I am an experienced EFL teacher from the U.K. I have CELTA. Most of my experience is in the Far East, where I have been successful for some years. But I recently got back to the U.K. I find that renewing my visa will be difficult and expensive., especially in Beijing, where I have been working.
And suddenly Spain seems so much easier to get into. I speak the language fluently. I am tempted to go there, and try my luck. But I know that things can go wrong-not all private academias are worth the bother. What would it be like to do private classes?
Dylan TEFL Spain
21 July, 2015 at 14:15
Total posts: 1
There is plenty of work in Spain. Unfortunately, there are also lots of teachers. However, as a fluent Spanish speaker with a CELTA and experience, you should have no problem finding work.
Lots of the academies in Spain prepare learners for international exams (Cambridge and Trinity). If you have experience teaching these exams, make sure you include that on your cv. If you don’t, make sure you find out about them as you’ll probably be asked about them in an interview.
The cost of living is much higher in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. Academies there do tend to be more professional and pay a little more (Business English classes pay the best). Many teachers speak highly of the Basque country (higher salaries) and you could probably find some interesting work there.
With your Spanish, you could also try setting yourself up as a private tutor (maybe even online). Might be a way to supplement academy work.
I was deciding between going to Madrid, which I know can be expensive, but where there is plenty of work, or to Valencia, which is cheaper, in terms of housing and has a relatively small expat community. The problem with Spain though, is that it’s hard to get detailed information from outside Spain. If I log onto Dave’s ESL Café Korea, there are hundreds of people online. I can get replies and be inundated with advice and information, including warnings about bad schools. With the Spain section of Dave’s ESL Café, the question is whether there is anybody there at all. Do they even know about forums like this one? It could be that most people teaching in Spain are young and naïve and have little information to give.
My experience with CAE and FCE is from a few years ago. I enjoyed the work, but I focused on the oral and reading aspects and did some writing. A Polish teacher did the grammar, as I was in Poland at the time.
My experience of Trinity exams is much more recent. This job was in Melilla of all places. I absolutely loved teaching the Trinity exams to the adult students. I had classes of adult beginners as well, and I loved teaching them too. The kid’s classes were harder. I did also have some good experiences with them, because I know a number of games and activities from previous experience with children. But what made that job so bad was while the owners wanted us to spend just an hour on lesson prep, the new managers arranged it so that teachers would come in at 8:30, start preparing, and not leave the office till 2 p.m. then come back and teach from 4-10. This was because of extra administration that was not about the lessons per se.
I am flying out to Madrid on Wednesday. I would like to teach in Spain if I could earn enough to survive without having to work for Genghis Khan!
22 September, 2016 at 16:45
Total posts: 34
I’ve only just joined the forum, so I know I’m pretty late with giving you advice. I taught English in Seville for a year back in 2006. At the time, I made much more per hour teaching privates than I did by teaching in an established language school. People in Sevilla were particularly bad at English but there was a lot of demand. I know it’s been 10 years, but something tells me that the situation would only be marginally better nowadays. Where di you end up settling in Spain?
26 January, 2017 at 18:14
Total posts: 6
I think you should definitely consider Spain, especially if you speak Spanish. It´s a bit of a no-brainer! I teach at a local academia de inglés en Madrid, y a mí me encanta. If I were you I would search for a small academia de inglés, and avoid the large companies. I’ve worked for the big ones, and they can be greedy. They will send you to every corner of the city to teach. It’s a nightmare! Teaching clases de particulares can be good financially, but that really depends on how many students you can muster – and you will have to deal with the stress of an unstable income (students can have the tendency to cancel a lot). Also – something to think about – inglés para empresas! They can be quite lucrative, although getting them in the first place is the hard part. It’s not like you can just go out and stand on the corner and shout to people “Hey! Look at me, I teach inglés!” Good luck searching for your perfect academia de inglés en Madrid!!!
17 March, 2017 at 9:26
Total posts: 1
I have a question. Is it difficult for non-EU teachers to find a job in Spain without a working permit? Thanks in advance
21 March, 2017 at 19:26
Total posts: 6
Hi, that’s such a great question – I’m from the States myself – and the only reason I am working here is because I am married to a British citizen. I see so many people from the U.S. that are trying to work in a small academia de inglés en Madrid and they don’t have a chance. You must have the proper paperwork!
11 April, 2018 at 19:23
Total posts: 3
Without a visa you’ll find cash jobs without too many problems in the big cities but they always present their own set of problems as I’m sure you know!
You’ll never get rich working in Spain but the quality of life is such that you’ll probably be happy – especially if you are fluent in the language. Worth a shot for a year or two at least!