I am a TESOL-certified English teacher and author. My nationality is Syrian, but am US-educated. I am considering moving to Barcelona where I could teach English to various levels, including TOEFL, IELTS and conversation. I am interested in working at an institute, as well as teaching private lessons. How difficult would that be? What’s the best way to get private lessons? Does my TESOL suffice, as a qualification, or should I also get the TEFL? Many thanks for your input.
15 February, 2016 at 10:22
Total posts: 52
Hi from Barcelona!
Though TESOL and TEFL stand for different things (TESOL = ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’, TEFL = ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’), they’re both acronyms for the same industry so your TESOL qualification is fine.
The problem, however, is your right, or lack thereof, to work here. Unless you have a passport from an EU member state, either through birth or ancestry, or are married to an EU citizen or can find a company to sponsor you, it’s going to be virtually impossible to find legal work in Barcelona, or anywhere else in the EU. This is because EU hiring law dictates that employers must give preference to EU citizens. I’ve written an advice guide to working in Europe, which you might find helpful: http://toiberiaandbeyond.blogspot.com.es/p/teaching-in-europe.html.
Be advised that the market in Barcelona is tough. Supply far outstrips demand and, as a result, wages are being driven down, conditions in language academies are poor, and most teachers have to work at two or more schools/companies to make ends meet. There are plenty of private students, but thanks to the continuing recession, few of them are willing to pay the going rate. Note that there’s no real demand for either TOEFL or IELTS; Cambridge is king here.
Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.