lot of Spaniards are lost wandering around on the interminable intermediate plateau with a few buffalo, I have had some students with an excellent level that could run rings round my 20+ (in age) nephews in the UK for example. Today I was examining for first cert and there was a boy of about 12 who was a natural language learner, very fluent, good vocab, accurate grammar. He could go on to do CAE in a year I reckon. After that all he needs is a year in an English speaking country and he'll be bilingual

And yes, there are a lot of academies who are only on the make and who don't care about the quality, but there are many others where students really do learn.
 

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I've got a tefl and a good job. You are slightly limited with not having a CELTA but I've always managed to get work. Don't go to Spain till the end of August. Get yourself up on tefl.com, keep and eye on loquo and if you choose Madrid; lingobongo. Advertise conversational classes on tusclasespaticulares too.

It is possible but remember to save for the summer! Unless you get a summer course there's only 9 months of work a year.
 

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I've got a tefl and a good job. You are slightly limited with not having a CELTA but I've always managed to get work. Don't go to Spain till the end of August. Get yourself up on tefl.com, keep and eye on loquo and if you choose Madrid; lingobongo. Advertise conversational classes on tusclasespaticulares too.

It is possible but remember to save for the summer! Unless you get a summer course there's only 9 months of work a year.
The point I have tried to make in different posts on different threads is that the "better" academies, ie ones that actually care about their clients learning and about giving their teachers fair conditions, are the ones that'll ask you for your CELTA/Trinity.
Put another way, you may well find work but there is more likelihood of it not being very well paid and in academies that don't have very high standards if you don't have the CELTA/ Trinity.
That's not to say that there aren't good teachers or academies outside of the CELTA/Trinity circuit, but you will have more possibilites with that under your arm.
Apart from that you have to think about where you are going and what you will doing. If you are going into teaching and you're not from a teaching background you will be better prepared having this standard qualification and will therefore do a better job.

Oh, and just for the record, although no one's asked about it, I recommend new teachers to do a couple of years of academy work as I believe it gives you a good basic training. You can do all kinds of classes (kids, housewives, exam prep, company etc) in a protected environment so you have an opportunity to try stuff out, find out what you like and don't like, also find out what your weak and strong points are, and get support and ideas from the people around you; essential background IMHO:)
 
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