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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have checked previous posts in regards to this subject and got plenty of valuable information. However, I would like any advice on how I should I approach continuing my career in Spain.
Do any of you have experience with TEFL certification? More specifically, do any of you know if pursuing a TEFL certificate would be something I need?:

I am a teacher with around fourteen years experience. I am fully credentialed and even though I am credentialed to teach History, Geography, Economics, Government, Civics, World Affairs, etc., I also am trained in teaching English language learners, having a big population of Spanish-speaking people in California.

I have coached sports, was editor of my school's annual yearbook, advisor of our school's student government, and coordinator of my school's activities.

I am bilingual in Spanish with a working knowledge in euskara (Basque). I have Basque heritage.

The reason I asked about TEFL is because I have seen some positions requiring TEFL certificate or equivalent. Is TEFL more for entry-level, college-age beginning teachers with no classroom experience?
Which types of jobs should I be applying for?

Thanks for any insight.
 

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Where are you hoping to get a job? In an international/American school? A private school for Spanish children? A language academy? They each would have their own criteria for hiring teachers.

I work in an academy so I can speak from experience in that sector. Around here they all require their teachers to have CELTA or equivalent (TEFL would qualify). Any other experience you have beyond that would up your chances of getting a job, but to get your foot in the door you need that CELTA/TEFL.

Private schools are less apt to require the certificate but in this competitive job market it certainly would be a help.

International/American schools are only interested in your official teaching credentials, the same as they would be if you were being hired to work in a school in the UK or the US.
 

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Ok, I have checked previous posts in regards to this subject and got plenty of valuable information. However, I would like any advice on how I should I approach continuing my career in Spain.
Do any of you have experience with TEFL certification? More specifically, do any of you know if pursuing a TEFL certificate would be something I need?:

I am a teacher with around fourteen years experience. I am fully credentialed and even though I am credentialed to teach History, Geography, Economics, Government, Civics, World Affairs, etc., I also am trained in teaching English language learners, having a big population of Spanish-speaking people in California.

I have coached sports, was editor of my school's annual yearbook, advisor of our school's student government, and coordinator of my school's activities.

I am bilingual in Spanish with a working knowledge in euskara (Basque). I have Basque heritage.

The reason I asked about TEFL is because I have seen some positions requiring TEFL certificate or equivalent. Is TEFL more for entry-level, college-age beginning teachers with no classroom experience?
Which types of jobs should I be applying for?

Thanks for any insight.
There are several issues here.
First is your nationality. If you want to come here as an American teacher it's going to be really difficult. Work visas are given to people who have work that is sponsored by a company. The company has to assure that your job can not be done by a European, which in the case of English teaching is not the case. I don't know about applying to an American school (there is one in Bilbao for example).
American School of Bilbao
It does say in the work section that you need to be able to work legally in Europe.
So would you be coming on an American or EU passport?
Then it depends on if you want to work in a school or an academy. For school children in an international/ American school your teaching experience is enough and would stand you in good stead. If you want to work in an academy you may need the TEFL.
The TEFL isn't necessarily for teachers with no experience but it is for teachers who don't have experience teaching EFL/ESL. You say that you have experience, so if you have evidence of this experience I think you'd be OK, but you should explain this in your covering letter for example. If you're interested in academy work I would advise you to apply for places that ask for the TEFL as they will probably be more serious than those who don't ask for it.
Lastly if your goal is to teach in state schools you need to be aware that the Spanish system requires teachers who have a teaching degree to then sit a public exam. Then the places are dished out on a first come first served basis. It's a very tough system and I personally wouldn't call it a system that is fair, nor good, nor functioning, but that's what there is. Also the education system is not in a good place now with cuts and reforms happpening as we speak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the breakdown, kalohi. I guess I would be interested in any of those three types. It does make sense to have my bases covered and attain any desired certification. My concern also was that if I did go through CELTA/TEFL certification, it would not be a repetition of my years in acquiring my teaching credential. I understand that such cert programs deal with language mechanics and helping individuals to be an English language teacher. If this is the case, then I am sure it can only help my cause. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Pesky Wesky. I forgot to mention that I am engaged to a woman from Barcelona and will be getting married. This is my reason for moving to BCN. I tried to convince her to move here to California, but after about four years of traveling back and forth, we decided on me moving to BCN.
I am not sure if state schools is what I would be qualified for.
I understand times are tough. Sadly, the education system seems to always be the victim to budget cuts. Thanks for the info.
 

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You can get your CELTA in one month doing an intensive course. So it's no big, drawn out ordeal or anything. Here's a link to courses offered in Barcelona. Yes, a lot of the stuff in the course would seem old hat to you, but I'm sure you'd pick up some helpful ideas too.
 

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Also there is an issue with validating your degrees. Even though you have completed your programs, and have certification in California, it is not recognized here. In order to qualify for a state school job, it would be necessary to go through a tedious process of seeing how many hours would be validated,etc, and how much more you would have to complete. Then as has been mentioned here, you have to sit "oposiciones", which are like oral doctoral exams. Add to the mix that you want to teach in Catalunya, where you would have to have a certain level of Catalan to be a state teacher, well.....All my friends who are teachers here are in International schools, or do private, corporate work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the link kalohi. I'll check it out. As a teacher, I'm always open to pick up new ideas to help students learn. A teacher's tool box should always be open ;)
Thanks elisa31bcn. A state school job seems daunting. However, I understand why such processes as 'oposiciones' are so cut-throat. Job stability as a state employee probably means as much over there as over here. I definitely do not take my job for granted. Which is why it is hard for me to leave such a stable position.

What are 'escuelas concertadas'?
 

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Thanks for the link kalohi. I'll check it out. As a teacher, I'm always open to pick up new ideas to help students learn. A teacher's tool box should always be open ;)
Thanks elisa31bcn. A state school job seems daunting. However, I understand why such processes as 'oposiciones' are so cut-throat. Job stability as a state employee probably means as much over there as over here. I definitely do not take my job for granted. Which is why it is hard for me to leave such a stable position.

What are 'escuelas concertadas'?
There are basically 3 'types' of school here in Spain. The normal, state school funded by government. The fully private school funded by parents/grandparents. And then the concertadas - these are semi private. They are (usually) church schools funded by the government but run independently.

We send our children to the local church school which is run by nuns. Most of the funding comes from government with us having to pay for insurance, Bachi and a little each month towards other things.

In our opinion and having spoken to many other parents, this school is far better in many ways (academic and social) than the local state schools.


I'm not sure where British schools or International schools fit in - are they fully private?
 

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If you're going to get a TEFL qualification, do the Cambridge CELTA in the link above, or Trinity Cert TESOL (Oxford House do this I believe - on phone so can't check easily now)
There are many other TEFL qualifications but not all language schools will accept them. Will write more from computer later!
 

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Ok, on the computer now so can write a bit more!

Oxford House in Barcelona do indeed offer the Trinity Cert TESOL: Trinity Certificate in TESOL · Oxford TEFL's initial training course This is the course I did years ago (at a school in London). Personally, I would only look for work at a language school that asks for teachers to have this or the Cambridge CELTA. As I said in my earlier post, there are lots of other TEFL courses but they don't cover anywhere near as much and don't have as many hours of teaching practice.

I'm teaching privately here now but I know there are a lot of language schools around.

Good luck with the move - we love BCN :)
 

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As far as I know, here in Spain, you need a minimum of a B2 to teach in schools. However, I don't know if this is meant to be for Spanish teachers, teaching a foreign language tho.

FAQ de Certificado de Capacitación para la Enseñanza en Inglés - CEU-UCH
Yes, because a native teacher should be at C2 level!
The A - C level system is the Common European Framework of reference for language. It is to be used for assessing language learners and not for assessing native speakers.
Non native teachers (as they too are learners) are now being assessed using this framwork and the usual cut off point is B2 which is First Certificate level. If you have an official exam certifying this level (Escuela Oficial, Cambridge and maybe Trinity??)you'll be able to teach your subject in English. What I mean is that officially you'll be able to teach your subject. Whether you really will be equipped is a matter of opinion(!!)
There is a problem sometimes when the mania for a certificate takes over common sense. I know of a young woman who was born in Spain of an American mother and Spanish father, who studied here and then did two masters in the US. She is completely bilingual with out a trace of an accent in both languages yet has been refused jobs because she doesn't have the "First" or "Advanced"
 

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I can't teach anything, lol! I don't even have A1... in English!

Maybe I should go and take the exams, see what level I am at.
 

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I can't teach anything, lol! I don't even have A1... in English!

Maybe I should go and take the exams, see what level I am at.
Maybe because employers seem to be using it more and more too, although they don't often really know what it means...
You'd obviously be a C1 (advanced) or C2 (Proficiency). However if you do decide to take the Cambridge exams make sure you do a couple of test exams first just so that you check you're doing the right one and so that you know what to expect in each part of the exam. They are too expensive to allow silly fkuc ups just 'cos you didn't prepare sufficiently :)
 

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Yes, because a native teacher should be at C2 level!
The A - C level system is the Common European Framework of reference for language. It is to be used for assessing language learners and not for assessing native speakers.
Non native teachers (as they too are learners) are now being assessed using this framwork and the usual cut off point is B2 which is First Certificate level. If you have an official exam certifying this level (Escuela Oficial, Cambridge and maybe Trinity??)you'll be able to teach your subject in English. What I mean is that officially you'll be able to teach your subject. Whether you really will be equipped is a matter of opinion(!!)
There is a problem sometimes when the mania for a certificate takes over common sense. I know of a young woman who was born in Spain of an American mother and Spanish father, who studied here and then did two masters in the US. She is completely bilingual with out a trace of an accent in both languages yet has been refused jobs because she doesn't have the "First" or "Advanced"
I am the proud owner of an expensive piece of paper from Cambridge that says "Proficiency" on it. Gotta love bureaucracy (And the examiner who docked me ten points on the oral exam. He is not my friend.)
 

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I am the proud owner of an expensive piece of paper from Cambridge that says "Proficiency" on it. Gotta love bureaucracy (And the examiner who docked me ten points on the oral exam. He is not my friend.)
Ah really?
I thought if you were obviously a native speaker you weren't supposed to be accepted for the exam. Maybe that was old ruling??
 

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I did prepare myself for the Proficiency, it was lots of fun. Even my English friends did worse than I did!

However, I never came across anyone asking me for any English qualifications. So I am not sure I should spend money on a piece of paper no-ones will want.

uhm... we'll see.
 
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