Myself and my wife are looking at moving from the UK to Spain and I am looking at teaching English.
I have no degree and no experience but am trying to find out what qualifications I would require as it is all very confusing looking at websites/courses and qualifications and the promises they can or can’t deliver.
I have been looking at online TEFL courses and also TESOL and each one says it is the right one.
Can you possibly give me some advice please
You’re absolutely right that it is very confusing! I’ll try and clear it up a bit.
Firstly, the fact that you’re an EU citizen means, of course, that you have the right to work in Spain, so that’s a good start. You don’t need a degree to teach in Spain (as far as I’m aware this hasn’t changed recently), although many employers will ask for one. So this may limit the number of employers you can work for but you’ll still be fine.
In terms of TEFL qualifications, requirements vary greatly depending on the employer. But the majority of employers will require either a CELTA, Trinity cert TESOL, or an equivalent qualification. CELTA and Trintity are both 4 week, 120 hour (sometimes slightly more) qualifications which include several hours of observed teaching practice as part of the assessment. If you do an “equivalent” course, therefore (and there are some very good equivalent courses out there), then this is what you should be looking for in terms of duration and assessment.
If you have a look at some of the job adverts for Spain, you’ll get an idea of the requirements. You’ll notice a small proportion who don’t require CELTA, Trinity or equivalent, but perhaps say something like “recognised TEFL qualification”. There are some shorter courses which are recognised, and many online ones too, and many of these are very good. But you will limit your employability in Spain if you have one of these, simply because only a precentage of employers will accept them (compared to CELTA, Trinity and equivalent).
Some employers (and by employers here I’m talking mainly about language schools) require experience. Obviously there’s not much you can do about this, it’s just a question of, once you’re qualified, applying for as many jobs as you can. Being on the ground in Spain can help a lot too – some schools don’t even advertise, they just rely on teachers already in place walking in off the street with their CV.
Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, your options increase, in terms of getting private work, getting jobs where experience is required, and so on.
Hope that helps a bit – feel free to get back to me with any questions.
Thank you for the detailed reply it is very helpful. Due to my work i dont have the time to do a 4 week intensive course so would be looking for something comparable to the celta/tesol. I notice there are some TESOL ? online courses that also include 20 hours in the classroom for example from :
or this TEFL course:
Are these any good ?
Dear Rich I think the advice above is pretty good. You really do need to do some research in what kind of school you want to teach at and if your current qualifications get you there. If you find your not qualified to get the school you want then take a job you are qualified for and build up your skills like classroom management, organization, lesson plan writing, and public speaking. If you build up these skills and take on developing a strong following with your students by being the very best you can be, you’ll find that doors will open for you. Good luck.
Absolutely – getting experience with less demanding schools can be an approach to take.
To answer your question about online courses Rich, sorry I missed that you’d asked this question – I’ve just seen it. So there are some good online courses available. The ones you mention, for example, have a good reputation. But bear in mind that, similar to what I said about classroom based courses in my first reply, there will be some employers who simply won’t accept any kind of online qualification, regardless of how good it is or the reputation it has. So you’ll find that less doors are open to you with an online qualification.
Having said that, it is a route that many teachers go, and for good reason – the expense of a classroom based course can be prohibitive. I’ve met many successful teachers over the years who went the route of an online course. You may have to compromise in terms of job options, but once you’ve got a few years of experence under your belt, the qualification starts to become less relevant and your experience more relevant.
Hope that helps.
All this information is great and very much appreciated but which courses apart from Celta and Trinity’s do you recommend. I do appreciate the practical side but I am working do can’t spend 4 weeks away to do a Celta or Trinity. I am thinking of a combined course and a min of 120 hrs so can you direct me to the better recognised,established,respected institutions/ courses
I can’t endorse any specific courses/institutions, but I would do this:
1. Search for courses that meet your criteria (combined, 120 hours) and make a shortlist
2. Check which ones on your shortlist are properly accredited. If you have a look on the accrediting organisation’s website, you’ll be able to, firstly, check that the course really is accredited by them, and secondly, see for yourself if that particular accrediting body is respected and is a mark of quality. It doesn’t have to be an accrediting body specifically set up for TEFL courses. There are many bodies which accredit all types of training, for example the ODLQC or TQUK or BAC (British Accreditation Council).
Note – just being a “member” of something like IATEFL doesn’t count as accreditation. Nothing at all wrong with IATEFL, it’s just that it doesn’t actually assess and quality-check courses, and some course providers will use membership as a substitute for accreditation.
3. Do a thorough Google search on each course provider – look for positive and negative reviews and any other information that gives you a feel for how well respected and established the organisation is. If you get a bad feeling about one, take if off your shortlist.
Hope that helps?
It would also be worth brushing up on grammar terminology and the like as most courses centre around classroom management and creating activities. All well and good but if you don’t know a noun from a verb you’ll get found out very quickly!
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