Travel & Teach - Spain


Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:

Jennifer Cross

If you are considering moving to Barcelona to teach English then you are not alone.

Barcelona is a city flooded with native English speakers - English, American, Irish, Scottish and Australian alike are here to enjoy the year-long sun, costal beaches, and excessive work-life balance that Barcelona is so renowned for through teaching English to its citizens.

But not to fret. One can find work in Barcelona through the use of persistence, patience and a little bit of good luck. This is my experience -- maybe it will help you as well.

Networking and a Nest -- Networking is important and having money saved is important as well. I arrived in Barcelona with almost $10,000 to help me get started. It is an expensive city and you need to be prepared for the possibility that you may be looking for work for a while. As soon as I arrived I began trying to find other teachers to ask them what their experiences have been like. How much money are they making? Where are they teaching? Are they freelance? Is it hard to teach English?

I met with an American teacher for coffee and she told me her school is looking for a teacher -- that afternoon. Within 2 hours I was teaching my first English class. I was terribly under-prepared and I was so nervous. The school liked me enough as they gave me a few additional classes. Now, nearly a year later I work about 20 hours a week at this school (during the evening) and they are sponsoring my work visa.

Business English -- If you can manage to get a solid job teaching Business English it will be mighty helpful. These classes are usually in the morning and lunchtime. They expect a lot of you and you but the pay is usually higher than academy work and the students usually have at least an intermediate level. I teach every day at lunch at General Electric and last year I was teaching mornings at Accenture. It helps if you have a background in business, but even if not it is possible to get these prized positions. The best bet for this is to make a list of all the business English schools (from the yellow pages) and hand-deliver your CV.

Private Classes -- I teach 6 hours of private classes every week and it helps out a lot at the end of the month. These classes are fun because you are your own boss and you don't need to fill out any reports or follow a book. The best way to get these lined up is through networking. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who needs to improve their English for some reason or another.

Preparation -- I know some teachers who are total wingers. They wing their classes. 5 minutes before they decide what they will do and they go to class and just let it unfold. This unpredictability scares me. I prefer to plan my classes down to the minute so that there are no surprises. I am probably an excessive example to follow but preparation is important. If you are under-prepared for class -- your students will feel it.

To the Bank -- a lot of considering teachers are curious as to how much money they can expect to make in a month. I work around 29 hours a week and I make roughly 1,500 euros every month. This is once again, excessive. Teaching 29 hours is a lot. Unless you have outstanding debts to pay I wouldn't recommend working this many hours.

Lynne Curtis

I am living and working in Spain on the Costa del Sol, but I live in the campo (mountains) above the coast - away from the tourists!! I help a couple of local children with their English and I enjoy it. When I have more time and I can speak a bit more Spanish, I hope to do more private teaching.

I love working abroad, everything about Spain is great.

Linda Cassell

The area I settled in is more Spanish, near Puerto Banus. It has everything from the busy days in Marbella, beach to the typical Spanish way of life in my town. The most challenging thing for me was the language in the beginning, but the great thing here is the people are so helpful and friendly.

I worked in my hometown until one day I was asked to teach a small group of children. I learnt along the way really and taught like this for 4 years, each time getting more students without advertising anywhere.

The (Global English) certificate and course gave me a great insight in all areas of the language, also ideas of how to teach different grammar points. Being English doesn't mean that you know how to teach! So the course gave me more confidence - helping me feel more professional.

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